How important is contrast ratio vs lumens output?


Probabaly a very silly noobish question but i thought id ask it anyway!

I have finally managed to find a hd ready projector at the right sort of price, its a sanyo z2 (1280*720 native, 800 lumen & 1300:1 CR), now for the past few weeks i have been playing with a sony PJ from work, which is a data PJ (2000 lumens 350:1 CR) which i have been happy with tbh, nice big bright image, very usable in varying light conditions etc.

Now im probabaly being a bit dense here, but with the sanyo vs the sony, where am i likely to see improvements/differences, personally i found the sony to be a tad too bright at night,so for a drop in lumens im gaining alot in the contrast.

Any info appreciated, i must say even my old dvds in progressive were fantastic on the sony, so im hoping the sanyo will wow me that little bit more, plus i have some HDTV stuff to try now too (720p).

Cheers all

Member 14847

Active Member
I think - if I remember correctly - the Z2 is not HDReady. It's isn't able to accept a 720p signal at 50Hz (only 60) although it will take a 1080i signal at 50Hz.

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Hi Wassap,

The contrast ratio of a machine determines it's black level relative to the white level, so a bright pj with high lumens and low contrast ratio will have a poor black level (very grey). It will also have trouble showing shadow detail, and as the image goes towards black (grey), the colours desaturate.

Having a higher CR means the blacks will look blacker and the colours will stay more saturated as they get close to black during dark scenes. You may notice much less of a 'haze' during dark scenes and shadow detail won't be lost in the grey haze. Colours should look much better too, depending on how well calibarted the Z2 is.

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