I'm falling out of love with my PJ

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by paul cliff, Jul 25, 2017.

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    1. paul cliff

      paul cliff
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      I've had a Benq W1070+ for a few years now, coupled with an 84" electric screen from Amazon, which was around £100.

      Recently I've been getting more and more bothered by the poor shadow details and performance in darker scenes. Everything that remotly in shadow just looks black, Ive played with settings, I even bought a Disney setup bluray and ran through that, didn't really help.

      The room is painted mostly Magnolia, but the wife doesn't like the sound of anything darker, she absolutely hates dark rooms, everything has to be light and bright.

      I only use the projector when its dark, I mean dark enough that I need a torch to move around the room, so its not too bright in the room, I also bought a filter for the PJ as I read this improves black levels, and it does, but its still not enough.

      So, is the W1070 just not up to the job? Will I ever get black levels and shadow detail comparable to my 7 year old 42" Toshiba TV? I don't want to spend hundreds on a new (better) screen if I'm just going to be left disappointed. Should I be looking at replacing the PJ, and if so how much am I going to have to spend to get an improvement?

      Another issue is noise, I'm noticing the fan noise a lot recently, I'm pretty sure it hasn't got louder but I'm noticing it more, and its starting to annoy me, do quiet PJ's exist or will I need to build a hush box?
       
    2. kbfern

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      You will need a better pj and most sub £2k pj's will not have great shadow detail.

      You could buy a used higher quality machine from Sony/JVC for upwards of £1k for a 3-4yr old machine or £2k + for something a year or two old.

      A Pj is not going to give as much shadow detail as most tv's but there again most tv's will not give the WoW factor of a 100"+ pj screen,

      Magnolia walls even at night are not great for pj's either so maybe pay out £2k+ for a 65 or even maybe 75" 4k tv at least you will get SOME WoW factor with that.
       
    3. kbfern

      kbfern
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    4. Roku2

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      Sony 45 is your answer
       
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    5. Mallardo

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      Quiet PJs do exist. I've just checked the specs for the W1070 and it is 30db in eco mode, which isn't too bad. However my Sanyo is 19db in eco. When it comes to fan noise size is a big factor, your PJ is 2.6kg, mine is 7Kg. The Sony's and JVC's mentioned above will dwarf the Benq. So you need to consider that too if room aesthetics are an issue.
       
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    6. Gilbers

      Gilbers
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      If your room has Magnolia walls and a white ceiling you may find that even a state of the art projector will struggle to produce black levels that you are happy with. Low APL scenes may be ok, but as soon as you have a mix of light and dark areas on screen simultaneously the dark areas are going to be washed out by light bouncing back from your room.

      If you really can't do anything to treat the room (it's worth checking out this thread for some creative solutions Maximising image contrast - Part 2) then your best bet would be some form of light rejecting screen (e.g Draper React). Unfortunately these can be pretty expensive - although your relatively small screen size may help keep the cost down.
       
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    7. geogan

      geogan
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      Yeah, you need some SXRD panel tech in your projector. Cheap LCD just does not do it at all.

      See my signature left, that is my living room with Sony HW40-ES on about 3.3m wide screen area.

      Shadow details and contrast are excellent.

      And I have no woman controlling my environment, so my walls are painted in a darker two-tone brown colour for even better contrast ;)

      Only my ceiling is still white and this is what is causing most problems at the moment.

      And much quieter than cheap small PJs (when new! - gets a bit noiser as internal dust starts causing cavitation in fan mechanism)
       
    8. paul cliff

      paul cliff
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      Thanks all, nice to have an idea of how much to spend in the future.
      I dont think I could ever go down to anything smaller than 84", I've actually been looking at going bigger to be honest.

      Wife did mention that she quite liked grey walls a while a back, I may need to investigate this to see if something can be done...might be easier than convincing her we need to spend £2k on a new PJ.

      Light grey walls and a better screen is perhaps the way to go at the moment.
       
    9. Nayfne

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      I have the w1070, and the biggest PQ quality upgrade was to put it in our now dedicated room, with a dark colour scheme and blackout curtains, the difference was night and day from our living room set up..the colour scheme and ambient light really make a difference[emoji106]
       
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    10. sim12

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      I'm inclined to agree, a few years ago I went from the optoma 131xe, upto the the Panasonic pt-at6000e at the time that Rivelled the older sony 40, the Sony 45 is said to be better than that, the difference was night and day, I would go as far as to say I went from watching a projected image to something that resembled a plasma TV image.
       
    11. paul cliff

      paul cliff
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      Good to know, suppose I could 'plant the seed' that the spare room doesn't get much use
       
    12. sim12

      sim12
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      Not a bad idea but it won't solve the problem you have with the machine, it sounds like you've outgrown it and your ready for an upgrade.
       
    13. Harkon321

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      React type screen will definitely help but they are expensive.

      I also painted the screen wall and darkish purple as a feature wall. I've also got some brown curtains covering windows and glass doors. All helps.
       
    14. MLCinema

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      I've exactly the same feeling. Been using a Benq W1070 for 3 years now in a batcave and the lack of shadow detail and contrast is starting to get annoying. Thinking of upgrading to a X5500.

      I do agree however that creating better viewing conditions by painting the walls in a darker color would be a good first step. Friend of mine also uses the Benq in a living room and found the projector to be be much better in my batcave

      A darker color scheme will also attribute to getting the most out of a future upgrade!
       
    15. swiftpete

      swiftpete
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      I had a benq w1070. It was alright for the money as it was cheap but it was noisy and black levels weren't great. The Sony hw40es I replaced it with is much better in all ways. Sorting the room out helped a huge amount as well though.
       
    16. jfinnie

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      The ReAct3 ambient light rejecting screen I have now was a bigger upgrade in my white room than going from a Sanyo PLV-Z800 to JVC DLA-X3. Although a high native contrast projector will undoubtedly look better in a bad room than a lower contrast projector, the washing out of the image during mixed brightness scenes is something that the native contrast of the projector only has a minimal effect on.

      I think if you're constrained by the room to the extent you say then really an ALR type screen is a must. I made a video to show it off here:

      Draper ReAct3 vs plain white roller blackout blind
       
    17. geogan

      geogan
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      Nice video. Did you make sure to have the camera on all manual settings (shutter, aperture and ISO) so that it didn't change exposure itself during the test? Any changes to camera exposure would mask any in room lighting changes a lot.

      What size is that screen and how much do those cost now (for a laugh!). I can just imagine the cost of one of those 3.3m wide... probably the same as a new car. :eek:
       
    18. jfinnie

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      The video is accurate within reason; I set the camera as manual as possible. If you look when the rollerblind is half up half down infront of the fixed frame ReAct the image is same brightness top and bottom, (ReAct gain is just over 1 straight on) so there would be no reason for exposure to change. If anything the video is a little dark in the shadows compared to reality for both (for the image with this brightness the rest of the room is a bit lighter looking once your eye adapts). But of course the camera has lower dynamic range than human eye, so not much you can do about that without shooting the video in HDR.

      I have an old 2016 manufacturers' price list in front of me; 3.2m wide 16:9 SRP was about 18,000 SEK with fixed Frame Vision frame covered in Veltex (they are Swedish). For electric it is quite a lot more as you have to go to Linea casing style for that width. I got a bargain and found mine used via eBay, but it is only 1.6m wide and funny 16:10 aspect.

      It is a great screen and you won't be able to achieve this kind of contrast outside of a dedicated room regardless of which projector you use. Everything in my room is white and you can even turn on a little ambient light above the screen and not have the image ruined (just no light allowed from projector direction for obvious reasons...!)
       
    19. aoaaron

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      I thin projectors have less value nowadays given that they're lagging behind in resolution and TVs are getting cheaper and cheaper by the year.

      I really wanted to buy one but my mind said no given the tradeoffs which ur describing.
       
      Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
    20. ben16v

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      i use a 120" platinum grey screen with my infocus 8606hd and its great in a magnolia room (in the dark) run on normal bulb not eco, movie for 2d and bright for 3d.
      my sony 52 w4500 is obviously better for daytime viewing but i would not be with the pj.
      if i was going to change then i would go for the sony 45 but its too large for siting in my room - oh well.
       
    21. sim12

      sim12
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      Are you completely happy with the platinum screen? I currently have a blackwidow diy job that I'm happy anough but I fancy a change, but these grey screens seem a little too cheap, perhaps too good to be true, any pitfalls you could share ?
       
    22. ben16v

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      hey, its definitely not perfect, there are a few lines visible on bright scenes and one hot spot, perhaps it would be solved if it was tab tensioned but for £120 for an electric grey screen vs the alternatives i am happy, if you are someone who is super critical of images then i wouldnt recommend it - but i can look past it for the size and quality of the image overall. its a lot better image than the white beamax screen i had before - and that was a £300 screen which still had a few v lines visible
       
    23. sim12

      sim12
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      Thanks for the response, that's another £120 saved, although I am inclined to agree, for the price and value it can't be knocked.
       
    24. paul cliff

      paul cliff
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      Do you have a link to the one you have? is it from Platinum Home Cinema?
       
    25. ben16v

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    26. soupdragon

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      Some good advice so far - notably that room treatment is the cheapest and easiest way to make improvements.

      One thing that nobody has mentioned which may help is some back lighting (bias lighting)

      Granted, this pics is from a Sony HW50 and react2 screen set up, but the same principle applies.

      Bias lighting effectively helps keep your pupil a little bit more closed than normal....eg, when you come to a dark scene, your pupil will open up a little bit to try and 'see' everything which effectively makes the black parts of the image look a little grey. If you have some bais lighting, your pupil won't open up the same, which will make the blacks look blacker.

      I've done the exposure as best I can in this pic to try and roughly replicate the effect....

      More pics here and a bit more discussion of what I was playing about with.
      Soupdragon's new house build (from scratch)

      Its a very cheap 'demo'. Simply hide a light source behind your screen and see if it helps or not :)

      [​IMG]
       
    27. daveb975

      daveb975
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      Good thread. I bought a W1070 a couple of years ago as a cheap entry point into projectors and i have a 92" screen.

      I love it, and am at the stage where the 55" 4k TV sitting behind the PJ screen is only used very occasionally. It seems a waste to watch a film on such a 'small' screen, but like the OP I would love better black detail and less fan noise.

      I will have to stick with the Benq though, because none of the other manufacturers seem to make short throw projectors and I'd be left with an image about the same size as my TV! Unless there are some PJs I am missing?!
       
    28. daveb975

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      Big TVs are still pretty expensive - the cheapest 75" TV on Richer Sounds site at the moment is £3k and that is still quite small by PJ standards.

      A lot of people have big rooms with seriously big screens of 120"+. I don't think that you can even buy a TV that size.
       
    29. SonOfSJ

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      @aoaaron and @daveb975 Hmm, I'm partly with both of you. I'm generally a TV man, but I must acknowledge that about 75" - 78" seems, at 2017 prices, to be the break point between deciding whether to get a TV or a projector. Above that size, a projector is better value. At about 75", you can get various Full Array Local Dimming sets, for instance the new Sony 75XE9405, which costs £5K currently, though its price might reduce later in its life cycle. OLED sets of 77" are very expensive, last year's LG 77G6 now (reduced to half-price) costs £12k! For that, or even for about £8K, you can get a highly satisfactory projector / screen combination, even at 4K resolution I believe. I gather that though you can get a physically much bigger screen, up to 120", with a projector, projectors don't deliver, for instance, the peak HDR highlights that a top-range LCD television would. So it's a balance between the merits of projector vs television. I currently have only Full HD televisions, not 4K, but I have to say that the best 1080p picture that I have ever seen was two years ago, at the house of a forum member called Big Boss. He had a ReAct 2.1 silver Draper screen, if I remember correctly, and the picture, with 1080p Blu-rays, was just gorgeous.
       
    30. daveb975

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      Totally agree.

      If I wanted a 75" screen (and I could accommodate a TV of that size), I'd definitely go for a TV for the reasons you mention. I think that is too small a screen to both with the hassles of set up, noise and potential PQ deficiencies of a PJ.

      For screen sizes above that, TVs are only available to those with very deep pockets, where as a good PJ set up is available for much more sensible money.

      This will no doubt change over time. I remember buying my first plasma in about 2003 when 42" first became an 'affordable' screen size. The step up in price to the 50" was huge, and that was partly because it was such a niche screen size back then. We are probably just about at a stage where 75" is occupying the price category that 42" was in 2003, with the step up to bigger screens often double the price.

      I don't think it will go quite as fast any more - the cost of the tech will come down but I am not sure how many people (outside of AVF) actually want anything bigger than 75" anyway!

      The PJ market will stay relevant at the low and high end in my opinion. My £450 Benq W1070 paired with a £200, 92" screen gives me far more enjoyment than a TV of the same cost could ever do, but then I am putting up with the noise and picture problems that started this thread.

      At the high end, spending a lot on a top end 4K projector and a 150" screen in a dedicated room will give an experience not available on mainstream TVs at the moment and probably for quite some time.
       

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