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Progressive Shootout! (long)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by JohnS, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Well, Friday night Technophobe (Kevin) came over with his Phillips 962 imported from Hifizone so Pal and NTSC out of the box. This we hooked up to my AE100 with a Hoya FLD projecting onto an 8ft Owl screen. We also compared my HTPC and Kevin’s Sharp 9000 dlp.

    At each stage we recalibrated brightness and contrast using Avia.

    1st off SVideo from the 962 to the ae100…..appalling, how anyone can watch this I don’t know.

    2nd SVideo from 962 into proV – VGA to ae100…much much better, anyone still uming and arring over whether or not to buy a proV, it is without doubt the best £100 you could spend to improve the picture from your existing DVD player and Sky (via Svideo or converted from RGB).

    3rd Progressive component from 962 to ae100, without doubt a little better than the proV, edge detail was higher because of slightly less ghosting around the image, less scaling artefacts (but there is not many using the proV so this was very slight). Overall a fantastic watch-able picture.

    4th HTPC to ae100, this was the best of all but it was hard to spot the differences between this and the 962. Now and again there was the odd scene where you could pick out the superior scaling ability of the HTPC on swooping fast pans but overall very little to choose between them for a similar amount of expense.

    My opinion was that the HTPC’s advantage would become greater with the superior 1280*720 resolution of the Sharp dlp so this was the next thing to try. It was a little trepidation that I helped set the Sharp up as this PJ is about £4500 more than the ae100 and I was prepared to be blown away with the improvement from a higher resolution panel and of course the legendary better blacks of the dlp engine.

    We created a powerstrip resolution for the HTPC to match the Sharp’s panel and fired it up.

    NO SCREEN DOOR

    We were watching at my usual 12ft from the 8ft screen and compared to the ae100 this immediately noticeable. The Windoze desktop was much much sharper and of course smaller icons and more space.

    HTPC to Sharp via Theatretek, a lovely picture, detailed vibrant, no scaling artefacts, no judder on pans, can’t really fault it and Kevin starts discussing the idea of building a HTPC for himself. (He could probably sell the 962 for more money than is required to build the HTPC)

    We swop to the 962 via PS and….a lovely picture, detailed vibrant, no scaling artefacts, can’t really fault it, obviously the superior scaler inside the Sharp compared to the ae100 is doing its job.

    After lots of back and forth between the sources we decided that there was so little between them that the HTPC was probably not worth the hastle on the Sharp. The only difference we could spot was an ever so slight judder on pans when using the 962 into the Sharp, (it wasn’t there on the ae100) maybe because the scaler was working harder for the higher resolution?

    AE100 via HTPC against Sharp via 962.

    We used gladiator R2 as we both had a copy and could sink them so we could swop quickly between each one.

    I think we both felt the obvious difference from the Sharp was the lack of screen door, the expected black level improvement from dlp just wasn’t there (maybe there might be in a room with darker walls as mine are magnolia, white ceiling, beach floor) but both pj’s were in the same environment so..? There was a little more black level detail in the Sharp (better contrast I suppose) but that was about it. Overall detail was very very close and I’m now wondering if a higher resolution pj is my next step or whether just to watch out fro one with a MLA (micro lens array giving smaller gaps between the pixels). For me there was not a £4000 improvement although it was endoubtably better.

    To balance the scales a bit because it sounds like I didn’t like the Sharp, it was much quieter than the ae100, setup options including things like optical lens shift are far superior, the inbuilt scaler has more options with regard 2:2, 3:2 detection etc etc.

    To conclude, I’d like to thank Kevin for his 2.5hr drive to bring his equipment over, a great evening and very revealing, you just do not get to do this kind of comparison when you are shopping for equipment.
     
  2. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    John, thanks to you and Technophobe for putting this test together. I'm sure this'll become a long thread pretty soon.

    My first question: could you give percentages to the images from the different inputs into the AE100? I'm trying to find out whether other peoples' subjective comments about progressive vs ProV cross my 'must upgrade DVD player' threshold (probably a very low threshold)

    The 963SA sounds very promising (PAL progressive and multiregion via remote confirmed), and it isnt' that expensive. Would you say if I was thinking of replacing my ageing pioneer 505 anyway, to stump up the extra to go from a good interlaced player to a progressive one?
     
  3. JohnS

    JohnS
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    For the AE100

    HTPC 100% obviously the best.
    962 99% it does run the HTPC very close.
    proV 97% from the 962 via SVideo
    proV 96% from my old Samsung 709
    Svideo 70% from 962 interlaced.

    For me the improvement from either the HTPC or the 962 is small compared to the overall improvement gained from the proV. The proV at £100, the HTPC or 962 at ~ £550, personally I'd go for the proV for now and get the impovement with Sky as well (I think it makes Sky reasonable watchable on an ae100 at 8ft). In a few months when the likes of Tosh make a PAL PS DVD at ~ £250 then that would be the way to go, even if you bought the proV now and only used it for Sky after a few months because you upgrade the DVD player then. Either that or there is the likes of the "Briteveiw" around the corner which at I beleive around £400 will take out the adavantage of a PS DVD player altogether with a PJ like the ae100.
     
  4. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    John did you notice any rainbowing with the sharp?
     
  5. JSW

    JSW
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    Did you try the AE100 in wide720 ???

    Thats how I use it and its superb.
     
  6. johnny

    johnny
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    The comments here pretty much echo what I saw at the mini-shootout some months back. We too demoed an AE100 vs TW100 with a 962, tosh 510 and HTPC.

    To my eye's and everyone else in the room is was a very close thing between the 962 and HTPC.
     
  7. Technophobe

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    John

    Thanks for the enjoyable and informing evening, it was most interesting. I pretty much agree with your take on events, but I do have a couple of additional comments to make.

    1. Minor correction. The Philips 962 was from Hivizone (Not HiFizone) Minor point I know but I believe there is company called Hifizone out there which may confuse people.

    2. I agree the HCPC gave a very clean smooth picture overall on the Sharp, but when we compared the HCPC and the 962 on rolling credits the Judder on the HCPC seemed more erratic and appeared to jump several lines at times.

    3. I felt the 962 had a little more detail in the picture especially in some of the scenes from gladiator, but this could have been due to the minor difference in grey scale setup perhaps as we discussed at the time.

    4. Now that I've used the Sharp here again in darker more non-reflective surroundings I can honestly say the biggest problem was the high ambient light level and reflected light within the room. The Sharp is capable of much better depth and contrast than was demonstraighted and was being limited by the ambient light level. This is probably true to some extent on the AE-100 too, but I think the black level floor will be higher. But I'm willing to return the favor and try again sometime at my gaff if you’re interested.

    So in summary then, I think we both agree the differences between the HCPC and the Philips 962 are very minor, both having very minor hiccups in different areas. But I can't emphasize enough that you really do have to look for these in both setups.

    I would like to thank you and your wife once again putting up with all the mess and upheaval during the evening.

    Best regards


    Technophobe
     
  8. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Keith, nope, no rainbowing....well just 1 single glimpse "I think" but then I dont think I suffer from it.

    JSW
    No, only tried it once myself, I use wide480, perhaps I'll give it another go and compare.

    Technophobe
    Yeah, that would be cool, maybe 2-3 weeks time.
     
  9. Technophobe

    Technophobe
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    John

    Let me know when your free and can fix a time.
    Think you'll be surprised how a darker decor can still look good yet transform the contrast of the picture.:D

    Technophobe
     
  10. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Not me that you have to convince Kevin:rolleyes: You've now met my uphill battle with the colour of the living-room. I'd be interested to see yours and to bring my ae100 and compare it in a darker room though. I'm away next week but we shall speak the week after and see where the land lies.
     

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