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Sony HS50 owners ahoy there!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by squibbly, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. squibbly

    squibbly
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    Having recently had to concede that single chip DLP is not for me, due to the eyestrain it gives me, I now turn with open arms to LCD. Obviously, since we are only 2 weeks away from CEDIA, I’m going to wait to see what’s announced there. Talk of no VB, SDE and increased fill on the D5 panels are indeed enticing.

    However, the Sony HS50 appears to be the LCD projector to beat (I have a £2k ‘wife endorsed’ budget for the projector). Even the recently leaked ‘specs’ of the Sanyo Z4 don’t appear to top it.

    I’d probably leap on the HS50 now, if it weren’t for the problems that have been hinted at on this site. So questions:

    1. With the recent firmware update, is the European HS50 doing 1:1 pixel mapping on 720p through the HDMI port? The US HS51 seems to suffer from some of the image being pushed outside the panel, to the degree that some people prefer the component connection.
    2. Do you really need to ensure blackout conditions to get to a reasonable CR (say 2500:1) or are the tales of the HS50’s dimness exaggerated (I read someone on the US site quote sub-200 lumens for a calibrated HS51!).
    3. At what point does screen door become noticeable?

    Comments featuring varying degrees of insight :lesson: , humour :D or abuse :devil: would be greatly appreciated.

    Squibbly
     
  2. Jules

    Jules
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    I can't answer your first question since my unit is still on the original firmware and I use component. Still great picture though from my Denon DVDA1.

    Yes, the HS50 is dim. But, I used a 6' wide Stewart Greyhawk screen (with only a 0.9 gain) and it was fine with the HS50 once the blackout blinds were drawn and the lights dimmed to cinema levels.
    I'm happy with the brightness of mine.

    For me, screen door disappears at 1.5 x the screen width. The resolution isn't as high as the 1386 x 786 of my previous HS20, but not a problem unless you intend to sit rediculously close to the screen.

    I've had my HS50 for knocking on 9 months, and I've seen or heard of nothing to tempt me away from it yet. Maybe when 3 chip DLP's get down to £3K I'll look again.

    The only think I'd say is that at current prices (the HS50 seams to have held at around £1600 since launch) it is starting look expensive. The Sanyo Z3 is available for under £900 with a spare lamp, and I'm not sure the Sony is really worth twice as much.
     
  3. squibbly

    squibbly
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    Thanks Jules, your info on the HS50 is helpful. It is the apparent lack of 1:1 pixel mapping thorugh HDMI that is the real dealbreaker for me at the mo, having just splashed out on a good HDMI DVD player that I'm determined to use!

    The Z3 does look an absolute steal (it's actually sub-£800 with lamp voucher at NexNix last I looked!). However, to cynical little me this means that the Z4 is just around the corner with a killer spec that will leave the Z3 looking stupid and with a price to knock the HS50 out of the water. Of course this could be my eternal optimism about the progression of technology :clap: . No doubt the next few weeks will reveal if this is the case.

    Squibbly
     
  4. DEANO-B

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    Waiting for the next gen of PJs may be a good idea. The down side though is that is unlikely that the prices will be at the bargain price of what PJs are now. I can't see the Z4 for example being released at £800 with a spare lamp.
     
  5. Ianf

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    Granted ... but if the suggested specs for the Z4 are close to reality would you pay around £1250 (my 2 cents guess for the replacement model) and no spare lamp, which if you value the lamp around the £200 mark means twice the price of the Z3. Thats as much a rhetorical question in that I am trying to resist the urge to go online right now and buy one of the dam things.
     
  6. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B
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    I can see in 2 months time every other post reading 'New Z4 vs Z3 - Is it worth the extra money?'. Thats assuming there are any Z3s left on the shelf, as I would think Sanyo will not want an 'old stock vs new stock' battle. Should be an intersting few months!
     
  7. Alistair_M

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    I've got a HS50 with the new firmware. With HMDI I do get pretty bad overscan issues - about 5% all the way around. The only fix for me was (as I use my pc for my projector) was to change the display settings on my 6800GT card - there are settings for overscan and i managed to get it to not have any.

    But I still prefer the picture from VGA so I've gone back to that.

    My honest opinion is that the HS50 is a good projector but not as amazing as some magazines say.

    Good points:
    1. Good contrast - especially if you use the settings posted over on the avs forum
    2. Very quiet
    3. Plenty bright for me - again using the optimised settings on avsforum was much brighter as well as more punchy.

    Bad points:
    1. I could only get best picture with VGA
    2. I notice some horizontal lines when you get blocks of uniform bright colours - which is slighlty destracting (the what projector mag said the same thing).
    3. Black level is only fair.

    Although I might seem a bit tough on the HS50, I do find most mags to overrate the performance of LCD projectors. But to put it in some comparison it is better than my previous projector which was a Panasonic AE500 and miles better than my old AE100.

    Finally, one other point is that projectors are hard to get hold of if they are just announced - I had to wait for about 5 months to finally get hold of my HS50. Even if they announce a Z4 soon, it will be hard to get one before the end of the year.
     
  8. inzaman

    inzaman
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    I think it is worth waiting to at least see some reviews on the Z4, due to the contrast ratio and also the fact that it has the D5 panels which apparently have a greater fill factor than the current panels. It should also be able to do (this is a guess and based on the Z3) 1:1 via hdmi which i still cannot believe the Sony cannot do. This was a deal breaker for me earlier on in the year.
     
  9. squibbly

    squibbly
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    Thanks Folks

    I think that just about writes off the HS50 for me, if it has the overscan. What are Sony playing at? That's after the upgrade as well!

    Granted the Z4 will be something like twice the price of the current Z3, but with those specs (if it gets anywhere near them - see HS50 and it's 6000:1 CR claim!) and the claims being made for D5 panels, I think I have to wait.

    Mind you, if CEDIA announces that there's an affordable LCOS/DILA projector with 2000+:1 CR or Sony comes up with a sub-£2000 SXRD projector (unlikely, I know), I would just have to wait. It's the "gadget-boy" in us all that makes us lust for the new technology just around the corner!

    Squibbly
     
  10. n0s

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    The fact that CEDIA is only a few days away really means that waiting is the only option...
     
  11. Blindman

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    Hi, I have an HS50, which was sent away for the firmware upgrade. As far as I can tell, it does now do 1:1 mapping through HDMI with no overscan on 720p. Hope this helps. :)
     
  12. squibbly

    squibbly
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    Thanks Blindman, you're the first to have that! Maybe they've sorted it out in recent upgrades. Did you get yours done recently?

    Also, have you compared HDMI to component? Is there much of a difference?

    Cheers
    Squibbly
     
  13. spamboy

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  14. windfall

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    I have a HS50 and have had one for 7 months.
    I use it during the day with curtains drawn but get the best picture when at night.
    I am VERY happy with the brightness - I think most projectors have to be used in dark conditions unless you are using a DATA projector - I would recommend it if you can emulate a cinema environment.

    I am feeding it via Xbox (HD as well), Sky+, Pioneer S575 and a HiDef Linkplayer 2. Hi Def images are excellent, simply outstanding, the only way to see it is to switch between the inputs whilst watching the same film, but thats a little off topic.
    So to answer your question, I would recommend, but you as usual have to demo and make sure your happy, as did I.

    Cheers
    Tone
     
  15. Blindman

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    squibly: HDMI is significantly better than component - there is no colour shimmer whatever.

    spamboy: the projector is connected to a Denon 3910 DVD player. It does 720 output which now has no overscan (so we've stopped using the 1080 mode) and gives an amazingly good picture. I have no input for testing if it is definitely 1:1 as my laptop doesn't have a DVI or HDMI output, but I can't see any reason to think it is not - certainly it gives the same picture as component and other resolution inputs in all modes now.

    Hope that helps.
     

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