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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Picture quality: projectors vs. TVs (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Picture quality: projectors vs. TVs
Haris Ellahi
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Dubai, UAE
Registered: Mar 2017


 - posted 03-02-2018 05:12 PM      Profile for Haris Ellahi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What's everyone's opinion on the picture quality of the better projectors (home projectors, not commercial) vs. the better/best TVs today? Do you feel you give up some level of picture quality with a projector for the sake of a larger image and/or for the ability of having large LCR speakers behind the screen vs. a TV? Or do you feel that the best projectors can match the picture quality of the best TVs?

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David Stambaugh
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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 03-02-2018 05:35 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I’m no expert but I’ll throw this out. I got an LG OLED 4K TV a couple months ago. The picture quality is astonishing. Black is black, not some variation on dark gray. I’m skeptical that any projection system can match OLED for image quality.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 03-02-2018 06:55 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One big drawback of digital cinema is contrast. Part of the problem is, you're projecting white light on a white screen, yet still expecting parts of the picture to look black.

A TV, on the other hand, starts off with a black screen that emits light, so the black parts can just stay black.

That's the only reason that a "TV-like" theater screen would ever be a consideration. If only they can get the sound issue resolved. A theater-sized OLED screen would be quite the amazing sight.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 03-02-2018 08:29 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
OLED TV sets are really tough to be beat for image quality. Each pixel in an OLED TV set illuminates individually, unlike the LCD/LED back-lit panels of most HDTV screens. The black levels of OLED screens are much deeper. OLED TV prices are continuing to drop.

I think consumer class video projectors have gone into a pretty serious decline. Flat screen TV monitors have grown quite a bit larger and the size:price ratio has improved dramatically over the past few years. Projectors and screens are more cumbersome to set up in the typical living room.

How much of an impact has portable devices made on TV and home theater sales? Some people (particularly in younger age brackets) don't mind watching a TV show or even a movie on a mobile phone. I've watched TV shows on my iPad Pro while laying in bed.

I'm not sure when it will happen, but at some point "jumbotron" companies like Daktronics, Mitsubishi, etc will start pursuing the commercial movie theater market. Some of these companies already can build 2K and 4K resolution LED displays. But they're in solid cabinets and can't have sound pass through them. The products are also really expensive. But the cost per pixel is falling. They'll need some kind of new product design for movie theater screens. For the time being the movie theater industry needs to remain viable until the LED sign companies solve the sound problem.

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Dave Macaulay
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From: Toronto, Canada
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 - posted 03-03-2018 09:20 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AMC uses solid screens (no perf vinyl sheets, not solid wall) and puts the speakers above them, it bothers me but they don't face a lot of complaints.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 03-05-2018 01:23 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My Sony 4K OLED TV has something called an acoustic surface. It puts the actuators for the left, right and center speaker behind the OLED surface and uses the screen surface itself as the speaker. I was skeptical at first, but it works pretty well. It will never outperform your best home cinema set, but at the very least, the sound is coming from the screen not from below, above or the sides.

In terms of contrast and brightness, it's obvious that an OLED screen will outperform almost any projected surface. If you operate the screen in a totally dark room, then it's not even possible to make out the edges in a dark scene. No backlight-based technology will match it. Samsung Q-LED might be very bright, but doesn't match the black-levels of OLED.

Watching 4K HDR content on e.g. Netflix is sometimes pretty astonishing in both sharpness and contrast. If you put on the motion compensation (interpolation), it's almost like you're watching a window, the stuff "on the other side" just looks too real. For me, this doesn't really work with movies. Then again, I watch practically all movies either in a real cinema or proper screening room.

The lower-end consumer projectors will not be able to reproduce anything similar to the contrast ratios of OLED. Obviously, you get a bigger potential image for the buck.

If you want a proper picture though, that comes close to what an OLED can produce, you'll need something more semi-professional, like the top-of-the line home cinema projectors. I've been using the EPSON LS10000 for a while. It's a phosphor laser projector that creates a convincing 2K image on screens larger than current OLED offerings. As long as the room is dark, the performance is pretty good. We've even used the newer version (LS10500) in our screening room for some alternative HDR content, which looked better on this machine than on our Barco DCI machine. Still, you can buy a pretty large OLED for the price of one of those projectors.

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Todd Cornwall
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From: Madison, WI
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 - posted 03-08-2018 09:17 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I tried the EPSON LS10000 for a while. It looked ok, but when the laser engine dies, you throw it out, so I passed on that option. I picked up the Epson 6040UB. Very nice image, quite pleased with it based on size, price and picture quality.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 03-09-2018 06:23 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Todd, how do you like the "fake 4K" image? Have you evaluated with 4K content? The 6040B is on my "short list" of projector contenders. The 6040 packs quite a bit into its package, including motorized lens w/memory and 2500 lumens.

So many of the projectors I'm considering are near misses. In the case of the 6040, it isn't real 4K. My image size will be about 5' x 12' (Scope).

The Optoma UHZ65 is a contender but a manual lens and I have zero desire to have to physically adjust the lens between scope and the other formats. I might have a line on an anamorphic lens and that may sway my position on some of the manual lens machines.

The one that fits the feature set is Sony but boy are they expensive and the light level just barely qualifies with a matte-white screen. I'd likely try for a 1.3-gain. Stewart has one but at a Stewart price. Oddly enough, for my theatre, I'm trying to not over-spend on the projector or screen since I consider both as consumables. The speakers/amplifiers will likely outlast me so I'll put more into them.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 03-09-2018 07:05 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've seen the 6040UB, the LS10500 and the LS10000 and I would go for either the LS10K or the LS10500 every single time. The LS10500 is essentially the LS10K with a new image processing board, now equipped to handle HDR content. The unit itself seems to be largely the same.

The contrast and color gamut on the phosphor laser units is far better and the brightness, even with the DCI color filter enabled and without adaptive brightness.

If you're afraid of the laser engine dying, then try to get the extended support on it. We got 5 years on our LS10500 for ~EUR 750, with a guarantee of 90% of initial brightness after 5 years or a whole bunch of hours (which generously exceeds the amount of hours of watching two movies each and every day for five years).

As I've indicated, we've been using the LS10500 as an alternative for the Barco DP4K-19B for alternative 4K HDR content in our screening room and the results are excelent. Most prefer the picture of the LS10500 above the Barco. Obviously, the Barco is a bit over-speced given the screen size, but then again, we needed a proper 4K, DCI compliant machine.

The "fake 4K" looks far better than any native Full HD projector on the same screen. In the "4K enhanced mode", Epson uses a shifted panel alignment and some internal processing to "enhance" the resolution and the results are pretty convincing. The reflective panel solution in the laser unit further reduces the space between the pixels, so you won't end up with a visible pixel grid on screen, even on rather close distances.

With the DCI color filter enabled, the unit will reproduce 100% of the DCI color gamut. We've played indie DCPs on the machine and with some good color adjustments, nobody will even notice you played it on a "home projector".

If you cheat a little and you enable the dynamic contrast, you will get 100% blacks when there is no content on screen, it's like a real dowser. We quickly enable and disable this option during format changes, because lens changes on all Epson units are pretty slow. For feature presentations, the dynamic contrast can yield amazing results, but the other side effects are not worth it.

Now, the 6040UB is a fine machine for your home cinema, but it simply won't match the contrast and color gamut of the phosphor laser unit.

BTW: A fully automated lens, in my opinion, is a must for every self-resprecting home cinema. [Wink]

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
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 - posted 03-09-2018 01:30 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Forget about HDR with just 1500 lumens though.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 03-09-2018 02:03 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, it sounds like a deal-breaker, but the increased contrast of the machine compared to UHP lamp based solutions helps a lot. Also, what dimension will the screen be? Ours is about 13 x 6.5 ft, fully unmasked, it will easily match all DCI specs on "medium" power mode on such a size of a screen, even when zoomed into scope.

HDR content actually looks pretty convincing on the machine, more convincing than on any of the single-chip DLP based solutions out there or on any other EPSON 3LCD projector we tested in a dark room.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 03-09-2018 04:39 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My screen size will likely be just a tad smaller. 5'x 12'. What gain screen (and what brand/model) are you using?

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 03-09-2018 05:03 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We're currently using a white PVC micro-perf screen with a gain of about 0.95. The type is "Gammalux Mico" and the supplier is Gerriets, which is a German company specializing in professional stage building materials.

Although we've worked with them before, we never sourced screen material from them before, but we're very pleased with the end result in this case.

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

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From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 03-09-2018 08:57 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I really like the image it puts out, especially for the price. The 6040UB comes with the mount and two bulbs, so theres a lot of extra value there. The image quality is fantastic. it up converts everything and makes it look great. I'm using it on a grey 103" screen in a less than optimal setting and it does ok as far as light output goes. I use it on ECO mode, so the light is a bit dimmer, but the fan noise is basically non-existent, so its a good trade-off. I may get rid of it and look into an OLED. I dont have a dedicated home theater environment, so its not being used to its fullest potential.

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Louie Gonsalves
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From: Tamarac, FL, USA
Registered: Jul 2012


 - posted 04-14-2018 09:37 PM      Profile for Louie Gonsalves   Email Louie Gonsalves   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My last "TV" was a 1997 Sony 35" Trintron, a 4:3 CRT.

I replaced it in 2005 when I got my first projector, a Panasonic AE700.

Since then I've had a Panasonic AX200 (2009 - 2015) and since 2015, a Panasonic AE8000.

The AE700 and AX200 both exhibited vertical banding, evident if I panned my eyes from screen edge to screen edge -- like when following an object across the screen. The AE8000 is devoid of this effect. It could be a function of resolution, the 8000 is 1080x1920, the other two were 720 x ... whatever the horizontal is on those. I forgot, it's been a while =o)

As compared to my friend's 55" Samsung TV (he bought it in 2015, can't remember model) I'll stick with the projector. His LCD TV exhibits banding of a most blatant nature, and it looks grainy as hell. In comparison my AE8000 is smoooooth yet detailed, no pixels visible from my chair (8 ft away from a 7 ft screen) and no banding no matter how fast I flick my eyes.

Can't vouch for 4K tv, not seen one yet.

All in all, I'll stick with the projector. The one nit I have is, every single lamp I've had in all 3 of my projectors have had color uniformity issues to some degree. Some barely noticable, some rather noticable. But of course, one doesn't notice unless one's watching black and white material... ironic, ain't it?

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