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What Video display device gives the best picture

  • CRT

    Votes: 35 45.5%
  • LCD

    Votes: 7 9.1%
  • Plasma

    Votes: 12 15.6%
  • Projectors

    Votes: 15 19.5%
  • DLP

    Votes: 8 10.4%

  • Total voters
    77
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What type of display device do you think give the best picture and perform the best?
 

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I know that LCDs still have color problems (black) and contrast ratio problems. Plasma's are still so rare for 1080p and have a bad wearout mechanism. So it is still my understanding that the 1080 resolution huge 3 eye monster, 9" CRTs, projector is/was the best (Sony Qualia) until the $8000 Sony VPL-VW100, aka Ruby, came along to challenge it.

The VPL-VW100 is Sony’s second-generation 1080p SXRD™ front projector. It delivers superior 1080p performance at a breakthrough price ($9,999) that should obliterate the current pricing structure of 720p and 1080p projectors. It includes an innovative dynamic iris to increase image contrast, but even without that technology it has the best full-field contrast ratio that I have ever measured for a fixed-pixel projector. The code name for the Sony VPL-VW100 was Ruby, and this Ruby is a gem.


Full HD 1920 x 1080 SXRD™ Panel (0.61”)
Up to 15,000:1 Contrast Ratio (with Advanced Iris function on)
ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) Lens
1080p Input
Pure Xenon Lamp (400W)
 

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Not everyone is completely happy with the Ruby. IIRC, there are alignment issues. But it's significantly more affordable than other 1080p projectors that I'm aware of. CRT projectors have the best picture quality, but are probably the worst in terms of dealing with them. Large, noisy, hot, niche-supported. LCD is the best option for the price conscious. DLP gives better quality but is still more expensive. A tiny SED projector will be coming out, but it's not suitable for home theater. I suspect SED will be the technology to beat once it does arrive, although it will be for flat-screen displays before projectors.
 

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I don't know if projectors give the best performance or not, but they get my vote for WOW factor. That will be my next upgrade.
 

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What type of display device do you think give(s) the best picture and perform(s) the best
What I think only works for me and my specific lifestyle, room, viewing habits, desired screen size, etc. Acknowledging that, I value image quality much more when watching movies rather than TV programs. Therefore, front projection is my prefered display type. This necessitates absolute light control and appropriate viewing environment conditions. Since movies are my priority, the system only needs to provide about 12 to 14 fL of image brightness for a reference picture. This will suffice for digital cinema as well. Front projection is a two-piece display system and the screen must be included when specifying what's best in this category.

Film has a much broader color gamut than any type of video display available. CRT projectors have many qualities that are admired by experts in the field of reference imaging. With HDTV and digital cinema on the increase, CRT color gamut will be restrictive. I would look for a projector that can provide both NTSC and HDTV color gamuts, convincing black levels, minimum 10 bit gray scale, and good shadow detail. I would also prefer to have a constant image height system, so 1080p would be required for projector resolution. For CIH Cinemascope (2.35:1) image widths, 720p is simply unacceptable for sufficient size without visible pixel structure or softening of the image. I am looking forward to Joe Kane's 1080p Samsung single-chip DLP to be demonstrated at CEDIA EXPO in September. Joe wants to see it shipping by December, but that's up to Samsung. As of this last month, I only know of one 3-chip 1080p DLP on the market.

The most detailed and authoritative analysis and comparison of generic display types I'm aware of is the display shoot-out series from Widescreen Review, by Dr. Raymond Soneira. Here's the link to the material: http://displaymate.com/shootout.html . Dr. Soneira does not evaluate any front projection displays in the series, but has much to say about general imaging science principles and generic CRT, plasma, DLP, LCD and LCoS characteristics.

My advice for someone truly interested in the best display, is to find a home theater professional who is trained by the Imaging Science Foundation, understands viewing environment issues, has at least 3 years of imaging industry experience and can provide at least 4 client references. Many home theater professionals come from an audio background and understand too little about imaging science and display standards. Avoid such people on this topic. Find out if your selected professional will contract for just consulting time at an hourly rate. There may also be a trip charge. Arrange for an appointment to evaluate your lifestyle issues and room. Ideally, he should be able to see either the room, or blueprints, should the room not be built yet. This will save the consumer a lot of time when evaluating what type of display to purchase, how to provide the right viewing environment conditions, and dedicated or multi-use room design elements.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
ISF, THX, SMPTE, CEDIA

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 
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I have seen a fully tweaked G90 and even a Barco Cine9, and my fully tweaked Ruby can easily go head-to-head with those, and even do alot of things better, particularly with HD sources.

My best friend is using a Sony G90, and he comes at my place to see each new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray disk when I get them... He prefers the Ruby with true HD. With standard 480i DVDs, it's really a wash IMHO.

To each is own preferences. Some people prefer CRTs, others 3 chips DLPs or 3 chips 1080p SXRD. There is nothing perfect on the market right now.

Pick your poison.

And don't tell me about dealer's showrooms, please... OOTB, all the CRTs are AWFUL! They need alot of tweakings to perform. The Ruby is also like that. Putting it on a ceiling in a showroom w/o careful tweaking is not the way to look at this projector.

BTW, fixing the convergence on a Ruby is really simple, if you have that "problem". You send it to Sony and 1 week after it's back with the problem solved. No biggie for me. And it's not drifting away after awhile like CRTs... It stays like that for ever.

Brightness compression is also easily fixed with a simple custom gamma curve with Sony's ImageDirector. You can also easily bring the color decoder back on track to rec 709 and rec 601 with the right tools.
 

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Alain,

Your post sure makes me want to look into a Ruby projector.

As been said here, there is no "perfect" display.

I do think we're heading in the right direction with the LED DLP that Samsung is bringing out in a few weeks/months. It seems that DLP has better ANSI contrast and its likely that the rainbow problem has been worked out.
 

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ALevesque said:
.

BTW, fixing the convergence on a Ruby is really simple, if you have that "problem". You send it to Sony and 1 week after it's back with the problem solved. No biggie for me. And it's not drifting away after awhile like CRTs... It stays like that for ever.

Brightness compression is also easily fixed with a simple custom gamma curve with Sony's ImageDirector. You can also easily bring the color decoder back on track to rec 709 and rec 601 with the right tools.
Alain, I've used your message not to pick on Sony but the industry as a whole.
Having spent $10k on a projector consumers should expect to have a performance that meets an industry 'standard', and not have to have off color performance and convergence issues. For example when I go out to buy a car I expect to have it meet the mpg specs without having to buy special tools or have a calibrater come out to the house to fix it. The only projector I'm aware of that came calibrated was the Joe Kane supported model from Samsung.
We, the consumer, should demand and deserve better than this. :rant:
 
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Phil M said:
Having spent $10k on a projector consumers should expect to have a performance that meets an industry 'standard', and not have to have off color performance and convergence issues.
I totally agree with you. But have you ever seen a Barco Cine9 or a Sony G90 brand new, OOTB? It's AWFUL! :eek: And for the price they were going a couple of years ago, it's unbelievable.

It took me 6 hours to calibrate my Ruby fully, after a 1 week trip at Sony to fix the minor misconvergence problem I had (and shipping was paid by Sony). My unit was one of the 1st batch on the market.

Ideally, the projector should reach our home perfectly calibrated, OOTB. But when it is perfectly calibrated, then it's alot dimmer and not really good in a showroom. Manufacturers want you to buy a projector, and usually the brighter projector with more saturated colors (I mean that red and yellow are usually way off here!) will be the biggest seller. So if your greyscale is properly done, and colors are back on track and matching the standards, then this projector will be alot less bright, colors will be less saturated, and then a really hard sale for the dealer (compared to the non calibrated projector in the same room).

Manufacturers just want you to buy the projector, after that, they don't really care what happens. Sad but true.
 

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....but would it kill them to have a calibrated mode?? Just punch a button on the remote and it where a calibrator would have set it.
 

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Alain, I used to have a Sony G70 - so know the pain :eek: Digital projectors are a huge improvement.
Manufacturers just need to get the gray scale tracking/gamma etc correct - which they don't, and have the usual color/tint/picture/brightness cranked up for regular customers and allow those of us that care being able to use something like Avia to adjust these. This would meet the requirements of the average Joe Public (a nice bright picture with rich color) and the enthusiast. My projector has had an ISF calibration, it is stunningly accurate - but again Joe Public would complain its too dark!

One idea would be to have a self calibrating projector, a small sensor built into the projector body and software that just went through a self calibration routine.
 

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While "Best" picture probably could (and maybe should) be measured more in technical performance - resolution, contrast, brightness, black levels, etc. -, I picked Projectors purely for the subjective enjoyment and "wow" factors. I really like the big screen, movie theater experience, and the idea that I can closely approximate that quality in my own home is still amazing to me. A good plasma has an incredible picture, but for movie watching, the best picture for me is a BIG one.
 

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PhilM,

One idea would be to have a self calibrating projector, a small sensor built into the projector body and software that just went through a self calibration routine.
Marantz did something like this with their front projector. It came with a tristimulus pod, optimized for their projector, that fit over the lens and followed an internal routine. The only down side to this was the fact that the screen's affect on the image could not be included in the measurements. They may have specified one or two screens to match their procedure, but I'm not familiar with all the details. Front projection is a two-piece display system and should be calibrated by taking the readings off of the screen.

Some medical monitors and professional graphics monitors come with a similar setup. The best displays I'm aware of for not even needing calibration are Joe Kane's Samsung projectors. They are the H710 and H800. Joe specifies the two screens he developed with Stewart to go with these devices. These projectors are set up from the factory to deliver accurate color space and grayscales for NTSC, PAL, and HD.

They also deliver CRT-like color performance. CRTs are still predominantly used for mastering video programs in the professional community. This may change over time but it'll be a long time coming. Phosphors cannot achieve HDTV's expanded colorspace. Joe's projectors are unique in that they offer the option of setting up the color space automatically for either NTSC or HDTV! Currently, the vast majority of HDTV programs are mastered for NTSC colorspace and when viewed on a display calibrated for HDTV colorspace skew the image away from that which was intended by the program producer.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
ISF, THX, SMPTE, CEDIA

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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Alan Brown said:
PhilM,



Marantz did something like this with their front projector. It came with a tristimulus pod, optimized for their projector, that fit over the lens and followed an internal routine. The only down side to this was the fact that the screen's affect on the image could not be included in the measurements.

Some medical monitors and professional graphics monitors come with a similar setup.
Alan, the reason I suggested having a sensor in the projector body was to pick up the reflected light from the screen and take into account the screen material variation. I think this would work?
Also on the medical monitor topic - I had surgery last summer, they used a laproscope, and when they wheeled me into the op room I was bowled over by the color image on the monitor. I was just about to ask them about it and then woke up feeling sore! When I think back it just reminds me what a cross to bear being an AV perfectionist is.
 

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Phil M,

Alan, the reason I suggested having a sensor in the projector body was to pick up the reflected light from the screen and take into account the screen material variation. I think this would work?
One challenge would be the distance, especially collecting enough light at the dark end of the spectrum for an accurate reading. A spectroradiometer-type instrument would be required and the cost of implementing one inside a projector would likely be prohibitive for most people.

Good news on the Joe Kane projectors! There have been recent substantial price drops.:jump: Members can contact me privately for more details.

what a cross to bear being an AV perfectionist is
I find that the beauty we perfectionists achieve and enjoy along the pathway we've chosen provides sufficient encouragement to persist. At least as long as the money holds out.:spend: In my case, it's nice that the fruit of my labors also provides some income.:)

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
ISF, THX, SMPTE, CEDIA

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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Here's some more news regarding the projector Joe Kane helped Samsung design. These are quotes from an interview from late July with Joe in the most recent Widescreen Review Newsletter. The topic was Joe's analysis of the current imaging superiority of HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc.

"WSR Richelieu: What else are you working on now, Joe? Are you going to be helping Samsung again with a 1080p projector?

Kane: I certainly hope so, but my part of that effort has yet to start. My work with Samsung since January 2005 has been limited to show support. The German division of Samsung hired me to do the High End® show in Munich, and then I did INFOCOMM in Orlando. I used HD DVD as a video source in both of those shows. At INFOCOMM people went away absolutely certain that I was showing a 1080p projector and just wasn't saying so. The reason they thought I was using a 1080p projector is that they had never seen such good pictures........

WSR Reber: Incredible. The D-VHS execution of MPEG-2 is better than Blu-ray Disc.

Kane: The thing that has been most impressive to me is while doing HD DVD demonstrations between Munich and Orlando, is seeing some audience members in tears, as they've never seen anything like this before. At INFOCOMM, I started out with off-the-air 1080i material and then I went to 720p, then moved to Windows Media® video, then to HD DVD. Every single person in the audience saw huge differences as I stepped up in source quality. The 720p image was a lot better than anything in 1080i, and then Windows Media video brought the reaction, "That is a lot better than anything we've seen in MPEG." In going to HD DVD they said, "Wow, content that we can buy in the quality level that you're showing in WMV."

WSR Reber: Yeah, okay.

Kane: And, so, it was funny because the reaction on a 720p projector I had from most every member of the audience is, "This is the best high-definition we have ever seen."

Widescreen Review's e-mail newsletter can be subscribed to for free at this link:

http://www.widescreenreview.com/wsr_newsletter.php

The projector Joe has been demonstrating is the Samsung SP-H800AE. He uses the two sceens he developed with Stewart Filmscreen: StudioTek 130 and GrayHawk RS. I've sat for hours in these demos and can attest to the stunning images produced.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
ISF, THX, SMPTE, CEDIA

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 
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