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Upgrading from Sony VPL-VW675ES..juice worth the squeeze?

513 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Da Wiz
Hi all, hope your day is gong swimmingly. When we built our house in 2016, we put in a theater/media room. We went with the Sony 657es. We have gotten a ton of enjoyment out of it. We are also still on the original lamp,etc. We are at 3311 hours on the lamp. I had it calibrated by a ISF certified person back then and it looked and still does amazing. Question is, how far has projector tech gone since 2016? We are always wanting something "better" and with where today's projectors are, what would it take to see some major improvements in the 4k picture? Are we talking 6k for something like the Sony 5000es or would I have to spend a lot more to get that wow improvement? Here are the details of the room, etc:

Screen: Stewart Cima Neve 123 inch
Projector is mounted on ceiling via Chief mount
The seating area is about 13 feet from the screen
Projector is about 16 feet from the screen on 11 foot ceiling.
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I'm going to guess that when your lamp was fresh, you were getting perhaps 18 fL on a screen that large, for 100% white. With over 3000 hours on the projection lamp, you are undoubtedly down to 9 fL for 100% white. You do not mention whether your projector is 1080p or 4096p but either way, yes, projectors have come a long way. But unless you are willing to spend $20K or more for a projector with a laser-phosphor illumination system, you won't see all that much of an improvement. UHD/HDR is a revolution in video. But projection is so compromised by low peak white levels, it can't compete with flat panel TVs. The brightest projector I've ever experienced (I get to use a LOT of projectors for a month or two at a time) produced about 75 fL on an 82-inch wide 1.0 gain screen. On a 123 inch screen, that would be knocked down to maybe 40 fL, possibly even 35 fL. 4K UHD/HDR Blu-ray discs are mastered at either 1000-12000 nits (about 340 fL) or 4000 nits (almost 1200 fL). All that extra light is used to enhance images with a wider range of colors and bright highlight reflections. The less-bright the playback device, the less great UHD/HDR looks. With an excellent 85-inch diagonal flat panel TV sells for not much more than $3000 and it will reach 3000 nits for peak white (almost 1000 fL) and has almost 800 local dimming zones, it's pretty hard to say a $20,000 projector is "better". You can get the same cinematic experience from sitting 8 feet from an 85-inch flat-screen TV compared to sitting 12-feet +/- from a 120-odd-inch projection screen. It is my industry pro opinion that projection in movie theaters will all but disappear in the next 10 years to be replaced with direct-view LED screens that will be FAR brighter than any projection system can hope to be. Currently, large flat-screen TVs outperform any movie theater using projection if you use a 4K UHD Blu-ray-quality source. That is forcing movie theaters to look beyond projection. There are already some theaters using direct-view LED movie screens... it's only going to grow.
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