> Just want to see if anyone has an overall hatred for DLPs and their dreaded
> rainbow effect (which is probably more noticeable on some models than others.
YES! My 2 cents: DO NOT BUY A 1-CHIP DLP! They ALL make the moire effect, even
the ones that claim not to. Even the ones over $10,000. And it's HORRIBLE!
As far as I know, the "well, some people see it, and some people don't" line is
just sales talk. A few years back when we were going to get a new projector for
the auditorium where we held our class screenings, the rep for the AV company
with a monopoly in the state wanted to sell us something sight unseen -- the
more expensive projectors are too expensive for them to want to keep display
units on hand. It took us months to get him to actually set up a demo, and we
had told him we didn't want moire problems, so of course he brings in an
expensive Christie 1-chip with some sort of extra-tricky color-wheel -- and it
moires as bad ss anything, and everyone from the school sees it, but the sales
guy claims he sees nothing, that he sells tons of them to people who don't
complain, blah, blah, blah.
The thing is, most of the flaws of affordable projectors are there all the
time. You might notice them at first, but as the work goes on, your brain
adjusts, and you focus in on the piece. But the freakin' moire comes in little
unpredictable flashes. It's extremely distracting, and unless you're one of the
folks-I've-yet-to-meet who actually don't see it, you can't concentrate on the
work and it ruins the screening. It's a little like the difference between
watching a somewhat faded and/or worn print that's still in one piece, and a
'better' print that's broken so many times that obvious splices where frames
have been lost appear throughout.
Now, 3 chip DLPs are wonderful. I had to put in six months of work, drive about
800 miles and sign a blood oath to actually get to see 3 projectors that looked
good on paper in person. The only one that actually was good was a Panasonic
3-DLP, and that's what we bought. It was over $20,000. It's 'only' 720P, but
the quality of the image is way more important than the resolution. I'm sure
there are some cheaper 3-chip DLPs now, but my guess is they're still out of
your price range.
That leaves folks with real-world budgets choosing between LCDs and 1-chip
DLPs, which used to be Scylla and Charybdis:
+ Vivid color
- Poor color accuracy
- Contrasty - all shadow detail goes to black
- Poor monochrome display - odd tints that sometimes vary from one corner to
+ Accurate color
+ Better contrast (still not 'good' though, but that's video projection)
+ Monochrome is actually monochrome
- not as bright as comparable LCD
- colors appear washed out, even with the saturation turned up
- MOIRE HELL!
BUT technology marches on!
I haven't looked at 1-chip DLPs lately, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're
brighter and have better saturation than they used to. But, alas, there is no
magic trick to make incremental progress with the moire issue. If the projector
has a color wheel, it's rainbow city.
Thankfully, LCDs have gotten a lot better. Contrast range has improved a lot,
and most importantly, the good brands can generate a decent monochrome image
Last year, based in part on recs from other Frameworkers, I bought an Epson
720P LCD projector, which set me back about $550. I'm quite happy with it. I'd
say the color's still not as accurate as a DLP, but it's not crazy off, doesn't
bother me, and seems not to bother anyone else. Again, I think I'd see a bit
more shadow detail with a DLP, but again it's not a huge, deciding difference.
In short, the Epson looks good enough that nobody winds up attending to the
projection quality (or lack thereof), everyone actually watches the film/video.
And that would NOT happen with any 1-Chip DLP.
Thus, my recommedation: get the best Epson that fits your budget.
Note: they have two lines, one for 'Home Theater', and one for 'Corporate'. The
Home Theater line is a bit more expensive, and features imagers that are the
exact native resolution of the 16x9 HD format: i.e. 1280x720 or 1920x1080. The
Corporate line has native resolutions that fit computer standards, which add
some lines to the top and bottom: I forget exactly, but it's like 1280x800 and
1920x1200 or something like that. The image area and quality on screen
projecting HD is identical between the two lines, but the Corporate models will
have little extra strips of 'projector black" (i.e. gray) at the top and
bottom. I went with a Corporate model a) to save a few $$, b) because I didn't
think I'd mind a little bit of visible letterboxing, c) I wanted the extra
vertical resolution for screening 4:3 stuff, which also cuts the width of the
pillarboxing. Your tastes may very, and the price difference isn't that big...
If I was getting something for an organization showing 'movies' to the public
on a regular basis, I'd probably go with the cleaner edge of the Home Theater
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