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REAR PROJ. DLP, LCD vs. flat plasma and LCD

by rhythm Earthsong / November 10, 2006 4:50 AM PST

One high-end salesman told me: There's simply no reason to choose a flat plasma or LCD over a rear-projection DLP, LCD or LCoS, unless you absolutely need the flat wall-mount thinness. Otherwise, the rear proj. models will ALWAYS give a better image.

Looking around his store, I had to agree that, in the 42-60" range, although the flat panels all looked bright, crisp, and exciting, the rear-projection models seemed to have less pixelation and other visual abberations. I was particularly impressed with the Sony XRD 50", which is LCoS. It was sitting right next to a great Panasonic 50" plasma. Both images were extremely colorful and attractive, but up close, it was easy to see some pixel noise on the Panny, while the Sony XRD looked like film.

The salesman said he prefered DLP models, although to me the DLPs didn't look qjuite as film-like, but he also said some Sony XRDs with about 2 years simulated use were yellowing-out onscreen for unknown reasons...not a good sign.

Interested to hear others take on this comparison, and if this or the XRD yellowing issue has already been addressed on another thread, please re-direct me. Thanks

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Always??? NOT!!
by NewsyL / November 10, 2006 6:27 AM PST

"Otherwise, the rear proj. models will ALWAYS give a better image."

I cannot agree with this statement. Maybe I could accept it if it was stated as... "Otherwise, the rear proj. models will ALWAYS give a BIGGER image for the same amount of $$cash$$."

Perhaps your sales rep prefers the film like image many RP TV's provide. Me, I prefer the "looking through a window" effect you get from a good LCD/Plasma while watching HDTV. I've never seen that with a RPTV.

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Your posting could start a war!!!!
by jcrobso / November 10, 2006 6:32 AM PST

Not really, but everyone has their personal favorite.
Each type of HDTV has pros and cons, NO HDTV is perfect.
Yes, if you get VERY close to a plasma set you can will the individual
glass plasma cells, so what! Are you really going to watch from 1' away?
The current RP sets(LCoS, DLP, LCD) have a lamp that WILL burn out after 3000~4000 hours or so, cost $200~300 to replace. LED lamps are on the way.
DLPs have mirror motor that will go bad. LCoS sets don't have a spinning mirror.
Plasma sets have longest track record, burn in was the biggest problem, this has been resolved.
Sony's XRD yellowing out??? Maybe one of our BBY members has heard something? This is the first this it has been posted, it mat be fact or FUD, time will tell.
Take your time, read some of the other posts in this forum, ask more if needed. John

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generally speaking, he is correct
by Gravelly / November 10, 2006 8:55 AM PST

The main thing you need to look at when considering RP sets is how well the focus is maintained at the edges. With the optical path so severely folded, sets with inferior optical components (the mirrors and lenses) will be soft at the edges.
Both DLP and Lcos are great technologies and most of the well known brands that use them make stunning-looking images. Even non-DLP LCD RPs can look beautiful.
If you don't mind the cost of ownership (lamps are pricey indeed), a good RP set has lots of advantages over plasma and LCD.
1 - it uses a projector which to my eye look smoother and offer better overall control than PDP or LCD. Easier on the eyes in the long run.
2 - a much less complicated and costly device than a PDP.
3 - regardless of last post, PDPs have NOT 'solved' the burn issue. It's been improved a bit, but not eliminated, Nowhere close.
4 - DLP is an amazing technology that is used in every large venue serious projector. If this was a suspect technology this simply would not be the case. The $60,000 DPI projectors that we sell are DLP.
5 - easier to service if something does break. PDP can fail in a way that renders the set un-repairable. RP sets are quite modular.
6 - significantly lower initial cost, especially in the larger sizes.
The drawbacks to RP
1 - cost of ownership. Expect to re-lamp yearly on a set that gets a good bit of use.
2 - dust and grime build-up on the optical components over time.
3 - deeper than a flat panel, but nowhere near as deep as the last generation of RPs.
4 - soft edge focus on models with less expensive optics.
5 - depending on model, audible (to the point of objectionable) fan noise.

btw - I'm a commercial AV integrator.

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So what rear-projs are best.?..and re: yellow Sony XRDs
by rhythm Earthsong / November 10, 2006 10:49 AM PST

For jcrobso:
"Sony's XRD yellowing out??? Maybe one of our BBY members has heard something? This is the first this it has been posted, it mat be fact or FUD, time will tell."
Saw it with my own eyes. Circuit City in Ventura CA has 3 Sony XRDs on the floor, all on for 12-16 hours daily, so they've already racked up usage comparable to 2+ years. Two have gone significantly yellow, the third one on the way, and no amount of color correction in the menu changes it. Very scary

For Gravelly:
Thanks for your great info, and for correcting jcrobso's over-confidence in the burn-in fix.
Given what you say about better models being sharper-edged, quieter, etc., which consumer-level brands/models would you recommend (we probably can't afford some videophile exotic brand)?
Also, since you know a lot about rear-poj., what do you think about the Sony XRD problem mentioned above?

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a yellow image means one thing, well, maybe two
by Gravelly / November 10, 2006 11:05 PM PST

When a projector lamp burns, it's doing exactly that, burning. It's color temperature shifts as the gap inside the bulb increases in size. Lumens also decline. Focus softens. Replace the lamp. General rule of thumb is the lamp will always last less-long than is published. Once the color shifts you know its time. If you let it go too long and hear a loud bang, you got real troubles.
Now, if the color shift is not uniform across the image and is splotchy, that's a different (and much worse) problem. This points to a failing image engine; the LCD or DLP panel itself (and fairly rare).
As for good brands and models, any well-known brand that looks good to you is good. There really is no 'crap' out there among name-brands, just different features and technologies. I'd own a Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Samsung, NEC, LG, and some others. I really like the Samsung RPs. I guess I'd look for the one that has the best off-axis performance.
See if you can get a spare lamp thrown in the deal when buying new.
Realistically, if you use your TV like I do (when I'm home, its on) expect to relamp yearly.

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Viewing Angle
by BobStone2 / November 10, 2006 11:28 AM PST

Try looking at a rear proj other than from straight on. The PQ is horrible. Depends on your room setup, but plasma and LCD are better by far for viewing angle, with plasma best.

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Not really true
by rhythm Earthsong / November 10, 2006 2:02 PM PST
In reply to: Viewing Angle

"Try looking at a rear proj other than from straight on. The PQ is horrible"

Not true. While looking at Sony XRD & Mitsubishi rear proj 50-60", I walked in all directions. The picture didn't get significantly dimmer til I was at a very hard angle to the set. If one of these was in my living room, 8'-12' away from a couch wide enough to hold 5 people, all 5 would see a perfect would two chair sitters on the outside of the couch.

Besides, get real, any person, or whole family, that buys a big screen TV sits right in front of it anyway, or aas close to center as they can get. Who the heck sits way off to the side to watch TV, c'mon now!

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