Home Theater and Projectors

Day 2 at CEDIA Expo 2011

I had a opportunity to see several new products at CEDIA today.  First up the new JVC projectors and some info from Panasonic and Epson.

JVC - JVC is replacing their 2011 models with a new line-up that for the two top models bring quite a few exciting new features at the same price as the models they replace.  The new RS55 and RS65 (and equivalent X70R and X90R movels) will retail for just under $8K and $12K respectively and will now feature lens memory and upscaling to 4K resolution (sorry no native 4K input this year).  As with all of these new 3D models they have improved 3D performance with less cross-talk (for less 3D ghosting) and also improved light output in 3D mode.  They have also changed vendors for the JVC branded 3D glasses and the new models are said to offer better performance (and probably a lower price).

JVC DLA-RS65

JVC is using a technique to provide a cost effective solution for 4K projection where they use conventional 1080 x 1920 DILA display chips but use pixel shifting (JVC calls this “e-Shift”) to move the displayed pixel a half pixel width horizontal and a half pixel width vertical to create additional sub pixels (or complete sub-frame images).  They have included a high quality 1080p to 4K scaler within the projector and the results did look impressive, given they were using 1080p source material.  For this generation, JVC was not able to incorporate a native 4K resolution input, so only supporting 4K resolution through up-scaling of a 1080p source is a limitation.

JVC "e-Shift" 4K technology

The RS65 is rated at 120,00:1 native on/off contrast ratio (CR) and the RS55 at 80,000:1 native on/off CR.

The RS40 is being replaced by the RS45 (and equivalent X30 model)  which does not include the 4K pixel shifting feature, but does have improved 3D performance and a new list price of $3499 ($1K less than the RS40 that it replaces).  Like the more expensive models the RS45 now includes lens memory.  This model is rated to have a native on/off CR of 50,000:1.

JVC also has added a new model RS4800 positoned between the RS45 and the RS55 with a retail price of $4995. It is rated to have a 55,000:1 native on/off CR.

Like previous JVC DILA projector these new models do not use a dynamic iris and they achieve their on/off contrast ratio based on the native performance of the projector’s DILA display chips and optics.  The full rated on/off CR with JVC projectors is typically only reached by setting the manual iris for minimum light output and also using the minimum zoom setting (maximum local length) on the lens.

All of the new JVC 3D models feature (directly from their press release):

  • 2D-to-3D Converter – Converts 2D program material to 3D using technology derived from JVC’s professional 2D-to-3D converter. Included are user adjustments for 3D depth and subtitle geometry correction;
  • JVC’s 3D anamorphic feature combined with an optional anamorphic lens make it possible to enjoy 3D movies in the popular 2:35 scope format;
  • Compatibility with a wider range of 3D broadcasts, including 1080p/24 and 720p side-by-side formats;
  • Brighter 3D images than previous models are possible through the use of an improved driver that keeps the shutter on the active shutter 3D glasses open longer, thus allowing more light to enter, while at the same time minimizing cross talk;
  • A Cross Talk Canceller further reduces cross talk through analysis of the left eye and right eye signals and applying appropriate correction;
  • A parallax adjustment allows the user to tailor the 3D image effect;
  • Direct access to 3D formats and settings on the remote control.

The new higher end models (RS55 and RS65) also offer 1/16 sub-pixel adjustments for convergence at 121 points on the screen (rather than a full pixel step over the entire screen, as with previous JVC projectors).

JVC 1/16 Pixel Convergence Adjustment

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Epson - Art, Mike and myself attended a demo at the Epson booth of their new 6010 3D LCD projector and also their 61000 LCD-Reflective 2D projector (shipping by the end of 2011, probably by the end of November).  We viewed some movie chips using the 61000 (LCD-Reflective which is Epson’s variation of LCoS) in a demo room with black walls and ceiling and the projector.  The black levels (and on/off contrast ratio) were impressive and most of the light reaching the screen when showing a full black video frame was that coming from the equipment rack at the rear of the demo room and not the projector.  I didn’t have an opportunity to see what the projected image looked like with the dynamic iris turned off vs. on, but I suspect the native contrast ratio will be very very good and probably in within the ballpark of the JVC DILA projectors (at least the entry-level JVC models).  The MSRP of the 61000 is expected to be under $5000.

I’m certain Art will be posting in his blog (HERE) much more on the new Epson models including the retail pricing.

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Panasonic - I saw the demo from Panasonic on the PT-AE7000 which Art has already covered from the press event in LA about a month ago (more info is HERE and Art’s first look is HERE).  Panasonic was also showing their new entry-level 2D only 1080p model PT-AR100U ($1999 MSRP).  A Panasonic representative confirmed that the now 2-year old PT-AE4000 will continue to be offered as their mid-model of the soon to become a 3 home theater 1080p projector line-up.

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Tomorrow I will be posting more news from CEDIA.

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