Archive for category Projectors
The W2700’s new XPR DLP chipset brings another talent, in the form of improved black level performance. When our heroes escape from Hawkins Lab in Stranger Things (Netflix, Season 2, episode 8), through darkened corridors lit only by a flashlight, the projector manages to keep a watchable balance without crushing out the shadows. BenQ quotes a dynamic contrast of 30,000:1.
There are still limits to low-level fidelity from this well-priced beamer, though. As Chris Pratt hides behind a plinth from the raptor in the dinosaur museum (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 4K Blu-ray), there’s a void where shirt detail and shadow should co-exist.
Watching the same scenes from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that I viewed on Blu-ray, but now on Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, I was struck by how much better this already great- looking movie came across on the latter format. Shadows gained depth and detail, and the increase in the contrast range caused images to pop in a manner that the Blu-ray version only hinted at. Colors also appeared notably more vivid and displayed a wider range of subtle hues. What caught my attention most, however, was the level of definition and detail to be seen in the computer- generated textures that Spider-Man‘s animators painstakingly employed to add a comic book look to images. This effect goes far to add a convincing element of depth to the otherwise flat, 2D animated image, and is best appreciated when viewed in 4K/Ultra HD. The ability of the 5050UB’s 4K pixel-shifting processing to pull it off on the big screen was nothing short of impressive.”
Moving to HDR and once again it should be pointed out that projectors, even ones costing £25,000 can’t produce the types of dynamic range images you get from an OLED or LED LCD TV. As a reflective image technology, there is just not enough brightness and contrast, even with dynamic projectors, to have the same types of specular highlights and black levels that a TV can produce. However, it is possible to display HDR images in a way that does look dynamic and impactful, but in a slightly different way to a flat panel set.
Even though the VW870ES has a laser light engine and can produce a good brightness from it, the peak brightness is around 450nits before hard clipping. This means that most HDR content will retain details in most of the black, shadows and mid tones, but the VW870ES will clip the brighter elements in the highlights to retain a dynamic image elsewhere. This is seen in the PQ EOTF results here. The Sony produces a dynamic and consistent image with HDR content mastered at 1000 and 4000nits and only peak highlights are clipped as a result of the tone mapping used. This also allows for a good brightness level for the entire image on show, with no black crush present.”
The HT5550 puts out enough light to fill a good-sized screen in a large theater. On my 92-inch Stewart, I saw 117.2936 nits peak, .1736 nit black, and a native contrast ratio of 675.5:1 after calibration. This is without the iris engaged and the bulb on Normal brightness.
Using the iris makes a huge impact on the dynamic range. With no other adjustments, peak output is 100.9582 nits with .027 nit black, and a contrast ratio of 3733.8:1. If you’d rather use SmartEco instead of the iris, the values are 115.41 nits peak, .0809 nit black, and 1426.5:1 contrast.
Maximum output comes from the Bright picture mode where you’ll see 186.3182 nits peak, .0339 nit black, and 5488.8:1 contrast. Don’t be tempted by this high ratio. It comes at the expense of significant detail clipping in both highlight and shadow areas.
In HDR mode, the peak output is 106.7733 nits with a black level of .0252 nit and 4241:1 contrast. 3D signals measured through the glasses yield 13.2458 nits peak, .0048 nit black, and 2766.9:1 contrast. This is with the iris engaged and bulb on Normal power. 3D crosstalk is a scant .02%, completely invisible.”