ALL the DLP RPTVs I have seen yet, including the ones I saw at CES in January, have
optics that are made for the pricepoint, and show it.
As such, they all have refraction error for the entire last foot or so of their
picture, at both the right and left sides. This appears as/looks like convergence error,
but of course is not. No convergence error possible on these, since they are single chip
with color wheel, and as such use only one lens. Which means that the extremely
short throw causes this irritating refraction error once the angle from center is great
enough. Which of course is at the sides. With CRT technology, we can make those areas
perfect. With DLP technology, we cannot.
We are stuck with those refraction errors for a full foot of picture on each side.
Other than that, and the fact that they will always be just a little more pixellated than
CRT whenever you are sitting close enough, they're great. But I would want a display
device where any convergence error could be corrected essentially completely, as in the
current CRT systems - Mit has one of the best - and where there would be none of this
distracting refraction error.
Fully and properly tweaked, my 65" last year's CRT-based Panny has it all over
anything I saw at CES, as far as DLP goes. No DLP RPTV will beat it. As far as I am
concerned, that goes for the Mits CRT-based units also, once fully tweaked. Except for the
master DLP projector at the Texas Instrument booth, the one Lucas is touting as the future
of the movies we go out to see, and where he wants to show his future Star Wars movies,
being digital as they will be - Episode II was shot completely in digital.
The huge picture from this movie theater grade projector was picture perfect, having no
short throw to have to worry about; it will save tons of money in not having to make and
transport cumbersome reels of the miles of film it currently takes for our mall theater
movies, its anamorphic lenses are custom made per projector by Minolta, and only costs the
theater using it $250,000...
A question was asked in the Mit forum about the density of the mirrors vs. the
pixels/resolution. This is an answer to that question, thought I'd share it here also.
With DLP - Digital Light Processing - another word for MMMD - Moving Micro Mirror Device -
or DMD - Digital Mirror Device - each mirror is a pixel, direct linkage.
The 2002 DLP RPTVs I saw at CES, no matter what the brand, are all 720p capable, as are
also the plasmas for 2002. With the CRT based RPTVs, you had a hard time finding 720p
capable this year because Panny, which was almost the only native 720p capable one the
year before, has now gone to having the 720p be downconverted to 1080i, because it's
cheaper that way.
Evidently conversion circuitry finalizing in 1080i is cheaper than native circuitry for
each. This is straight from the head service section cheese at the Panasonic booth. A very
spectacular and huge section - "booth" is actally a massive understatement on my
part, truth be told - I might add, it really blew me away.
The chip used in the big guy for the mall theaters has a 1280 x 1024 pixel/mirror
device/array in it, squeezed down to 16x9 or whatever the "filmed" aspect ratio
of any particular movie will be, via anamorphic lensing - which of course the theaters in
the malls have been already been using for decades, to get cineramic widescreen up there.
This of course would improve vertical resolution, by an optical anamorphic squeeze factor
of 1024 down to 720, or roughly 4 to 3. Therefore the mall theater projector will have an
image that will be substantially tighter than the RPTV projector. It has to. Its projected
image is huge, in comparison.
The ones used in the 16x9 HDready RPTVs are actually 16x9 arrays, with evidently ? x
720 pixels, or mirrors. The math would call for 1280 for the question mark, tho I don't
know the exact specs from them. I did see the 16x9 TI chip at Runco when I attended their
onsite training, shortly after the ISF training I attended there in Hayward, in November
of '01. This is evidently what everybody is/all the brands are using this year, as TI has
the proprietary monopoly on this device.
I also learned while I was there - and this is straight from Sam Runco, at a
pre-briefing to AVS Forum members an hour before the actual press briefing addressing the
same issues: their new products - the truth behind the allegations that Runco is just a
re-badger of other brands. Sam was looking particularly dapper and well dressed for his
meet with the press, immaculate dark - pinstripe, as I recall - suit and tie, with not a
thread or a strand of hair out of place, a mode I had not seen him in before. I also
observed that all the guys at the Runco booth had fresh haircuts...
The truth is that they not only rebadge them, they get in there and substantially redo
the circuitry and programming, to their own and usually much more demanding specs, specs
that are sometimes not even still within confining NTSC standards and are actually Runco
proprietary, for making their CRT based units look so dazzling as they do. In this case,
Runco has actually sought and received from TI the key to TI's back door, for revamping
whatever TI DLP chips Runco uses. That is why a Runco will, as usual, look substantially
better than a similar device that does the same thing. This "look" is true of
plasma as well as DLP.
And they blew the press away with their new products for this year, esp. with markedly
decreased pricepoints on the newer technology equipment. They blew us away also, at this
private AVS Forum showing, and it's not easy to blow away a SPottie OR an AVS Forum
member. At this pre-briefing he also stood by CRT-based technology and said they have no
plans to discontinue producing CRT projectors, because CRT is still the only medium which
can accurately and faithfully capture true blacks.