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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...

Mr Bob 

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.