Blog Posted by Ron Jones
This is the second blog in this series from the CEDIA Expo 2013 Show in Denver, CO, USA. In the Day 1 blog I covered some of the interesting new projectors from JVC, Sony and Epson. In this Day 2 blog I have a little follow-up information related to JVC and Epson products as well as information on other home theater related products I've seen here at the show.
I talked to a sales manager from JVC professional products division and got a couple of clarifications related to the info that I posted yesterday. Their new 4K models can accept 4K video at up to 60 Hz through either of the projector's HDMI inputs, but the 4K @ 60Hz signal support is limited to 8-bit depth and 4:2:0 chroma format. Also their HDMI input does not support HDCP 2.2 (the latest version of this copy protection standard). I also asked about the intelligent aperature control (i.e., dynamic iris) on the new JVC projectors. It does appear that the new dynamic iris can close down substantially more than the manual iris JVC has offered for the past several years. The JVC representative explained that because of the already high native contrast ratio of the JVC projectors the new intelligent iris control will only make small adjustment from frame to frame and its action will not have the negative visible side effects you see with most dynamic iris implementations on other projectors. The JVC pre-production projectors being shown at CEDIA did not have the production firmware and some of the menu selections/options associated the dynamic iris and perhaps a combination of dynamic and manual iris were not implemented in these pre-production units. As a result, the JVC representative did not know exactly what user options/adjustments will be offered related to the control of manual and dynamic irises on the final production units.
I did have the opportunity to view some 4K @ 24Hz material from a Redray player being fed to a JVC top-of-the line projector and it did look very good. I could not easily judge how it compared to yesterday's demo I saw of the new Sony VPL-VW600ES as the two companies were using substantially different types of 4K video material and there were also some differences in the viewing environments However, both projectors were impressive when native 4K source video was being displayed.
JVC expects to start shipments of the new projectors to distributors around the end of November, which has been the typical timeframe for the release of new JVC projectors for the past few years.
Just one small item of additional info from Epson is the two 1080p projectors they offer that have low input lag, as desirable for gaming, is the older Home Cinema 8350 and the new HC 2030.
Darbee Visual Presence
Darbee has been selling a neat little add-on video enhanceer for well over a year that has the ability to bring out details in video images well beyond what most projector's internal video processing is able to achieve. Darbee is also working with a few other manufacturers to incorporate their processing into other products. Lumagen now offers 4 different video processors that include the Darbee video enhancement processing. Also Oppo has announced a new Blu-ray player that has built-in Darbee video enhancment processing. I plan to cover the Darbee processing in a future blog or review.
HDMI 2.0 Products
There are now a few products already announced, such as Sony's new 4K UHD projectors I reported on yesterday, that will include HDMI 2.0 inputs. While HDMI 2.0 can use standard high speed HDMI cables, as are used today for 1080p video, the maximum cable lengths will more more limited when attempting to pass the maximum 18 Gbps that HDMI 2.0 can accommodate. It has been suggested that perhaps passive cables may only support lengths of 3 meters for the full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth. The solution for longer lengths is to use active HDMI cables. I talked to representatives of Monoprice and they indicated they expect to offer active HDMI cables that will support the full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth requirements by very early next year.
I saw a demo of two LED powered projectors at the DP booth.
The lower priced one an M-Vision Cine-LED model carries a retail price of about $13,000 and is rated for 1,000 lumens output and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. This is a DLP projector uses a single 1080p DMD chip. In their fully light controlled viewing room the projected image appearly adequately bright on the fairly large screen they were using (but I don't have any details about the screen size or gain).
- Digital Projection M-Vision LED Projector
They were also demo'ing in the same room their Titan 1080p-LED-3D projector. This is a high-end 3-chip DLP projector that is rated for 2,000 lumens output and 5,000:1 contrast ratio. The Titan model carries a retail price of just under $80,000. Of course the Titan projected a noticeably brighter image, on the same screen, as compared to the single chip M-Vision model. I must admit even though the Titan's projected image quality was good, for me, it was a step below what I had seen from 4K UHD projectors from Sony and the flagship JVC eShift 4K projectors when upscaling 1080p source material, let alone with native 4K source material displayed on the Sony or JVC projectors. Of course, a side-by-side comparison was not possible and each manufacturer was using different video source material, different screens, and different viewing conditions.
That's all from the CEDIA Expo 2013