Thursday 4 October 2012


Within the A.V. world its long been known that you more you spend the more you enter into the laws of diminishing returns.

In other words,a 10,000 Euro amplifier wont sound 10 times better than a 1,000 Euro amplifier..a 20,000 Euro projector wont have a picture 4 times better than a 5,000 Euro projector..

For a lot more money kit will only offer a smidgen of improvement and that smidgen will need to be carefully brought out with a great setup.

..This is where it gets tricky for most,BECAUSE if you dont have a great understanding of setup and are not -at the very least-THX and ISF qualified,how could one know where something wasnt performing to optimum?

..And this has been the common thing on the Algarve for many years,people have been sold 30 grand projectors that perform no better than a 5 grand projector because the person thats sold it has not had the requisite skills to really eke out that extra bit of performance available that would justify its premium..

..It gets even more *complicated*,because the de facto picture standard for projectors is to setup to D65-as defined by ISF (Imaging Science Foundation)..this is defined criteria to ensure *the accurate science of the image*...

So,the bottom line is..the guy that installs/sets up your projector must at ISF qualified to understand what he has to achieve by way of setup...

IF he is not,he probably wont have the requisite skills to make your expensive purchase worthwhile...this is what sets Projectiondreams apart from the crowd..we have these qualifications and can make your equipment perform to absolutely optimum.

There are other factors too...lets consider this..IF your projector image has to be composed of certain scientific criteria to adhere to defined standards by ISF..then it would figure that every projector once setup, would look exactly the same?

It should....kind of,,,but having the correct colour balance and greyscale is one thing..its how the projector presents that also influences the final picture...for example brightness levels differ from projector to projector ..projectors under 5k seldom produce more than 1,000 ansi lumens calibrated..(*and the calibrated figure is normally 50% of the manufacturer stated..) ...this is fine for screens upto a certain size..but for the really large screens you need more than this...for ambient light conditions you may need more...BUT..what holds a great picture in ambient light for example may look horrible in blackout conditions...

So matching is want...the right brightness projector + the right screen/screen gain material/correct throw ratio + angle of view calculations..this must be determined by the room size..

My aim is always to get close to d65,but using knowledge to *punch things up a tad* to achieve a better overall dynamic-this is part of Cinema 360 criteria..

Because D65 can look a tad muted,whites a little creamy..things a little too much towards red for me..

So,this D65 knowledge is but one step of the journey and not enough in my view on its own..consider it a fairly level playing field to start though..

For example,because I worked at ARRI,the company that supplied the 35mm cameras into the movie industry-i know exactly how the camera is setup to the movie lights are setup before they go to a film set..thats what the camera man shoots blockbusters like Star Wars and LOTR i know what kit they are using to film the movies and they are not rigid to D65...there are some subtle differences which i cant reveal for obvious reasons..:-)

What none of us know is how the lighting is set up for that specific film shot...yet,most film makers attempt to capture what they there are certain things at Projectiondreams we consider in ensuring the projected image is as accurate as possible to what it is attempting to convey...

Ideally,one would have different picture presets for different sources because video output levels can differ..material can differ and so on...their are industry standards for hd and standard def..and they are different..colour range is greater in hd..and the standard is rec709..recommended..this may be an applicable level in all projectors IF this preset was really,that should be determined...and i havent even begun to discuss gamma curve..again their is an ideal here..if this is wrong for the given projector things can look too washed out or too dark....

There is a limit to how much one should apply sharpness/detail controls...too much and everything is sharpened destroying sense of depth...too little and things can be defocused almost...dependant on the projector...and of course sense of depth can be greatly increased by CR (contrast ratio)..but most CR figures quoted by manufacturers are nonsense....
Contrast ratio is defined as the ratio of the luminance of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing. A high contrast ratio is a desired aspect of any display. It has similarities with dynamic range of course...

Many display devices favor the use of the full on/full off method of measurement, as it cancels out the effect of the room and results in an ideal ratio. Equal proportions of light reflect from the display to the room and back in both "black" and "white" measurements, as long as the room stays the same. This will inflate the light levels of both measurements proportionally, leaving the black to white luminance ratio unaffected.

Some manufacturers have gone as far as using different device parameters for the three tests, even further inflating the calculated contrast ratio. With DLP projectors, one method to do this is to enable the clear sector of the color filter wheel for the "on" part and disable it for the "off" part.. This practice is rather dubious, as it will be impossible to reproduce such contrast ratios with any useful image content.

Another measure is the ANSI contrast, in which the measurement is done with a checker board patterned test image where the black and white luminosity values are measured simultaneously. This is a more realistic measure of system capability, but includes the potential of including the effects of the room into the measurement, if the test is not performed in a room that is close to ideal.

It is useful to note that the full on/full off method effectively measures the dynamic contrast ratio of a display, while the ANSI contrast measures the static contrast ratio.

..Then of course there must be accurate shadow detail.. which is-surprise,surprise.. the amount of details in the say for example your display/projector is setup will not see all the details in the image which can also destroy the sense of depth of the image...

Now a company that does not understand this criteria..what is a great picture and how to achieve it..cannot do the following...

1..Suggest the correct projector for the room..(*For example ive seen many 30k Runcos installed over here on small screens which is utter madness as these Runcos are meant for huge screens and their premium is based on this ..i.e. their increased brightness...but as brightness goes up...CR performance goes again,the ideal balance for that screen and room are critical lest you get a too bright image that will give you huge headaches and a poor black level perfromance..)

2..Get the optimum performance out of that projector.

At Projectiondreams..we will suggest the projector and sized screen that is right for that sized room taking the conditions into account and setup accordingly for your sources...

Its the exact same scenario for audio setup and acoustic preperations..again having a THX  professional with Projectiondreams ensures that the same fastidiousness is applied to accurate solutions for the given area as video setup.


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