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Old 01-07-2009, 06:45 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
I can get this TV locally(Brandsmart) for $800. Any thought?

Panasonic TH-50PX80U 50" VIERA® plasma HDTV at Crutchfield.com
Yup, that's the winner if you ask me.
Compare it against the 1080p set at 10+ feet and see if you see the difference.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:22 PM   #62
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OK, slight jack.

Plasma, blacker blacks, better off center viewing, cheaper. Burns in though. I can't stand watching 4:3 shows stretched to fit the 16:9 with everyone looking fat. So I get bands down both sides from the blank spaces burning in. Surf the guide a lot while watching shows, that can burn in to.

LCD, not supposed to burn in. Appears to be taking over from Plasma's. Lot's of windows in the living room too.

Any consensus about which way to go LCD vs. Plasma? Spending a max of $1500 and looking for 50-52".
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:26 PM   #63
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Show gray bars instead of black and there is no real burn in worry.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:27 PM   #64
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I had a $4-5k sony 60" lcd projection TV with a roommate a year ago. I could not play xbox on that thing, the screen was too big. I got a crappy tube TV now but when I buy a new one it'll be sony or samsung and 42". Bigger is just too much unless the room is huge.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:49 PM   #65
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Show gray bars instead of black and there is no real burn in worry.

Thanks! One of those learn something new moments for the day. Might not be so scared of getting another plasma now.

Have to say the set I currently have is a 4 year old plasma that's pre-HD. Big difference in brightness from one side to the other, 5" wide vertical segments you can see, it sucks. Never knew to look at changing the surrounding/background color to save on burn in.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:49 PM   #66
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I still wouldn't buy anything but a rear-projector. My current one is a 55" triple-gun CRT unit from Toshiba, 9 years old and still going strong.

In general, I just can't stand the look of either Plasma or LCD units. They're not bad when viewing a DVD via HDMI, but tune one to an analog TV signal (including cable) and they just look like hell to me. The colors go flat, they generate all kinds of noise and artifacts, and the LCD suck off-axis. Just can't stand 'em...

The newer DLP-based rear projectors are shockingly thin, even the ones using lamps and wheels instead of mega-LED arrays.

That 52" LG plasma in the first post is 16.6" deep and 37.5" tall with the stand, and weighs 110 lbs. It costs $1,300 plus $100 shipping.

From the same website, a 60" Mitsubishi 1080p rear-projector is 2.2 inches thinner (14.4"), 0.8 inch shorter (36.7" tall), 46 pounds lighter (64.4) and costs eighty bucks less after you factor in the shipping.

Need something smaller? Crutchfield has a 56" Samsung, 1080p, $1,250 with free shipping and delivery. And it's even thinner & lighter than the Mitsu.

Smaller still? Crutchfield again: 50" Samsung, also 1080p, for $999 and also free shipping and free in-room delivery.


No burn-in. Better color fidelity. No smearing. Comperable off-axis viewability. That is Sparta.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:29 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I still wouldn't buy anything but a rear-projector. My current one is a 55" triple-gun CRT unit from Toshiba, 9 years old and still going strong.

In general, I just can't stand the look of either Plasma or LCD units. They're not bad when viewing a DVD via HDMI, but tune one to an analog TV signal (including cable) and they just look like hell to me. The colors go flat, they generate all kinds of noise and artifacts, and the LCD suck off-axis. Just can't stand 'em...

The newer DLP-based rear projectors are shockingly thin, even the ones using lamps and wheels instead of mega-LED arrays.

That 52" LG plasma in the first post is 16.6" deep and 37.5" tall with the stand, and weighs 110 lbs. It costs $1,300 plus $100 shipping.

From the same website, a 60" Mitsubishi 1080p rear-projector is 2.2 inches thinner (14.4"), 0.8 inch shorter (36.7" tall), 46 pounds lighter (64.4) and costs eighty bucks less after you factor in the shipping.

Need something smaller? Crutchfield has a 56" Samsung, 1080p, $1,250 with free shipping and delivery. And it's even thinner & lighter than the Mitsu.

Smaller still? Crutchfield again: 50" Samsung, also 1080p, for $999 and also free shipping and free in-room delivery.


No burn-in. Better color fidelity. No smearing. Comperable off-axis viewability. That is Sparta.
I've never seen a projection anything with good off axis anything. And I like the image quality of the LCoS panel.

incidentally, the comment about plasmas looking ugly on analog inputs is about to become moot.

FWIW, FiOS non-HD channels are so clear I often am surprised they aren't HD. course I'm on an "old" panasonic widescreen CRT. if it had HMDI/HDCP and I never had to move it again (185 lbs), I'd probably keep it forever.

anyone got a way around HDCP without an HDMI input?
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:57 AM   #68
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I've never seen a projection anything with good off axis anything.
They're not as wide as plasmas or direct-view CRTs (still the best imaging device ever created), but the newer ones are pretty good. Image intensity has a lot to do with it. The main reason that older (CRT-based) projectors had this limitation is that the tubes could only be driven so hard without destroying them, and thus the amount of available light was limited. In my set, for instance, the three tubes are a mere 4.5" diagonal, and they have to throw enough light to fill a 55" screen in a well-lit room. Thus, to make the best possible use of what little light was available, it was focused in a highly directional pattern.

With a DLP or LCoS system, there is no real limitation on the intensity of the light that can be produced and modulated. You can make the lamp as bright as you jolly well please, and it's not going to cause the imaging device or the chroma filters any harm. So, with more light available, they can open up the viewing angle on the screen considerably.

Sadly, the industry does seem to be moving away from rear-projection technology in favor of flat-screen devices for medium-size applications. Even though rear projectors are cheaper, lighter, smaller, immune to burn-in, free of dead pixels, totally unaffected by glare and reflections (as the front glass plate, in those sets that are equipped with one, is merely for protection and thus removable), free of ghosting, and produce much higher quality images with regard to black levels, image smoothness, and color purity, they lack the sex appeal of the flat-screens.

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incidentally, the comment about plasmas looking ugly on analog inputs is about to become moot.
Actually it's not. The upcoming cutoff applies only to terrestrial over-the-air broadcast transmitters; those used by your local TV stations. So for folks who receive their TV signals via a set-top or roof-top VHF/UHF antenna, it's an issue.

A majority of Americans however receive their television signal via cable. Since you're on FiOS, you're at an advantage. All their stuff is inherently digital, and they've got enough bandwidth that compression isn't nearly as big a problem as with DirecTV.

Conventional cable systems, however, tend to use a hybrid analog/digital mode of operation, and this is completely unaffected by the Feb 17 ATSC conversion mandate. The "basic" and "expanded" programming packages are typically delivered in conventional NTSC analog mode, occupying the 55 to 800 Mhz range. Digital carriers are employed for the premium channels, the "expanded plus" range, and the pay-per-view stuff.

This is done primarily to reduce cost on the part of the cable operator- they can continue to use all of their old headend transmission equipment, and they don't have to give converters to customers who subscribe only to the mid-level packages (leasing set-top boxes to these customers is not terribly profitable.)

The only real advantage to the cable operators of offering digital service at all is that in general, digitally coded and compressed streams occupy less bandwidth on the system than their analog counterparts. As a result, the operator can offer more upper-tier and specialty channels, which of course allows for the sale of additional bundled packages. As time goes on, the cable operators are migrating existing channels off of the analog band and onto the digital band, however this migration is in general performed solely at the rate required to free up bandwidth for additional programming services.

In other words, analog cable is going to be with us for a while yet. Those who enjoy many of the less-profitable "traditional" cable networks, such as the History Channel, Discovery, SciFi, and so on, can continue to look forward to color artifacts, smearing, and generally ****-poor image quality on their shiny new flatscreens.


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anyone got a way around HDCP without an HDMI input?
You're trying to record a live stream, or just copy a DVD?
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:20 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
I've never seen a projection anything with good off axis anything. And I like the image quality of the LCoS panel.
Check out a good front projection. No off axis problems whatsoever. But with 100+ inches, you don't really need to sit off axis. Just sit back further. I realize the OP doesn't have the arena to go FP though.

Cueball1,
Burn in isn't an issue with newer plasmas. They shift pixels to avoid it.

Frank
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:10 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I still wouldn't buy anything but a rear-projector. My current one is a 55" triple-gun CRT unit from Toshiba, 9 years old and still going strong.

In general, I just can't stand the look of either Plasma or LCD units. They're not bad when viewing a DVD via HDMI, but tune one to an analog TV signal (including cable) and they just look like hell to me. The colors go flat, they generate all kinds of noise and artifacts, and the LCD suck off-axis. Just can't stand 'em...

The newer DLP-based rear projectors are shockingly thin, even the ones using lamps and wheels instead of mega-LED arrays.

That 52" LG plasma in the first post is 16.6" deep and 37.5" tall with the stand, and weighs 110 lbs. It costs $1,300 plus $100 shipping.

From the same website, a 60" Mitsubishi 1080p rear-projector is 2.2 inches thinner (14.4"), 0.8 inch shorter (36.7" tall), 46 pounds lighter (64.4) and costs eighty bucks less after you factor in the shipping.

Need something smaller? Crutchfield has a 56" Samsung, 1080p, $1,250 with free shipping and delivery. And it's even thinner & lighter than the Mitsu.

Smaller still? Crutchfield again: 50" Samsung, also 1080p, for $999 and also free shipping and free in-room delivery.


No burn-in. Better color fidelity. No smearing. Comperable off-axis viewability. That is Sparta.
I still prefer my Hitachi 57F710S over the newer LCD's and Plasmas TVs. Yeah, its an old school HDTV 1080i CRT Projection(2005), but the picture is stellar and I have zero complaints. My parents have a 42: Vizio that turned out to be a great TV. I think they paid 700 for it at Sams Club.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:14 AM   #71
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WOW. lots of great info here guys. I guess I just need to go sit in bestbuy for a few hours and examine all 3 types of TV's.

I know I want 50"+. Obviously HD, I just need to see if I can actually see a difference in 720 and 1080. I also need it to be good from all angles.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
bestbuy does use a colorimeter, suppose to anyways.

lots of 40' and 42's of toshiba's lcd's have been sent back to service, i work at a crossdock store so any tv's in the southeast going to service i see in the warehouse all piled up. dont see many 46 and 52 toshibas tho, hardly any sony's too.
Ah, ok, that makes sense. The 40" and 42" do not have the Samsung panel. Good to know I made the right choice in reliability by going with the Samsung panel 46xv540u.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:22 AM   #73
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I can't tell the difference from 720p to 1080i to 1080p. That is until you put a Blue Ray DVD on a 1080p, then you can see the difference. For regular broadcast like ESPN HD and so on, I don't see a difference.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:39 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by 96rdstr View Post
I still prefer my Hitachi 57F710S over the newer LCD's and Plasmas TVs. Yeah, its an old school HDTV 1080i CRT Projection(2005), but the picture is stellar and I have zero complaints. My parents have a 42: Vizio that turned out to be a great TV. I think they paid 700 for it at Sams Club.
+1 on Hitachi CRT RPTV. I have a 65" and even after a couple years, Hitachi repaired an HDMI issue for free that was discovered with the sets. The sets are out of production now and they still worked on a fix.

Picture quality on the set is great. At 65", I can tell it's not 1080p, but the contrasts, analog reproduction and tweakability are unmatched by newer technologies (except maybe the new LED, but I haven't seen one yet). Downsides are size and viewing angle isn't as good as LCD or plasma.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:41 AM   #75
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I'd love to find a 40-42" DLP. I'm only looking for 720p. Don't they exist anymore? Probably too cheap to compete with LCD profits
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:48 AM   #76
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I can't tell the difference from 720p to 1080i to 1080p. That is until you put a Blue Ray DVD on a 1080p, then you can see the difference. For regular broadcast like ESPN HD and so on, I don't see a difference.
That's because broadcast is only 720p or 1080i. 1080p is pretty much only blu-ray or computer input. As I said before, only reason for a 1080p set is for 120hz to do 5:5 pulldown instead of 3:2. For my eyes at least, it makes a huge difference. Plasma also have a similar technology to eliminate 3:2 pulldown. Only reason I'm not a fan of plasma is it will burn. It doesn't matter what they do to fix it, it'll burn, but it won't be easily noticable since it should burn a lot more evenly. It causes the picture to look washed out after a couple years, and a recalibration might help. Games on plasma would probably cause quicker burn in due to the higher intensities of the colors.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:07 AM   #77
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+1 on Hitachi CRT RPTV. I have a 65" and even after a couple years, Hitachi repaired an HDMI issue for free that was discovered with the sets. The sets are out of production now and they still worked on a fix.

Picture quality on the set is great. At 65", I can tell it's not 1080p, but the contrasts, analog reproduction and tweakability are unmatched by newer technologies (except maybe the new LED, but I haven't seen one yet). Downsides are size and viewing angle isn't as good as LCD or plasma.
True. The viewing angle for mine isnt good from extreme angles, but I wouldnt be sitting at an angle watching the TV anyway. My *** is right in front. AS for my other post about 720P, 1080i and 1080p. I should have clarified that there is really no difference between 720 and 1080i. There is a difference with 1080p, but you have to have a Blue Ray, Xbox and so on to really utilize it. For me 1080p isn't a priority. My only gripe about the 57F710S is the HDMI input 1 shares the same signal with the Component jacks on Input 1. Since I have my Fios STB connected to the TV via HDMI, that renders the component jacks useless. I have an auto switch, for my component devices, that I use for Input 2. Not ideal, but it works just fine.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:45 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Sadly, the industry does seem to be moving away from rear-projection technology in favor of flat-screen devices for medium-size applications. Even though rear projectors are cheaper, lighter, smaller, immune to burn-in, free of dead pixels, totally unaffected by glare and reflections (as the front glass plate, in those sets that are equipped with one, is merely for protection and thus removable), free of ghosting, and produce much higher quality images with regard to black levels, image smoothness, and color purity, they lack the sex appeal of the flat-screens.
actually you can have image retention with the LCoS (we do) and definitely dead (stuck "open"--bright white on black) pixels and the black levels for the LCoS are "ok" depending on how bright the light source is. probably better in a TV than our optics since we have a lossy optical path and require about 5-10x the original brightness of a TV illuminator.

the image quality IS stellar, I agree.

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You're trying to record a live stream, or just copy a DVD?
no, I want 1080i from blu-ray on my PS3. it wont output more than 480p from a bluray dvd without HDCP. even over component to a 1080i capable device.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:17 PM   #79
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I'd love to find a 40-42" DLP. I'm only looking for 720p. Don't they exist anymore? Probably too cheap to compete with LCD profits
There aren't many left. Nobody manufactures them anymore, so you'd have to either buy used or find someone that still has some old ones in stock. The only one I came across in a quick search was this one, for $1,580 from a shady-looking vendor. As I pointed out earlier however, the 50" DLP sets are not much bigger in external dimensions than the smaller LCDs, if you factor in the size of the base. Some of 'em are even wall-mountable.

The problem was partly cost. With a flat-screen, manufacturing cost is roughly proportional to screen size. The smaller the sceen, the higher the yield. So smaller LCDs and Plasmas legitimately cost less to make. With rear-projectors, there's not much cost difference to make a 65" set vs. a 40" set. The optics are the same, the imaging device is the same, really the only differences are the wattage of the lamp and the size of the plastic sheet in the front.

The big problem however was that nobody was buying them. Folks who give a **** about image quality also tend to gravitate towards the larger size screens, as they are willing to dedicate space to it. Most people however are more concerned with style and trendiness, and thus opt for the more heavily-advertized flat screens.

50" is the smallest DLP currently in production, and I expect that within a year or two, as LCD and Plasma screens in the 50" range approach cost parity, DLP will retreat further up-range.

Remember LaserDisc? It beat the **** out of Beta and VHS in terms of image and sound quality, but too few people cared. For most folks, VHS was "good enough", and the fact that the machines (and the media) were smaller and cheaper was all that mattered.

For Q1 2008, global sales of LCD TVs were 21.1 million, up 45% from 1Q07. Plasma sold 2.8 million (+20%) and rear-projection sold a paltry 134 thousand (-79%). This data does not discriminate for screen size, so the absolute numbers are somewhat misleading (most sales occured in screen sizes not served by RP), but the percentage trends cannot be ignored. (Source: Digital Home - LCD televisions outsell plasma 8 to 1 worldwide)


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Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
WOW. lots of great info here guys. I guess I just need to go sit in bestbuy for a few hours and examine all 3 types of TV's.
This is, without question, the best way to choose. Some folks can see the so-called "rainbow effect" on some single-chip DLP machines, principally if you move your eyes rapidly across the screen during high-contrast scenes (like a white image on a black background). This was a real issue for me on the older sets that used three-color wheels, but the units sold today typically run a mich higher refresh rate and have six-color (adding CMY to RGB) or six-plus-white wheels spun at 2x the framerate (for an effective 4x multiplier), and on these I don't have the problem. Three-chip sets are completely immune to this, and while rare in DLP, most (if not all) of the LQoS devices use di-chromatic mirrors instead of wheels, and are thus unaffected as well.

And the newer LED-powered DLPs are just pure sex.

If cable TV is part of your viewing environment, be sure to check all the units (at least the LCD and plasma ones) with a comparable input. I doubt if BestBuy has cable on the premises, but you can approximate the effect by connecting a DVD player (VHS would be better as it's natively color subcarrier encoded just like NTSC, but I doubt they'll have any available), to the unit via the yellow composite video connector rather than S-vid, component, or whatever. This may not be an issue- for all I know BB might still be distributing the demo feed via composite DAs, which is an even more realistic test than the direct DVD hookup.


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Burn in isn't an issue with newer plasmas. They shift pixels to avoid it.
I wouldn't say it's a non-issue, only a reduced issue.

If you're watching high-contrast 4:3 material, and you don't have the stupid gray bars turned on, you're still going to get burn. It'll just have nice, soft edges in the transition between burned and not-burned.

Likewise, if you watch a lot of network TV, on a channel where the bug (the logo in the corner) is white instead of transluscent, it's still going to burn, it'll just be softer and more diffuse. Ditto for videogames which have bright, static displays such as a score counter. Of course, if you're playing that much Sonic the Hedgehog, there may be other problems.

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actually you can have image retention with the LCoS (we do) and definitely dead (stuck "open"--bright white on black) pixels and the black levels for the LCoS are "ok" depending on how bright the light source is.
I did not know that. I mean, I knew the contrast ratio and black level was inferior to DLP, but I've not spent enough time around them to have experianced burnin. I guess with any optical semiconductor device it's a possability, though I'd expect it to be related to operating fatigue (power dissipation within the die) rather than the brightness of incident light. Which now that I re-read what you wrote, is probably what you meant in the first place.

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no, I want 1080i from blu-ray on my PS3. it wont output more than 480p from a bluray dvd without HDCP. even over component to a 1080i capable device.
Hmm. That's kinda the suck.

I know relatively little about the AAC image-constraint token system, other than that it applies only to the transport mechanism and not the datastream itself. IOW, the image degredation is done by the playback device, after rendering the original image data in the clear if the transport (the physical interface between player and receiver) fails the HDCP handshake test. HDCP in general has been cracked, however. Would it be feasible for you to use a utility such as AnyDVD-HD to strip the content protection from the disc and then play the media over a network from the PC to the PS3? This is basically how I view all of my media (albeit with an Xbox360 rather than a PS3) by simply keeping everything on a dedicated hard drive in one my my PCs. I haven't touched a DVD in quite a while.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:42 PM   #80
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playing bluray is largely irrelevant to me. for now.

so the issue with "image retention" on the LCoS is device specific for us. the panel retains the last bitplane sent to it if the unit is powered off for more than a day. sucks ***** because our panels are like a couple thousand dollars.

note that you are right in terms of brightness. it's totally brightness independent. it could retain a black on black image in theory.

oh and seeing rainbows (aka color breakup) SUCKS. but as illuminator cycling speeds and color wheel speeds increase, it goes away to some degree. and in a 3-panel system, it's not really an issue because you're not sharing an LED.
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