The Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD “War”

This isn’t a A/B comparison – I don’t currently have the ability to play either format.  I’ve been stalling for a few reasons, but its been getting a lot more tempting to leap in on one, or the other, or both formats.

This posting was prompted by the Engadget post Gartner: Blu-ray to win in 2008, HD DVD price cuts are “useless resistance”.  My friend Matt claimed last week that the war was won:

“Some might say that Warner Bros. pre-CES annoucement of dropping HD-DVD was the tipping point, but true believers will recognize that Matt’s January 24th purchase of a PS3 and several Blu-Ray titles as the historic event.” – Matt

There are some crazy prices on HD-DVD players now, Futureshop has the Toshiba HD-DVD A3 for $148.99.  I’m almost kicking myself for picking up the Oppo 980 (should be at the post office waiting for me) – but the A3, while it is apparently a very good upconverting player – still is fairly slow at layer changes etc.   If it didn’t look like the format war was winding down, the HD-DVD support would be a lot more tempting – but as it is, it would be a severely underused facility of the player.

It is my opinion that Sony has pretty much bet the company on Blu-ray.  2007 didn’t seem like a great year for Sony, and I do strongly suspect that things like the Warner CES announcement came along with some cash from Sony.  Hopefully their well won’t run dry before the format debate is over.

I guess I’m still firmly in the ‘wait and see’ camp, let’s see how long I can stall – my prediction is that I’ll have one or both before the end of this year.

1080UB colour measurements

So, I’ve finally got around to doing a few sensor based measurements. I still need to sit down and digest the Basic Guide to Colour Calibration using a CMS (Colour Management System) before I start trying to make changes.

For a 100IRE full screen field, I measured 12flL. This is pretty impressive considering I’m using the darkest mode, and the projector is mounted 17 feet from the screen.

I have noted visually that there seems to be a bit of colour shift from left to right, the sensor measurements verified this. The left of the screen is more blue, and the right is more red.

All of these measurements are really just out of the box performance, I haven’t even logged 10 hours yet. The bulb timer still reads 0H, and as confirmed by Epson support, it will not start showing different until I’m past 10H.

I did run through the basic brightness, contrast and sharpness settings using AVIA. The Theater Black 2 default settings were basically correct, so I left them alone.

So here is a CIE u,v chart, showing both the measured grayscale with primary and secondary colours.


So the good news here is that the 1080UB is capable of covering the complete REC601 colour space (not all digital projectors are able to do this), however out of the box – its fairly far off. Certainly watchable, but I’ll be happier when its tweaked a bit more.

More details follow..
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DIY Ceiling Mount

Originally I was going to buy a commercial mount, I had even selected a reasonable looking universal mount that was fairly economical ($75 delivered). Then I stumbled across a reference to the Monkey Man DIY mount. From there I quickly found a reasonably summary of DIY mounts which convinced me to take this route.

Also considering I build a DIY mount for my 165lb CRT projector, I’m not overly concerned about the 12.3lb Epson 1080UB.

Here is my finished mount:


The sub $30 parts list
(2) 3/4″ floor flange
(1) 3/4 x 3.5″ Black steel pipe
(4) 1/4″ x 1.25″ locking nut, washer, carriage bolt
(4) #10 wood screws 1.5″ long
(1) M4 threaded rod
(8) M4 nuts
(4) M4 wingnuts
(12) 1/8″ washers
(1) 5/8″ shelf board

It was relatively easy to put together – and I was able to mount it solo without any scary moments. I’d strongly recommend going the DIY mount route, it really didn’t take a lot of work and I’m very pleased with the result.

Construction details follow..

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