: Is it worth an extra $1200 for a Darkchip 3 instead of Darkchip 2?

Bud Bray
2009-02-24, 10:46 AM
OK, still in the process of picking a 1080p DLP projector and I have the choice of Optoma HD80 or BenQ W5000 which sell for the same price and are both DC2 OR going for an Optoma HD81which is DC3 and $1200 more. Is DC3 REALLY that much better? I'm noticing that even the newer PJ are still DC2.

2009-02-24, 10:58 AM
If you can afford $3,500+, look for a used JVC RS1/2...

2009-02-25, 12:32 AM
While I'm no expert my short answer, no. I'd strongly encourage you to take look at this comparison though, it's got shots of many of the projectors you've mentioned and should be very helpful. You'll want to scroll down about 1/3rd of the way to the satellite pictures and go from there:

Now for a little potentially misinformed rant. The whole DC1, 2, 3 and 4 thing seems to be a bit of a mess. As I understand it those terms refer to the price/class the current product sells for but there are variations on the DC2 (that label isn't specific enough). I believe TI keeps updating them, but maintains the one number DC label to designate classes/price points, and perhaps physical interface/package size. I'm suggesting a DC2 today, could perform differently then the DC2 made several years ago, and that perhaps even two current DC2 projectors could be using variations on the DC that affect/effect performance.

While I believe the DC chip plays a big role in overall contrast, I think it's still part of a larger system responsible for contrast and I wouldn't fuss over DC2 vs. DC3 nearly as much as configuration suitability (lens shift/zoom), lumen, lens & sharpness etc.... Besides which many people have enjoyed the ~2500:1 of the DC2 systems over the last few years and the shadow detail, as well as white and black crush, have really improved. IMHO those were the big issues (at least to my eyes). Of course some like black, whereas I just don't want to miss anything.