Meridian MF10 Projector = JVC DLA-RS2 plus Ripoff

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
It's not uncommon the see manufacturers occasionally re-brand a product with their own moniker and sell it as their own. We've seen this in the past with Rotel re-branding APC power conditioners, and Atlantic Technology reboxing the same AV processor it sold under the Outlaw Audio moniker. None of it is really criminal and most times (as in the Rotel example) it simply allows customers to have matched components and maintain the uniform look of a branded system. Sometimes, as in the case of Meridian's latest product, it really seems like it's all about finding a new way to make money off unsuspecting consumers.


Discuss "Meridian MF10 Projector = JVC DLA-RS2 plus Ripoff" here. Read the article.
 
R

rynberg

Audioholic Intern
nah, you'll have to do more than that to sell a rebadged Onkyo for twice the price. For starters, you'll have to replace that godawful and dated looking front panel/display with a nice stylish curvaceous 1/8-inch thick sheet of metal and a modern looking display panel. That will cut into your profits slightly...:D Then again, I'm sure potential Meridian projector customers would eat it right up as is....
 
I

InTheIndustry

Senior Audioholic
No S%$t Sherlock!

Note: The title of my post is meant in a tongue n' cheek manor & not to be taken as an assault on the article, which I feel warrants a healthy discussion.

JVC sells it's DILA engine to several different companies. Leading me to ask the question: Who's worse, the drug dealer or the one who supplies them?

In my opinion, neither are really out of line as long as what they are doing to the projectors is R&Ding the heck out of it to eek out every possible ounce of performance (much like a professional car tuner). But, as the article, asked: What's the REAL difference?

Sharing platforms and parts is incredibly common throughout the A/V industry (not to mention ALL of manufacturing across the globe) and is not just limited to projectors. InFocus sells it's DLP projectors to Knoll who makes custom "adjustments". Sharp has sold one of their models to Marantz, who changed the lense and tweaks the software. Runco and Vidikron are based off of similar shared DLP platforms as well. If you look at the design and layout of the DILA pieces they all have the same fundamental chasis and specs: Front side vents, lense in the center, incredibly high contrast ratio, and lumens on the lower side of sub 1K. I have very strong suspicions that Sony's SXRD projectors are based off of JVC's DILA too. I would like to investigate this more because after looking at the chasis and specs it's really peculiar. Besides that, I have almost little faith in Sony to actually "make" anything.

Last years Meridian piece retailed at $25K and came with their out-board Faroudja video processor. Meridian, however, claimed to have tested and calibrated each and every pixel so that out of the box the projector would be absolutely perfect. I called them once to inquire about this piece and did some investigating on it. The processor it came with was fairly pricey as a seperate box. At the time, JVC offered a $12K version of the RS1 that came with a DVDO video processor. JVC told me that they dropped the processor variation because of slow sales and because they were wanting to blow the comparable Sony DILA piece out of the water. The Sony sold @ $10K. Sony also had a souped up version of this projector that was $20 - $30K if I remember right

Cineversum is another company who's "Black Wing" projectors are based off the JVC platform as well. The Black Wing Three ($13,500 - $17,800) is available with something called a CV Master. This is a video processor who's chasis looks IDENTICAL to the DVDO models. Hmmmmmm, ponderous as to what the real world differences are, isn't it?

Dream Vision is another company that uses the JVC.

A year / year 1/2 ago Vidikron even used this platform in two (I think it was two) of it's 1080P projectors.

The Usual Suspects:
View attachment 5693 RS2

View attachment 5694 Black Wing Three

View attachment 5695 Dream Vision

View attachment 5696 Sony VW60

These are just the ones I know of off the top of my head.
 
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Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
They don't specify in the released info - making it seem all the more suspicious that it's identical. The thing that singles out Meridian is the fact that they didn't even redo the case - it's the exact chassis with a new white logo.

I did get an email indicating that there may be some unlocked software and precalibrated color settings. With an ISF calibration costing around $300, this is hardly anything to compensate for the additional $7k in price. In addition, both lenses are spec'd the same in terms of glass and pieces.
 
I

InTheIndustry

Senior Audioholic
They don't specify in the released info - making it seem all the more suspicious that it's identical. The thing that singles out Meridian is the fact that they didn't even redo the case - it's the exact chassis with a new white logo.
Can you blame them? Have you seen the going rate on projector cases these days? Oil is killing that market!

The Meridian logo is a classic, Clint. What's the problem?

I called somone I know over at DVDO and got the skinny on the two processors I mentioned in my earlier post. I'll reply with that info as well as address the optics comment (a potentially VERY good point) another member provided. If, Clint, the optics are indeed the same and all that Meridian really did was "calibrate" the thing to ISF, that's fairly sad.

I can't wait to call Meridian NA tomorrow and ask a few questions only to get the ol': "Meridian's British and the Euro is killing the dollar right now, therefore we HAVE to add 90% to the cost of our products".

Initial word on the street: After some software tweaks, Cineversum got the fan noise down in their Black Wing line to 3db quiter than the JVC pieces. I have a phone apointment tomorrow with them and have several questions regarding their "tweaks" and processor. I've spoken to them several times before and really like the people over there. They understand the industry very well and are straight shooters. I'll be back with more info. Hopefully they offer up something more exciting than fan noise reduction.
 
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I

InTheIndustry

Senior Audioholic
Yes, but those all look different from each other, unlike the two in the article.:D
LOL!

That they do.

Personally I really think the Dreamvision projectors are really neat looking. They're available in several different colors and finishes.

View attachment 5700 Wait a minute! Haven't I seen that processor before? (See my 2nd post in this thread)
 
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cwall99

cwall99

Full Audioholic
Why should the audio industry be any different?

My Chevy Trailblazer is, for all extents and purposes, the exact same vehicle as my neighbor's GMC Envoy. Oh, sure, he's got a few options I don't have, but, by and large, they're identical trucks or SUVs or station wagons or whatever the heck it is these stoopic things are. Anyhow, I'm pleased that I didn't pay the $5,000 premium to have better ads on television.

So, why should the audio industry be any different?

Given the crazy amounts of research everyone on here seems to do, I'm surprised that stories like this one aren't more the norm.
 
D

Dezoris

Audioholic
My Chevy Trailblazer is, for all extents and purposes, the exact same vehicle as my neighbor's GMC Envoy. Oh, sure, he's got a few options I don't have, but, by and large, they're identical trucks or SUVs or station wagons or whatever the heck it is these stoopic things are. Anyhow, I'm pleased that I didn't pay the $5,000 premium to have better ads on television.

So, why should the audio industry be any different?

Given the crazy amounts of research everyone on here seems to do, I'm surprised that stories like this one aren't more the norm.

Because the sister cars like the GMC Envoy of the TrailBlazer as mentioned do not have a 100% markup like the Meridian projector does from the JVC.

A better comparison is the GMC Yukon chassis being shared with the H3.
Yet people generally pay more for the hummer even though it is less of a vehicle, but even that is not a case of a 100% markup.

This projector review is clear proof of a rip off. And should serve as a warning and shine some bad press on Meridian.
 
R

rynberg

Audioholic Intern
My Chevy Trailblazer is, for all extents and purposes, the exact same vehicle as my neighbor's GMC Envoy. Oh, sure, he's got a few options I don't have, but, by and large, they're identical trucks or SUVs or station wagons or whatever the heck it is these stoopic things are. Anyhow, I'm pleased that I didn't pay the $5,000 premium to have better ads on television.
Not at all a good analogy. EVERYONE knows that GM and other companies share the same platforms between makes. The different brands within GM use the same chassis but things like suspension tuning, wheels/tires, and interior finishes are done per each brand's vision.

The Envoy costs more because it has more options and has nicer finishes. It is not a straight rebadge with a $5k premium tacked on.
 
I

InTheIndustry

Senior Audioholic
Sorry, gang, I know it's been a while since I've been able to get back to everyone on this subject, but I've been swamped.

Here's what I've learned so far...

The out board processors that these exotic projector companies are selling are, in fact, re-cased DVDO pieces that have slight software tweaks. These "tweaks" are done mostly, according to my guy @ DVDO, to the menus. Meaning: The graphics of the menus are different. Bottom line: Core performance & feature sets are identical when they leave the factory. The add on processors from a few of these companies that I mentioned earlier retail @ roughly $1K or slightly more over the equivalent DVDO processor. I do not think this is true regarding Meridian's processor. I believe that to be an in-house piece and not outsourced.

But, it isn’t all bad. These re-badged processors have more inputs than the DVDO counterpart and one company claimed (and I believe them) that while DVDO does ship them the core piece, they (meaning DVDO) have no control over or ideas as to what changes the projector company themselves make to the software. What are these changes exactly? More & refined adjustments making it easier to get an exact ISF calibration, more control options, more accessories to enhance performance (however so slight). "Value", I don't know. Different? Slightly. Please read on....

While, yes, these projectors are all based off of the JVC RS1 & RS2 platforms they are (slightly) modified from the originals. Example: quieter fan, easier calibration tools, accessories (like lenses or 2:35 sleds) are more plentiful, etc. One of these manufacturers gave the following analogy: They're like a professional car tuner. They buy the Corvette, make adjustments to squeeze out every last drop of performance, and then resell it. When I asked the rep of one of these brands if he'd ever done a side by side comparison of his model & the RS2 it was patterned after I got a "No", which I found incredibly disappointing. They are wanting to reach a market segment that's not interested in comparing for value (and yes, there are a great many of those people out there) and is only interested in the "best" performance regardless if it's only better slightly or just in theory, on paper, or more expensive.

Before anyone starts to get really worked up I just wanted to point out that not too long ago, Runco used to buy Zenith CRT projectors that retailed @ $12K & essentially re-badge & re-case them as "Runco" and then sell them for $20K+. Nobody complained a bit.

I hope this helps....
 
C

Captain Stereo

Audiophyte
It's not uncommon the see manufacturers occasionally re-brand a product with their own moniker and sell it as their own. We've seen this in the past with Rotel re-branding APC power conditioners, and Atlantic Technology reboxing the same AV processor it sold under the Outlaw Audio moniker. None of it is really criminal and most times (as in the Rotel example) it simply allows customers to have matched components and maintain the uniform look of a branded system. Sometimes, as in the case of Meridian's latest product, it really seems like it's all about finding a new way to make money off unsuspecting consumers.


Discuss "Meridian MF10 Projector = JVC DLA-RS2 plus Ripoff" here.
Did you look into the projector to see if your (slanderous) claims have merit? Did you do anything other than compare specs? Did you contact Meridian to allow them to explain to you what it is that they do? No. Easier to just do the forum thing and bash away. So let me provide the readers with some actual information....

1) The MF-10 is based on the RS-100, a professional series Japanese model, not the RS-2. The RS-2 is a consumer based version of it. So you were WRONG here.

2) Meridian wipes the OEM lookup tables for video reproduction and completely re-programs the projector to Faroudja video calibration specifications. Not even ISF Calibration Services or JVC AMERICA have the ability to unlock the potential of this projector as Meridian/Faroudja. Did you report this? NO.

3) Meridian has an exclusive contract with JVC JAPAN to grade projectors and send back the ones that don't meet Meridian's hardware performance minimums, which equates to about 3 out of 5 JVC RS-100s returned to JVC. Were you aware of this? NO.

4) Meridian also break in the bulb in the orientation in which the projector will be mounted, which they claim is critical. Does JVC do this? Did you report this? NO to both.

Bottomline, if you're going to bash a major company who has been at the forefront of breaking boundaries in audio and video technology, at least get your facts straight instead of guessing that they're ripping everybody off. What an irresponsible post and a sad disservice to the readers.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Did you look into the projector to see if your (slanderous) claims have merit? Did you do anything other than compare specs? Did you contact Meridian to allow them to explain to you what it is that they do? No. Easier to just do the forum thing and bash away. So let me provide the readers with some actual information....

1) The MF-10 is based on the RS-100, a professional series Japanese model, not the RS-2. The RS-2 is a consumer based version of it. So you were WRONG here.

2) Meridian wipes the OEM lookup tables for video reproduction and completely re-programs the projector to Faroudja video calibration specifications. Not even ISF Calibration Services or JVC AMERICA have the ability to unlock the potential of this projector as Meridian/Faroudja. Did you report this? NO.

3) Meridian has an exclusive contract with JVC JAPAN to grade projectors and send back the ones that don't meet Meridian's hardware performance minimums, which equates to about 3 out of 5 JVC RS-100s returned to JVC. Were you aware of this? NO.

4) Meridian also break in the bulb in the orientation in which the projector will be mounted, which they claim is critical. Does JVC do this? Did you report this? NO to both.

Bottomline, if you're going to bash a major company who has been at the forefront of breaking boundaries in audio and video technology, at least get your facts straight instead of guessing that they're ripping everybody off. What an irresponsible post and a sad disservice to the readers.
Captain, you sure know a lot about this Meridian projector!

More than I will ever know in my lifetime.:D

I have a question about brightness.

What I don't understand about these 2 projetors and others (Marantz) is the low LUMEN output. I'm sure the colors and picture quality is better than the cheaper ones, but how can people stand a 600 or 700 Lumen output? After calibration, wouldn't the brightness be ever lower than 600 lumens?

The $3K Epson and Panasonic LCD projectors are around 1500 lumens?

I wonder what is the Lumens on the commercial movie theater projectors?
 
J

jostenmeat

Audioholic Spartan
I'm sure the colors and picture quality is better than the cheaper ones, but how can people stand a 600 or 700 Lumen output? After calibration, wouldn't the brightness be ever lower than 600 lumens?
Depends on the PJ. Some come closer to accurate out of the box than others. Also, some lumen specs are much more accurate than others. Just like wattage on a receiver, you have to research measurements.

Because I hope you are not talking smack on my RS-1! :mad: I'm acheiving about 26 FL going by "specs" on a 159" screen, and if anything, its probably TOO bright. Will probably look perfect as my bulb starts to dim. :D

The $3K Epson and Panasonic LCD projectors are around 1500 lumens?
I got my PJ for that same price, and I wouldn't trade if for either of those.

I wonder what is the Lumens on the commercial movie theater projectors?
Ummmm . . . I'm guessing a LOT!!!!

[/QUOTE]
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Because I hope you are not talking smack on my RS-1!
No, of course, not. I'm just trying to understand this brightness rating.

So if projector-A measures 1500 lumens and projector-B measures 750 lumens, does that mean that projector-A is TWICE as bright?

So if your projector (700 lumens) is too bright, does that mean that the Epson UB (1500 lumens) is blindingly bright?

And is there a conversion for Foot-Lambert to Lumens?

What is 26 FL in terms of lumens?
 
J

jostenmeat

Audioholic Spartan
No, of course, not. I'm just trying to understand this brightness rating.
Oh, Im just giving you a hard time man. Sorry, couldn't help myself. :p

So if projector-A measures 1500 lumens and projector-B measures 750 lumens, does that mean that projector-A is TWICE as bright?
I suppose so?

So if your projector (700 lumens) is too bright, does that mean that the Epson UB (1500 lumens) is blindingly bright?
No. Its a two-part thing: PJ and Screen. Since I use a high power screen do I have such great brightness. The compromise is the narrow viewing cone, but I still fit in 8 viewers with only one seat getting some modest compromise. In my eyes anyways.

And is there a conversion for Foot-Lambert to Lumens?

What is 26 FL in terms of lumens?
I've done the math for others already both in this sub-forum, as well as the acoustics/setup sub-forum. This is what I explained the last time:

FL is calculated by taking your Lumens and dividing by Square Footage. So:

1000 lumens for the PJ (you need to research how accurate this number is, and how far off it will be after calibration).

159" has dimensions of 78" x 139". To get Sq Ft you multiply, so that equals 10,842 sq inches. Make it Sq Feet by dividing by sq ft, or 144 sq in. That = 75.3 Square Feet.

1000 lumens divided by 75.3 = 13.28 FL.

Take 13.28 and multiply by whatever gain you decide upon. Example, 13.28 x 1.8x gain = 23.9 FL.

Expect real world to be less, whether due to exaggerated specs, or out-of-the-box PQ being off from desired calibration.

-jostenmeat
Make sense? Yo ADTG, start a new thread maybe? no more hijack? dankz.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Make sense? Yo ADTG, start a new thread maybe? no more hijack? dankz.
Oops. Sorry about that.:D

Well, okay one last question before getting back to the topic:

So if "Foot-lambert" is Dependent on both the screen Size and Gain, is "Lumen" Independent of both screen Size and Gain?


Okay, now my take on this Rip-off issue:

If I could afford $40,000/pr Meridian speakers (probably $100K total speakers) + $$$ on Meridian audio electronics (probably $50-75K), I don't think I would mind spending a few extra thousand $$ on this projector.:D
 
J

jostenmeat

Audioholic Spartan
Yes. How much you need, whether Lumens or FL, will also be a function of how much ambient light you have in-room. Heck, some people use TWO screens.
 
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