Inexpensive High Definition from InFocus
"What?" asks you, a sadly disappointed consumer-type person with a non-refundable pair of airline tickets to Athens in your hand. "Watch the Olympics at home on a projector instead of squinting through a tiny pair of binoculars before giving up and finally watching the replay on the stadium's giant screen TV?" Candace Petersen, vice president, Corporate Marketing and Strategy at InFocus replies candidly. "Projectors have the ability to transform a typical viewing experience into an action-packed adventure where the content comes to life," she said. "The InFocus ScreenPlay 5000 gives consumers..." - that would be you, my friends - "an affordable, easy-to-use solution with native HD clarity for enriching home entertainment options."
So what makes the ScreenPlay 5000 so special?
First and foremost, in direct contrast to the largeness of the picture, is the smallness of the price tag - under $2,000. But the ScreenPlay 5000 is more than just a (relatively) cheap price, a backlit remote control, and a smart menu system. InFocus points out that the ScreenPlay 5000 is a native 720p 16:9 format three-LCD projector with "1100 video-optimized lumens and a 1200:1 calibrated contrast ratio." Although I have yet to see the picture, InFocus assures me that the new projector provides an "amazingly bright, sharp picture." The ScreenPlay 5000 was specifically designed with the home theater owner in mind (that's you again, Dude), and InFocus endowed it with a 12-volt screen trigger (used to automatically raise or lower a motorized screen in sync with the projector's on/off status) along with DVI-HDCP and automatic keystone correction. ("Keystone correction" helps correct those funky picture geometry problems that appear when you can't align the projector perfectly perpendicular to the screen. Now you know a cool term you can use to make your friends think you're really smart. It doesn't work for me, but give it a try anyway...) As you might expect, there are also component HD (720p, 1035i, 1080i), component EDTV (480p, 576p), component, composite, and S-video inputs. RS232 and USB ports are included for computer and other control systems, and the projector is compatible (offering 1280 x 1024 resolution through "intelligent resizing") with both PC and Macintosh computers.
Despite its big performance and feature package, the ScreenPlay 5000 weighs in at 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg) in stocking feet (a little more with Army boots on), and is small enough (4 inches high x 11.5 inches wide x 10.2 inches long) to rest comfortably on a "borrowed" milk crate in the center of your living room. If you don't care for the milk crate option (which is not an approved InFocus accessory, by the way), the ScreenPlay 5000 can also be used in rear or ceiling modes.