InFocus Play Big IN82 1080p DLP Projector Page 3
In the past I've found InFocus projectors to be more prone than average to the appearance of the color fringing or rainbows that are still a fixture with single-chip DLPs. And yes, I can still see them here. I would rate their annoyance factor on the IN82 as average for a DLP, but I am particularly sensitive to them; not all people are. But they were visible enough that those who know they are sensitive to them (or don't yet know if they are) might want to spend some quality time watching the IN82 before breaking out the checkbook. Look at scenes with bright highlights set against dark backgrounds, such as streetlights on a dark night. This is the type of material that is most likely to generate rainbows.
I'm not a fan of huge screens for a number of reasons, but the IN82 has the cajones to fill one, or at least any screen likely to find its way into most homes. Like all previous InFocus projectors in my experience, the IN82 is a light cannon. BRIGHT pictures seem to be in the company's bones—a likely carryover from its business roots.
The 300W projection lamp is rated for up to 2500 hours of operation (to half brightness). Though our experience with UHP lamps in general suggests that most of them will be unpleasantly dim long before this, the inherent brightness of the IN82 should help—as long as you hold it in reserve and don't use it all up front on a ginormous screen! A replacement lamp currently costs $399.
Fortunately, there's a manually adjustable iris (no dynamic mode) to tame this beast. There are 12 settings, from zero to the maximum of 100. Even at a setting of 18, the image on my 78" wide, 1.3-gain Stewart Studiotek 130 screen was pushing 20 foot-Lamberts. Plenty bright.
The projector's blacks and shadow detail weren't quite reference class (even at the next lowest iris setting, 9), but they never disappointed me. Combined with the bright whites the image had plenty of punch. Great HD discs like Elizabeth (HD DVD) popped off the screen in a way that's unique, in my experience, to good DLP displays (though other technologies certainly have strengths of their own). Dark movies like Hellboy and The Host looked right—neither grayed-out nor crushed into an incoherent muck. (The Host, a Korean monster movie, has great special effects and occasionally inspired cinematography. But it also has terrible acting and is certainly no inducement to tour Korea for its scenic wonders.)
As you'll see from the "Measurements" section, the color Gamut options were a bit off from ideal. I used the Auto position most of the time, which on most discs chose the REC709 option. As implemented in the IN82 and observed on bench tests, this color gamut was lacking a bit at the green end of the spectrum.
But it was hard to spot any color deficiencies from the images on screen. Brightly colored program material, such as the HD DVD of Elizabeth mentioned above, looked gorgeous. Flesh tones were solidly believable, and bright green foliage (after flesh tones, the color that's hardest to get right because we know instinctively what it should look like) looked fine as well.
The images from the InFocus weren't the least bit soft. Given a good source, the projector was beautifully detailed, sometimes almost, but not quite, over the top. I'd prefer to have finer Sharpness adjustments than the five available here, but they're well chosen. The differences between the three lowest steps, from Standard on down, are relatively subtle.
I only recently received the absolutely ultimate. last, fini, Alexander Revisited, the "Final Cut," on Blu-ray. Having seen one of the previous cuts (I can't remember which one, there have been so many attempts to alchemize this box office flop into gold) I haven't yet had the time to weed through this one from beginning to end. But drama, or lack of it, aside, this Blu-ray transfer is full of absolutely astonishingly imagery. From the long shots of Alexander's entry into Babylon, to the tightest close-ups, you'll see all the computerized hoards, detailed costumes, skin pores, and blood and sweat on the InFocus. It's an eye-candy trip.
These qualities hold up on good standard definition sources as well. Some of the episodes on the recently released third season of Stargate Atlantis looked surprisingly sharp and crisp—enough to fool an inexperienced viewer into thinking them to be high-definition.
Apart from the projector's inability to go below black, which really needs to be looked into, and the lack of a few useful features, such as lens shift, the IN82 is a terrific projector. Yes, there's a lot of competition out there at the price, but the peak light output of the InFocus sets it apart. That, together with its respectably deep blacks, good though not startling contrast ratio, superb resolution, and nearly flawless video processing, gives you all of the best qualities of DLP imaging—at a price that's still a bargain in today's market.
Bright, crisp image with excellent color
Excellent deinterlacing and scaling, both SD and HD
Exceptional brightness can accommodate large screens or be tamed by the manual iris for smaller ones
Will not reproduce below black on HDMI.
Rainbows might be an issue for viewers sensitive to them
No lens shift