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Video Review: Digital Projection iVision 30-WUXGA-XB

Mar 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jeff Sauer

Lightweight, single-chip DLP projector packs a quality punch.

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Digital Projection iVision 30-WUXGA-XB

The front-projection industry is awash with 7.5lb. projectors. In fact, there are — by far — more 6lb.-to-10lb. models than any other class, and the price competition is often fierce. Yet very few of those ultraportables boast a native WUXGA resolution, and even fewer have a huge piece of glass hanging off the front. These are two features that should be tip-offs thatDigital Projection's iVision 30-WUXGA-XB is no standard 7.5lb., single-chip DLP, me-too business projector.

Admittedly, with the exception of that disproportionately large lens on the front, the iVision 30 looks very similar to many of those typical 7.5lb. models in its modest-appearing, albeit magnesium, gray chassis. And this model's native WUXGA resolution and six-segment, RGBCYW color wheel with a white segment for added brightness actually target a conference room and public-entertainment market similar to some of those much, much lower-priced DLP 7.5-pounders. However, Digital Projection isn't targeting the exact same conference rooms or entertainment venues as those lower-cost models, but rather the very high end of the spectrum of conference rooms, night clubs, etc.

Yes, that $18,495 price is correct for the iVision 30-WUXGA-XB that I tested (specific dealer prices may vary). However, when you turn on the iVision 30 — particularly if compared side-by-side with other projectors — the real differences quickly become clear. It's about the picture.

Specific prices vary greatly across the range of 18 different iVision 30 resolution, color-wheel, and lens configurations offered by Digital Projection. There are six SXGA+ (1400×1050) versions, eight 1080p (1920×1080) models, and four WUXGA (1920×1200) configurations. And there are four different color-wheel options and at least two lens options per resolution class. The WUXGA unit that I tested had a standard-throw-ratio lens of 1.6-2.0:1, although a 0.95:1 short-throw lens is also available. And while the RGBCYW color wheel I looked at did an excellent job with video, the iVision 30-WUXGA-XC models with an RGBCMY six-segment color wheel are more appropriate for straight-video, controlled-ambient-light, screening-room installations.

Inputs vary slightly across the iVision 30 series, with the SXGA+ and WUXGA models substituting a second 15-pin D-sub for the second RVA analog component input of the motion-video-oriented 1080p models. All models include at least one input for 15-pin, 3×RCA component, DVI-I, HDMI, S-Video, composite signal, and USB.

More importantly, all the models give knowledgeable installers very deep control over the image and color. Gamma presets afford an easy level of adjust for different source material. But it's the built-in image calibration and correction — used in combination with Digital Projection's ColorMax submenu — that shows the exact measured values on both the x and y axis, as well as luminance, for red, green, and blue. Output and gain adjustment for each allows for very exacting color control across the entire image. Drilling down into the sync-control adjustments means that the iVision can be configured to accept a variety of signal types. In my experience with the iVision, this ultimately means more hands-on configuration than you'd expect from today's highly automated sync-adjusting models, but the payoff is worth it.

Digital Projection does offer an anamorphic lens options, although that would be more appropriate to the 1080p, screening-room-oriented iVision 30 models. In the case of the WUXGA models, installation and security features — such as a built-in daily/weekly timer for automatic power up/down, pin-code access, RS-232 (in/out), and Ethernet RJ-45 for external control, a presenter's remote with laser pointer — have a more direct appeal to business settings.

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