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Technology Showcase: Home-theater Projectors

Aug 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

The most innovative front-projector systems.

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Also THX-certified, the new Vision Model 110 3-chip DLP features proprietary Imagix video processing to achieve near-HD image quality even from standard video sources — in addition to artifact-free scaling of higher video resolutions all the way up to the projector's 1920×1080 native resolution.

Planar's PD8150 home-theater projector offers 15,000:1 contrast ratio, 1000 lumens, and 1080p single-chip DLP resolution. It has two lens options, horizontal and vertical lens shift, future-proof connectivity, VXP video, and a darkroom-optimized remote.

The pictures will jump off the screen at you with Projectiondesign's F10 AS3D. It is the first projector that enables full 3D stereoscopic presentation from a small, single-lens chassis at the full 120Hz refresh rates commonly used in stereoscopic systems. With two DVI inputs and patented 3D stereo display technology, the F10 AS3D is compatible with both IR-transmitted and Texas Instruments' DLP Link active-shutter 3D glasses. Because there is little 3D source material available yet for home entertainment, the F10 AS3D is a tool not only for the scientific visualization and simulation industries, but also for DI, visual-effects creation, and video and film production. Still, you know that 3D entertainment for the home will not be long in coming.

The Samsung SP-A800B projector leverages an advanced 1080p single-chip DLP engine to deliver color and image quality that is traditionally only found in studio-grade monitors and commercial movie theaters, because Samsung teamed up with Joe Kane Productions — an authority on visual-imaging equipment — for its development. It delivers more detailed blacks and whites through a constantly shifting contrast ratio, features a 24-frame true-film mode, and operates at a virtually inaudible 24dBA. Its enhanced HDMI 1.3 provides a broader bandwidth for full support of all existing Dolby and DTS compressed audio formats.

The Sanyo PLV-Z2000 outputs 1200 lumens with a high contrast ratio of 15,000:1, along with an advanced lens-shifting function. Offering full 1920×1080 resolution, it delivers deep and accurate colors — thanks to Sanyo's exclusive Topaz Real HD technology, a color-management system that addresses changes in color phase and color level to obtain perfect color reproduction. It uses a Durable Inorganic Optical System (DIOS), which includes the projector's LCD panels and polarizing film. It is also equipped with a large-aperture, low-noise Sirocco cooling fan that never rises above 19dB in economy mode.

The Sharp XV-Z3100 is a portable DLP front projector with 720p HD resolution that doesn't require a ceiling mount. With a resolution of 1280×720, it boasts a 6500:1 contrast ratio; a brightness rating of 1000 ANSI lumens; and a six-segment, five-speed color wheel that provides accurate color reproduction.

Sharp's flagship SharpVision XV-Z20000 is its first 1080p single-chip DLP home-theater front projector. A contrast ratio of 12,000:1 and a high brightness level of 1000 ANSI lumens presents a clear, crisp picture. Sharp's proprietary CV-IC III video-scaling circuitry upconverts standard-resolution signals to the native 1080p resolution of the projector. DVI/HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) and two HDMI terminals provide a secure digital connection with compatible HD set-top boxes.

The SIM2 D80E — the top entry in the Domino series — is a single-chip, DLP-based model building on the success of the company's original D80 by integrating advancements trickled down from the Grand Cinema series. It adds the Unishape lamp system that yields greater light output per watt of consumption, improving contrast so that the D80E Domino can produce an exceptional optimized contrast ratio (full on/off) of 4500:1.

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