Technology Showcase: Home Theater Projectors
Aug 5, 2009 11:58 AM, By Jay Ankeney
The latest illumination options create more versatile home theaters.
The new Joe Kane Signature series was launched this Spring by Samsung with the help of Joe Kane, one of this country’s leading HD experts. The series includes two digital DLP projectors: the SP-A800B and SP-A900B. Both are 1080p single-chip DLP projectors with an image brightness of 1000 ANSI lumens; a resolution of 1920x1080; one of the finest lenses found on any projector; internal signal scaling; a 24-frame mode; and the capability of nearly perfectly reproducing all three of the world’s broadcast color standards including HD, SMPTE-C, and EBU. Samsung’s flagship SP-A900B has a 35 percent increase in contrast ratio over the SP-A800B, and it delivers a premium home theater experience with 1000 ANSI lumens and a true 24-frame film mode that recreates each still frame for cinematic high-definition picture quality. Samsung’s SP-A800B is not only capable of reproducing broadcast-standard colorimetry, but it can also be calibrated to HD, SMPTE-C, and EBU standards, coming to within an astounding ±.001 in both X and Y coordinates for red, green, and blue.
Offering a dual-lamp system that allows for increased light output and a user-changeable twin color-wheel system that increases color reproduction and light-output efficiency, the PDG-DHT100L from Sanyo Presentation Technologies is compatible with Sanyo’s exclusive uncompressed HD data wireless transmission system, which is available as an option. The PDG-DHT100L is outfitted with two 330W UHP lamps and a twin color-wheel system, and it puts out a full HD (1920x1080) signal at 6500 lumens. Sanyo’s Real Color Manager makes it easy to adjust the white balance and gamma curve by simply comparing the projected images from the CD-ROM included with the PDG-DHT100L against the images on the enclosed photo sheet.
The latest from Sharp, the XV-Z15000, is a 1080p DLP home theater front projector that bundles an impressive 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 1600-ANSI-lumen brightness into a price-competitive model that can still reproduce a theater-like cinematic experience. The XV-Z15000 presents a 16:9 widescreen movie aspect ratio, a full HD native resolution of 1920x1080, and a 24Hz film mode that lets it delivers an accurate representation of the film’s originally intended frame rate, giving consumers a more realistic viewing experience. A powered iris switchover function on the XV-Z15000 gives the consumer enhanced control over brightness and contrast settings with the touch of a button on the remote control.
SIM2’s Grand Cinema C3X 1080 3-chip DLP projector has a stylish, compact form thanks to SIM2’s proprietary Alphapath light engine. With 10-bit video processing (1080p at 24Hz compatible), the Grand Cinema C3X 1080 benefits from the latest 0.95in. 1080p DarkChip4 DLP chipset from Texas Instruments. That helps it attain a contrast ratio greater than 10,000:1. For ease of installation, three lens options are available: T1 (short-throw), T2 (standard long-throw), and T3 (long-throw), allowing for flexibility in the positioning of the projector.
The latest addition to SIM2’s Grand Cinema C3X series is the modularly designed Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST (High-definition Optical Signal Transfer), which divides the projection system into its two major constituent parts: the projector itself and the processing electronics. With a brightness output adjustable from 1200 ANSI lumens to 3000 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio up to 35:000:1 with DynamicBlack technology, the Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST connects its two modules with a three-line digital, high-integrity fiber-optic connection up to 250 meters. The SIM2 HOST module houses the projector’s control electronics in a discrete unit designed for maximum flexibility of placement. The HOST incorporates flexible video switching with six HDCP-compliant HDMI inputs; three HD-capable component-video inputs; an array of legacy composite and S-Video inputs; and RGB, DVI, and SDI professional inputs. A dedicated 10/100Mbps Ethernet connector (LAN) is fitted as standard on the SIM2 HOST, allowing the product to be connected to a LAN network or to the Internet.
The flagship of Sony’s home theater lineup is the VPL-VW200 because it offers full HD 1080p, Motionflow 120Hz with black-frame insertion, 35,000:1 contrast ratio (with Advanced Iris) from a high-output xenon cinematic lamp, x.v.Color capability, and a 12-bit panel drive full digital chassis. The VPL-VW200 combines the advanced features of Sony’s QUALIA 004 and the sleek form factor made popular by its VPL-VW100 projector. The panel-alignment function on the VPL-VW200 allows the precise convergence of RGB images with zone-specific adjustment to deliver a sharper, crisper picture. An exclusive Carl Zeiss multi-element glass lens optimizes the VPL-VW200’s SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) chip performance. SXRD is Sony’s proprietary version of LCoS.
For those on more of a budget, Sony also offers its VPL-HW10 with 1080p, three SXRD 1920x1080 panels, up to 30,000:1 contrast ratio, 1000-ANSI-lumen brightness, and a 200W ultrahigh-pressure lamp. This entry-level projector includes Sony’s Bravia Engine 2 digital video processor and an ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) lens. It also comes with the company’s Image Director 3.0 software application, available on CD-ROM with the VPL-VW200, to help you fine-tune image quality by adjusting the projector’s gamma curve with the help of a PC.
Just available this month, the PJD6381 from ViewSonic has one of the shortest throw ratios available for a DLP projector on the market, with a ratio of .68 (the throw distance from the projector divided by the width of the screen), 1024x768 XGA resolution, 2500 ANSI lumens, and a 2500:1 contrast ratio. With the PJD6381, you can enjoy 3D home entertainment thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate as the projector is compatible with the two leading stereoscopic 3D technologies: Texas Instruments DLP Link and Nvidia 3D Vision.
In addition, ViewSonic’s cost-efficient Pro8100 offers full 1080p HD resolution, a C2Fine liquid crystal panel, and a Reon-VX high-performance video processor with HQV. With 1000 ANSI lumens, a 13,000:1 contrast ratio, and 2.35:1 anamorphic viewing option on the Pro8100, ViewSonic’s Precision Color System provides sophisticated color tuning including 33 levels of gamma correction, 3D color management, and auto contrast.
The Vivitek H9080FD home cinema projector, just released in July, is one of the first of the new wave of LED-based, 1080p projectors that outputs a 100,000:1 contrast ratio at a brightness of 800 lumens. Benefiting from advanced image-processing technologies from Gennum, the H9080FD’s lamp-free, Luminus PhlatLight RGB LED light source is estimated to provide up to 20,000 hours of operation in normal viewing conditions. The Vivitek H9080FD is mercury-free, with a dust- and filter-free, sealed engine design that eliminates constant filter disposal and cleaning.
In June, Vivitek also launched two short-throw projectors for the home, the D925TX and D930TX, which can cast a 100in. (diagonal) picture from a distance of about 4ft. Vivitek’s D930TX features a brightness of 3000 lumens, and the D925TX has 2500 lumens of brightness. Both projectors have a contrast ratio of 2400:1, offer native XGA (1024x768) resolution, and feature multiple connectivity options including HDMI and RJ-45.
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