1080p Home Theater
November 3, 2008
The Samsung SP-A800B was initially announced over a year ago at the CEDIA trade show in September, 2007. However, it did not commence shipments until last spring, and we did not get a review sample until three weeks ago. Normally we would not review a projector this late in its product life, but the SP-A800B is not just any projector. It was produced out of a collaboration between Samsung and Joe Kane, perhaps the best known video technology consultant in the business. Mr. Kane has a reputation for the pursuit of video perfection. Products designed under his influence tend to have a purity and elegance that competing products can't quite match. The SP-A800B is no exception.
To the extent that there are limitations in the SP-A800B's performance capabilities, and indeed there are some, they are related to the limitations of the underlying single-chip DLP technology itself, and not to the implementation. At its current price of $9,995, the SP-A800B does not offer the best overall value proposition in the current home theater projector market. However, this is not due to design flaws in the SP-A800B, but rather to the striking competitive advances in LCD contrast and black level performance that have come to market this fall. Had we reviewed the SP-A800B last spring its price tag would not have been viewed as quite as much of a liability. The SP-A800B is a solid projector in a fast moving, highly competitive industry.
ANSI lumens: 1000
Contrast (full on/off): 10,000:1
Light Engine: 1920x1080, native 16:9, DarkChip2 single-chip DLP, 6 segment, 5x speed color wheel.
Video Compatibility: 1080p/24/50/60, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i. NTSC/PAL/SECAM.
Connection Panel: Two HDMI 1.3 ports, one 15-pin VGA input, two sets of 3-RCA component video, one composite video, one S-video, one 9-pin D-sub serial (RS-232c).
Lens and Throw Distance: 1.25:1 manual zoom/focus lens, with manual vertical lens shift. Throws a 100" diagonal 16:9 image from 12.5 to 16.25 feet.
Lamp Life: 2000.
Replacement Lamp Cost: $499 MSRP; street may be lower
Warranty: Two years on the projector, 6 mos./600 hours on the lamp.
The Samsung SP-A800B