With its excellent picture, rugged build quality, and ability to deliver 14,000 or more ANSI lumens of brightness from a standard 15-amp electrical outlet, Christie's D16HD-HS would serve well in a wide variety of environments where a bright, color-accurate image and visual clarity are paramount.
- 14,000 ANSI lumens from a standard 15-amp Edison outlet
- Bright, clear 1080p image with incredible detail and realistic skin tones
- Deep, vibrant, bright colors
- Heavy weight can make installation and temporary setups cumbersome at 93.7 pounds
The Christie Digital D16HD-HS, rated at 14,000 ANSI (15,750 ISO) lumens and offering 1080p (1920x1080) resolution, sits squarely at the bottom of the company's D-range of projectors. The three other models in the family include the D16WU-HS, D20HD-HS and the D20WU-HS. The WU designator indicates a native resolution of WUXGA (1900x1200) rather than 1080p (1920 x 1080) in the HD sister models, while the D20 models offer lumen output as high as 18,500 ANSI (20,600 ISO) in the D20WU-HS. It is important to note, however, that stepping up to the D20 platform will require a 220V AC power connection, whereas both D16 models only require a single 15 amp, 110V AC outlet—a feature I'll say more about below.
The D16HD-HS offers an impressive array of capabilities on board, including built in horizontal and vertical lens shift, horizontal and vertical keystone, image modes for projector blending, network connectivity, remote operation via iOS or Android mobile devices, and amazing color saturation and brightness for a single chip 1DLP projector. List price for this model is $31,995.
One of the key advantages laser projection provides is the perception of brighter images, due to the way the eye sees laser and LED light sources. It is no secret that whites are the big winners in the brightness area, but what about color saturation and brightness? Christie claims significant advances in these areas with its BoldColor technology. Most laser projectors use a blue diode laser from which the three primary colors—red, green, and blue—are all generated using a phosphor color wheel. By adding a dedicated red laser diode to accompany a pair of blue lasers, then adding appropriate optics and some sophisticated signal processing, Christie gains in both the accuracy of color, and the delivery of brighter colors compared to many other laser projectors on the market. This is said to avoid the usual loss of brightness that's associated with achieving accurate colors, as well as the manipulations of colors sometimes used by other manufacturers to restore that brightness, such as oversaturated greens, whites that lean toward yellow, and reds that lean toward orange.
The D16HD-HS is a mid-sized but dense projector that measures approximately 27x24x8 inches (LWH) and weighs in at a hefty 93.7 pounds without the lens. Installing it for a permanent mount or moving it around for a temporary setup is definitely a two-person job. Even lifting it up corner by corner to raise or lower the adjustable feet for a table top mount was challenging. The upside is that its weight and solidity are indicative of its engineering and build quality.
With only one analog connection on offer (an HD15, 15-pin VGA input), the D16HD-HS takes a bold step into a digital future; the remaining HDMI, DVI-D, 3GSDI and HDBaseT ports will likely provide your preferred option. One unusual feature is an HDMI output, which could be helpful for certain use cases where you may want to daisy-chain multiple units or send an output to another display that is closer to the projector than the source. There's also a 3GSDI monitor loop-through as well.
As noted, one of the standout features of this projector is the ability to achieve a rated 14,000 ANSI lumens from a single 15-amp Edison outlet. In practice, our sample reached considerably higher, hitting 16,520 ANSI lumens. This is a lot of firepower for that kind of power draw and really opens up possibilities for end users. Not only does it represent a potentially significant cost savings for facilities that may only have 110V AC available without running a new line, but it also helps keep power costs down. While the power draw difference may not seem that significant, over the lifetime of the projector it could represent an impressive amount of energy savings and therefore should not be minimized. One note to add here is that it is very important that the projector be the only device on that 15-amp circuit—it does not like to share power with even small devices presenting minimal loads.
The D16HD-HS ships without a lens, which must be purchased separately. Six motorized zoom lenses with powered focus are offered, ranging from a variable 0.84 -1.02:1 throw ratio to a 4.0-7.0:1 model. To accommodate my test space and 135-inch diagonal, 16:9 screen size, we selected the model 140-110103-01 lens, which offers a 1.5-2.0 throw ratio. All observations and measurements are based on this pairing. You can determine the appropriate lens and throw distance for your particular screen size and application with ProjectorCentral's Christie D16HD-HS Projection Calculator.
Christie D16HD-HS Key Features
- 1080p (1920x1080) resolution from single 0.96-inch DMD DLP chipset
- 14,000 ANSI, 15,750 ISO rated lumens from a single 15-amp, 115V AC power outlet
- 5,000:1 rated dynamic contrast with RealBlack enabled
- Laser light source with up to 20,000 hours life
- Christie BoldColor laser technology for enhanced color saturation and brightness
- Built-in warp and blend for simple setup of multi-projector displays using on-board Christie Twist software
- Additional compatibility with Christie's Mystique camera-based alignment system
- Unrestricted 360-degree mounting orientation
- Six zoom lens options ranging from 0.84-7.0:1 throw ratio
- Full 3D compatible (emitter required)
- Control via RS232, HDBaseT, Ethernet, handheld IR or wired remote, and Christie Virtual Remote 1DLP app for iOS and Android
The D16HD-HS has several Light Source power modes intended to help match the brightness level to environmental and screen size requirements, and to conserve energy and laser life where possible. The Constant Power mode delivers up to full 100 percent brightness for any individual color mode or can be adjusted down to as little as 30 percent. Additionally, a Constant Intensity option works in association with the Constant Power setting to allow the projector to maintain the same selected brightness and color profile over the long term and account for the aging of the laser light source. It relies on a light sensor to perform regular recalibration of the color point.
The ECO1 and ECO2 Light Source modes respectively dial back brightness from the full power setting to 80 percent and 50 percent. In our tests, they measured close to those labels, reducing brightness by 78 percent and 45 percent, respectively.
A dedicated Rental Mode isn't something you see in most lower-brightness commercial projectors, but I totally understand why it's here. As a rental house, you want to maximize your investment in this projector and that means doing what you can to prolong its lifespan. This mode provides 80 percent brightness so your rental customers get most of what they would expect from this unit while you get the ability to make more profit on your investment over time.
Along with adjusting brightness with the Light Source modes, the D16HD-HS provides a wide range of color and contrast-related adjustments. There are six preset color modes (what Christie calls Picture Settings), and a User mode that can be fully customized and stored. Along with the typical controls for Brightness, Contrast, and so on, some additional options for fine-tuning the picture include color temperature, gamma, RGB gain and offset controls for grayscale, and an RGBCMY color management system to use with calibration instruments for tuning hue, saturation, and gain for both the red, green, and blue primaries and cyan, magenta, and yellow secondary colors.
Among the more unusual offerings is a Color Wheel Speed adjustment for the 4-segment RGBY color wheel. The 2X setting increases the projector longevity and reduces noise, while the 3X setting speeds up the wheel to reduce or eliminate rainbow effects. The latter setting worked well, as I saw virtually no rainbows during my evaluation despite this being a single-chip DLP projector—though my experiments with the 2X setting also did not produce any obvious rainbow issues.
In general, the D16HD-HS delivered very good contrast for a projector of such tremendous light output, and provided punchy images even in relatively high ambient light. As with many other laser projectors, Christie also provides some settings to enhance contrast and black level but which proved only mildly effective. DynamicBlack evaluates the incoming content and will minimize the black levels and electronically increase the gain, achieving a function that is somewhat similar to that of a dynamic iris on a lamp projector. There are adjustments for speed, strength and level, but only by setting these at or near their maximum did I see a really noticeable difference on dark content, and, as happens sometimes with a dynamic iris, this was accompanied by noticeable lag time between the on-screen action and when the effect was applied. Lower settings that applied a more gradual effect and less noticeable lag were much less beneficial, at least with fast moving action or rapid scene changes. It's worth experimenting with the settings based on whatever content you might be displaying, but I am generally not a fan of effects like this because they can tend to draw attention to themselves rather performing their functions imperceptibly.
RealBlack is a setting that simply turns off the laser light while projecting black content. If no light is projected, then you will of course get a deeper black. However, no real content is 100 percent black (or close to that) except for black test patterns, movie scene breaks, or perhaps the breaks between programs and commercials on a TV broadcast. This feature only activates when the projector sees a totally black or near-black signal (depending on the setting), and even modestly bright pixels appearing anywhere on the screen will trigger the laser back on along with a certain minimal amount of illumination. Although features like this may help a manufacturer achieve a lower contrast ratio specification, I would caution end-users not to expect much benefit from it.
Following is an overview and observations of the D16HD-HS color modes as viewed with their default settings.
Video. This mode is intended for theater applications, and ended up being my preferred mode for viewing HD movies, even more so than the REC709 mode for HD content (see below). Skin tones are accurate and faces were smooth, free of any jagged edges, banding or artificial-looking image processing that could render them unnatural. Overall brightness and contrast ratio is reduced from the maximum to provide a more pleasing image to our eyes. While the level of detail may be softened a shade compared with other modes, there is still plenty of sharpness so images don't appear soft or blurry.
In fact, it's much the opposite. I was amazed at the visual clarity of watching films on this projector. The detail in animated imagery, in particular, is spectacular. I utilized a variety of scenes from the 1080p Blu-ray of A Christmas Carol (the hyper-real-looking animated Disney version from 2009 with Jim Carrey voicing Scrooge) to evaluate not only overall contrast but also detail and color saturation and vibrancy. Even from appropriate viewing distances, the skin texture on Scrooge's ruddy face, with its wrinkles and fine whiskers and nose hairs, was beyond impressive. Details like the weave in clothing, cracks in some wood paneling, or leaves on the trees were similarly striking. The amount of control that is provided for fine-tuning the picture is also a nice touch, though the Video mode in its default state provided an overall pleasing image without excessively pushing color saturation or crushing the blacks. It looked natural and would provide comfortable viewing for hours on end.
For reference, the color temperature in Video is set to a neutral-to-slightly warm 6,000K, and the mode provided 10,645 ANSI lumens in our sample at its default settings, or about 70 percent of maximum brightness. While you do get a nice bump in max brightness when you move to the Bright mode (see below), it comes at the cost of some color and skin-tone accuracy. If you want the most pleasing image that is as true to the source material as possible, the Video mode is likely going to be where you want to land.
Bright. Designed for large image size and/or high brightness applications, this mode utilizes 100 percent of the projector's brightness (which, as noted, was measured at 16,250 ANSI lumens in our sample) and it gives you a slightly cooler, 7,500K color temperature. However, while it provides "full beans" of everything the projector has to offer from a light perspective, the image overall and skin tones were somewhat green-shifted as is often seen in a projector's brightest picture mode. While not accurate to the source material, this wasn't overly-distracting as it is with some projectors (which may even be unwatchable in their brightest mode), and most viewers would likely never perceive this difference without comparing the image to the other picture modes. You can expect a reasonably good result in this mode for presentations or even some video content, which could help you save money or maximize the impact of your production by "stretching" your capabilities to a larger screen size than you might normally spec. Still, for the best results for movie viewing, most users would want to utilize the Video mode as described above.
Enhanced. If you have need for showing images with vivid and highly saturated colors, this mode is for you. I imagine it will find use in houses of worship that use colorful backgrounds for either worship or message slides, education environments that are media heavy, and museums or other spaces where you want to maximize the impact of color. It provides something close to the full available brightness of the projector (16,068 ANSI lumens in our measurements) with its default settings. However, note that switching in either of the two ECO power modes does have more direct effect on your imagery than in other modes, with a more noticeable drop in visual impact that accompanies the reduction in brightness.
REC709. Even more than the Video mode, this mode is intended to comply with the established HDTV standard. This could be helpful if you are primarily using the projector in a sports bar or other environment where HD video is the primary source. The default color temperature is set to the neutral D65 industry-standard (6,500K) and brightness is set to 80 percent, or 12,101 measured ANSI lumens in our sample. If the ambient environment requires higher brightness that can't be accommodated by the Video mode, REC709 provides a good option. Ultimately, it's a fairly close match to Video, though that mode delivered a very subtle sepia-like tone that I thought better served most movie content.
DICOM SIM. This mode follows the medical industry standard image profile for presenting X-rays and other high-contrast black and white imagery used in the medical fields. You will see a dramatic reduction in overall brightness to 60 percent (10,494 lumens in our measurements) and a color temperature shift to 7,500K, along with the gamma/grayscale adjustments that help bring out important details in these kinds of images. Note that Christie's default tuning for DICOM SIM also delivered excellent results with spreadsheets and presentations by providing both high brightness and contrast, and —surprisingly, given its intended purpose—it reproduced colors with high accuracy to the original based on content I was familiar with. After running through every color mode, I found that with most presentation test content this was the mode that best combined both brightness and good color accuracy. You might want to use it as an alternative to Bright mode for presentations when the projector's maximum brightness is not required, though for spreadsheets and strictly black-on-white material, Bright mode will likely be most useful.
Blending. The Blending mode is utilized in blending the images from multiple projectors for a large single image or when stacking projectors for higher brightness. To help eliminate bright spots in the blending zone, brightness is reduced to 85 percent (13,557 measured lumens) and color temperature is set to 7,000K. With only one projector sample on hand, I was unable to test these functions.
User. The User mode allows the creation of a user-customized picture mode. Additionally, adjustments made to any of the other default picture modes are stored in memory.
The Christie D16HD-HS is a well-manufactured, heavy-duty beast that performs well even in environments where you have only moderate control over ambient light falling on your screen. We tested on a conventional matte white screen in a church fellowship hall that had overhead LED can lights and fluorescent lighting. While most testing was performed with all lights off, I was impressed with the image the projector put up with the overhead LED can lights on, and even the more washed-out image that resulted with the addition of the fluorescent lighting was still adequate for high contrast imagery or applications where you're displaying a lot of black-on-white content.
Furthermore, I really cannot stress enough the clarity and sharpness this projector delivered with our selected lens, particularly in images with fine details. It also does not disappoint on its promise of color accuracy and brightness. Flesh tones look natural and realistic, and you never really feel that the projector is sacrificing anything in the picture. And despite this being a single chip DLP projector, I had no issues or concerns about rainbow artifacts.
The D16HD-HS is an ideal choice for houses of worship, auditoriums, medical, rental, museums, or virtually anywhere you want good color accuracy and need high brightness to either overcome low-to-moderately-high levels of ambient light, or to deliver an exceptionally large image size. What's more, its ability to run off a standard 110V AC, 15-amp wall outlet means it can be installed virtually anywhere without having to run dedicated electrical lines, which opens the possibility of delivering a full 14,000 or more ANSI lumens in locations that might not otherwise be able to benefit from such high brightness. For those applications where its unique attributes fit the bill, I can strongly recommend it.
Brightness. Using the Bright image mode in default settings per Christie's recommendation, and with the model 140-110103-01 zoom lens with 1.5-2.0:1 throw ratio set to its widest zoom setting, our test sample provided a reading of 16,520 ANSI lumens, well above the 14,000 ANSI lumens that Christie cites in its specifications. (Note that projector is also rated for 15,570 ISO lumens, which uses the same 9-point measurement methodology defined by ANSI but averages the measurements across a large number of manufacturing samples. This usually raises the numbers marginally by reflecting production units that exceed the minimum ANSI brightness rating.)
Applying the projector's Constant Power control allows the setting of brightness from 100 percent to as low as 30 percent of the maximum.
The ECO1 setting reduced brightness in any color mode by 78 percent. ECO2 setting reduced brightness in any mode by 45 percent.
The chart below shows ANSI lumens measurements in Full Power, ECO1, and ECO2 modes for each of the picture settings.
Christie D16HD-HS ANSI Lumens
Zoom Lens Light Loss. Moving the 140-110103-01 lens back to its max telephoto setting in the Bright mode with full power provided a measurement of 14,889 ANSI lumens, a light loss of about 9%.
Brightness Uniformity. My measurements indicated 89% brightness uniformity at wide zoom, and 85% at max telephoto. This is an excellent result, and I never noticed any hot spotting or vignetting of any kind, regardless of content or configuration changes.
Fan Noise. Christie rates audible noise on the D16HD-HS at 45dbA in its full power mode, and 39dbA in ECO. While this is fairly high when standing right next to the projector, the most common use-case for this projector will be a mounting position well away from viewers. That should result in an acceptable noise level that would not drastically interfere with or distract from activities happening in a given space. However, as noted in the review, there is a menu option to help decrease noise levels—look for Color Wheel Speed and select "2x" to decrease fan noise noticeably, though with the potential to increase the incidence of rainbow effects. Still, if the projector is expected to be in close proximity to viewers in an intimate or quiet setting—for example, a museum exhibit involving a short throw distance or in an education or business setting where some viewers may be nearer to the projector— I would advise some kind of acoustic isolation or housing it in a separate room or space with good ventilation.
Activating the High Altitude mode, which is recommended above elevations of 2,000 meters (approximately 6,500 feet), noticeably increases fan noise and would also likely call for some form of acoustic isolation if the projector cannot be placed a good distance from viewers.
Input Lag. Using a Bodnar 1080p lag meter with the Bright picture mode, the input lag measured an average 75.2ms (taken across 3 discrete measurements). This is suitable for some simulations that don't require quick response times, though well above what serious videogamers would want from a display. Casual gaming would be acceptable, but in any event, this is an unlikely use-case for such a projector.
- HDMI version 2.0b, HDCP 2.2 (x2)
- HDMI output (monitor loop-through)
- 3G-SDI (BNC)
- 3G-SDI output (monitor loop-through) BNC
- DVI-D (digital only)
- HD15 VGA
- USB (type A), for image viewer or WiFi dongle (optional)
- HDBaseT (RJ45)
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Christie D16HD-HS projector page.
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