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InFocus SP 5000 User Reviews

InFocus SP 5000 Projector

InFocus Home SP 5000

HD 720 (1280x720), 1100 ANSI Lumens,
7.5 lbs, $1,299 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.2 out of 5
55 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.3
Features 4.0
Construction 4.1
Ease of Use 4.3
Reliability 4.0
Value for Money 4.4

User Reviews

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Review by croq

I have had this projector for over two years... I love it. Never had any problem. I use it as my everyday TV for high-def gaming and as a movie theater. I get compliments all the time. Also I have used the bulb for over 4000 hours with no end in sight. I will definitely buy another Infocus when I upgrade. I HIGHLY Recommend this product.

Any Problems: None whatsoever.....

Review by Jerrell

I bought this refurbished projector one month ago and have used it ~ 10-15 hours a week for home theater use (DVD, HDTV, SDTV). Overall, I have enjoyed this projector. I bought it as an upgrade from my Infocus X2, and in general it has worked well except for a few major annoyances. On the plus side, I can obtain a much larger 16:9 image than I could with my 4:3 projector for HDTV and DVD movies at the same projector distance. It's native widescreen aspect has been a real bonus for me as I watch more DVDs and HD than I do basic cable channels. Value-wise, I bought this at $650 refurbished, so I knew I couldn't beat the price for a 720p HDTV projection unit. The HDTV and DVD images are also crisp and very bright, as I have been able to watch football games in during the daytime with a decent amount of indirect sunlight filtering into the room. Additionally, having both component and DVI inputs on the projector were very helpful, as I would always have to switch cables to move between my DVD and digital cable programming. The one-button process for adjusting the aspect ratio (4:3, 16:9, Letterbox) was a welcome addition. Also, while the reviews I've read complain about the fan noise, I really have never had any problems with it, and my projector is literally 2 feet behind my head. My X2 was much louder and was one reason I was looking for a change. I did have some major problems with this unit, however. First, The low contrast ratio was very noticeable, with very gray black levels and posterized low level blacks (I didn't notice as much of a problem at the high white levels). I bought an ND2 filter that helped somewhat but it's a big difference from my X2 DLP projector. Additionally, I had a terrible time with vertical banding. I have recently sent my projector back to Infocus for servicing to fix the problem as it really degrades the quality of an otherwise clean picture. I'm sure this is a unit-specific problem but it really was distracting for me. Finally, I did encounter one episode of overheating after about 15 hours of usage, automatically shutting down to cool. However, it hasn't occurred since then. In summary, I believe the projector performs well at a hard-to-beat price. However, vertical banding, high black levels, and poor contrast ratios detract from an otherwise enjoyable experience

Any Problems: 1) Significant vertical banding 2) Poor contrast ratio 3) High black levels 4) Overheating

Review by David Oster

I recently bought an inFocus SP5000 and a 100" screen. it seemed like a bargain for a projector with a native resolution for 720p widescreen. It is LCD. Annoyances: 1.) It supports DVI input, but with an optional proprietary adapter cable. Another $15. expense. 2.) It behaves as if Its DACs are too low-rez: colors close to white are posterized, and colors close to black are posterized. The dim colors are particularly annoying, since I bought it to watch movies in a dark adapted room. 3.) Its projection frustum is fixed, so that it projects in a cone that is a horizontal line from the lens to the bottom of the screen, and a diagonal line from the lens to the top of the screen. that means, as you walk across the room, you're likely to block most of the picture. What I wanted was a frustum that was horizontal aligned with the top edge of the screen, and a diagonal from the lens to the bottom edge of the screen, so I could walk around in most of the room without blocking the picture. so I could mount it on a rear bookshelf. That meant I had to put the projector on a bookshelf upside down. This has a number of problems: A.) Its adjustment feet are uselessly waving in the air. B.) It covers its own control panel. C.) It nags me to clean its air filter every 150 hours of use, and the means re-aiming it when I put it back. The manufacturer is expecting that I'll mount it, not on a shelf, but on a stalk, another $150 expense. They don't want you to mount it ON the ceiling, since they don't believe it will get sufficient airflow. 4.) The user interface is designed to prevent you using a universal remote: It uses a series of menus, where the items jump around depending on recent use. I mute it for movies, sending the sound through a fiber optic cable to a 5.1 amp on the other side of the room. For VCR, the sound goes through the tiny speakers on the projector. Id like the Harmony remote to unmute when I switch to VCR, and mute when I switch to DVD. The control for this ins't a dedicated button on the projector, but buried in a settings menu. The projector supports "presets" but the mute state can't be included in the preset. Conveniences: Turning the projector upside down automatically inverts the picture, by default, so it still projects right side up. There is a convenient "aspect ratio" button on the remote, that cycles through native 16:9, 4:3, and Letterbox (letterbox throws away the pixels at the top and bottom, scaling the resulting small image to fit the 16:9 screen. useful for non-anamorphic letterbox DVDs.)

Any Problems: See points 1, 2, 3, and 4 in my review. I seem to be living in a different universe from the rest of the reviewers: judging by them, you'd never know this projector had these flaws.

Review by Tom

Well all I got to say is that i love it so far right out of the box it was great i had some problems setting it up tho cause its on a rear shelf above where you would sit but i got it to work out everything is great no problems but it does get hot but a small fan fixed that. Xbox360 is nice clear no movement bler running in 720P on a 100" screen on a white wall i didnt get my HD Cable hooked up yet so no word on that but DVDs in 480P look nice could be better. the room that iam in does not have controlled lighting but the windows but it still looks good.

Any Problems: Gets hot fast Some screen problems but it all worked out

Review by MLF

Absolutley love this projector. I had to fiddle with some of the menu settings to find the sweet spots but once i did it looks great. It really needs a good input to shine. I have mine hooked up to a HDMI adapter for the DVD and component for the HD cable, looks great. I have read about some temp problems. I have a small desk fan blowing air into the system on the left hand side. On the right i have a digital themometer which is posistioned to read the temp of the air exiting the projector. Without the fan it constantly reads well above 140F, not good for the life of the bulb, with the fan on, the temp of the air does never gets above 85F, greatly extending the life of the bulb. I only spent about $10 on the little desk great and it has NEVER NEVER over heated since i started using it. I have even had the projector on for a 8 hr movie marathon...not once did it shut down on me. Try it...I would highly reccomend this projector. Gives good to great output in daylight and rocks in the dark!

Any Problems: Got very hot, fixed with a small external desk fan circulating air from left to right.


I just read several other reviews. I have had this for about 8 months. 480i seems a constant complaint, I'd rate it pretty good comming from my high end Laserdisc player via svideo in all honesty. I feed it Dish via a box that converts everything to 720p, Non-HD looks much better than expected. I feed it DVD by a player that converts to 1080i, heck even my old SVHS VCR looks OK on it. I watch all my local HD channels via a set top box.

Any Problems: I have over 2000 hours on the same 1st lamp, and this was a refurbished unit. No problems what so ever as of yet. I use it as my only display it's on all the darn time.

Review by Eric

I have had the SP5000 for a few weeks now and just love it. My friend had a 5000 and talkted to me into getting one. I was considering a DLP 50 inch flat but ended up on the projector after seeing how userfriendly it is. Plug and Play is this projectors middle name and the features are way easy to operate. Remote light and features are a bonus and the picture is just so beautiful and breathtaking.....

Any Problems: Slight screen effect when the pic is over 100" but I am at 92" and 10ft back so its clear as can be. Fan is rather noisey when you first turn it on but then quiets out after a minute or two. Also, I had to rig the projector up a little in the back to make the pic straight on the wall otherwise the pic is slanted out of the box. All these are little things, overall I am very pleased AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Review by Paul

This unit would be the best buy for the quality of image. Running the projector through a digital set top box, DVD or Foxtel will display excellent, bright and crisp quality in Wide XGA true 16:9 format.

Any Problems: Beware, the globes cannot cope with the unit for very long. I have had the unit now for 12 month. I use it as my home cinema projector. Believe it or not: 1st globe lasted 350 hours, 2nd one for 50hrs (true), the 3rd for 420 hrs, a far cry from the advertised 2000 hrs. Infocus tried to resolve the problem offering other projectors but none were as good a quality, so it was dicided to run with a replacement unit yet annother Screenplay 5000. This time I got 1050 hrs in the past 8 month. Although the globes were replaced free of charge be prepared to expect high cost in globe replacement if you are using the projector as fequently as I do.

Review by Kiwi J

Great value for money. Compared to rear projection or flat panel simply outstanding value. The only downside I experience is moderately high black levels - but nothing to the point I'd spend much more on to rectify. This projector is insanely bright allowing viewing with room lights on. I only wish they'd offer a lower lamp setting to both increase the lamp life and darken the blacks a notch. I received the 76 inch screen with the unit but I get better contrast using a off white textured wall. Quite cool as this makes the setup very discrete. By using a wall bracket to mount at ceiling level I simplified the mounting installation while giving equivalent results. Sitting directly below the projector about 9 feet from the screen/wall the picture is great at widest zoom, the screen door effect is barely perceptible and only in washed out bright scenes, and the fan noise is noticeable but by no means intrusive. I have this connected to a laptop through VESA. I wouldn't recommend using the projector to do upconversion or deinterlacing - treat this as a simple monitor and you will get amazing results. Coupled with a logitech 5500 surround speaker system this unit gives a true movie theatre experience at a small fraction of what could be spent to achieve similar results. Don't forget the $300 power and video cables :-P

Any Problems: Proprietary M1 connector sucks. Decent cable should be included. I initially had the unit overheat a couple of times but this was probably due to constricted air circulation - let this puppy breath.

Review by Wild Homes

Had this unit for about a month, now-- I know people don't recommend reviewing after such a short time but I've got a fair few hours on mine in such a short span. After updating the firmware to version 10 (which didn't go quite like I'd been told, the indicator light didn't do what it was supposed to but the update worked fine anyhow) the fan is quieter and I'm a happy buyer. I just picked up the OPPO and after springing for the seperate adapter from Infocus (should be included, maybe, but nothing is perfect) the image quality from my DVD collection is fantastic, although it still won't make Episode 3 Hayden Christensen into a good actor. paired with my 360 @720p the unit runs beautifully, with no motion blur and great color saturation out of the box, although even after updating the firmware, the SP5000 + 360 combine for about a rock concert worth of ambient noise unless you're several feet away. brightness here is kind of absurd-- you can run the 5000 at noon, in a room lined with open windows, and still get a stronger picture than the panny 700/900 in a reasonably controlled setting. the lack of a low-lamp mode is confusing-- the 4805 has one and a Faroudja chip but this doesn't-- but for the casual theater fan, this is a steal at the current market price (XXX after rebates).

Any Problems: the geometry of the system isn't optimal-- I'd recommend a solution where you can keep the unit on-level with the screen as much as possible, or you might be in for a world of keystoning and image quality reduction. the onboard audio support is teh crap, but isn't it always? puts out a pretty fair bit of heat, and sadly, the deinterlacer doesn't qualify as 'middling' like some reviews say-- this projector is STRICTLY for HD signals, or progressive scan DVD at worst. if you get it for the right reasons, this projector will serve you very well for the price.

Review by Jude

I would recommend this PJ if you are using an HTPC to connect via DVI. I did NOT like the picture using s-video, component, or VGA, and would have returned the unit if I was using one of those inputs with my equipment. I REALLY like the image for the price using a PC to this PJ as a HT engine, and am crossing my fingers I do not have some of the problems that other users have posted.

Any Problems: None. Customer service through infocus was and continues to be superb through the purchase. They give you 15 days to evaluate it anyway in which time you can return for full refund if it doesn't work for you. Can't beat that.

Review by DON

Good picture, bright, clear. I woud be very happy if it would not fail due to high temp.

Any Problems: Unit failed after about 10 hours. High temperature 5 LED flash. Unit sent back to INFOCUS for repair. Returned after 15 days. Worked for several weeks and about 7 movies. Just shut down again for the same thing. These things have a design flaw. To send it back again, all I have to do again is get a ladder, remove it from the celing mount, box it up,drive it to UPS, insure it for $35 dollars and send it back again to get repaired again. Wait 15 days then repeat ??? It is 4 months old. How can I get this resolved ?

Review by Spemmar

I have my Infocus Screenplay 5000 connected via HDMI cable to a NeoDigits DVD player. I also have it projected on a 120" Digital Grey Lite Goo Screen, and all I can say is "INCREDIBLE". I have owned a few projectors in the past, and for the money this is by far the best projector you can buy. I actually demo'd the 4805, and that is very good projector for the price as well. However, I felt that the 5000 was quite bit better in terms of clarity of image. Even the blacks look great on the Goo Digital Grey Lite screen. Anyways, if your on the fence don't be. This setup is really affordable and in my opinion is as good as many costing thousands more. I should know, my last projector was $3k so I am not adverse to spending money, but why would when you can get a top notch set up like this for less.

Any Problems: Definitely do yourself a favor and use DVI / HDMI cabling with adapter of course. Source Source Source is critical with this projector, but if you outfit with a high quality (HD-DVD / Blu-Ray anyone?) you will get a fantastic image. As good as it gets under $3k.

Review by Juan Carlos

After some extensive digging around in projector central reviews(both users and website) and sticking to a standard (16:9 ratio, component input, DVI input, and 1280 x 720 res.) I bought the SP5000. It had all of those qualifications with the best price of $1157 ($857 total after a $300 mail-in rebate from Infocus) I'm not a pro and this is my first projector so all I can offer you is my opinion as a first time buyer... The PROS: Very slick looking, buttons are well laid out. Weights under 7lbs. Projects a huge sharp image from 25+ feet away. Out of the box the colors are bright and rich looking, This unit also has 5 different inputs! (DVI, serial, VGA, component, s-video) has 4 IR's for the remote one on each side. I have not been able to find this quality/specs at or under the $857 that I paid for it. The CONS: I have read some review that speak of artifacts, banding and fan noise, I have not been bother by any of these yet. The three things that I can complaint about would have to be that the manual focus and zoom (wish it was powered), cleaning the filter is time consuming. (1 philips screw and removing 2 plates), and the blacks are not deep enough (I think this can be fixed by using a dark grey for a backdrop, "Behr Silvercreen" was recommended, but it was still not dark enought for me. I ended up making a custom screen from black out cloth mounted on a wood frame and painted with the MUDD mix. Turned out great! All that said I think this is one model where the pros trully outweigth the cons. If your on the fence about getting a projector these is a good option and a GREAT value for the money...

Any Problems: Non really, but read above...

Review by David

Before purchasing this projector I looked at the SP4805, the SP5700 and the Panasonic AE-900. The 4805 was showing an animated movie (Toy Story) on a 90" screen and looked pretty good though I did get a slight rainbow effect. I then asked for a demo of television, the sales guy showed standard definition digital (PAL) of a golf game on live television in widescreen. I was watching the putting and seeing this really disconcerting stream of colour following the ball. It really put me off to the point where I started to question whether I wanted a projector at all. I then had a look at the SP5700. This was on a 100" screen playing a DVD of Eric Clapton. I actually thought this was much worse then the 4805 and it made me feel nauseas. By this time I figured DLP wasn't for me. So I went and looked at the AE900. This didn't give me any ill effects, but unless you live in a cave 100 feet underground with black walls, ceiling and carpet then this projector is no good. Any hint of light and the image just disappears. So I ended up getting the SP5000. It doesn't make me sick, it is so bright that it still looks great if you have white walls and leave some lights on and the picture quality is fantastic. I have digital cable TV, which is SD PAL connected via component cables. One thing I do notice is the big difference in quality from channel to channel and even between shows on the same channel. The main movie channels have an incredible picture. I think its better than the cinema. It is just crystal clear and turns every movie into an experience. Just magnificent. Some of the other channels I don't know whether its bandwidth, or the source or what but they are a bit jagged and sort of fuzzy at times. I originally thought maybe it was things shot on video but then I can watch the football on one channel and the motion is not that smooth, but if it is broadcast on the premier sports channel then its fantastic. So I guess the source is all important. Overall though, I could not be happier with this projector. 3 months now and the novelty still hasn't worn off and I don't think it will :)

Review by Chris Warnock

200 hrs so far. I like this projector overall. It's great for HDTV and gaming in a standard room that has lights on sometimes, some sunlight through the curtains, etc. I've had no scaling problems with this setup because the source is coming through a PC and all scaling is done inside the PC. All resolutions look good.

Any Problems: Problems thus far: 1) vertical banding is apparent on light color backgrounds. It's tolerable but certainly shouldn't be there. 2) The $300 rebate that shuld have been processed and delivered to me by now is being delayed by InFocus. I sent them a 12-digit barcode and all other required items over a month ago. They replied with a letter "You sent the wrong bar code, we need a 12-digit one"... so I called them up and the girl on phone tells me "No we need the 6-digit bar code". Apparently InFocus is playing the red-tape game in effort to keep the $300.00. I have sent in all other bar code items that were on this package 10 days ago... and they still haven't processed it. I'm not inclined to recommend InFocus as a result of this rebate experience.

Review by Movie-nutZ

I have owned this projector for 3 months now. I have it set up in a separate room behind a glass window to protect from prying fingers and dust, It is projected onto a 110" elite motorized screen, it is used purely for movie watching (kids to adults) and i have to say i have not had a problem with this unit. I read all the comments to include the negs and can only summize that the negs come from user error. The picture is crisp and clean, set up is a snap. Because the projector itself is in another room completely i dont hear any fan noise that others were writing about. The only negative thing i would say is that the manufacturer is just wasting money on those useless little speakers and put a direct HDMI connection on it, then i wouldnt have had to purchase an adapter. This is a great little with confidence!

Review by Boa1969

This is my second projector (upgraded from a SVGA). I have nothing but good things to say about the image quality, provided you adjust it properly. I connect all my componants (Dish HD 811 receiver, Progressive scan DVD player, XBOX and soon my HTPC) to it via componant cables through an auto switcher connected to my Sony 7.1 tuner. I project it onto a 110" diag screen made from material that claims a gain of 1.0 to 1.2, and it is very bright, even with a moderate level of light coming in from outside, or with a lamp on. My old projector claimed 1100 ANSI like this one does, but doesn't (pardon the pun) hold a candle to it. I will admit that it doesn't upscale SDTV well, but then again, neither did my last one. Some external hardware may be in order. My XBOX rox on it, as well. Games look clean and appropriately bright. And I can't complain about the $300 rebate I got from Infocus... :-)

Any Problems: The setup menu is not for beginners. There are no presets for "Movie", "TV", or whatever like some units have. You have to know how to set brightness, contrast and color (space, gamma, temp, etc.). Doesn't upscale SDTV well, but I really didn't expect it to.

Review by ssilcox

Upgraded from a Epson Home 10+(480p). First impression was - BRIGHT! Wow. HD is incredible. Takes quite a bit of tweaking to get the picture just right (Use a dvd such as Avia to calibrate). Once set up though - the price/performance ratio makes this projector that much better. Screen door effect is negligible (better than the epson) and I haven't noticed any VB. What a great projector for under $1000. ($869 after rebate)

Any Problems: Just the setup. No problems as of yet.

Review by DH

I have a home theater dedicated to the projector and have it filling an 8' screen. I have had the projector for about 11 months now. It has been great. I use it with my XBox 360 and it works without any problems whatsoever. Price/performance makes it an even better purchase for me. My theater is always popular for the big games.

Any Problems: It really gets annoying that every 150 hours I have to unmount it and clean the filter (which has a nag screen that comes up to remind me).