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Home Theater Projectors
News and Updates

June 23, 2003

Hi folks,

I know everyone is waiting for the Optoma H76 review. Optoma had originally expected to have a unit to us by now. But (as is typical with many new products) they are making some last minute software/firmware changes before sending it along. So the bottom line is we don't have it yet. I will let you know when it gets here, and I'll give you an estimate for the posting date when I can realistically predict it.

We have also received a lot of questions pertaining to the LCD vs. DLP lab test that Texas Instruments released in March. The results of that test appear to suggest that DLP projectors have longer life spans than do LCD projectors in terms of the consistency of picture quality. We are preparing a few comments on that study that will be posted soon.

Note that InFocus has added yet another product to their home theater line up--the Screenplay 5700. Built in the same casework as the 7200, this one features the latest DLP chip known as the Matterhorn--a 16:9 aspect ratio chip in 1024x576 resolution. The Screenplay 5700 is rated at 1000 ANSI lumens and 1400:1 contrast ratio. More on this to come.

By the way, for those who think 1400:1 is a bit weak in contrast compared to other units rated up to 2000:1 or so, think again. At these contrast performance ranges, you can only see noticeable differences between them in a totally black viewing room. If you have a room with light colored walls, ceiling, drapes, carpet, furniture, etc., then there are plenty of reflective surfaces that will bounce light from the screen back onto the screen. That recycled light reduces actual contrast on the screen and tends to equalize the performance of projectors with high theoretical contrast ratings. It can virtually eliminate the contrast difference between a 1400:1 machine and a 2000:1 machine in live operation.

So unless your home theater has a very dark interior, we'd suggest not lending too much weight to the contrast specs on the projectors you are considering. This is especially true of machines that are rated 1400:1 and up, where the specs on paper will bear no resemblance to the actual performance you will get in your living room.

We will get that H76 review done as soon as we possibly can!!

Best regards,

Evan Powell