Highly Recommended Award
Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.
The IN83 is InFocus's upgrade to the IN82, which we reviewed last November. The primary difference between these two projectors is the addition of a DarkChip4. This enhancement makes the IN83 a great projector.
The IN83 is bright and powerful, with excellent contrast and near-perfect color. Our IN83 test units - we used two through the course of this review - showed better performance all around than our test unit of the IN82. The most impressive part of the IN83 is that it can be easily calibrated to adhere very closely to the 6500K color standard. Sold through custom installers and specialty home theater retail stores, the IN83 is an obvious choice either for rooms with moderate ambient light or darkened theaters. It is ideal for home theater film and video, and it is great for digital photography as well. At $5,999 MSRP, the IN83 is a solid value.
Lumen output. The IN83 is rated at 1600 ANSI lumens, and our test sample produced 1203 ANSI lumens in its brightest setting with the manual iris open. With BrilliantColor turned off (our preferred setting), the IN83 is still capable of 1160 lumens. Low lamp mode measured 916 lumens, or a decrease of 21%. Furthermore, closing the iris completely brings lumen output down to 300. All in all, this makes the IN83 flexible enough to fit in just about any room, as it is powerful enough to overcome ambient light but can be dimmed for use in light-controlled theaters.
Great Contrast. In our contrast tent, the IN83 measured 517:1 ANSI contrast, which is comparable to other 1080p DLP projectors. On/off contrast was measured at 5833:1 native, as the IN83 does not have an auto-iris. Leaving the stats and meter aside and experiencing it with our eyes, the IN83 showed excellent black levels and dynamic range.
Also impressive is the accuracy of the IN83's gamma curve, which matches exactly to a standard 2.2 curve. This is some of the best performance we've seen in this price range, and it shows particularly in its superb shadow definition.
Accurate Color. After minimal calibration, the IN83 produced spot-on color, matching the 6500K standard exactly from 20 IRE up to 90 IRE, with slight deviations below and above those points. Video and film appear true to the source material, with well-saturated, accurate color.
These factors combine to make the IN83 an excellent choice for the display of not just film and video, but digital photography as well. High lumen output and deep blacks make for the presentation of beautiful, dynamic photographs which hold up in ambient light. Accurate color ensures that all of your photos are displayed the way you intended, and the IN83's 1920x1080 pixel matrix gives them maximum resolution. For more about using 1080p projectors for photographic display, see Projectors for Photography by Evan Powell.
Poor placement flexibility. The IN83, like many other DLP projectors, has a 1.2:1 zoom lens and no lens shift, which puts restrictions on where it can be mounted to fill any given screen size. However, as the IN83 is sold through custom installers, this is less of a hassle than it would otherwise be since you probably won't be installing it yourself. Ask your installer about the best mounting solution for this projector, and he or she will take care of the rest.
Audible noise. With a 300-watt lamp and a 1200 lumen maximum output, the IN83 produces a considerable amount of heat, which necessitates a powerful fan to help dissipate it. This makes the IN83 somewhat louder than other 1080p projectors, especially in full power mode. If ceiling mounted, however, the audible noise would likely not cause any distractions. Keep in mind that the room you install it in should be well air-conditioned or ventilated.
Limited connectivity. Unlike many other 1080p projectors, the IN83 has somewhat limited connectivity. The connection panel features one HDMI 1.3 port, one M1-DA port, and one set of YPbPr component inputs in addition to the standard composite and s-video ports. The addition of a second HDMI port would have been welcome.
BrilliantColor flaw. Certain material has the potential to cause artifacts when BrilliantColor is activated. In certain light shades, such as in clouds and light blue skies, one can see what appear to be macroblocking artifacts. These are often localized to a small portion of the screen, and they are only visible when BrilliantColor is activated.
While this is a significant flaw, it is also a software issue. InFocus is working on a solution currently, so it may have been corrected by the time you read this article. In the meantime, there is a simple solution - don't use BrilliantColor! During testing, we preferred using the IN83 without BrilliantColor activated, as it gave a more natural, life-like image. This will eliminate any occurrences of this artifact.
4x Speed Color Wheel. Most people who are sensitive to color separation artifacts (the "rainbow effect") see them only on DLP projectors with 2x speed color wheels. However, a small subset see this artifact on 4x speed wheels, which the IN83 has. For a projector in this price range, we'd prefer to see a faster wheel. If you plan to use the IN83 for video and film, be sure that you are not bothered by rainbows on projectors with 4x speed color wheels. On the other hand, if you plan to use the projector for photography or graphics, the wheel speed is a non-issue since you won't see rainbow artifacts on static images.
Shootout: InFocus IN83 vs. BenQ W20000
Both the InFocus IN83 and the BenQ W20000 are aggressively priced, high contrast 1080p DLP projectors. While the IN83 is sold through custom installers, the W20000 is available through BenQ authorized dealers on the Internet and elsewhere. While the two projectors are remarkably similar in some aspects, they have some striking differences.
Lumen output. The W20000 is a bright projector at 621 ANSI lumens, but it can't hold a candle (no pun intended) to the IN83's 1203 lumen output. If you need a bright projector for a room with poor light control, the IN83 is the obvious choice.
Contrast. The IN83 measured 517:1 ANSI contrast, while the W20000 measured 560:1 - a difference that is nearly impossible to see head-to-head. Meanwhile, the W20000 measured 8800:1 in Full On/Off contrast with the help of an auto-iris, and the IN83 measured 5833:1 without one. In terms of pure contrast performance, the W20000 has an edge.
Color. This category is also a toss-up. The IN83 is nearly perfect in its reproduction of color, but the W20000 is not far behind. Either projector will produce an image with well saturated, accurate color.
Sharpness. The BenQ W20000 is, without a doubt, one of the sharpest projectors currently available. Therefore, it is a compliment to be able to say that the IN83 puts up some stiff competition in the area of image sharpness and clarity when placed head-to-head with the W20000. While the IN83 and the W20000 are very closely matched, the W20000 still holds a slight edge.
Placement flexibility. The W20000 has the advantage of a powered zoom lens with vertical lens shift. While the zoom range is still only 1.2:1, the lens shift capability gives it a slight advantage against the IN83. In particular it opens up the possibility of a rear shelf mount with the W20000, while the IN83 must be ceiling mounted in nearly every situation.
Connectivity. Compared to the IN83's rather sparse connection panel, the W20000 has two HDMI ports (though they are 1.2, not 1.3), YPbPr component input, and a five BNC input.
The InFocus IN83 is an excellent 1080p offering that concentrates on image quality, first and foremost. The projector has light output to spare, deep inky black levels, precise 2.2 gamma, and accurate, saturated colors. However, this performance comes with a price - the IN83 is not cheap at $5999 MSRP, and other features such as placement flexibility, color wheel speed, and connectivity are somewhat weak in comparison to competing units. Nevertheless, if you want a projector that produces an outstanding, very bright picture, and you want it installed by a professional, the IN83 is a great choice.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our InFocus IN83 projector page.