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ProjectorCentral.com

Opinion of Deemat - Apr 4, 2018

Acer M550 Projector
4K HD (3840x2160), 2900 ANSI Lumens,
12.1 lbs, $1,999 (MSRP)
Post your own User Review
by Deemat - Apr 4, 2018
Image Quality 5.0
Features 5.0
Construction 5.0
Ease of Use 4.0
Reliability 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

Personal Experience
The M550 is my second Acer. I've owned 8 projectors in all - 4 DLP and 4 3LCD (including the Panasonic AT6000/8000). The M550 really is a gem. It's unfortunately not sold in the States but it's definitely worth searching for the French forum/review on the M550 and auto-translating. Reportedly better than the UHD60 and UHD65 in terms of contrast all I can say is that the screen unifority and edge to edge sharpness (using test materials including text) is simply stunning for a home cinema projector. And it's not only sharp; it's naturally bright and colorful, and the perceived contrast is actually better than a couple of 3LCD's I've owned (including a Epson TW6700 I binned a little after 12 months). Of course it's not as good as my AT6000/8000 was, but with some ambient light (as is my circumstance now) the playing field begins to level out. In eco mode it's virtually silent (at 1 mtr), in silent mode it is indeed silent, and with Dynamic Black it eventually calms to a gentle hum (the Acer decibel specified levels are probably about right). Add to that the Acer frame inerpolation (similar to the UHD65) and it's a steal at the UK/ European price - almost the same as the TI DLP470 chipset DLP's. As with all Acers, it is compact and very robust/solid in its construction, and yet it doesn't run hot - I can happily pace my fingers over the outlet grill and leave them there - in any mode (some PJ's I've owned would burn me badly). ISF modes are there if you need professional calibration but I'm more than happy with the standard adjustments available. It's perhaps little wonder that the Acer M550 is gaining something of a cult following in Europe; it feels as if Acer engineers have been given free rein to tweak the M550 as they wanted.

Problems
The TI DLP660DE devices apparently can't handle 50Hz (they always convert to 25Hz). I've found that this isn't strictly true. I can play some 50Hz HD material, upscaled to UHD without ANY issues (most definitely 2160p@50Hz handling). With other material/sources the signal is converted to 25Hz. However, if I "force" 50Hz (when it would otherwise convert to 25Hz - which I seem able to do using a Zidoo X9S) then I see the problem - significant stuttering. Why this happens I do not know but then adding some degree of frame interpolation to the 25Hz rendering resolves any issues with fast action such as sports. To overcome this issue, I understand that the Optoma reduces a 50Hz signal to 25Hz then re-samples to 60Hz. But this is not the same as "intelligent" frame interpolation at 25Hz. That said, at 25Hz, 30Hz, and 60Hz the M550 is rock steady, and I see no bulb flicker in eco mode. I also see no solarization or posterization either - as some have reported - unless I "expect" to see it... ie: it being a source material issue rather than a problem with the projector.

TI DLP660DE high-pitched whine - I have to be really close up to the unit, and at a particular angle, to notice it fully. How some have singled out the M550 as having this issue confounds me... it’s very obviously the same for all TI DLP660DE devices (as found in the M550 and others). Then again, if I was really pernickety or had highly sensitive rabbit ears I might find myself acknowledging it. Maybe it’s just a quality control issue or perhaps a difference in case design between manufacturers. Mine is really very quiet and it’s no more than a metre up and behind my normal sitting position. That said, I clearly hear the TI device making a very quick adjustment when it senses a change in source signal (60Hz to 24Hz, for example)

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