Well, the release for the IN76 is upon us. I have been eagerly anticipating this machine since I first saw pics of her. I am an InFocus fan – I prefer their DLP machines for my HT.
Audioholics is cranking out some great review coverage lately, and the cherry for this week is this preliminary look at a pre-production IN76 Big Play 720p DLP machine. (Thanks guys!)
It looks like this machine may be the trick to beat in this price range. Great performance and good looks to boot – ain’t she a beaut?
Basic info and specs:
- 1280 x 720 native resolution (true HD)
- Pixelworks processing which reportedly handles 1080i a bit better than Faroudja
- HDMI (2 available if you use the M1DA input for HDMI), component, S-Video and Composite connections
- Both HDMI inputs are HDCP compliant (not found in the review – this info came from elsewhere, see below)
- Quiet design
- Limited rainbow artifacts
- Good color calibration out of the box
- Sealed optics
- Medium throw – 100″ screen, mount the PJ 11-14 feet back
- Fixed offset – 100″ screen, mount the PJ with the lens 7.5 inches above the screen (mount closer to ceiling for cleaner install)
HD Broadcast Material
“Colors were nicely saturated and there was plenty of detail in the HD images. Contrast appeared excellent, and the black levels were very respectable – in fact, blacks were some of the best we have seen from an InFocus projector (InFocus is rating the contrast ratio on the IN76 as 3000:1). Overall, it was a very impressive image with the typical “WOW” factor you get when blowing up an HD image to the type of screen sizes that front projection makes possible.”
“In terms of brightness, the IN76 falls into the “brighter than average” category. InFocus rates it at 1000 lumens, but we have learned to take ALL manufacturer brightness/lumen claims with tremendous grains of salt. We are big advocates of brighter projectors, as so many people we talk to want to go with screen sizes of 110” diagonal or greater, and many home theater projectors are not really suited for screen sizes much beyond 100”. Based upon what we saw here, I would say that the IN76 would be good up to screen sizes of 110”, but not much beyond that. ”
“DVD clips looked very good, with the same richness of color and contrast we noticed on the HD clips. Due to the fact that we had the IN76 for just a limited amount of time, we didn’t spend a great deal of time evaluating scaler/deinterlacer performance. Unfortunately, since so many systems we see these days end up having the scaling or deinterlacing done by the source (a cable box, a satellite dish receiver, an upconverting DVD player, etc), we feel that the internal scaler/deinterlacer is becoming less important to the overall performance of the piece from a real world perspective.”
Compared to the Panasonic PT-AE900U, another 720p machine but of the LCD variety, the IN76 did very well.
Notable image differences
The Panny 900U has a bit less SDE (Screen Door Effect) due to it’s Smooth Screen technology. However, due to this technology the picture is quite a bit softer.
The Panasonic test unit did not have uniform color across the screen.
The InFocus IN76 showed deeper blacks, better color saturation, and better depth giving the image an appealing 3D look.
Darker sequenced scenes looked smoother on the Panasonic, due to graininess of the IN76’s dithering noise.
In a nutshell, the image smoothness was superior on the Panny, but the InFocus unit had better contrast, deeper blacks, and the 3D pop.
“The InFocus IN76 seems to have exactly the right features at exactly the right price point. It makes a great entry level high definition projector for someone who wants DLP technology and an excellent true 720p HD image without breaking the bank. In comparison with the LCD competition at the price point, we feel the DLP based IN76 to have a superior image in most regards plus what we have found to be a more reliable technology. While the picture of the IN76 is not quite as bright or as smooth as what can be found on higher end DLP projectors using the larger Dark Chip 2 or Dark Chip 3 DMDs (including Infocus’s own SP-7205 or SP-7210), it is also considerably less expensive, sexy looking, and very quiet to boot! Since the unit we had to evaluate was a pre-production model, we look forward to taking another look at it when the actual production models start shipping. If we find any performance differences at that point, we will report on them here!”
This unit is now shipping, and I am looking forward to more info and reviews. I may just purchase one of these myself, I’ve been suffering from acute upgraditis for a couple of months now.
InFocus IN76 Play Big DLP Projector Preliminary Review
For more info, check out the IN76 thread at AVS forum, where Bob Williams, engineer at InFocus, is answering consumer questions. This is where I found the dual HDCP compatibility info above.
InFocus IN72/ IN74 / IN76 User Guide (PDF)
InFocus IN72/ IN74 / IN76 Reference Guide (PDF)