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InFocus 7200 / Toshiba MT8 Experience

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Beamer, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Beamer

    Beamer
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    Infocus 7200 / Toshiba MT8 Experience

    As a reasonably satisfied Epson TW100 LCD projector owner, I recently had the opportunity to evaluate the new Infocus 7200 DLP projector and of course jumped at the opportunity. Having read numerous reviews on the 7200 I was expecting to be blow away by the picture, this is my experience.

    Since I wanted to be able to make A/B comparisons, I chose to restrict all testing to S-Video connections and used a Sky satellite source since this is predominately the source material I use most.

    Having made all the connections I powered up the beast and was met with a reasonably quiet purr from the 7200 cooling fan. The picture seemed to spark across the screen initially but settled down within about 30 seconds, I have since been advised that this is quite normal for the kind of lamp used. A couple of minutes later I was viewing a BBC1 film that knocked my socks off!

    The WOW factor lasted the whole evening. The next day I decided to setup the geometry of the PJ and tweak all the usual adjustments. In general, colour rendition was good straight out of the box but keystone and brightness needed attention. Since the PJ was not in it’s optimum position, a small amount of keystone correction was required, unfortunately, no matter how I adjusted the keystone settings I was unable to achieve a straight-sided rectangle. Unlike the TW100 and other PJ’s I have played with, the 7200 keystone adjustment seemed to cause curvature on the right and left hand side of the screen. Not to be beaten I decided to mount the 7200 so as not to need any keystone, this lead to my first disappointment, it simply was not possible to get vertical edges on the screen. The best I could do was get a slight bowing out on both sides and this was with keystone set for 50 which is in effect zero correction.

    During the paraphernalia of trying to get the picture to fit on to my StewartFilm FireHawk Luxus 80 inch wide screen, I found a stray light phenomenon. I noticed that the 7200 projects a ring of light about 24 inches off each corner of the screen. In the initial excitement of seeing the new technology doing it’s stuff I had not noticed it and I must say that when forum members talked of stray light I assumed they were referring to light leaking from the PJ case. Unfortunately according to Bob Williams of InFocus, the problem of stray light and bowing verticals is the result of compromise in the lens design causing barrel distortion. See the AVS forum thread:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=213568

    Moving on I decided to test the 7200’s scaling capability by feeding it some of the low bit rate content from Sky One, the result was simply amazing. It sure was not perfect but it was quite viewable apart from an annoying anomaly, which caused the left side of the screen to have a strange black border showing intermittently when viewing advertisements. It’s just as though the picture is shifted to the right in some commercials, setting the PJ to perform over scan may fix this issue but my concern is that it was only apparent on the left screen side. Currently I use a plasma display to view Sky One but the 7200 could very easily change my viewing habits!

    My next test was to play some digitally recorded wide screen films from the Sky+ box; once again the presentation was awesome, vivid colours and deep blacks. Motion was very film like and the quality was so good that no matter what the content it was difficult to take your eyes off the screen. One minor anomaly was noise on dark scenes, I understand that a change to the PJ’s Gamma curve is in the works to resolve this issue and will be released in version 1.26 firmware together with a fix for strange hang issues that some users have experienced.

    This is my first experience with a DLP projector and for the most part I must say that it was quite enjoyable. I did not see any rainbows so I guess that neither my wife or I are susceptible to them and believe me we did try to bring them on, I must have looked like one of those nodding dogs you see in the back of car windows at times or Andy Pandy playing with and invisible friend ;-)

    In conclusion and IMHO, the InFocus 7200 / Toshiba MT8 (they are the same) needs some work on it before I would consider buying one. Personally I have got used to seeing a perfectly shaped rectangle without stray light from my TW100 and I would see anything less as a step back. The fix proposed by InFocus of pushing the picture edges on to the screen mask is unacceptable to me. If your viewing room does not have light ceiling and wall colours you probably will not be bothered by the stray light problem. Is the picture better than the TW100? I would have to say for the most part yes setting aside the aforementioned anomalies, blacks are without doubt deeper and the scaling is far superior to the TW100 but hold that thought until you read my experience of the Brightview box!

    Chris
     
  2. Messiah

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    Great review Chris. It makes a change to have a 'real' user evaluate a piece of new kit rather than reading a magazine article which may not be quite so unbiased ;)

    It seems a real shame that with so much effort been put into achieving a first class picture (which by your accounts it certainly has) and kitting it out with the utmost deinterlacing circuitry that it should be let down by a lens problem.

    If you could take bits from your TW100 and bits from the 7200 it sounds like you would have the near perfect projector. Looks like we'll have to wait and see if InFocus address these issues.

    Thanks for posting.
     
  3. Beamer

    Beamer
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    Messiah

    I fear that InFocus is too busy counting orders to worry about fixing the problems, shame but I guess that's business.

    Chris
     
  4. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    Thanks for the very useful input Beamer...good to hear some negative feedback before I buy a product (usually it is just after and I then have to kick myself for not waiting longer ;) ).

    I'm still hoping that you may have seen a rogue unit, but it is worrying to see your post on AVS was replied to by someone from Infocus saying that this was a known 'feature' of the lens.

    I'll post here when I get the chance to see one.


    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  5. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    I went ahead and got an MT8 despite the above, and whilst I do see some of the same problems, I don't think it is to anything like the extent that Beamer saw.

    I haven't wallmounted the projector yet but projecting horizontally onto the wall (from a table top) I do see some degree of 'barrelling' (I guess I hadn't realised exactly what was being talked about..think of a wooden barrel sat on its side and you get an exaggerated idea of it).

    It is pretty subtle but at around 2m picture width the top of the picture curves to be about 1cm lower at the sides than the middle (with no keystone and the zoom on its mid point). Oddly enough the overscan function seems to make it worse?

    I don't see the stray light described above despite very light walls, but I have seen rainbows quite easily (I am sensitive to them, but they are not too much of a trouble here). Blacks are very good, and screendoor is invisible till about 6" from the screen.

    Despite this (and it might not sound it!) I am still quite impressed. Definitely the best projector I've owned yet (Sim2 200DM and Panny AE100).

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  6. Messiah

    Messiah
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    So you won't be going for a CRT just yet then? :D :D
     
  7. Beamer

    Beamer
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    Ian

    It's good to hear that you are happy with your machine. It would appear that the PJ I used for testing is right on the edge of spec.

    Sad that you can see rainbows but it clearly has not been a show stopper for you.

    Chris
     

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