So here it is, my blow by blow account of the Seleco HT200 DLP projector in Bradford. Before I start Ill explain my main reservations about the limitations of current single chip DLP devices. All I have seen suffered from Rainbow effect, halo effect and more often than not poor internal scaling coupled with an inability to portray colour as accurately as I would wish. Dont get me wrong, these devices are generally very affordable and for the money offer a good performance, just not good enough for me! The rainbow effect is caused by the way a single field is made up with one of these devices. Basically, light is shone on to a chip covered in mirrors, depending on which way each tiny mirror is tilted light is either directed through a spinning colour filter wheel to the lens, or into light absorbing material within the enclosure. The colour wheel has red, blue, green filters and as light passes through each a red, green, blue image is displayed on the screen one after the other. This happens so fast though that your brain is unable to register each distinct coloured image and instead superimposes them all together to create the full colour image. Well, thats the theory. For me and many others what happens is that whenever there is motion on the screen ( i.e. something pans across the screen from side to side) and you are forced to move your eyes to track it, you see the three colour images slightly out of phase. This looks a bit like seeing one of those 3D pictures, except without the special glasses they always come with! PAL discs (50Hz) are more susceptible to this than NTSC ones (60hz). The halo effect is caused by stray light within the housing illuminating the area around the part of the mirrors actually being used to display the image. So, if you have a 16:9 shape screen more often then not youll see a grey 4:3 shape image surrounding it all the time, lighting up the wall or area outwith the screen itself. The darker your room the worse it gets! Lastly, all the DLP devices I have seen have been designed for or re-engineered from commercial presentation devices. As such they have been optimised for light output rather than colour accuracy and for PC presentations rather than video. The only exception being Runco who try very hard for colour accuracy and whose external video processor does a great job with DVDs. Even their best single chip device still suffers from rainbow effect and, to a lesser extent the halo effect and it costs 3 times as much as the Seleco in the UK! Any or all of these flaws are enough to stop me from wanting to watch a film on one of these products. Its a bit like dead pixels on an LCD or their infamous, grey blacks So, what happened? The Venue: Cubbi Broccoli theatre in Bradfords, Museum of Photography. This was a small, tiered cinema within the IMAX complex. The screen was a perforated model (as youd expect at the cinema) masked to give a 16:9 image of around 14ft width. With the lights fully off the room wasnt completely dark as low-level lighting for the steps created ambient room light and the fire escape light was like a beacon in the corner It wasnt perfectly blackout but it was much better than my local Odeon. Sources were PAL dvd fed on s-vid, NTSC dvd fed on Component(480i) and Progressive Component (480P) from a Toshiba DVD player along with Hi-Def Video Tape (1080i). I sat around 20 feet from the screen and was unable to see either the perforations in the screen or the pixel structure. Assorted clips were played. On the PAL s-vid feed I found the picture pretty good although slightly digital looking. I didnt notice any obvious scaling or de-interlacing artefacts and especially pleasing I was not aware of any rainbow effect at all. If it was going to be seen it would be worst with this! Progressive component feed again showed no scaling artefacts that were obvious, colour looked fantastic and again I couldnt discern any rainbow effect. With the clips shown here I was also looking for the halo effect as the clips were quite bright and this would, hopefully, provide lots of stray light inside the device. I couldnt make out any halo. Next, HiDef video tape. This was very interesting. Ive seen hi-def several times now and each and every time I get more upset that we got lo-fi digital TV. The sense of depth and perspective with this programme material was amazing for a projector at this price. The footage was of different American cities by day and night. It appeared to be filmed from a helicopter, flying in and out of skyscrapers, along rivers, through clouds etc. The only problems I saw with this footage was moiré artefacts on skyscraper windows. This is caused by the de-interlacing circuit I presume. It seemed to stand out more on the hi-def material as everything else seemed so right. The Sony LCD is a higher resolution device and with HiDef material it is even more likely to look impressive, although Im sure black levels are much better with the Seleco which is likely to give it better snap and punch to the image. To check this de-interlacing Alan kindly put on The Fifth Element scene where Leelo jumps off the building. This was done twice played on component both in 480i and 480Progressive mode. The projector had not been calibrated for colour, brightness, contrast on 480i so I will only comment on the scaling capabilities with this image. The pans up and down the buildings on this scene, as well as the vents and conduit she walks through to get to the ledge show up moiré effects quite well. The Sony VPL10Ws DRC scaler has problems with this scene, although its not that bad. I didnt notice problems as much with the HT200 as I have with other devices on this. In 480P I didnt see any problems at all, but by this point I was just enjoying the film rather than looking for defects. On 480P the de-interlacing is done by the DVD player so this is a comment more on the quality of the Toshiba DVD player. With more and more progressive output devices likely to come along I can see the ability to accept progressive inputs being very useful. So what did I think. Well, the internal scaler seems to be better than average at this price level. Colour accuracy was exceptional to my eyes. It was plenty bright enough for a 14ft image, and I couldnt see any rainbow effect or halo effect at all. Blacks were looking blacker than I am used to on this type of device. Pretty good then. But theres more! Pictures dont really do this thing justice. It really is small, light and very sleek and attractive. From a techy point of view it also has some rather good features. Discreet on and off ir commands for one. Another is the movable optics. Rather than having to tilt the projector then apply digital keystone correction to square the image up Seleco have come up with a neat solution. You can manually raise and lower the optics to move the image up or down on the screen wall by 50% or thereabouts either way. This, combined with the long throw lens it uses means you can put the thing up high on a shelf at the back of your room and have a large screen low down at a sensible viewing height. Most other manufacturers units would require that you tilt the projector and use digital keystone correction ( thereby reducing picture size and quality). Of course, if this is the only option the HT200 has this facility as well .. Then theres the wee matter of dust in the optical systems and those filters you have to keep clean with other DLPs and LCDs. The HT200 is the first DLP with a completely sealed optical system. In the past Texas Instruments have sold third party projector developers whole assemblies but Seleco took the option to buy bits and develop their own solution. So with this unit there is no filter required as it is impossible for any contaminants to get in and cause discolouration or fog! This also helps reduce the halo effect as the optical system they use is very accurate, cutting down spurious reflections within the enclosure. Lamp life is estimated by Philips (manufacturer of the lamp) at 6000hrs in normal use. Selecos suggested 4000hrs may be a conservative estimate, time will tell. Replacement lamp costs will be under £300. And finally my favourite bit. During the display by Alan, Chris and the team from Owl I posed some questions regarding certain functionality issues with this engineering unit we were using. I wanted to know if it was possible to directly select aspect ratios without having to scroll through every option. It wasnt but Alan said he would speak with the techs in Italy and get them to look at revising the software to incorporate this. You see this unit can be connected to your or your dealers laptop and new operating and scaling software can be put in to it. You or your dealer just visits the Seleco/SIM2 web site and downloads the latest version and there you go. Brilliant. I wasnt expecting much from this little box I must admit. But now Ive seen just what it can deliver and how much thought theyve put in to its design I cant wait to get a fully functional one in the shop to play with. Nice one guys! Sorry this post is so long but I think its worth it. Gordon P.S. I guess everyone wants to know how it stacks up compared to the Sony VPL10. This is really its only likely competitor. Well, for a the final shootout I need to see a Seleco in the shop but from what Ive seen I think the HT200 is able to justify its higher price. In the US, if you managed to find enough hi-def material to watch, you might come to a different conclusion, but in the UK, replaying DVD I believe the Seleco is going to take the honours. ------------------ StereoStereo Intelligent Solutions for Intelligent Homes !