Cinetron HD700 Projector Review
The menu layout is pretty typical. Overall, it’s pretty good. I’ve got a couple of quibbles, of course. it’s nice that the menus offer the option for determining how long they stay on the screen before automatically go away. You’ve got a choice of 5 seconds (too short) 20 seconds (not bad at all, but a little long), and 45 seconds (almost the same as leaving them up). My quibble, if going to all that trouble, how about something in the 10 second range. (My preference.)
Overall, though the layout is a good one. As usual, I prefer to have lamp brightness controls in with the picture settings (Picture or Image menu – whatever a manufacturer calls it), but few projectors have it there.
Picture Menu is first, and it has three sub-menus: Picture Mode, which lets you toggle through Standard, Dynamic and the 3 User defined color modes. Next comes Picture Adjustment, with all the usual goodies: Brightness Sharpness, Contrast, Color Saturation, etc. You also can enter the Color Temp and Gamma Adjust sub-menus from there. Color Temp has four defined settings: Low, Medium, Medium High and High, plus three User definable color temps, each with R, G, and B controls for Gain and Bias. Gamma also has four defined gammas: Gamma 1 – 4, and 3 user definables (the controls for one shown here). (While none of th pre-defined gammas is right on the numbers, I recommend Gamma 4, for almost all purposes, unless you configure one of the User gammas).
Moving along, There’s also a control for detail enhancement, rounding out the Picture Adjust menu. Also on the Picture Menu is the Advanced Picture Settings sub-menu, where you will find the manual Iris control, Noise reduction, their CMS – color management system, which they call Selective Color (it has the usual 6 total primary and secondary color adjustments (RGBCYM) for hue and saturation). There is also a Blue only option (for calibrators), and chroma and luminence controls. In other words, pretty much about everything that alters the image. The second main menu is th Input Menu. Besides source selection, you’ll find aspect ratio controls, Overscan, and several black (and white) level controls of the inputs (didn’t work with them, sorry), and a few other items. Then comes the System Setup: Menu language selection, power saving options, Lamp Output (High or Economic), background color and on screen display controls. There’s an Initial Setup menu, very basic, just a few items to deal with, including keystone correction, mounting (floor/ceiling/front/rear), Lamp warning timer, etc. Very important there, too, is the Alignment controls (for improving color pixel convergence). And the system reset! Finally, of course, there’s an Info menu. Well done! Menu images coming!
HD700 Remote Control
The provided remote control has strengths and weaknesses. I like the layout. The Buttons have a red backlight which could be a tad brighter, but not bad. The imprinting on the buttons is easy to read, but there’s plenty of text on the remote itself, which is not readable in a darkened room.
The primary downside is range. In my main theater, it’s about 25 feet from my hand to a bounce of the front wall / screen, and back to the projector’s front sensor.
The HD700 remote control just doesn’t have the range. Probably 75 – 80 percent of home theater projectors I review have remotes that can handle the bounce, some effortlessly, others you have to be very precise in pointing. With this remote, it never once was able to open a menu. That puts its remote’s range into a small elite group of projectors including my expensive JVC. (note, the newer JVC’s have a new remote that pushes past 30 feet with a bounce. – See, if I/we yell at a company enough, they may actually take our advice about such things).
The Cinetron HD700 zoom lens is a manual lens with a 1.45:1 zoom ratio. That’s a bit below most other LCoS projectors range – consider the Sony LCoS projectors (HW15, VW85, etc.) have 1.6:1 zooms, but JVC offers 2:1. Almost all LCD projectors now offer at least 1.6:1 and most are 2:1. On the DLP front, even some of them are now sporting 1.5:1, but mostly they are still 1.2:1 zooms.
From a practical standpoint, here are the numbers:
For a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, the projector (measured from the front of the lens) can be placed as close as 12 feet 9 inches, and as far back as 18 foot 5 inches.
The 12 foot 9 inch number is further back than the vast majority of projectors in terms of minimum distance (most are between about 9.75 and 11 feet as their closest),
Still, it makes sense, since the zoom ratio is only 1.45:1. As it is, with the 18.5 foot maximum distance for that 100 inch screen, that should be enough to allow a high percentage of folks who want to rear shelf mount to be able to do so.
By comparison, The Sony competition, the VPL-HW15, with the same sized screen, and more zoom range (1.6:1) can be placed closer, but can’t be further back than 16 feet 4 inches, a two foot difference.
Most 2:1 zoom projectors (most LCD, and the JVC projectors) have 2:1 zooms, so they can all allow up to about 20 feet distance.
Bottom line. Not a great amount of range on the zoom, but the longer than average throw distance will allow most, who want to, to rear shelf mount, (unlike the Sony).
Lens shift is manual. Two dials are located in a recessed area below the HD700’s lens. You can just make out the dials (horizontal) at the bottom of the image.
When it comes to the actual amount of lens shift, I’m working from a not quite finished manual (missing images, some charts, etc.) That said, the manual is consistent – vertical lens shift is +/- 65% of screen height. For horizontal shift (which I pay less attention to, since few people need it for anything but to correct for imprecise mounting location) is +/- 25% of screen width – note that width, not height. Of course, if you use any horizontal lens shift, that will reduce the maximum amount of vertical shift (and vice versa).
The +/- 65% translates this way. For a 100″ diagonal screen, screen height is just under 50″, so 65% would be about 32 inches. The measuring point is from the center of the screen height. Since there’s just under 25 inches from the center of the screen, then for that 100″ diagonal screen, the projector could be placed as high as “almost” 7 inches above the top of the screen surface (not the frame), or as low as “almost” 7 inches below the bottom, and anywhere in between.
Remember, measurements are to the center of the lens, not to the bottom or top of the projector.
Overall, that’s a very heathly amount of lens shift. Definitely not the very best, but right up there with most other LCoS and LCD projectors, and more than almost any single chip DLPs.
Obviously this means you can ceiling mount the HD700, or if the screen size, and room depth work out, place it on a medium or high rear shelf. (or a low one but then people will be walking through the image).
This amount of lens shift makes in its own right, for really good placement flexibility. It’s just that the zoom lens has a less range than many other projectors that limits it somewhat. Still, it’s at least average in placement flexibility and way better than any projector that lacks lens shift controls.
Cinetron HD700 Anamorphic Lens
Yes, the HD700 supports an anamorphic lens and sled. I’m still trying to figure out if it has a second “stretch mode” that would allow an anamorphic lens to be permanently placed in front of the projector lens, instead of needing a sled for the anamorphic lens to move it out of the way for HDTV and 4:3.
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