InFocus Play Big SP777 Home Theater Projector Review
Without running tests to check the gamma, I found the overall gamma to be right about where it should be. If anything the gamma is likely a small touch lower on the InFocus 777 home theater projector, than on the SIM2 C3X, perhaps something like 2.3 vs 2.4 or even closer. The slightly higher gamma on the SIM2 may be responsible for the slight edge the InFocus has in the dark shadow detail area mentioned above.
On the other hand, when it came to watching the overall projectors, I found that the SIM2 C3X projector had the edge (remember these are impressions – no side by side, although I did get to view both the SIM2 C3X projector against my own BenQ PE8720, and also the InFocus 777 against the PE8720. I definitely came away with the impression that the SIM2 had more depth more of a “3D”ish realism than the 777. This was especially noticeable on the space scenes from Starship Troopers.
In this scene you will notice that the explosions seem to be about equal in brightness, however if you look at the “lit up” outside of the ship toward the top right just below the pause controls and also the dark underside of the ship in the lower left corner, you can see significant difference between this image, and the same frame on the C3X. Bottom line, on this type of extremely dynamic image, the SIM2 shines. And it is rich, dynamic images, more than flesh tones, or shadow details (InFocus slight edge), where my preference for the SIM2 is strongest, and it makes me believe that the SIM2 is the slightly better projector of the two overall.
You will find the same frame on the SIM2 C3X projector review… Note the difference in brightness in the large lit up building on the far right. While that area seems brighter on the 777, look now to the top just right of center there is red light hitting an overhang. These reds are far more muted on the 777 than the SIM2. This simply illustrates that the color dynamics are different.
Although I did not do a separate calibration for viewing HDTV off of cable (Cox) or my D-VHS deck, I did view a wide variety of content, including sports (a little March Madness), Leno, Discovery HD and INHD1 and 2. In all cases, the InFocus 777 looked spectacular, to say the least. Again, my own best guess gives a very slight edge to the SIM2, but then I also noticed something else that its time to mention here.
Getting the idea? Pretty impressive!
Image Quality wrap-up
For whatever reason, the InFocus Screenplay 777 home theater projector is more forgiving to watch than the SIM2 C3X. I found that the SIM2 is perhaps more critical of source material. When the source material is excellent the C3X really shines, but when viewing rather typical DVD’s etc., I often was able to notice slight flaws in the source material that I just didn’t detect in the InFocus 777.
One such example was viewing the sci-fi movie Zathura (sorry, no images). I reported in the SIM2 review that I was able to easily spot what appears to be MPEG distortion in large black and near black areas in several very dark scenes. In watching (and this time looking for the same flaws) on the InFocus 777, the distortion was barely detectable.
Another area where the 777 shines, is in handling poor quality sources in terms of colors. On conventional TV (even over HD channels) as well as some older DVD’s, where often fleshtones might be a bit over saturated, I found that the InFocus handled them better than the SIM2.
So, image quality sort of plays out this way: The InFocus takes almost any source material, and reproduces it about as good as you could possibly hope for, even though the SIM2, will produce the more spectacular image when source quality is first class.
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