InFocus Play Big IN72 Projector Review – Overview
So, the IN72 looks great on virtually any DVD I play through it, what about High Definition sources. First, consider that the HD source material is better. It’s not just higher resolution (also like the new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (HD) DVD players now hitting the market), but HD offers better color dynamics. Those who own projectors and have HDTV, who have seen a movie on HD, and put the same movie in their DVD player and switched back and forth, know what I mean.
We hooked up the IN72 to our D-VHS deck, with HD resolution tape, and also watched a few hours of top quality HDTV content, including Discovery HD, Jay Leno, and some of the Basketball playoffs. Even though the resolution of the IN72 is the same as DVD, and way below HD, the improvement with HD is noticeable.
InFocus IN76 Projector Review - General Performance - Menus
The sections here on Menus, and the Remote, are almost identical, and taken from the IN76review we did a couple months ago. Both projectors are in the same case, have the same remote, and the same menus.
InFocus doesn’t go in for big flashy menus, rather they seem to go out of the way to keep them small, so that most of the image is easily visible when you are trying to adjust something. This is a good thing! Basically there is a Main Menu listing the three primary menus.
The first and most comprehensive is the Picture Menu, which has all the color and image controls, as the name implies. Many of the items on the Picture menu have their own submenus, and some of them still another layer below that.
Starting with the Picture menu, note the PREVIOUS menu item. This is located on all menus except the Main. To move back up to a previous menu, you scroll back to Previous and hit the enter key. This is due to InFocus using a two arrow navigation system, plus the enter key. Lacking a left arrow, or an escape key (either of which on most projectors take you back up a level, this is the system InFocus uses in their current projectors. It takes a little getting used to, for a reviewer who plays with lots of different projectors, but I have no real issue with this method of navigating.
On the Picture Menu you’ll first find Keystone Adjust, a feature we hope you will never use, better to properly place the projector to maintain a rectangular image. Then of course you have the Contrast, Brightness, and Color (saturation) controls. Auto Image will allow you to readjust the projector if there is a problem with the signal. Aspect Ratio lets you choose between 4:3, 16:9, letter boxing, etc. That takes us to Presets, which will be addressed below.
Not all features are available in all modes. As is most common, digital sources and component lack some controls found for lower resolution sources, like composite video. If you feed the IN72 an NTSC composite image, for example you would also find a Tint control on the menu.
Gamma let’s you choose from five settings – CRT (which is the darkest, attempts to immitate CRT projectors (which can do true blacks) but overall I found it to be too dark, and lost more shadow detail than I liked. I settled for the Film setting, which would be my first choice for most movie watchers. Video has a brighter gamma still. PC – is less accurate, but designed for hooking up your PC, and you might like it with games. Lastly is Bright Room, which is overly light in darker areas, and overall, but designed for use when you are dealing with ambient light.
On the Advanced Menu you control aspects including Sharpness, (I found the default setting to work best), Color Temperature (6500K is optimum for movies), and Color Control, where you would separately adjust Reds Greens and Blues if calibrating or “tweaking”.
For general setting of the projector, the most important performance issue is the in the System sub menu, which allows you to set the lamp brightness to low or high.
If your room and screen size allow, the lower setting will extend your lamp life to an estimated 3000 hours.
The last primary menu is an information screen showing source settings.
User Memory Settings
The InFocus offers 3 user savable settings, found in the Preset menu. The system works very easily, and I used it to compare a couple of different settings I tried when calibrating.
When you Save a user setting you get a choice of User 1, 2, or 3. The projector will remember things like brightness, contrast, color, as well as individual settings inside the Advanced – Color control menu. It also saves gamma, aspect ratio and other settings.
You can change from the default settings to any of the user settings from the same menu, or directly from the remote control.
Overall, its a small, attractive remote backlit (button is underneath), with what appears to be a blue LED light. InFocus has a limited number of buttons, compared to many remotes, but key items like User settings (presets) have their own buttons.
InFocus uses the four buttons (below the power button at the top) to navigate the menus. The left button brings up the menu, the up and down arrows let you navigate through the choices, and the Select button on the right, lets you move to the next level menus, and also to go back a menu (the top item on each menu is Previous, which means the previous, higher level menu, not where you last were in the menus.
This system is pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. Personally, I still prefer having a separate Menu button, four arrow keys and and Enter key. It’s two more buttons, but makes for much faster navigation. The good news, is that you will rarely be playing in the menus.
The next row has the Resize for aspect ratio, Overscan, which will enlarge the image slightly (this can come in handy of you get some artifacts at the top/bottom of the screen, which isn’t uncommon if you have regular “low resolution” TV programming comiing in on a HD channel, and possibly on a less than great DVD player.
Source select is on the far right.
Next Row: Custom for retrieving your custom settings, Auto Image adjust, and Presets which let you switch between the multiple settings.
So you should be getting the idea – you can navigate through the menus, or quickly use the buttons on the remote to jump to your choices.
The last row let’s you choose sources directly, without toggling through ones you aren’t interested in.
One very interesting feature: By tapping on the Backlite button (on the bottom, the keys illuminate (now, that’s nothing new). If, instead, you hold down the Backlight button, a small LED light in the front illuminates, to function as a flashlight. I actually found that rather handy while hooking up the projector to various cables, etc.
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