InFocus IN82 Home Theater Projector Review: Overview
10-4-2007 - Art Feierman
Check out how the InFocus IN82 fared in our comparison report.
InFocus IN82 Projector Highlights:
- Good, film-like, image quality.
- Extremely bright, the 2nd brightest sub-$10,000 1080p projector
- Very good black levels, typical of better DLP projectors
- Extremely impressive shadow detail and gamma balance
- Sold through local, installing CEDIA dealers
- Quieter than most DLP projectors
- Better than most, color balance, out of the box - very respectable
- Very good Price/Performance when compared to other local CEDIA dealer only projectors - MAP is $5499
- Now shipping!
Editors note: I rushed to get this review up before leaving for vacation. Some cleanup and minor additions will be done, when I return in a week+.
I didn't know quite what to expect. Of all the major players in the home theater projector space, all but two released 1080p resolution projectors between last fall and this past spring (northern hemisphere). The two that were notably missing, were InFocus and Sanyo. Both companies have "corrected" that situation.
So, here we have the InFocus Play Big IN82, which we will refer to simply as the IN82.
I had wondered if the IN82 might have something special going for it.
Now, having spent almost two weeks with the IN82, I think I can intelligently answer that question.
Let's start with bright. The IN82 projector is certainly that. In fact, only the Optoma HD81-LV, the brightest under $10,000 projector, is brighter and, just barely. The Optoma also sells for more money. But, we'll deal with those things later, and in the Q4 comparison review I'm planning for early December.
The other immediately notable thing about the IN82 is its performance right out of the box. It is very, very, good. It can be improved upon, as can almost all projectors, the JVC RS1 perhaps being the only exception right now, but If you never took a calibration disk to the IN82 or have it professionally calibrated, you would still have one fine image to enjoy, no nasty shifts in color, such as too much yellow-green in faces, etc., as found in some major competitors, that have picture quality off enough that they demand calibration.
Still, I would recommend a professional calibration for the IN82. In this price range, a good calibration (typically $400 - $800 for an ISF certified calibrator), takes a projector, even one like this - up a notch in performance.
OK, that's enough pitch for calibrating. Let's get to work.
InFocus IN82 Projector: Basic Specs
MAP (Minimum Advertised Price): $5499
Technology: Single chip DLP
Native Resolution: 1080p (1980x1080)
Brightness: 1500 lumens (high bright), 1200 lumens (D65)
Contrast: 12,000:1 maximum
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: 2000 hours full power, 2500 hours low power
Weight: 21.2 lbs. (9.6kg)
Warranty: 2 Years Parts and Labor, 6 months lamp warranty
Full specifiactions available here.
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InFocus IN82 Home Theater Projector: Physical Tour
The InFocus IN82 is a larger projector, completely black and sculpted, with no hard edges. It resembles both the less expensive IN76 and IN78, as well as the much larger 3 chip SP777. If there is a criticism of the styling, it has to be that, since it's black, people just won't notice it.
InFocus assumes that this projector will be ceiling mounted, a very logical assumption, as they expect it to end up in dedicated rooms. Don't worry though, it will work just fine on a table or low shelf. As is typical for most DLP projectors, it lacks lens shift, which tends to make it impractical for mounting on a rear wall. You could, however, have a high shelf, and mount the IN82 projector, (ceiling mount style), under the shelf. A swivel (and tilt) base is provided in the box.
Viewing the IN82 from the front of the projector. The 1.2:1, recessed, zoom lens, is mounted off-center, to the far left. A non-centered lens is typical for most DLP projectors, but not all. For a 100" diagonal screen, the front of this InFocus IN82 projector can be as close as 13.5 feet, and as far back as 16.2 feet. Those are approximate numbers from the manual. I'll discuss lens offset, in the General Performance section.
That's all that's going on, at the front of this InFocus projector.
There are no adjustable feet, of course, because of the provided InFocus swivel (and tilt) base (not shown). The smaller InFocus home theater projectors come with the base attached, right out of the box. As I said, though, most will mount this projector so InFocus packed them separately.
On the top of the projector, or rather on the front left edge, at the top (if looking from behind), is only infra-red sensor. From using the projector in both my theater and testing room, that one is all that is needed. It is essentially invisible on the projector itself.
On the opposite side, the front right, if looking from the back is a removable door that lets you access large zoom and focus wheels for the zoom lens.
On the top of the projector, centered, right at the back is a black Indicator panel, that when the projector is unplugged, is essentially invisible. However, on that panel are indicator lights for Power, Temperature, Lamp, and Service.
That takes us to the back of the IN82, where all the input connections are hidden behind a large removable panel. the IN82 is reasonably well endowed, in terms of inputs, but certainly not exceptional. As with the larger SP777 InFocus projector, all the controls are labeled upside down. Again, this is due to the presumption that the unit will be ceiling mounted and therefore upside down, making all the labels right side up. It certainly is no big deal, but worth a quick mention. I have therefore flipped the image so you see it as you would, if it were mounted.
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From left to right (assuming its mounted - I might as well get with "the program"), first is the HDMI 1.3 input, with the power cord receptacle just above it. Next comes InFocus's M1-DVI connector, which supports the image part of HDMI, so that essentially gives you two HDMI inputs (although you can use the MI-DVI port alternately, for component video or an analog computer signal. Now here's a good point, right out of their manual. If you don't need to use the M1 for any sources, it can also be used as a power source for accessories mounted with the projector (such as a cable signal amplifier). Moving further to the right, come three RCA jacks for a component video input, then a single RCA for composite video. Below that, is an RS232 for command and control by a computer or room control system. Finally, on the far right is the S-video input (DIN connector), and below it, a 12 volt DC output (typically that is used as a screen trigger, to control properly equipped, motorized screens).
That completes our physical tour of the InFocus IN82, except for the remote, which is covered in the General Performance section, right after the menu system.
Let's see now. The IN82 is a good looking projector, with a typical limited range zoom lens, and the usual inputs. That's all well and good, but it's time to consider how good the image looks. That, of course, is what home theater projectors are all about.