InFocus IN82 Home Theater Projector Review - General Performance
Topics in this section:
IN82 User Memory Settings
IN82 Remote Control
IN82 Lens Throw and Lens Shift, Lamp Life
IN82 SDE and Rainbow Effect
IN82 Projector Brightness
IN82 Light Leakage
IN82 Audible Noise Levels
IN82 Projector Screen Recommendations
IN82 Measurements and Calibration
IN82 Image Noise
Ahh, classic InFocus menus. From time to time InFocus adds additional needed controls as projectors evolve, but InFocus is sticking to what works for them.
We'll start with the Primary Menu. Hit the Menu button, and a small menu appears. It's simple, there is an Exit option, or you can select Picture, Settings or (source) Info. Move the cursor to Picture, and press the Select button to get started, bringing up the Picture menu. (Many manufacturers call that the Image menu.) You can use the up and down arrow keys to move from the Picture Menu to other main menus. It should be noted, that menus will automatically close after 60 seconds of non-use.
One thing about the Picture menu on most projectors, and that is, it has a ton of controls. The IN82 is no exception, as you can see from the photo here. I'm not going to run through all of them (especially obvious ones like brightness and contrast), but focus briefly on those needing comment. Image shift will allow you to move the actual data on the image up and down on the screen. For example, if watchina a letterboxed movie (black bars, top and bottom), you could move the whole movie up so that the top of the actual movie is flush with the screen top. This is cool, if you can raise your screen to match, eliminating the letter box. Still this is something few will do, even those with a motorized screen that allows you to stop it at any point.
Presets allow you to select saved settings - more on this, below. Brilliant Color is a TI DLP chip feature, that gives extra "oomph" to the image. It can be nice, when dealing with ambient light, or where color accuracy, balance, and the desire for the most film-like image are not that important. It is a fixed setting, and gives the picture some extra pizazz, but is definitely less natural.
Gamma, as seen here, lets you chose between gamma balances such as CRT (too dark in my opinion), Film (best for movies), Video, etc.
Overscan lets you slightly crop content to remove artifacts that may show up around the edges (most common on low def TV sources.
And that takes us to the last item, the Advanced menu, which, of course adds a whole additional list of adjustments, as shown here. It is in the advanced section, that you'll find some critical adjustment controls. But, most important among them are the Color Temperature (defaults to 6500K, but also offers 7500K and 9300K), and the Color Control, which is where you finetune the color balance of the projector, with separate gain and offset controls for each of Red, Green, and Blue. Unlike some competitors, the IN82 does not offer end users any control of secondary colors; Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta. I'm sure more extensive controls are in the service menu which is protected, and used by professional calibrators.
Also on the Advanced menu is the Iris control. This is a manual iris that you can close down (let less light through the projector), to increase contrast somewhat, and to dim the projector down if, for example you are using a smaller screen.
OK, enough with the Picture controls already! Time to move on. The next Main Menu is the
The Settings Menu lets you do a number of usual things, including select your language choice for the menus, put in a start up logo. (Such as Feierman Theater), select sources (the remote has only 3 direct source buttons, so you can select, here, which ones the remote's buttons will work), enter the Service Menu (some items are only accessable with a passcode, for technicians and calibrators. You can also program the custom key on the remote, with a favorite feature you use a lot. The Service menu also allows you to reset the lamp hours after replacing the lamp.
Perhaps most important, though is the System sub-menu. From here you can reposition the menus on the screen (OSD), select orientation (ceiling mount, etc.), and the all important Lamp Power, adjusting between bright lamp and low power. You can also engage/set the Power Save and Sleep Timer functions.
Finally, that leaves only the Source Info menu, which is pretty basic.
One really great thing about InFocus is that their manual goes through every menu and menu feature. This helps make their manuals about as good as one can find out there. Kudos to InFocus.
IN82 User Memory Settings
The IN82 projector offers three Presets. These are user savable settings. On the Presets submenu, you can save your settings to any of the three. There is also a Presets off option. If you have your projector professionably calibrated, then the additional ISF Day, and ISF Night settings also appear. One minor comment. Let's say you setup a preset customized for your movie watching. If you go into other controls, such as brightness, and then look back to the preset menu, you'll see that it is back to "presets off". In other words it will only tell you you are in a particular preset, if you have not made further changes.
IN82 Projector - Remote Control
This is a classic InFocus remote control, and is probably the same exact one as several other InFocus projectors use.
InFocus has always pushed "simplicity" so, while this projector may have as many total menu features as any other, InFocus keeps their remotes fairly simple, with far less buttons. In fact, there are fourteen buttons in all, whereas most projectors' remotes have 20 - 40 buttons. The remote is backlit with blue LED's (very pretty), and the backlight is turned on by a conveniently located trigger on the bottom of the remote.
From the top: The Power button. Once to power on, press once to power off. (Pressing it twice, will cancel power off.) Next comes the Menu navigation area.
Unlike the competition, InFocus sticks with a four button system, compared to six or seven button systems. The left button launches (or cancels the menu system). The Up and Down arrows provide navigation, and the Select button the right, selects items or takes you to the sub-menu you have highlighted. To move back up from sub-menus toward the main menus, you use the Up/Down buttons to select the first item on any menu "Previous", then hit select, and you move back up one level. I personally prefer menu navigation systems with four arrow keys, but, once you get used to the InFocus way, it works just fine. It's just that you have to get to that Previous item each time you change menus, and that can be multiple clicks. You can, though hit the Menu button, which will close all menus and let you start fresh, if that's faster.
Back to the remote. Below the menu navigation is a row of three buttons. Resize lets you toggle between the various aspect ratios, Overscan lets you engage overscan, with the option of either crop or zoom, and there is the Source button which opens the Source select menu.
The next row has the Custom button I mentioned previously, figure out what feature you want to access regularly and program that in to this button. Auto Image is the usual auto setup, in case the projector doesn't do a great job automatically - this relates mostly to computer signals. Then there's the Presets button.
Finally, bottom row, 1, 2, 3, the three sources you program in from the menus, for quick access without going through the menu. You might select #1 to be Your Blu-ray player coming in from the HDMI port, and #2 your cable or satellite box, coming in on the M1-DVI, connection, etc.
IN82 Lens Throw, Lens Shift, and Lamp Life
Lens throw: For a 100" 16:9 diagonal screen; measured from the front of the lens, the screen can be as close as 13.5 feet, and as far back as 16.2 feet. As noted earlier, the zoom and focus are manual. That's a 20% difference between closest and furthest placement (a 1.2:1 zoom lens ratio).
The IN82 has no lens shift (sadly), but then, neither do competing DLP projectors from Optoma, and some others. Top end Sharp and BenQ 1080p home theater projectors do. Without lens shift, shelf mounting is rarely practical, so ceiling mounting is the norm for permanent setups. Of course, even with lens shift, such as the BenQ W10000, all these DLP projectors have very limited zoom lens throws, and as such can only be placed far enough back to sit on a shelf in a small number of rooms, unless you have a lot of flexibility in terms of screen size, and your willingness to adjust to larger or smaller screens just so you can shelf mount.
The IN82, some will be glad to know, has the support built in, for an optional anamorphic lens.
The Lamp is rated at 2000 hours at full power, and 2500 in low power mode. To change out the lamp, the ceiling mount has to be removed. Definitely a nusiance, but if your dealer is doing it for you, who cares.
In this price range, most projectors position the lamp door out of the way of the ceiling mount.
IN82 SDE and Rainbow Effect, Pixel Visibility
What we have here is a classic single chip DLP projector. It utilizes a 7 segment color wheel, and although I couldn't locate the spec on the InFocus website, it looks to be a typical 5X speed wheel. I base this on my slight sensitivity to the Rainbow Effect (RBE). The one, competing, single chip DLP projector that has a faster wheel, is the Optoma HD81-LV at 6X, and I definitely noticed the difference, as I only rarely could spot RBE with the HD81-LV compared to this or other DLP projectors. Still, I am one of the very small percentage of the population (almost certainly less than 5%) that can detect RBE at all, on today's newer home theater projectors. Life is simple: If you are significantly affected by the Rainbow Effect, you don't buy a DLP projector.
When it comes to Screen Door Effect - and Pixel Visibility, the IN82 is again typical of 1080p DLP projectors. And that means, don't worry about it. You cannot make out the pixel structure, let alone a screen door effect at any reasonable seating distance. End of conversation.
IN82 Projector Brightness
Wow! Boy was I surprised. InFocus really hasn't been making a big fuss about the brightness of the IN82, and they really should be.
This projector cranks out some serious lumens. Let me get the key numbers out there before commenting.
In "best" mode, with color temp set to 6500K, after some minor grayscale, brightness and contrast adjustments, and set for cinema, gamma set to film, lamp on high, the IN82 pumped out 1228 lumens.
Drop the lamp into low power mode, and that changes to 918 lumens. That works out to a drop of almost exactly 25%, which should be pretty consistant in any mode.
Now, if you need all the lumens available, with the lamp back on full power, select the Hi-Brightness gamma mode, and with color temp still at 6500K for movies, the IN82 cranks out 1530 lumens.
Move the Color Temp setting to 7500, more suitable for TV/HDTV, and the lumens drop a bit to 1416.
For the brightest output of all, reset the color temp to Native, and lumens increase to 1714.
The point is, the InFocus is very bright, with roughly 1200 lumens output in best movie watching mode, and still a good movie watching temperature, you can get out just over 1500 lumens. Damn!
To put this in perspective, my own JVC RS1, which is one of the brightest in best cinema mode, comes in just shy of 800 lumens, and only 900 lumens in its brightest mode.
Only the Optoma HD81-LV can beat the InFocus IN82, and not by much. In its best mode with zoom wide open, the HD81-LV measured 1474 lumens, but as I noted, drop that by about 10% if the zoom lens is in the middle of its range, as the IN82 was. So that 1474 will equate to about 1330 lumens, vs 1228, a differnce of less than 10%. Don't get me wrong, the Optoma has more horsepower when image quality is second to brightness, measuring about 2900 lumens maximum (adjusted that's about 2600), compared to the IN82's 1714. One further note. I was using Brilliant Color when trying to get the most of the Optoma, I never got around to turning it on with the InFocus. It did make a significant difference with the Optoma, however.
So that's the story, for best movie watching it is incredibly close to the HD81-LV (which claims 2500 lumens), despite its 1500 lumen rating. But then InFocus, as usual points out that they rate for D65 cinema (6500K, which is normally dimmer than higher temperatures). That means the IN82 can support some pretty impressive sized screens, but we'll get to that shortly.
Review continues below the advertisement.
IN82 Projector - Light Leakage
Oops, a minor problem here, as you can see from the picture. The image on the screen (the beginning of Planet Earth - that's the planet on the left of the image, and the sun rising on the horizon, to the right of the sun, is black space and stars) is very dark as you can see, but I have badly overexposed the image. You can see, mostly on the right side, some curved extraneous light leaking from the lens. The good news, is that you are not likely to ever notice it while watching normal content, but, should you get a complete fade to black, and your walls beyond the screen are off white, you might see it, but it won't be bright. If your walls are dark, there's not chance of spotting it at all. I reduced the size of the image on the screen, so that the picture, and the leaking light are hitting the 1.4 gain Carada screen, to make it most visible.
IN82 Audible Noise Levels
The IN82 is quiet, for a DLP projector. it's not particularly quiet, and most LCD projectors are quieter to much quieter. Still, the IN82 seems to sound like the claimed spec of 30db in full power mode. This compares with an extra 2db to 3db for most other DLP projectors. For those who really dislike any audible distraction at all, this is probably the best bet of the DLP's. With fan on low, its quieter still. Then, consider, that in Low fan power mode, it's 900+ lumens in best mode, is still the second brightest of all 1080p projectors we've measured to date, and about twice the brightness of most 1080p projectors in their best modes.
And, I should further note that our "reigning champ", the winner of our Best In Class award for best overall, over $5K 1080p projectors, is the JVC RS1. At just under 800 lumens, is about 35% less bright than the IN82.
IN82 Projector Screen Recommendations
Somehow it seems the better the projector the more screen choices.
Let's start with size. The IN82 didn't even break a sweat on my 128" Firehawk G3 (high contrast gray surface), in its "best mode" at full power". Due to the lens throw, I couldn't quite fill the screen - only about 120" diagonal. Still, even dropping to low power, it had no problem at all, and was visibly brighter than my RS1.
In my testing room on the 106" Carada (rated a 1.4 gain), filling about 80" diagonal, it was almost blinding, looked like a plasma display, when cranked all the way up, even under full lighting it looked good.
I would say first, that the projector can easily handle typical, quality 130" diagonal 16:9 screens, and should work well up to about 150".
For smaller screens, say 110" diagonal or less, closing down the iris at least part way, may be necessary to dim the projector enough so that the blacks aren't too bright a dark gray. Of course closing the manual iris also improves contrast ratio, but in my opinion not drastically so. (Mostly it means using less of the lens, so less stray light bouncing around and getting out the lens, to wash out the picture slightly.
On the other hand, some people like a very bright image, and others can use all that horsepower, with the iris wide open, to fend off a moderate amount of ambient light.
Now, back to screen surfaces. I thought the Firehawk was a superb match for the IN82 - so, I'll recommend first, a high quality HC gray surface screen. The Firehawk G3, in particular, though expensive, is optimized for 1080p projectors, and is an excellent choice.
Still, if you are using a fairly large screen, a white surface will do just fine.
Review continues below this advertisement.
IN82 Projector Measurements and Calibration
I'll repeat. Color performance out of the box was very good, better than the majority of 1080p projectors.
Setting the IN82 home theater projector up for best viewing, here are the default color temp measurements (Gamma = Film, Color Temp = 6500K):
Just a little on the warm side,
With these adjustments: Everything the same, but changing the gain and offsets to: Gain: Red 49, Green 50, Blue 53, Offset Red 50, Green 51, Blue 50
The results were:
Greens were almost perfect with these settings, although there was just a bit too much in the darker ranges (as you have seen in some of the heavily overexposed images used for looking at shadow detail).
As usual, I only measured Color Temperature at 100 IRE (white) for the other default settings, which, include:
Gamma=hi-bright Color Temp setting=6500K, Measured: 6112K
Gamma=hi-bright Color Temp setting=7500K, Measured: 6954K
Gamma=hi-bright Color Temp setting=9300K, Measured: 8338K
Gamma=hi-bright Color Temp setting=Native, Measured: 6854K
Bottom Line: Typically the IN82 measures a bit warmer (more red) than the color temp setting would have you believe. Just try to remember that a shift in color temperature of just 200K - 300K, is very, very slight, and barely detectable when watching.
IN82 Image Noise
A classic DLP projector, with a steady amount of noise barely detectable at normal seating distances, even when looking for it. It tested well on the HQV 1080p disk with no real issues with motion artifacts, etc. For the perfectionist, there are differences between image noise performance on today's 1080p projectors, but, for the most part, they are all good to great. There are just too many good/great companies providing image processing software to projector manufacturers, including Faroudja, Pixelworks (used in the IN82), Gennum and Silicon Optix along with others.