InFocus Play Big IN72 Projector Review – Overview

Very Impressive! The InFocus IN72, out of the box produces excellent color balance. Flesh tones in particular are very good. The review unit provided, measured very close to the ideal 6500K color temperature that is optimum for watching DVD movies. In fact it was only slightly off, leaning a touch toward red. I believe that the average end user will not feel it necessary to calibrate the projector, instead, just plug it in and start watching.

InFocus IN72 Color Accuracy

As usual, first are several images to demonstrate how well the Play Big 72 does on flesh tones, with images from Lord of the Rings, I, Robot, and The 5th Element

IN72 Black Levels and Shadow Detail

The InFocus IN72 has extremely excellent black levels – the “holy grail” of home theater projectors. The blacker the blacks, the more detail in dark areas. For the most part, the IN72 offers black levels comparable to more expensive projectors despite a rather modest claim of only 2000:1 contrast.

The two images directly below, from Lord of the Rings give you an idea of shadow detail. The first is normally exposed, the second, significantly overexposed, so that you can see the details in the dark areas on the right and bottom. I use two images as my digital camera cannot capture both bright and dark areas properly at the same time (the projectors have more range than the cameras.)

IN72 LOTR watch fires
IN72 LOTR watch fires over exposed
IN72 LOTR watch fires
+IN72 LOTR watch fires over exposed

What you see in the shed on the right is close to what you see looking at the projected image, while the mountain colors in the first image also looks like what is projected on to the screen.

The image above from I, Robot also should give you a good idea of how the IN72 can handle high contrast screens with lots of black.

In the “space” image below, from The 5th Element, the blacks are deep, neutral in color, and enhance the depth of the scene.

We recently reviewed (a pre-production version) of BenQ’s W100, an InFocus IN72 competitor (although less expensive). In the image you see below, the InFocus is on the left, the W100 on the right. As you can see, the InFocus produces much darker blacks – generating a higher contrast, slightly more impressive image. (Mind you, comparisons are great, but most people would be extremely happy with either projector, but the IN72 definitely wins in this area. The W100 does produce a few more stars, but the stars on the InFocus stand out better. (Also the W100 is just slightly brighter):

You can click on the image above for a larger version. Note the letterbox at the top and bottom of both images, that shows you the darkest “blacks” the projectors are producing, and they are darker on the IN72.

Color Saturation

This InFocus projector consistantly demonstrated its ability to produce rich, dynamic colors, which along with it’s excellent blacks, makes for striking images

Again, you can click on the image above for a larger version.

I mentioned the W100 from BenQ as a competitor. Until the new BenQ and InFocus, I considered the best entry level projector to be Optoma’s H27. Unfortunately I reviewed that more than 6 months ago. The H27, like the InFocus had excellent black levels.

To help you further determine which entry level projector performs best, and/or, works best for your environment, look for our forthcoming: Four Top Entry Level Home Theater Projectors Compared, review, scheduled to publish in a few weeks (6/06).

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