InFocus IN83 Darkchip4 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Here’s an interesting new image from The 5th Element. The first image below is the IN83, the second one, the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB. The difference in color saturation is evident, with the Epson being more saturated. Note, though, the more natural color of the starship in the IN83 photo. The reddish gas clouds on the Epson are a little “over the top”. Black levels look fairly similar, with a slight edge to the Epson, while shadow detail in the IN83 is as least as good as the Epson, especially as you can see that the Epson image is slightly brighter.

Black Level Performance

Click to Enlarge. So close.

This is the only area (other than the InFocus, as a DLP projector, having limited placement flexibility), where the IN83 comes up a bit short. Let me be clear though, it’s still one of the best, but a few others have the advantage.

Click Image to Enlarge

Of note, since the InFocus IN83 lacks a dynamic iris, it really is at a disadvantage to projectors that do use one. Those dynamic irises, however, are most effective in extremely dark scenes with no bright areas, and there, projectors like the Epson UB series, and the Sony VW40 and VW60 should be able to produce a blacker black. Once, however, you switch to scenes that also have more than a little extremely bright areas, dynamic irises lose their effectiveness, and on images like that, the InFocus IN83 becomes the equal of most of the other best projectors. It still can’t quite catch the two best projectors without dyanmic irises, the JVC RS1x and RS2, but everything else is fair game, including the Epson and Sony 1080p competitors! For the first time in quite a while, I haven’t been able to do a side by side photoshoot. My intent was to put the IN83 up against the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, for black level comparisons. Turns out, though, that the last upgrade to my Sony PS3, has confounded my Gefen HDMI splitter/switcher. They are sending me a component to upgrade, and when it comes – if it does the trick, I’ll reshoot a couple of images suitable for determining black levels, and further confirm what I believe based on viewing the IN83, and from alternating between it, and the Epson, in my testing room. This first image is from Space Cowboys (Blu-ray) – a nice dynamic, dark scene with a small area of bright white, and also bright red. This can be challenge for a projector with a dynamic iris, as it will limit how much the iris can close down. Since the IN83 does not have a dynamic iris, its black level performance is consistent, regardless of the amount of bright areas:

Black Level Performance

The Dark scene, of a starship, is from The Fifth Element in IN83
The Dark scene, of a starship, is from The Fifth Element in Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB
The Dark scene, of a starship, is from The Fifth Element in JVC DLA-RS2
IN83 spacecowboys satellite large
1080UB VW40 spacecowboys satellite over

The image from The 5th Element.in the IN83

Black Level Performance
The image from The 5th Element.in Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB

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