Posted on April 20, 2006 Art Feierman
The InFocus IN76 (officially, the Play Big IN76), has been long awaited. InFocus spoke of this projector, and their other new “Play Big” home theater projectors that were recently released, as far back as the CEDIA show last September. InFocus had demos going at the CES show in Las Vegas, this past January. It could be said that the IN76 is replacing two different older InFocus projectors. It is a 720p resolution projector, like the LCD powered ScreenPlay 5000, and the DLP based ScreenPlay 7205. The old “5000” sold for less than the current IN76 pricing but is far more limited in performance, and the ScreenPlay 7205, sold for far, far more. From a performance standpoint it is definitely much closer to the comparably pricey ScreenPlay 7205.
The Play Big IN76 is now the least expensive of InFocus’s current 720p resolution projectors. InFocus also offers the less expensive Play Big IN72, and Play Big IN74EX home theater projectors, with lower, non-HD native resolutions (480p and 576p resolution, respectively).
The IN76 started shipping end of March, almost a month ago. Unfortunately getting an official “evaluation unit” IN76 from InFocus is not easy, and they have a long list of reviewers waiting. This time, I was able to get their permission to borrow an IN76 from one of their authorized dealers, instead of waiting longer. As a result, my thanks to Visual Apex, a major online reseller, for providing me with a brand new IN76 in an unopened box. InFocus (actually their PR firm that runs their eval program) sent me their “reviewers guide” by email.
Stunning! Without a doubt, the IN76 is as good a looking projector as you will find. Most projectors (especially under $5000) are basic “boxes”. A few have some sculptured lines, and a couple, like the Epson Cinema series are stylish. That said, the InFocus, in my opinion, is the best looking home theater projector in its class.
That’s nice, but more importantly, is what happens when you turn it on and watch?
The IN76 home theater projector is definity a contender, designed to compete with the Optoma HD72, BenQ PE7700, Mitsubishi HC3000 and other DLP HT projectors, as well as LCD projectors from Sanyo, Panasonic and Epson. It is interesting to note up front, that InFocus chose the 1280×720 resolution Darkchip2 DLP chip to power the IN76, while several other new entries, notably the Optoma HD72 and the Mitsubishi HC3000 have gone with the dual purpose 1280×768 Darkchip2 instead. In other sections we will look at the advantages of each. We’ll explore as much as we can of the Big Play IN76, beginning now, with the IN76 home theater projector’s basic attributes:
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