InFocus IN72 Projector Review - Image Quality
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:
You may click on the image above, of Gandalf, for a higher resolution photo.
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.)
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.
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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HDTV, and Hi-Def in general
So, the IN72 looks great on virtually any DVD I play through it, what about High Definition sources. First, consider that the HD source material is better. It's not just higher resolution (also like the new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (HD) DVD players now hitting the market), but HD offers better color dynamics. Those who own projectors and have HDTV, who have seen a movie on HD, and put the same movie in their DVD player and switched back and forth, know what I mean.
We hooked up the IN72 to our D-VHS deck, with HD resolution tape, and also watched a few hours of top quality HDTV content, including Discovery HD, Jay Leno, and some of the Basketball playoffs. Even though the resolution of the IN72 is the same as DVD, and way below HD, the improvement with HD is noticeable.
Here are a few images from HD:
Click to enlarge the image above.
This (above) is an excellent example of the rich saturation of colors. The image also appeared very bright, yet without the details of the castle washing out.
Enough! Let's look at the General Performance aspects of the IN72.