InFocus Play Big SP777 Home Theater Projector Review

This is one fine piece of machinery. More than anything, it produces a truly high end, first class image, from DVD and HD sources. The 777 offers very dark, neutral “blacks”, excellent contrast, and low noise, resulting in a great picture, yet, at the same time, it is more forgiving of DVD’s with poor production values, than the competition we’ve tested.

Pros

  • Really excellent overall image quality
  • Very good “blacks” and excellent shadow detail
  • Lens shift (more range than most)
  • Wide selection of lenses (6 optional, plus standard lens) allows placement at almost any distance desired
  • Very bright
  • Reasonably quiet
  • Physically attractive
  • Two year warranty
  • Dual screen triggers
  • Shelf mounting is a definite option
  • Price/performance: Aggressively priced for a 3 chip DLP projector
  • Lens z oom, focus, and lens shift are all powered

Cons

  • Physically a large projector
  • Lamp life
  • No low power mode
  • A 2nd digital input (DVI/HDMI) would be nice
  • Needs a good calibration to fully maximize its potential and your enjoyment
  • Manual a thin user manual, and a fairly thin installers manual, provides limited info about various options
  • Limited (3) saveable user settings

Typical Capabilities

  • Remote control
  • Noise levels
  • Menus – not pretty, but logically laid out and easy to navigate

The InFocus 777 will provide a first class home theater image that should blow you and your friends away – even the most critical ones. Overall, it handles just about everything beautifully. If you throw a really spectacularly dynamic sequence at it, such as the space collisions in Starship Troopers, its image can be surpassed, by the SIM2 (and possibly others) which by comparison, will provide an image that is even more spectacular. Consider though, at the same time, the SIM2 is more critical of source material. The SIM2 may be the projector with ultimately the better of the two in overall picture quality, but the InFocus may be the easier to enjoy on most content. Taking that and some other factors into consideration, I would have to pick the SIM2 if the C3X was the same price, as the 777, but considering the $5000 difference, the InFocus is the slightly better value.

Please note, when I write above, about more forgiving, or slightly better overall image quality. We are talking about some very small differences, relative to comparing the 777 to projectors half the price. My own BenQ 8720 truly pales by comparison. The differences between the InFocus and the SIM2 are negligible, relative to comparing either with my projector, an extremely good single chip DLP projector.

Try to keep it in perspective that this is about as good as home theater gets. (Yes, uncle milti – there is more esoteric gear out there, and, yes, you can spend a hundred grand on projector and processing, if you are truly that rich and fanatical.) When I say about as good as it gets, I’m talking about for people with a healthy budget, looking for something that creates a better theater experience than running out to a good movie theater.

What the 777 can do, is provide a nearly flawless home theater image, faithfully reproducing what is on your DVD or HD source.

I think a car analogy is in order. This is your top of the line Lexus, or maybe a Mercedes. Easy to use, Easy to watch, and a first class ride. For performance and purists there are BMW’s, Ferraris, etc.but with the InFocus you are certainly traveling in style.

Last comments – for a great projector, with all its potential, do not skimp on cables, screens etc. And also sound. You don’t want to end up with a magnificent picture only to be let down by a second class surround sound system. You’ll want to choose your dealer wisely too! And don’t forget to have the InFocus 777 properly calibrated.

It’s hard to imagine anyone who wouldn’t be satisfied with this projector. I, certainly could learn to live with it. Time to break out the AMEX?

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