Samsung SP-A600 Projector Review
August 2009 - Art Feierman
Samsung SP-A600 Projector Overview
Six months or so ago, a new 1080p projector with a list price of under $2000 would have easily qualified as an "entry level" 1080p projector. By the time the Samung SP-A600 hits the streets in September, from a pricing standpoint, we are just starting to see the first under $1000 1080p home theater projectors.
The SP-A600 is a bit of a departure from Samsung's reputation for home theater projectors. Samsung has been best known for their more expensive SP-A800, SP-A700 and before them, eariler models that offered rather excellent color and image accuracy. Those higher end projectors have been limited distribution, and were targeted at purists. It's been a while since we reviewed a Samsung home theater projector. The last one really did have a great image from a color standpoint, but for it's high price, it came up really short in terms of black level performance.
The Samsung SP-A600, is a very typical lower-cost 1080p DLP projector, complete with lots of brightness in best picture mode, and very typical black levels that can't compete with the more expensive - what I call "ultra-high contrast" projectors. I better state right now that virtually all of those ultra-high contrast projectors cost from hundreds to thousands more than this Samsung projector.
One of the biggest questions unanswered, as of this writing, is what the SP-A600 projector will sell for when it starts shipping in September. As of now, the anticipated MSRP is $1795, but with the first sub-$1000 1080p projectors starting to ship, Samsung may rethink its pricing, depending on how those low cost projectors perform.
SP-A600 Projector Highlights
- Almost a "classic" DLP projector, it has the typical features found in most lower cost 1080p resoution DLP projectors
- Very good color out of the box, even better after calibration.
- Brightness in best mode is one of the brightest with over 700 measured lumens
- Brightness about average in "brightest mode" (Vivid) - a bit over 1000 lumens
- Typical black level performance for a lower cost home theater projector (and no dynamic iris)
- Very limited placement flexibility, though a touch more than many DLPs, no lens shift (typical for DLP projectors)
- Extremely good in terms of minimizing the rainbow effect for those sensitive to it 6 segment wheel
- Remote control has no backlight - which is unfortunate
- Solid price/performance
Specs for Samsung SP-A600
Click here for full specifications: Samsung SP-A600
Anticipated MSRP: $1795, 1st ship date: Sept. 2009
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.3:1
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: 4000 hours in eco-mode, 3000 hours at full power
Weight: 11.6 lbs. (5.2 Kg)
Warranty: 2 Years Parts and Labor
Samsung SP-A600 Special Features
Samsung SP-A600 Color Wheel
Like the Optoma HD8200 and Sharp XV-Z15000, both recently reviewed, this is one of the newer DLP projectors that, as Texas Instruments promised, makes the rainbow effect less noticeable to those of us who are sensitive. For me (I am rainbow sensitive), I'm not sure that the SP-A600 is quite as good as the other two at minimizing the rainbow effect for the small percentage of us who are sensitive. But with that said, I rarely spotted any rainbows, which is not the case for one of my favorite DLP projectors, the slightly more expensive BenQ W5000, with which I find rainbows far more noticeable.
Image below - from Quantum of Solace