SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Projector - Physical Tour
You won't find a much sexier looking projector than the Nero 3D2 for your theater, except perhaps some other SIM2 in a different series.
Below we'll tour you around the SIM2's projector, the remote, and menus.
12/20/2011 - Art Feierman
SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Projector - Appearance
The overall shape of the Nero 3D2 looks almost identical to the famous C3X series of SIM2 3 chip DLP projectors. Those I believe, established SIM2 as a top high end player. (We reviewed the old flagship 720p C3X several years back, pre 1080p.)
The Nero comes in a flat black (extremely dark grey)? case that feels almost rubberized. I like the looks, and I even like the feel of the projector as I have moved it from testing to theater and back a couple of times.
Let's start at the front, with the off center (recessed) zoom lens. The case extrudes and surrounds the lens, so I'll go with "recessed".
Follow the curves to the top where there are more curves, and a single hole, with a recessed hex nut for adjusting the vertical lens shift. Other than vents and feet, everything else is on the back panel, which has all the inputs and connections, and also the small, but capable control panel.
SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Control Panel
The Nero 3D-2's control panel is located on the back of the projector, below the inputs on the left side. It consists of eight buttons and some indicator lights.
As you can see below, the power button is small (as are the other buttons). Below it, is the Escape button. The four navigation arrows are to the right of those two, and are organized in a diamond shape.
Further to the right, is the Menu button, and below it, the Source button. You can see the off indicator lamp (red) which changes to green when powered up.
All considered, a small affair, meant primarily to be used by installers. Once this SIM2 projector ends up on your ceiling, it's not likely you'll ever use the panel. Control panels on projectors are used more often with projectors that end up on a table top, or get moved around. No issues at all with the control panel.
Below, you can see the entire back panel, including the small control panel in the lower left corner. The SIM2 Nero 3D-2 has a good complement of inputs, but, other than possessing three, yes, count them, 3! 12 volt triggers, the options for the Nero projector are pretty standard.
There is, of course, the usual two HDMI 1.4a inputs (top left). Further to the right, are the 3 color coded RCA jacks for a component video input, and next to them, a white RCA jack labeled HV for an RGBS sync signal, if needed.
Next is a DIN input for the external 3D emitter, and to its right, the last RCA jack (yellow) for composite video.
As we continue moving right, next is an HD15 connector labeled Graphics RGB, which, if this Italian projector was made in the US, would read Computer Input, or something similar. This is your standard analog computer input, and it should be able to function as a 2nd component video input, if that's your need. Next are the command and control jacks including a USB and an RS-232. Both are there for your command and control needs, and either can be used to update firmware as needed.
Moving to the short second row, you'll find the three screen triggers below the HDMI inputs, and above the control panel.
Why three screen triggers, you ask? The idea is one for your motorized screen, if you have one. The second one could be used for controlling a screen masking system, and the third Nero 3D-2 projector screen trigger would be used for controlling the motorized sled of an anamorphic lens.
SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Menus
Some aspects of the SIM2 menus are laid out differently than most folks in the US are used to seeing. I attribute this to SIM2 being an Italian company.
That said, it's got all the usual controls, and most are in similar places. The calibratioin area definitely is laid out differently than any other I've seen.
The first menu, above, is the Picture menu, with the usual basic controls, such as Brightness, Contrast, and Color, plus some items usually found on sub-menus, such as Noise Reduction and the toggle for PureMotion (CFI) and PureMovie (CFI off).
Dynamic Black, a lamp based iris, I believe, has Off and two modes.
On the second main menu: Image, you'll find the CMS controls. This screen shows you that calibration area. You can set your mode, such as HDTV (shown - REC709), SMPTE-C, Native, etc. The second column offers a myriad of color temp settings, and the third column let's you manipulate the individual settings.
To the right is the main Image menu. You can see the Color management sub-menu (above) in the second position. Also on this menu, Brilliant Color, Gamma, and Lamp control.
As previously noted about the lamp: The SIM2 offers a slider control, with maximum brightness the 280 watt setting. You can lower the wattage in 10 watt increments down to 230 watts (about a 20% drop).
Gamma Correction (discussed on the first page) is also located on the Image menu.
The Aspect ratio menu gives you an impressive nine aspect ratios to keep you amused. Of course that's because they do support an anamorphic lens, with or without a lens sled, as well as all the usual aspect ratios, and some user definable ones to round things out.
The Setup Menu offers the control on the dynamic (Variable) iris, however this control seems to actually set how wide open the iris goes. You might use this if you are in a situation where your image is too bright. There are multiple test patterns available on this menu.
The Memories Menu provides you (or your friendly calibrator/dealer) the ability to save up to six different "modes" of your settings. For example, Mike calibrated the Nero 3D-2, and saved it in #2, which he labeled 1080P.
For those who like experimenting, and lots of controls to play with, this Nero 3D-2 should keep you most amused!
Our last menu for today, is the Menu menu!
It lets you set the Language for the menus and the various On Screen Displays. In addition you have control of those OSDs (including how long they display), the Help Menu, the list of Sources, and how to set the two programmable function keys F1 and F2.
Bottom Line on Menus: A few things not where expected, but it's all there. The menus are easy to read, though the type is on the small side. No unusual surprises. All considered, a perfectly good menu setup.
On the other hand, I would expect most owners of this projector to not use the menus very often. More likely than not, owners will have a full room control system, and likely have direct buttons to any features they (you?) the end user, might need.
SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Remote Control
Although not my favorite remote control, the Nero's remote does a respectable job.
Taking a closer look, the backlight button is near the top, on the left, directly across from the power button (red).
Next comes a numeric keypad. This is used first, as your source selection. (i.e., 1 for video, 4 for HDMI1, etc.)
The remote control is a nice one. It's Silver faced (I can never find black remotes in my "cave-like" theater).
Below that are some buttons that I did not find intuitive. On the left a button with a black circle in the center. That's actually the OK, (enter) button. Opposite is the Escape btton. Below, the four arrow keys in a diamond shape.
Below that, the - and + toggle you between menus. Just below, two buttons. The left one takes you into the 3D menu, and the right one brings up the Memories menu.
The last two on the far left, are labeled zoom and focus, but are also labeled F1 and F2 (on the buttons). The Focus and Zoom are the defaults, but you can change them. (Theoretically, once your projector is mounted, zoomed and focused, you won't have any need for those two features unless your need to make changes due to an anamorphic lens). The final 3 buttons to the right of F2 are the Info button (next to F2/Focus). The Aspect Ratio button brings up a quick menu for changing the aspect ratio, and, finally, the button on the far, bottom right, DOESN'T DO ANYTHING! I'll assume that it is used on some other SIM2 projectors.
SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Lens Throw
SIM2 offers three different lens for this projector. Starting with the T1, which can place the projector as close as 9.9 feet to a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen. With the T3 lens, you can place the front of the projector as far away as 28.3 feet, from the same sized projection screen.
Placement is almost continuous through that range, with only slightly more than 1 foot of range out of that 18+ feet of total range, where it can't be placed.
Your dealer will naturally optimize the lens selection, based on your room, brightness, placing the projector away from the seating, etc., and other preferences.
Nero Lens Shift
The Nero has a good amount of vertical lens shift. Interestingly, it's controlled from a recessed hex nut on the top of the projector. No easy to access dial or knob, but then this is a projector that is almost certainly going to be installed by a professional installer, who is well trained.
The range of shift is 50% of one screen height. Thus, you have a 0 offset - the projector (center of lens) can be placed anywhere between even with the center of the screen, and even with the top of the screen surface. Per the manual (I did not try), the lens shift is "up" only. As such, to "rear shelf" mount, I would take it, that the Nero 3D-2 would have to be inverted if above the center height of the screen.
Nero 3D-2 Anamorphic Lens
Yes, SIM2 offers full anamorphic lens support for the Nero 3D-2 projector. It can be used with just an anamorphic lens, or with a motorized lens sled as well.