SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Projector Review

Shadow Detail Performance

No problem with dark shadow detail. While not the best, the SIM2 does an impressive job.

In our standard night train image from Casino Royale, with plenty being revealed in the shrubs behind the tracks on the right, and in the woods.

Our major comparison uses the night train scene from Casino Royale. Look to the trees and shrubs on the right, especially just above the tracks. The first image is the SIM2 Nero 3D-2, followed by the Sony VPL-VW95ES. Unlike the side-by-side above, these were taken at separate times. They are followed by the Mitsubishi HC9000D, then by the less expensive Sony HW30ES, fifth is the Epson Home Cinema 5010, followed by the JVC RS25, and the last one is from the Runco LS-10d projector.

SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Projector
Sony VPL-VW95ES
Mitsubishi HC9000D
Sony VPL-VPL-HW30ES
Epson's Home Cinema 5010
JVC DLA-RS25
Runco LS-10d

SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Projector:

Sony VPL-VW95ES:

Below Mitsubishi HC9000D (last year’s Best In Class winner, $3500 – $10,000)

Sony VPL-VPL-HW30ES ($3699): This lower cost Sony projector is respectable on detail, but can’t match the 3D-2 on blacks.

Epson’s Home Cinema 5010:

JVC DLA-RS25:

Runco LS-10d (a very nice 3 chip $27K projector with very good shadow detail)

SIM2 Nero 3D-2 - Overall Color & Picture Quality

The SIM2 vs Sony images below also appeared in the Sony review.

The side-by-side image below shows the Nero on the left, and the Sony on the right:

That extra red down there shouldn’t be, but two things keep me from being concerned. First, it’s slight. You probably wouldn’t notice unless looking for such things, and perhaps more to the point, I don’t expect to see the deep red on those full production projectors.

Below, on the left is the Epson 8700UB – a projector with the best black levels of pretty much everything under $5000. If a projector can best the Epson, its black level performance is excellent. In side by side viewing, the blacks of the Sony are definitely better than the Epson! Below, note how much brighter the whites and bright areas are, compared to the two projector’s similar blacks. In this case, the blacks look a touch brighter on the Sony, but the image is far brighter overall. An impressive “win” for the 3D-2.

For your consideration: Here are additional images, some of which can be found on other reviews:

The bottom line on overall picture quality:

Pre-calibration, very good. Post calibration, great. Other than the tendency of oversaturated colors, which reducing the color saturation tends to address, there’s really nothing to complain about. I’ve got over 50 hours now, logged, watching the Nero 3D-2 in 2D, and I’ve enjoyed all of it. Oh my old JVC can do better blacks still, but at the moment, my JVC is underpowered if I want to watch a movie filling my full 124″ diagonal 2.35:1 screen, whereas the Nero 3D-2 handles it no problem, in terms of brightness!

SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

Other than having twice as many lumens (2000 thousand instead of the 1005 maximum we measured), I’m perfectly happy with sports on the Nero 3D-2. Colors are dynamic, the CFI works nicely and smooths motion. Shadow detail and black levels really aren’t an issue for sports as sports is rarely dark. The abilities of the Nero 3D-2 come into play for other HDTV content, be it concert videos (I’m a huge fan), or travel and education type material from the likes of Discovery HD, History HD, SyFiHD, Nat Geo HD, and so on.

Below a mix of NFL images, music videos, and other images:

Bottom line for HDTV on the SIM2 Nero 3D-2 Home Theater Projector

The Sony may lack the more precision sharpness of a first class single chip DLP projector, but it’s right up there for good sharpness with any of the 3 chip LCoS or LCD projectors. It converges very well, and still looks very sharp on digital content. I watched a few concerts, some Smithsonian HD, plenty of sports (football mostly), and more, when it comes to 2D digital content.

In my theater, I can have all my rear recessed lights on (7 down facing LED lights – each about 50 watt equivalent), and even sports viewing is more than bright enough in 2D, with the low ambient light. While there isn’t a huge difference in brightness between the Sony’s various modes, filling a 100″ screen (16:9) even with the ambient light in any of the modes, works great in my theater. I never really needed to go to “brightest mode” except for 3D, or if I chose to partially open a couple of my shutters to let in a little sun light.

Which reminds me! Sports in 3D can be really great. I’ve recorded a couple of college football games, boxing (not my thing, normally), X-games, and so on. Very cool in 3D on the Sony. There sure isn’t a whole lot of content yet, but more is coming… including for the second year, the BCS championship game.

Content like the two Stephen Lowe “productions,” Tahiti 3D: Ultimate Wave, and Legends of Flight, are just downright awesome in 3D. (Image above from “Flight).

This works for me. Mind you, if I was trying to use this projector in a room with off white walls and ceilings, I’d be running out of lumens much faster, but in the theater type situation the Nero 3D-2 is normally being used in, sports and HDTV should be just fine, even with lots of company and a fair amount of controlled ambient light.

If you are placing the 3D-2 in a lighter room, pay particular attention to your choice of screens. If a siginficant amount of any ambient lighting is coming from the sides, a really good high contrast gray screen can really help

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