Projector Reviews

InFocus IN116xa Projector Review – Picture and Sound Quality

Color Modes

The IN116xa has 3 lamp settings to choose from: Bright, Eco, and Dynamic. These lamp settings combine with 5 different color modes including Bright, Presentation, Movie, sRGB, Blackboard, and there is one customizable User color mode. It was immediately clear that with the brightest settings in use, the color on the InFocus IN116xa was distorted, with yellows appearing to be more mustard than yellow, red being barely noticeable, and most of the colors in general being quite dull, with reds very dark and bright yellows, unfortunately, taking on a mustardy yellow green look.  Despair not, however, as that is typical of most projectors and especially DLPs. The trick always, is to save the brightest mode for when facing too much ambient light. All the other modes are substantially better, again, as is typical with projectors.

Once you move into a mode putting out fewer lumens, the colors begin to become more accurate, and more easily distinguishable. Reds and yellows specifically improved most while in Presentation & Movie mode, with Movie mode edging out Presentation mode, though Presentation mode was not far behind at all. As is typical with most single chip DLP projectors that have clear slices on their color wheels, including almost all business single chip DLPs, you should really only use the brightest mode in the most desperate of circumstances, when max brightness is the only thing that will work. Other than that, stick with Presentation or Movie mode for the most accurate color representations.

Video Image Quality

All these are shot in the Dynamic Lamp Setting, in Movie mode. The IN116xa performed better than I had expected given its affordable $425 price tag, but it was clearly not on the level of some of your Epson’s of the world which are getting much greater color accuracy in an even brighter lumens output. The video content really did surprise in quality, I got some pretty good shots there to show you the IN116xa’s capability with video viewing, though photos usually don’t do projectors justice.

Text and Presentation Quality

With regards to image quality and sharpness, the IN116xa performed admirably in all resolutions. 8 point font was pretty difficult to read, it’s simply very small, but fortunately that is not a font size often used, especially in the settings where you’ll be using this projector. 10 point text didn’t perform too well, likely readable only to those with good eyesight. 12 point font is a lot better, sharper and more clear but not really much to write home about otherwise. 16 point is where the font becomes sharpest among the smaller fonts, should be no issues with reading for most folks.

As the text moves away from the center of the screen, you may experience reduced sharpness but it wasn’t too noticeable to the untrained eye.

While most photos and videos in a business or classroom presentation are fine in Presentation mode, as you can see in our images of our test pattern/woman’s face, the skin tones could be better in Presentation.  In Movie mode they are the best.  Speaking of movies, while testing out a few movies myself on the projector, I was pleasantly surprised at the black levels, though obviously it was nothing like one would expect from a home theater like my Epson 5020UB, or the Epson PowerLites 990U and 108 that will be posted soon. Whites leaved a little to be desired but on the whole, the images were crisp and the IN116xa could handle action sequences no problem.

Audio Quality

Speaker
Speaker

The IN116xa has a single 3 watt speaker on the left front-side.  It’s not the worst speaker I’ve heard, but as this series of projectors does double duty as a portable projector or a small ceiling mounted one, the sound is more typical of a portable.  For a K-12 school classroom, there are plenty of projectors (larger and more expensive), with more powerful sound.  A pair of 5 watt, or even two 10 watt speakers, a single 7, 10, or even 15 watt speaker can be found on other projectors.  If the classroom, conferenceor huddle room area  is small 3 watts can serve just fine.  However, if you feel more powerful sound is needed to, say, handle a classroom with 30 students, either outboard speakers can be used to complement, or choose a different projector with more powerful sound (and better bass).

As previously mentioned, included on the input panel you have two audio in options and one audio out.  You can select which input to use from the menu settings.  You can also toggle the internal speaker on and off but unfortunately you cannot combine the internal speaker with an external source for even more sound.  If you want to utilize the audio out, you can only use those external speakers.

All in all, if you want quality sound, you’re going to want to plug in some speakers of your own to the audio out.  Use the projector’s 3 watt speaker only in case of emergency or only for a small, quiet setting.