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InFocus Screenplay 4805 - Image Quality

Posted on October 1, 2013 by Art Feierman

Image Quality

First thing to note, is that the Screenplay 4805 comes out of the box with well balanced color. Flesh tones look about as right as you would hope for. If you use a calibration disk like the Avia disk, you can make some minor improvements in overall color/saturation, but the out of box performance is very good.

This projector has a number of different gamma settings for different types of viewing (see more in the description of the menus), notably Film, Video, Bright Room 1 and 2, PC, etc.

The source material viewed included DVD's of Star Wars Attack of the Clones, Lord of the Rings - Return of the King, and Life Aquatic. For Hi-Def, the source was my JVC D-VHS deck outputting 1080i over component, and the viewing was the Over America tape that I use for all reviews, and the Hawaian Tropic Pagent. In addition, for actual HDTV, Jay Leno plus various content from Discovery-HD, and the INHD channels were viewed.

Let me start with the Hi-Def material. Overall picture quality was very good, motion artifacts from panning, etc, were minimal as expected. Color saturation was very good, producing a rich image. Where the InFocus came up short were on high contrast scenes with a lot of black and near black detail. For average "TV" viewing the InFocus did just great, but for movie watching (and some of those Discovery-HD specials, and INHD concerts, where there can be significant dark imagery, that's where I found the Screenplay 4805 to come up short compared to some of today's newer projectors.

On Star Wars, with the gamma set for movie, it was apparent that the blacks were getting "crushed". In space scenes where there should have been lots and lots of stars - there were very few. A good calibration of the projector should significantly improve the performance (in this case - more stars), but out of the box with only color and saturation, and viewed with two different brands of DVD players, the results were pretty consistant. If you want to maximize the performance of the 4805, you should plan on spending time adjusting the settings. Get a calibration disk like AVIA, (which takes time, but it does explain the steps clearly), and invest an hour or two. You can see here a small image shot at the end of the opening credits of Star Wars. This is a side by side of the InFocus Screenplay 4805 projector - on the right, and on the left - the Optoma H27. (Look for the "shoot-out" review of the two projectors).

Realizing that the image is small and dark, you are probably going to have to get up close to the screen, but as you can see, there is a huge difference in performance here. (The Optoma projector in its best mode - with AI turned on - claims 4000:1 contrast - double the InFocus's 2000:1. And it really makes a difference, in a number of scenes.

Simply put, shadow details that a DLP projector with higher contrast can reveal, go flat dark gray on the InFocus. Although I was able to get more stars out of that scene with a different gamma setting, the Movie setting looked best for movie watching overall, so that trade off is one that has to be lived with.

Seeing Pixels:

The InFocus Screenplay 4805 home theater projector, is, as mentioned, a WVGA projector with 854x480 resolution, which is typical of all the entry level DLP projectors. As such, its pixels are larger than higher resolution projectors. I found that to avoid seeing the pixel structure except in the brightest areas, you should sit about 1.5x the screen width back from the screen. In other words, if you have a 100" diagonal screen, the width is 87" and 1.5x would be about 130" or approximately 11 feet back. (You likely will spot a bit of pixelization on stationary bright areas like clouds, if you are looking for it, and also in the credits. At 2x screen width the pixels are effectively gone! This is, however typical off all the lower resolution DLP projectors, and much less visible than with the entry level LCD home theater projectors.

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