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InFocus Screenplay 4805

Posted on August 1, 2005 by Art Feierman

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InFocus Play Big SP4805 Specs
Price 1099
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 854x480
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 750
Contrast 2,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.20:1, Manual
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 3000 hours
Weight 7.8
Warranty 2 years parts and labor.

InFocus's Screenplay 4805 home theater projector, is almost certainly the most widely owned entry level home theater projector out there. There are two good reasons: First of all, when the InFocus Screenplay 4805 projector was introduced, it certainly was a contender for best home theater in its price range. At the time it offered exceptional image quality, and a faster color filter wheel than most of the competing DLP powered home theater projectors used (the faster wheel reduces the likelyhood of you seeing the "rainbow effect").

The second reason, is that, the InFocus Screenplay 4805 has been on the market a really long time. Launched in April or May of 2004, it is already about 16 months old as of this writing (8/05).

In the world of home theater projectors, that really is a long time. By comparison (although more expensive) BenQ was shipping their PE8700 projector back in April of 2004. BenQ then replaced it with the PE8700+, and this past April replaced the 8700+ with the PE7700! In other words, in the short lifetime of today's home theater projectors (normally less than one year), the Screenplay is ancient. I thought to call it a dinosaur, but that would imply obsolete or extinct, and this InFocus projector is neither. In all fairness, it isn't the oldest model out there, dealers are still selling the discontinued Mitsubishi HC-3 and the old Sanyo Z2 projectors, but these were originally much more expensive, and are even more dated in some ways - but someone has to "move'm out". Another example: Optoma has just started shipping their H27 projector, designed to replace their H31, which only started shipping this past November!

In fact, the InFocus Screenplay 4805 projector is still one of the better low cost projectors out there, with advantages over several competing current model projectors, it just isn't quite up to the best and newest.

The Basics:

The 4805 projector is rated 750 lumens in full power mode, and 600 in economy. Contrast (a critical spec) is rated at 2000:1 which is low by today's standards for DLP home theater projectors. Resolution is WVGA (854x480) which is typical of the entry level DLP projectors. This is the same resolution as today's DVD's produce, and lower than HDTV from your cable or satellite (normally 1920x1080). Note, projectors with true 1920x1080 start at $30,000! To move up to a DLP home theater projector with 1280x720 (WXGA) the most popular resolution, you are looking at $2500 - $15,000.

The InFocus Screenplay 4805 typically sells online, for under $1100 today.

This InFocus projector gets 3000 hours off its lamp in economy mode. Warranty is 2 years. The projector itself is fairly small, and gray in finish. It's not overly stylish, but has some sculpting to its lines (not a rectangular box). As mentioned above, it is DLP based, and uses a 4x speed, six segment color wheel.

here is a very nice control panel on the top, and it does sport a zoom lens with a range of 1.2:1 (20%). The Screenplay has a longer throw lens (the projector sits further from the screen) than most projetors but not all (example - the recently reviewed Optoma H27 sits even sightly further back). The SP4805 projector vents out the front, allowing the projector to be shelf mounted. Since the projector lacks variable lens shift, if shelf mounted you will need to place it with the center of the lens close to the bottom of the screen level, or have it on a shelf but upside down, near the top of the screen surface (same relative height as ceiling mounting. You can actually put it on a shelf more towards even with the center of the screen, but that would force you to use keystone correction, which degrades image quality, and is best avoided.

When it comes to inputs, the InFocus is a typical low cost home theater projector. That is to say, it has the basics. It has their proprietary M1 connector, which supports DVI-I (and also USB)- you can feed it either a digital signal (that is HDCP compliant), or an analog computer signal. In addition there are the 3 color coded RCA jacks for component video, and the lower quality standard S-Video and composite inputs. Strangely the Screenplay 4805 projector actually has a small speaker and 2.5 watt amp. This is rare, and it does indicate that this Screenplay evolved from business projectors. (It's predecessor, the 4800, was identical to one of the pure business InFocus models, except for a minor connector change).

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