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InFocus X10 Home Theater Projector Review: General Performance

Posted on September 1, 2008 by Art Feierman

InFocus X10 Projector: Menus

The InFocus X10 home theater projector has what appears to be an the same set of menus as the InFocus IN83 we reviewed less than two months ago. Instead of repeating everything in this section, here's a link to the IN83 menus description. Use the back button to return to this page.

InFocus X10 Projector: User Memory Settings

Like the IN83, the X10 has three user savable memory settings.

In addition there are two others - ISF Day, and ISF Night, password protected memories accessable by ISF certified calibrators.


InFocus X10 Projector: Remote Control

The InFocus X10 home theater projector also comes with the same remote control as the IN83. Here's the full rundown:

The relatively small InFocus X10 remote control fits nicely in your hand and is backlit by blue LEDs. To engage the backlight, press the trigger on the bottom side of the remote. The backlight nicely illuminates the graphics on each button, but at the same time makes it harder to read the text description right above each button. That means it's in your interest to learn those graphic Icons.

From the top. All alone on the top row, is the On/Off switch at the top center. Press once to turn on, once again, to turn off. If you have pressed the button once to turn the projector off, pressing it a second time cancels the operation.

Just below are four buttons in a diamond configuration. On the left side of the diamond, is the menu button, which opens the menus (or pressing it once they are open, closes the menus). In the center are the up and down navigation arrow, and on the right, the Enter button. I favor menu systems that use four arrow keys instead of the InFocus's two, as that seems to save a few keystrokes, but since you really aren't going to access the menus often, it's hardly worth quibbling over.

Towards the bottom are three more rows of buttons, here are the buttons by row:

First row, left to right: Resize, Overscan (overscan is used to eliminate noise around the edge of images, typically found on standard TV resolution broadcasts, and often on HDTV broadcasts of non HD material. It does mean that the image is no longer one for one pixel mapped, so it does affect apparent sharpness slightly). On the right is the Source button, which will have the projector search for an active source.

On the middle row, you'll find a Custom button - a nice touch, you can program it to handle the favorite function of your choice. In the middle, is a auto image button, letting the X10 do its best, and on the right, the Preset button which will let you choose your favorite preset, to match what you are watching.

The last row has three source buttons, you can define them to the specfic sources you have hooked up, out of the much larger number of inputs available.

All considered a very nice, but not exceptional remote control.

I should note that the InFocus does not automatically adjust the apect ratio as the sources change. For example, if you are watching HDTV in 16:9 mode, and switch to a regular TV channel, you'll manually have to change the aspect ratio, but pressing the aspect ratio button on the remote until 4:3 ratio appears.

InFocus X10 Projector: Lens Throw and Lens Shift

This InFocus is another "classic" DLP when it comes to lens attributes. The zoom is your basic 1.2:1 ratio, providing very limited placement flexibility (1.2:1 zooms are found on most DLP projectors). This provides about 2 feet of placement flexibility with a 100" screen. By comparison 3LCD (and LCOS projectors), typically have 2:1 zooms - about 10 feet of placement, which means typically anywhere from the middle to the back of most rooms.

That makes the X10 suitable for ceiling mounting in most rooms. Be sure to figure out where you need a projector to go in your room, before purchasing.

The X10 lacks adjustable lens shift, making it unsuitable for shelf mounting, but, again, that's true of almost all DLP projectors.

The actual placement range, for a 100", 16:9 aspect ratio screen is from approximately 13.5 feet, to 16.1 feet, from the screen, measured from the front of the lens. Fixed lens shift for that size screen will place a ceiling mounted InFocus (measured from the center of the lens), is about 17.5 inches. This means that the lens of the projector will be 17.5 inches above the top of the screen surface.

This amount of lens shift, works great in rooms with fairly high celings but creates problems in rooms with less than eight feet of height. For a 7 foot ceiling (such as a basement might have), if your projector (lens) is only 12 inches below the ceiling, then, for a 100" diagonal screen (49" high), that puts the bottom of the screen surface at about 25 inches from the floor - a little low if you plan two rows of seating. Still, for an 8 foot ceiling that number increases to about 3 feet, which many consider close to ideal. Bottom line, if you want a rather large screen, say 120" diagonal, to consider the InFocus X10, then ceiling height becomes a huge factor.

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