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InFocus X10 Home Theater Projector Review: General Performance2

Posted on September 1, 2008 by Art Feierman

InFocus X10 Projector: SDE and Rainbow Effect, Pixel Visibility

As is typical for 1080p projectors, and DLP ones in particular, SDE - Screen Door Effect is not an issue. The high resolution of 1080p makes pixel size dramatically smaller than that of 720p projectors (whose pixels are 2.25 times the size). Combine that with a DLP projector's less visible pixel structure (at any resolution), and what you have is a projector, that, at normal seating distances, poses no problem. You can still make out a little bit of pixel structure in things like movie credits and on overlayed graphics (such as sports scores, and stats), but it's really not an issue. Only the few LCoS projectors (primarily from JVC and Sony), have less visible pixel structure.

RBE - Rainbow effect is more problematic. For the very small percentage of us that are sensitive to the rainbows (normally easiest to spot when fast moving white or near white objects move across a dark background), the X10 is typical of a 1080p DLP projector, with its 4x seven segment wheel. Now, a number of other 1080p DLP projectors have 5x wheels, and the high end Optomas have 6x. Partially offsetting the X10's slightly slower wheel, is the use of seven segments, instead of the more common 4 or 5. As with watching the IN83, I found the rainbow effect to be minimal. I never see it in scenes that are well lit, but it does occasionally show up for me, in those dark action scenes. The X10 is very good in terms of minimizing RBE, but not the best. Still, having owned DLPs previously, the X10's RBE for those sensitive should be more than satisfactory.

That said, if at all possible, if you are shopping for your first home theater projector, it's to your advantage to find out, before a purchase, if you are sensitive to the Rainbow Effect, at all. You know the problem - trying to find a local place where you can see projectors demo'ed.

InFocus X10 Projector: Brightness

When it comes to dishing out the lumens, the X10 is rather impressive in its best mode, although its more average in brightest mode, for those trying to cut through a fair amount of ambient light, say, while watching sports or typical TV, where really dark scenes are infrequent or rare.

OK by the numbers: Before any calibration, other than adjusting Contrast and Brightness, with Color Temp set to 6500K, and Brilliant Color off, and iris fully open:


Gamma Film, 819 lumens
Gamma PC, 940 lumens
Gamma Video, 803 lumens
Gamma CRT, 787 lumens
Gamma Bright Room, 820 lumens

Interestingly, the Bright Room mode, wasn't brighter than Film but the gamma is markedly different. Turns out PC mode is the brightest, and easiest bright mode to get a good calibration on, according to Mike Rollett who does the calibrations for us.

After a basic calibration (see details below in that section) of Film and PC modes we arrived at measurements of:

Film: 810 lumens (very nicely bright). This makes it, I believe, the brightest of any of the lower cost 1080p projectors, in best mode. Of course, if too bright for your room, you can reduce brightness with the iris. Lowering the iris from 100, to 55, for example drops brightness about 17%. Figure brightness down 50% or more with the iris closed to the 0 setting, although we didn't measure that.

PC: To get maximum lumens for the PC mode, turn on Brilliant Color (which increases brightness about 20%), and Select Native for the Color Temp instead of Film (good for about a 17% gain) and the end result is an impressive 1312 lumens. Using Native Color Temp does give you a slightly cooler (shift towards blue) image, than the 6500K setting (still around 7100K average), but many, including myself, tend to favor that, when dealing with ambient light.

I personally recommend Brilliant Color off, unless you need every last lumen. Brilliant Color adds some punch, but overall picture quality isn't quite as good. Hey, go with what you like. With Brilliant Color off you are still down around 1100 lumens, which is about average for 1080p projectors in brightest mode. the 1312 lumens, with Brilliant Coor on, is very good, but still shy of some of the competition, such as the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, which can put out almost 1700 lumens in brightest mode.

Finally, when Mike is doing the measuring and calibrating, he tends to come up with "brightest mode" lumen measurements a little lower than I do, that's because I'm willing to leave a little excess green in the picture, as it helps cut through ambient light. His final picture quality, therefore, is a touch better than mine, but it probably costs him 5-10% in lumens. Bottom line, if you need all the lumens, and push the PC mode a little further, it's possible that the InFocus X10 can probably exceed 1400 lumens.

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