Projector Reviews

InFocus SP8602 Projector – Dynamic Iris upgrade with new firmware

Greetings,

Sorry, wanted to get this up before the holiday weekend, oh well.

The really short version is the iris action is much improved. It’s still not the least visible around, but in some troublesome scenes the improvement is dramatic.  One of the areas where irises can get to be noticeable and annoying, is in darker slow moving scenes, usually two people conversing, with the camera shots enough different in brightness that you see the effects of the iris opening every time the cut to the brighter of the two, then closing when it cuts back.  You get the same effect on movie credits when they fade in and out.  No one cares on the credits though.  I also checked out some other types of scenes such as the underwater scenes in Hunt For Red October – there aren’t many of the subs but a couple can drive some irises crazy.  That was one of the examples I showed BenQ when pushing them to improve their dynamic iris action.  Well, life is good -both projectors improved significantly from “nasty” to just minor visibility.

I get spoiled watching my JVC with its lack of a dynamic iris. This may make me a bit less tolerant of the more visible iris action, than others, but, when I do yell ‘problem’ at a manufacturer, it really does need to be improved.  Of course, there will be continued improvements made with new algorithms over time, just as we expect with creative frame interpolation as well.

The nature of what is being accomplished with dynamic irises demands that the iris action is detectable.  The trick is to minimize its visibility.  The more range – the more you want to be able to close that iris down, when needed, also means you are expanding the maximum amount of change, and that just makes it more visible.  There’s no perfect answer – therre will always be some scenes/scene changes, that will cause dynamic irises to occasionally become noticeable.

I still don’t think the InFocus has the best overall iris action. While it could still be improved, InFocus accomplished what they needed to, taking the SP8602 iris action from occasionally annoying (which is unacceptable), to being fairly typical, and therefore acceptable to almost everyone.  We all know we are accepting the consequences in exchange for blacker blacks, especially on those darker scenes.

I am relieved.  Without a respectable fix, I would have regretted giving them the benefit of the doubt – and a Best In Class – Runner-up award.

I dropped off the InFocus SP8602 at UPS this afternoon.  Ahh, I really did like it’s nice bright image.  Fortunately I am now watching / listening to Paladia on HDTV – found a Glastonbury 2005 music festival performance, and I’m doing it on the Runco LX7, a 3 chip DLP which is even brighter… wow. -art