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Samsung SP-A600 Projector - A "First Look"

UPDATE: The Samsung SP-A600 Review has been posted. Greetings all, I'm a little late with getting this out, as I'm pretty much done with the Samung SP-A600, except for the writing of the review. Here's the scoop. The Samsung is geared to be an under $2000 projector.  I'm still waiting for the final MSRP.  As of two weeks ago, it was likely to be priced at $1999 or $1795.  Up until now Samsung has pretty well stuck to higher end projectors, with very limited distribution, so what level of discounting we'll see, is unknown.  That said, if I had to guess (and it really is a guess) - probably online discounts in the $100+ range.  Of course, that may depend on which MSRP they start with.  Some companies are launching new models with a rebate from the start.  Of course the thing that counts is the net price, and of course, the projector's quality. So let's talk about the Samsung SP-A600 home theater projector. Physically, the SP-A600 is a small, cute, nicely sculpted DLP projector with a shiny black piano finish.  The remote is small, well laid out, but lacks a backlight is a pain.  Home theater projectors' remotes almost always have backlighting.  Too bad. The picture quality out of the box is very good, far better than the engineering sample they sent us. Overall, the picture quality is very good, the projector's image is sharp, typical for DLP projectors.  Black levels were your pretty basic DLP projector quality, with no dynamic iris to help out. The only thing that really stands out, though, is the brightness in it's best mode (Movie 1). Post calibration it measured 715 lumens.  Only the Optoma HD806 of all the 1080p projectors we reviewed in our big 1080 Comparison, was brighter, so it should have a target market of those needing the extra horsepower for larger screens, or fighting some ambient light. I found no overt issues with the SP-A600.  It's a good, solid projector, but my take is, other than brightness it doesn't stand out from the crowd, and it's picture quality doesn't wow you the way the Sharp XV-Z15000 and BenQ W5000 do.  It may work out to being a bit less expensive than those other DLP projectors.  Because of the brightness, it's closest competitor among the 3LCD projectors is probably the Epson Home Cinema 6100 which is also very bright (not as bright in best mode, but more lumens at maximum). That's a pretty good snapshot of the SP-A600.  Of course I'll go into more detail and touch on additional points with the review, which I'm really hoping to finish mid-week, but my vacation starts in about 30 minutes, and there's only so much writing time on a cross country flight.  At latest, August 10th! Look for the next couple of reviews, most interesting.  The new Optoma $999 1080p projector and I've got a surprise for you.  I've got a projector coming in mid month, that I can't even mention due to press blackout, until Sept 9 when they formally announce at CEDIA.  On Sept 1, I'll be allowed to tell you what it is.  Let's just say it's the latest new model of what can only be called a perennial  "major contender."  I will say it's a mid priced 1080p. OK, I'm out'a here!   Bon Voyage! -art

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