Projector Reviews

Samsung SP-A600 Projector arrives – an engineering sample

UPDATE: The Samsung SP-A600 Review has been posted.


The other day, I received an early engineering sample of the Samsung SP-A600.  I fired it up yesterday for the first time.

Now I’ve got a quandry.  Whether to do a review on this unit, or send it back and wait for a late pre-production unit, or a full production projector.

We expect some issues with pre-production projectors, and many can be anticipated, such as the brightness.  Pre-production projectors tend not to be as bright, for example.

However, most pre-production units tend to have good color tables, often the final version that will appear on the production units.  That’s not the case with an engineering sample.

Turns out the engineering sample has two major flaws.  The first problem are color tables that provide poor “out of the box” color and picture quality.  I’m talking really poor, including way over the top reds (everyone – every race – appear to have a brand new sunburn.

I’m pretty sure Mike can calibrate the projector for really good results, but worry that, first of all, as they finish the color tables, the calibration settings we provide would prove to be worthless.  Feedback tells me that a lot of folks plug in our numbers, rather than spending for a professional calibration.

The second issue is with the HDMI, which does have a problem locking on to the source.  I have had to unplug the hdmi cable, typically a couple of times (with 1080p) to get the projector to find the source.

Mike will take a look at the unit.  After that, we’ll decide whether it makes sense.

What I can tell you about the SP-A600 is that it’s a DLP projector, it’s 1080p, and it’s slated to have a $1999 MSRP, and probably sell for around $1799.  It’s a cute, small projector with a shiny black finish to the cabinet.  Black levels look typical for lower cost 1080p DLP projectors – not bad, but no match for the more expensive ultra-high contrast 3LCD projectors and a couple of the better DLPs (I’m thinking projectors like the PT-AE3000, the Epson 6500UB, the Sharp XV-Z15000 and BenQ W5000).

I can say that I’ve now got the SP-A600 producing decent color, after adjusting it by eyeball.  It’s still not great, but perhaps is best described as about as good as a typical production projector that I describe as having “decent”, but not particularly good out of the box color.  I imagine that the production versions will start out with better color than I just came up with after adjusting by eye.  Of course Samsungs higher end projectors – the SP800 and SP900, under the direction of Joe Kane, are known for extremely good color.  Let’s hope this projector turns out to be a lot like the higher end models.

Stay tuned for an update.  -art