SIM2 D80E Evolution 1080p HDTV Projector
Sugg. Retail: $13,350CAD $11,999USD
We’ve reviewed several SIM2 projectors over the years, and they have always excelled in their optics, with better lenses than most, and a near-perfect picture right out of the box, the HT300 E-Link being a prime example, making the utmost of 720p. Here we have the company’s version of a near-budget 1080p model, the D30 being the real entry model in the Domino Series. Here’s what their online brochure has to say about this Evolution product:
“The Evolution enhancement of the D80E makes great use of a sophisticated technology originally developed for use in SIM2’s Grand Cinema Series’ models, namely Unishape lamp technology. When used in conjunction with BrilliantColor color enhancement, the millisecond-precision of the dynamic Unishape lamp system takes the performance of D80E to an altogether higher level. With a wider, more vivid color palette on offer, along with improved contrast and increased lighting output.”
“This Full HD specification home theater projector utilizes Texas Instruments’ DarkChip3 0.95″ 1080p DLP (1920 x 1080 pixel resolution) chipset in its design, this is integrated into SIM2’s patented ALPHAPATH light engine to deliver outstanding high definition images on-screen. The D80E also enables standard definition sources to be reproduced at 1080p resolution, thanks to sophisticated 10-bit video processing electronics.”
“The DOMINO D80E is compatible with all video standards (including 1080p@24fps) and offers a wide choice of both analog and digital source inputs, including HDCP compliant HDMI, making it eminently suitable for use with today’s HD devices.”
The basic specs are, 1920×1080p; 4500: 1 contrast ratio, aspect ratios of 16:9, 4:3, and 5:4; 4000 hour lamp life; projection screen size: 50 to 300″; DLP darkchip3. Inputs are 1 composite, 1 S-video, 1 RGB D-sub 15-pin, and 1 HDMI. Anyone wanting to feed several HDMI signals will need a a high quality HDMI switcher like the Kimbermodel we’ll be reviewing soon.
I found the D80E quite easy to set up with our VuTec pull-up screen, the SIM2 sample in the white colour, which worked fine our in our room, mounted just behind the couch over my right shoulder on a large Syntony bass trap, stabilized with the Antec cooling plate recently reviewed here. Once you get used to the scroll-through characteristics of the standard Domino remote, it’s snap to set up for Focus and other basic parameters. Keystone is automatically taken care of naturally in our system, that is, by slightly offsetting the angle of the screen to the projector angle, which is hardly noticeable to the viewer, and also reduces light scatter on the white left side wall.
Sources were my classic Pioneer Elite DV-AX10 DVD player into component input and S-video, a Samsumg BDH-1500 Blu-ray player into the HDMI in with the Crystal cable reviewed nearby, and my ExpressVu receiver into both HDMI and Component inputs by swapping cables; too bad I didn’t yet have the Kimber HDMI switchbox!
These allowed me to have a good look through this projector over the Christmas Holidays of 08′ and into early 09′. I very much liked what I saw on my 92″ screen. Colour was very accurate, and naturally hued, and required no adjustment. Contrast did need a bit of tweaking for our quite dark room, and tuned up quite nicely. A run through the Digital Video Essentials DVD showed very accurate greyscale performance, colour, and really excellent blacks, typical of DLP’s best performance. Looking at the more recent FPD Benchmark Software Blu-ray test disc revealed the same characteristics cranked up to 1080p, plus a few other things.
One was some “judder” in the lateral pan sequences. Though not often visible on normal HD program material (and often masked by network anomalies from the broadcasts), this artifact did become more visible with Blu-ray sources that were otherwise seen very cleanly. I wouldn’t say that this effect was any more noticeable than its film counterpart, but there it was, a noticeable blurring of scenes as they moved. But since this effect usually happens when there is already motion blur in the source (if it originated on film), it will not be all that distracting to most viewers.
I watched lots of sports on the D80E, as well as a few movies, and was generally very impressed with its overall performance, especially the vivid, accurately hued, and very natural picture. Brightness and contrast were near perfect, or easily able to be made so. The D80E will operate well in a wide variety of light conditions. And it completely lacks what I call that “pasty” effect of the picture being slightly smeared, with objects almost overlapping in somewhat monochromatic colour, once typical of cheaper 720p types.
Here the palette is preserved, and viewing is like looking through a window with the best sources. That’s just about the highest compliment I can give to an HDTV projector.
Table of contents for The AIG Projector Project
Related Reviews:SIM2 Domino 30 DLP Video Projector
Benq PE8700 DLP Video Projector
AIG Back Issues: Fall 2004
Crystal Cable New Standard Certified 1.3B HDMI Cable
SIM2 Seleco Grand Cinema HT300 DLP Video Projector
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