Samsung SP-A400B movie and business projector
The Wash & Go of the projector market
Review Forget TVs - to get a truly huge picture, a projector is the only way to go, and if you want to take full advantage of HD media, there’s no better way to show it off. It needn’t cost you a huge amount either.
Just £1000, in fact, if you opt for Samsung’s SP-A400B. It's capable of displaying 720p HD content at screen sizes of up to 250in (6.25m) in the diagonal from a conveniently-placed coffee table. Shaped rather like Giger’s Alien sporting a Davy lamp, its piano-black exterior is shiny, sleek and sensually curvaceous. Definitely designed to be seen, it looks expensive and intriguing. It's the perfect answer to the question, 'where’s your telly?'
Samsung's SP-A400B: looks expensive
Now, work and play don’t often mix – or so it's said. However, if there’s one area where this adage holds true more often than not, it’s in the world of projectors.
If you have a projector at work, it’s probably one of those functional, business-like and basically boring lumps that ruin your Friday afternoons with endless PowerPoint tedium. Of course, you could get your own back by making off with it for the weekend for some big-screen gaming, but there are some important and usually mutually exclusive differences between projectors designed for the office and those made for home use.
We were therefore surprised to note that Samsung is promoting the SP-A400B as “optimised for both home theatre and business use”. Those aren’t easy qualities to combine, like being good at both dress-making and the didgeridoo. Think of sculpting a body perfect both for Sumo and for romping home a winner at the Grand National. What’s good for one is usually a bit of a handicap for the other.
I'd like to see some more revies of projectors...
...specifically; how cheap *should* you go.
@ David Wiernicki
"with its (...) 35,000:1 contrast".
No way. It's more like 1,000:1.
svp400 for 4.5k?1
I hope you bought that thing new in 1997, or you got serrrriously screwed. That thing is barely worth 200 bucks US in mint condition these days. My barco, with probably double the brightness and resolving power, cost me 400usd (that's under 200 in blighty if I'm not mistaken). The 2k pounds for that dlp will easily but you a g90 9" crt, which will match or beat the absolute best 3chip dlps out there (eg rs2). 2000 for any non-1080p pj is tru insanity, anyway. My company paid under 3k usd for a 1080p 3xlcd almost a two solid years ago!
Amen! Me and my $400 1080p BarcoGraphics 808s - with its near-silence, 35,000:1 contrast, and incredible, saturated colors - salute you. Granted, it weighs 140lbs, but since it's hanging from my ceiling and not stuffed in my briefcase I don't particularly care.
And to brainwrong: Another amen. That line is probably only a bit more bullshitty than claiming 2000:1 contrast at 2000 ansi lumens! (Usually, projectors like this will calibrate down to about 400 to 500 lumens if you want correct colors. And at that point the black get seriously awful.) It's worth noting that the Spyder 2 is awful below about 30IRE, too. Not too useful to do grayscale adjustment down in the darks.
One final word:
"It's found a good balance between the two usage modes, but unless you plan to use the same projector in the office and at home."
To that, I say:
You think you've found a good balance between having an editor and not having an editor, but unless you plan to train him better.
as a projector owner
I have the said HD65, got for about £420, powered at the moment by a £60 philips 5980 upscaling dvd player.
yay its cool. its driving a 120" 16:9 picture (thats 2.65m on the long side). Let me tell you its a damn site better than the last one i bought, a Seleco SVP400 CRT projector. £4500, about 35kg IIRC and a COMPLETE BASTARD to set up (3 individual tubes all needing to be tuned to each other so the colours match up. hours of fun for the masochistic)
for this to be 2000 lumens - cool. what this means is instead of a white matt screen you can go for a grey one. this increases the depth of your blacks, yet it will still have enough power to drive to make whites appear white. hell i've been considering geting a grey screen for my HD65. apart from the fact I had to bend the screen casing of the current one to get it in the house anyway...