Primary Color Point Accuracy vs. SMPTE HD Standard
|Color||Target X||Measured X||Target Y||Measured Y|
At its factory settings, the Cine LED’s 6,500-K color-temperature mode delivered grayscale tracking that was nearly perfect on a neutral white 1.0-gain screen. Grayscale tracking averaged 6,529 K from 20 to 100 IRE, with a maximum deviation from the 6,500-K standard of 59° degrees, and a maximum deviation of 35 degrees from the 6,529-K average. I couldn’t improve on this performance through further calibration, although it’s possible that some screens or viewing environments could throw off the color enough to demand on-site calibration. Fortunately, the Cine LED’s 200-step gain and offset controls for red, green, and blue make the projector easy to calibrate if necessary.
Color-decoder tests through the HDMI and component-video inputs revealed no errors on blue or green, but red was down 20 percent through HDMI and 10 percent through component. Color points at factory settings are within a couple percent of the SMPTE HD specification for digital TV colors. You can calibrate the color points by switching to Native color gamut mode and using the HSG (hue/saturation/gain) controls for the three primary and three secondary colors, but I was unable to improve on the factory calibration using this method. Interestingly, by switching to Native mode and playing around with the saturation controls for each color, I found I was able to tap into some of that expanded color gamut that LED projector makers have been promising. Just for the fun of it, I created an ultrasaturated palette that gave video images a supernaturally vivid, almost cartoonish look. This projector certainly has the potential to deliver a broader palette if video sources are someday devised to deliver more colors than are currently possible.
With the projector’s Dynamic Black and Adaptive Contrast features deactivated, the Cine HD’s contrast ratio measures 2,048:1 at factory settings and 1,801:1 after calibration. Setting Dynamic Black to Max improves the after-calibration measurement to 5,443:1 and drops the minimum black level to 0.003 ftL. Those are fairly competitive numbers, and at this setting the projector delivers deep blacks and bright (but not overemphasized) white. Adding Adaptive Contrast to Dynamic Black drops the blacks to an extremely low 0.0003 ftL, raising the contrast ratio to 58,380:1 when measured on 100-IRE (full white) and 0-IRE (full black) test patterns. It's important to note that Dynamic Black and Adaptive Contrast can't improve the contrast within a single frame of video; just as with an auto-iris mechanism, it can only improve contrast by changing its adjustment from one frame to the next. Also, adaptive Contrast introduces undesirable artifacts — it crushes whites and blacks, removing the detail in bright and dark areas of the picture. Maximum output at 100 IRE was 16.2 ftL after calibration.
The projector offers five gamma presets: CRT, Film, Video, Punch, and Graphics. Only the first two delivered a good-looking transition from black to gray to white; I stuck with Film for all of my evaluation.
With Overscan switched off, overscan measured 0% on all sides of the image. The projector offers two separate modes when Overscan is switched on: Crop and Zoom. Zoom is the traditional overscan, cropping off 3% of the picture on all sides and magnifying the image to fill the screen. Crop just cuts off the same 3% without magnifying the image.
Brightness and color uniformity were excellent at all signal levels; I noticed no color or brightness shifts at all. A crosshatch pattern showed no convergence error. I also saw no color fringing, which is an artifact visible on all other single-chip DLP projectors I have seen.
The Cine LED displayed 1080i/p and 720p test patterns with full resolution through its HDMI and component-video connections. Factory setting of the sharpness control is minimum (off) and the picture looked quite detailed at this setting. The control offers 200 settings; above about 100, fine lines start to develop halos, or “ringing” — a typical sharpness-control side effect.
From a technical standpoint, the projector’s noise reduction was extremely effective, providing a huge range of adjustment and just a modest loss of detail at higher NR levels. However, as with the sharpness control, the adjustment slider offers 200 possible NR settings, and it moves pretty slowly — plus the picture tends to break up as you’re adjusting the NR. I’d have greatly preferred 10 settings here instead of 200.
The projector performed superbly on all of the tests from the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the HQV Benchmark disc. “Jaggies” tests showed almost perfectly smooth diagonal and curving lines. The projector almost instantly picked up the cadence of the 2:3 pulldown test on the HQV Benchmark DVD, and displayed excellent crispness on the disc’s detail test scene.
Fan noise is moderate — not as quiet as some other projectors I’ve tested, but not so loud that it bothered me. The LEDs (or their power supply) produce a very slight buzz, but it’s not as loud as the mechanical color-wheel noise of most single-chip DLP projectors.
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