Last Tuesday, high-end audio/video company
most dazzling home video demos ever. The demo, which took place at Stewart
CA, headquarters, featured
new 10-megapixel video projector (that’s 4096 x 2400 pixels, the same
resolution offered by many top digital SLR cameras).
The $185,000 810 Reference Video System starts with a
reconstructed, very tweaked-out version of a JVC D-ILA commercial cinema
projector. It uses four 1080p D-ILA chips, “mashed together and cropped to
Ken Forsythe put it, in a way that gives Meridian an extra 2 megapixels of resolution relative to the JVC. The system also includes an Isco 3 anamorphic lens and a
dedicated video scaler that resulted from a joint effort by
The scaler connects to the projector through four separate
DVI digital video cables, one for each D-ILA chip. “If you disconnect the
scaler, you can actually display four separate 1080p images on the screen,”
Forsythe pointed out. The scaler accepts video in any resolution from 480i to
the projector’s native 10-megapixel resolution. However, it offers only one
HDMI and one DVI input. “We expect there will be a video switcher somewhere
upstream,” Forsythe said.
The demo employed a 14-foot-wide, 2.35:1 Stewart CineCurve
screen, which practically filled Stewart’s large demo room. Still, even with my
eyes only inches from the screen, I couldn’t discern the individual pixels in
the D-ILA panels. (This is the first fixed-pixel projector demo I’ve seen where
the pixels were invisible.) Forsythe hinted that the projector was practically
loafing on a screen of this size: “We’re comfortable going up to 24 feet,” he
Each Reference Video System gets a four-day hand calibration
screen is less than 0.3%. Despite some mild aspect ratio distortion (which
Meridian says has since been fixed), the picture was nothing short of dazzling,
with intense color, great detail, and a sense of depth I’ve never before
seen on such a large video projection screen.
The Reference Video System ships in “limited quantities” at
the end of September;
you a few months to shop for a house large enough to accommodate the system. —Brent Butterworth
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