Within the first few minutes of watching Defiance on Blu-ray Disc, I realized that the SP-A900B differs considerably from other projectors I've reviewed. As I watched Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber (playing the brothers Tuvia and Zus Bielski) walking through a dense forest, I noticed the fine stubble on their chins. I noticed the intricacies of the greenery surrounding them. And most important, I noticed a more three-dimensional effect than I've ever seen before on my projection screen. The crisp detail allowed me to perceive each tree in the forest on its own plane, instead of seeing the whole bunch flattened into a single dimension.
More familiar Blu-ray Discs such as The Fifth Element and King Kong revealed similar wonders; in every case, I noticed extraordinary detail and depth. Even upconverted DVDs looked sharper than I've seen them look with other projectors - and this was with the SP-A900B's sharpness control turned all the way down.
Darker scenes revealed the SPA900B's extraordinary ability to resolve subtly different shades of gray and black. Most impressive, though, was the scene in Defiance in which Tuvia leads his people through a swamp under an overcast sky. Even though the clouds appear rather bright in this scene, I could discern the fluffy details in each and every one. Many, perhaps most, video displays would simply crush these delicate variations into an undifferentiated white mass.
The SP-A900B's color reproduction looked great, but that seems to have become the norm among today's better video projectors. Where some competitors gain an advantage over the SP-A900B is in the deep blacks. Fuss as I might with the brightness and iris settings, I couldn't get the kind of inky blacks that projectors like JVC's DLAHD750 and Sony's VPL-VW70 deliver. I noticed this mainly on fades to black. In most scenes, the blacks looked good, in part because they stood in contrast to the brilliant whites.
Yes, Samsung's SP-A900B front projector seems pricey. It's light on features and can't match the black levels of some $8,000 competitors. But for those who savor a film-like look and who demand to see every little detail in every scene, I can't imagine a better choice of projector.
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