Scanning ahead to a scene where Happy and Chubbs (Carl Weathers) listen to self-important golf pro Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald) speak at the opening of a tournament, I was amazed to see not only the fuzz on Chubbs' white sweater, but also the ribbed pattern on his powder-blue golf shirt. The Sim2 HT3000 put this sort of ultrafine detail up there without breaking a sweat.
When I switched to a Detroit vs. Boston baseball game broadcast in 720p on ESPN HD, the picture still looked sharp, but there was a drop in overall detail. I also couldn't help but notice that the turf looked somewhat pale compared to the rich green I'm used to seeing from games on ESPN. A Sim2 rep said the company intentionally desaturates green on the HDMI in-puts - presumably to avoid the unnaturally rich, fake-looking greens seen with some other digital projectors.
Moving on again, I found that the HT3000 delivered excellent shadow detail in dim scenes from HBO's western series Deadwood; I could clearly make out the coarse texture of the wood inside a grimy saloon. And while I'm usually painfully aware of the "rainbow effect" generated by the color wheels on single-chip DLP projectors, I barely noticed them here - most likely because of Sim2's high-speed, seven-segment wheel.
Finally, the Sim2 HT3000's video scaling of standard-definition programs was better than average. The DVDs I watched on it, however, didn't look as crisp or clean as those upconverted to a high-def format by my Toshiba HD DVD player. And although the projector's noise reduction feature helped eliminate "crawly" effects in low-rez pictures, I noticed some loss of picture detail when it was applied.
BOTTOM LINE The increase in high-def detail that the Sim2 HT3000 1080p DLP front projector brings to the screen with 1080i/p-format HDTV is a revelation. Although its relatively high price makes me want to survey the field, I'm impressed not only by its picture, but by the entire package, from the slick industrial design to the thoughtful setup and adjustment features. If you're planning a serious 1080p home theater and cost is no object, you owe it to yourself to check out the Sim2 HT3000.
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