Digital Projection M-Vision Cine 230 DLP Projector

Price: $6995 At a Glance: Gorgeous color • Exquisite detail • Excellent shadow detail • So-so blacks • Exceptional video processing • Stellar optics

Digital Projection International (DPI) might not be a familiar projector company to many home-theater enthusiasts—at least, not as familiar as Epson, JVC, Optoma, and Sony. But commercial users know the name well, because DPI has been supplying high-end, high-priced DLP projectors for broadcast, theatrical, simulation, medical, education, and corporate applications since 1997. In fact, DPI was Texas Instruments' first DLP partner and the original innovator of the 3-chip DLP projector.

Over the last few years, DPI has been directing more of its efforts toward home-theater applications and now offers seven series of products for that market. The most affordable home-theater model is the M-Vision Cine 230, a single-chip design that offers many of the same features found in the company's more expensive offerings for less than $7000.

Features

  • Single-chip DLP engine using DarkChip4 DMD and 6-segment RGBRGB color wheel
  • 1920x1080 native resolution
  • Lens options include 1.85-2.40 zoom (reviewed), 1.56-1.86 zoom ($500 more)
  • Optimized for Rec.709 (HDTV) color gamut
  • Manual zoom, focus, horizontal and vertical lens shift for flexible placement
  • 2 HDMI 1.3a inputs, 2 component-video inputs
  • User-selectable preset and customizable gamma
  • 10-bit deinterlacer with 3:2 and 2:2 extraction and pixel-based motion-adaptive interpolation
  • Internal test patterns make setup easier, as does blue-only mode
  • Automatically detects active input; this can be a pain if more than one input is active, so I disabled this feature and selected the input manually
  • Aspect ratio and overscan controls are separate and independent, as they should be but rarely are
  • Color space and gamut controls are separate and independent, as they should be but rarely are; in fact, they are rarely labeled correctly as they are here

User Interface

Remote

  • Like many projector remotes, this one is simple and well-organized
  • Inputs can be selected with dedicated buttons, though they are labeled with numbers rather than type of input (HDMI, component, etc.), which would be better
  • Menu settings can be stored in different memory locations and recalled with dedicated buttons; however, there are four memory locations but only three recall buttons
  • Dedicated buttons provide direct access to controls for aspect ratio, contrast, brightness, sharpness, gamma, overscan, noise reduction, BrilliantColor, and color temperature as well as internal test patterns; I wish more TVs offered such direct access to controls without having to navigate the menus

Menu

  • Menus very well organized; can see all parameters and settings as soon as you enter menu system
  • Entering menu system opens last menu accessed; very nice!
  • Menu disappears after 30 seconds of inactivity; timeout should be user-definable

Setup

  • Zoom and focus are adjusted by turning rings on lens barrel; zoom ring is inside chassis cowling, awkward to reach, can easily change focus by accident; set zoom before focus
  • Horizontal and vertical lens shift are adjusted using a supplied Allen wrench in holes on top of case; must remove logo plate to expose holes
  • Quick Start Guide says "logo plate should be gently lifted and rotated to gain access to the adjustment points"; this is not correct—you slide the plate sideways and lift off
  • Adjusting lens shift feels very crude with lots of play in the control before it engages in either direction; still, I was able to align the image on the screen very well using internal test pattern
  • Setting basic picture controls presents no problem; projector passes below-black and above-white, allowing easy setting of brightness and contrast
  • Saturation and Hue controls unavailable with HDMI input; blue-only mode confirmed that they were set correctly
  • White-on-black crosshatch pattern reveals slight chromatic aberration, but not nearly as bad as some I've seen, indicating good optics
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COMMENTS
uavK.Reid's picture

Why is it so difficult for TV and Projector engineers to make a product that displays deep accurate blacks reminiscent of the KUROs? Is it that hard to do from a technical perspective? It's bewildering how JVC is rare case among projector manufacturers that can get the blacks right.

uavgentleman.nosh's picture

I'm really due for a projector upgrade, this would fit the bill perfectly.

uavVaNubius's picture

Can't believe how much prices have come down since i looked at front projectors. This should fit my HT room nicely.

uavcrackinhedz's picture

not sure the specs warrant a $7k price tag...but would be nice to win.

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