Sharp XV-DW100U LCD Projector Page 2
The settings for contrast, brightness, tint, and gamma correction are memorized for each of the inputs. Gamma correction is designed to improve the picture by brightening darker parts of the image without affecting the brighter areas. During daytime viewing, the Gamma 1 setting boosted the dark areas of the picture enough to see some detail without washing out the picture. This setting worked especially well with the dark church scene in Saving Private Ryan where the men are resting and talking before moving on. Of course, ideally, you'll set up the projector in a room where you can totally control the ambient light. If not, then gamma correction is a pretty good alternative.
Sources connect to the projector through one of two 15-pin connectors, a set of BNC connectors, an S-video input, or a composite video input. While this isn't an overwhelming number of inputs, most people will likely run all of their sources through their A/V receiver or preamp and feed just the monitor out to the projector (especially if it's mounted on the ceiling).
As I mentioned earlier, I'm usually less than impressed with the picture quality of most LCD projectors. My experience with this one, however, was a little different. The picture quality overall was really pretty good. The image was uniformly bright across the screen, with none of the hotspotting that you sometimes see. I was really drawn in by the colors produced by this projector. They were vibrant, powerful, and very exciting.
Most of the time, the picture really grabbed me. It's a very fun, entertaining picture to watch. Every now and then, though, either when lettering appeared on the screen or in a scene with fine detail, my eyes would lock in on the slightly visible pixel grid pattern. It gave a gritty, grainy feel to the image that I could mostly ignore but sometimes found annoying.
|Connections include 15-pin, BNC, S-video, and composite video inputs.|
The 480p output from a Toshiba SD-9100 DVD player looked very nice, with good color and a decent black level. Austin Powers' multicolored jacket in The Spy Who Shagged Me looked surprisingly good. (OK, I admit that my anti-LCD bias had me anticipating a fuzzy, washed-out mess. I'm not cured yet, but I'm working on it.)
To test the XV-DW100U's stuff when it comes to high-definition, I finagled the use of a Sencore HDTV995 Signal Source box and a Sharp TU-DTV1000 DTV tuner. I've seen HD pictures for many years, and it's still thrilling to see the beauty of some of the images. The little LCD projector from Sharp did a fine job of reproducing color and depth in sports scenes, nature scenes, and a really fine segment of gorgeous fireworks. Unfortunately, either because I was looking for it or because watching an HD picture just makes you more critical, I was still annoyed by the hint of a grid pattern underlying the picture.
In trying to find the final words to say about the XV-DW100U, I thought about several things. On the one hand, this projector is phenomenally easy to set up and use. It scores extremely high for that. On the other hand, if you're judging it solely on picture quality, I think it's a tad pricey for the performance. There is no denying, however, that there were quite a few times when I lost my critical self and just had a good time watching the show. If you're a videophile who's willing to sacrifice home and harmony to get the best picture, this probably isn't the projector for you. If you're a little less critical and like the idea of portability, computer adaptability, and future expandability, then this one is definitely worth a look.
• Incredibly easy setup
• Small size allows you to transport and hide it easily
• Good color performance