Reference Imaging CinePro 9x Elite & Teranex HDX Cinema MX Page 3

Even bright scenes benefited from the CinePro's blacks, and combining good blacks with the projector's superb color and resolution resulted in unbelievable eye candy on the DVDs of both Shrek and Monsters, Inc. I've seen both films projected by DLP in first-class theatrical presentations, and, apart from sheer picture size, I'd rate the quality of the images from the CinePro, using standard-definition DVDs upscaled by the Teranex, as superior.

Granted, the sharply drawn edges and limited video dynamic range of animation make it less challenging to reproduce well on video than live-action films. But the combination of CinePro 9x Elite and Teranex showed its pedigree on those as well. On film after film, its blacks, color, resolution, depth of image, and lack of video noise made it not only a delight to watch, but an exceptional evaluation tool. I could easily differentiate between poor, average, and exceptional video transfers. For example, the episodes on the new Star Trek: Season 3 boxed set, while very clean, colorful, and noise-free, were a little uneven in quality—sometimes very crisp, at other times noticeably soft. Subtle focus differences in the player close-ups in chapter 6 of The Rookie—a superb transfer—were also clearly apparent. And while the DVDs corresponding to the new D-Theater D-VHS high-definition tapes looked remarkably close to true hi-def on the CinePro-Teranex, the CinePro itself revealed the obvious superiority of true hi-def over even the best DVDs. (For more on how the CinePro 9x Elite looked with HD material, see the review of the first four D-VHS D-Theater tapes in this issue; the evaluation was conducted on the RI projector, with the Teranex processor used in the DVD comparisons.)

The video deinterlacing and scaling of the Teranex was superb with the rooftops in the opening scenes of Star Trek: Insurrection, the ship railings of Titanic, and the multiple deinterlacing challenges on the new Faroudja test disc. That is, as long as I used a 60fps rate and the Auto or On video settings with video-sourced material. (The 48fps format used for most of my film-based viewing—described in "Sales & Setup"—produced very jumpy images with material that originated on video, including the menus on most DVDs.)

At the end of the review period, I briefly compared the Teranex to the Faroudja DV-3000, the latter operating as a quadrupler. The difference in detail reproduction was not subtle. The Faroudja images looked like outstanding video. The Teranex images were a significant step closer to looking like true HD. This advantage comes, of course, at more than twice the Faroudja's price. Would I pay the difference? If I had it to spend, I would. Sad to say, I don't.

Words can't do full justice to the performance of this system. Yes, the price would choke all but the largest horse, but if you can afford to play in this particular corral, you owe it to yourself to see just how amazing projected video can be.