Reference Imaging CinePro 9x Elite & Teranex HDX Cinema MX Sales & Setup

Sales & Setup

Reference Imaging's business plan calls for marketing their projectors directly to end-users, as well as through custom installers and some dealers. The company has showrooms in Armonk, New York and Phoenix, Arizona. Service support is provided from both the Armonk and Phoenix locations, as well as through selected custom installers.

As you might imagine, a product of this price and sophistication will never sell in huge quantities, so at present all installations are performed by designer Chris Stephens himself. The cost of the actual physical installation, wiring, setup, and calibration may or may not be included in the price, depending on the complexity of the individual installation. Stephens put in my system—a simple table-mount setup without cosmetic niceties (the temporary installation required none)—over the course of two days. Setting up the Teranex is also not an operation for the faint of heart. I won't go into it here, because RI provides a professional setup.

Stephens is a firm believer in a setup mode offered by the Teranex but not by most other processors: 1080p24. That is, the picture is scaled up to 1080 progressive lines and, instead of being converted from the 24 frames per second (fps) rate of film to the 30fps rate of video, it's left at 24fps—though each frame is flashed on the screen twice, as in a film projector. This eliminates the need for 3:2 pulldown and produces smoother motion free of the judder typical of normal video reproduction of film-based material. The difference is not dramatic, but is visible on some material. So is flicker, particularly at the higher light output levels available from the CinePro 9x Elite. But while 72fps is possible and would reduce flicker to invisibility, Stephens believes that the picture is better overall at 48fps because the projector doesn't have to work as hard.

Chris set up my 9x for three different formats: 1080p24, 720p60, and 1080i60. The Teranex can be had at a lower price without 24-frame capability, but I'd recommend popping for this option. While all three formats looked good, I preferred 1080p24 and used it for most of my viewing.

Since the Teranex performs no functions (at present) for hi-def images, we played back the latter via an outboard HD10A video A/D converter from pro-video supplier AJA Video. This converter accepts a hi-def component input and produces a single-cable serial digital output—the setup configuration recommended by Reference Imaging.—TJN