Test Report: Dreamvision Starlight LCoS Projector Page 2

I’ll say one thing right up front: This thing is damned quiet. But like a Toyota Prius, it’s sometimes too quiet. There was so little noise that I often wondered during the warmup if I’d actually turned the thing on. The addition of a soft beep when the power comes on would have saved me repeated punching of the remote control’s On button.

Aligning the Starlight2’s image with my 2.35:1 aspect ratio Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 100 screen was barely more diFFcult than taking a sip of my Diet Coke. Thanks to the motorized lens controls, I could sit on my couch and get the picture sized and positioned, then walk up to the screen to do fine focusing. The projector offers a wide lens-shift range: ±80% vertically and ±34% horizontally. However, DreamVision cautions (and I concur) that you’ll lose some picture detail if you run the lens all the way out near the limits of its vertical shift range.

Calibrating the Starlight2 proved more diffcult, although not absolutely necessary. The TH-Pro mode (a rather blatant reference to the THX mode found on some similar projectors) came closest to the ideal 6,500-kelvin color temperature, averaging 6,672 K. I was able to nudge the color temperature closer to 6,500 using the off set and gain controls for red, green, and blue, achieving an average of 6,403 K, but even after an hour of experimentation, I couldn’t prevent a slight dive into the red zone (below 6,000) at 20 IRE (dark gray). Still, the picture looked great before and after calibration.

Mounting the optional Schneider lens was simple: eight screws and about 60 seconds of lens positioning so that I got the least distortion, then fine-tuning the lens’s focus.

There’s one control feature I really didn’t like, though: the aspect-ratio adjustments. In order to fill the screen with ultra-wide 2.35:1 material, you select the projector’s 16:9 aspect ratio display option, then go into the menus and select the Vertical Stretch mode. The process requires at least eight button punches, which is annoying, although it can be simplified through use of a touchscreen control system connected to the Starlight2’ s RS-232 control port.

To watch standard 16:9 material from Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and HDTV programs, you select the projector’s 4:3 mode. So what do you do when a 4:3 image appears? You’re forced to watch it stretched to 16:9 — such that, during my ritual 10 p.m. viewing of old Star Trek episodes on Los Angeles’s KDOC, the William Shatner of the late 1960s looks as fleshy as he does today on his new show on CBS, $#*! My Dad Says.