American giant InFocus has an impeccable reputation for big-screen projectors, but until recently the company had seemed tentative about switching to 1080p Full HD resolution. Despite a broad range, including a product in the £10,000 class, nothing in the company’s arsenal could muster the full 1920 x 1080 resolution being offered by rivals such as JVC and Panasonic.
The new IN82 (and its cheaper sibling, the IN81) are tasked with addressing that weakness. Equipped with the latest 1080p DarkChip3 DLP chipset from Texas Instruments, the InFocus is fully sorted for the latest generation of high-definition discs. Its comprehensive, highly adjustable specification, which includes precise fine-tuning options only available to a trained, certified video calibrator from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), puts it firmly at the cutting-edge spec-wise. And it also, as is traditional for InFocus kit, looks the business - at least for a projector.
As with some more expensive projectors, the IN82 includes the latest BrilliantColor video processing, although it’s not quite as advanced as that found in pricier projectors such as SIM2’s HT380.
The InFocus has the video processing, but not the sophisticated six-segment colour wheel of higher-end designs: instead, it uses the more established seven-segment design, which repeats red-green-blue twice, and also includes a seventh dark green segment. There’s no shame in that at all – many pricier projectors do the same – but it’s worth explaining if only to highlight that BrilliantColor doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing at different pricepoints.
As to the rest? This being an InFocus, set-up is easy, thanks in part to an integrated table-top plinth, while connectivity is at least on a par with any rival. Useful additional features include the aforementioned ISF calibration option, and provision for a cinemascope aspect ratio lens (at extra cost) to maximise your visible screen size and the drama of your home cinema with certain movies.
Simple set-up, stunning images
Like a lot of dedicated home cinema projectors – and quite unlike most tellies – the InFocus looks pretty good out of the box. Get some hours on its lamp and give its picture a thorough tweaking, and ‘pretty good’ turns into ‘bloody brilliant’.
For its price, this is a stunningly capable design. Even with standard-definition DVD signals, it has the colour vitality and punch of many pricier projectors, coupled to the dense, inky blacks and low-light insight that have become an InFocus signature over the years.
And when you switch to hi-def viewing, the IN82 excels even more. Edges snap into focus, as they ought, and the InFocus manages to generate far more real-world contrast than any rival at its price. This makes films with extended dark scenes far more involving, and it also serves to benefit hi-def gaming because you stand a better chance of peering into the murkiest corners in that first-person shooter.