Ten grand? For a projector? Yup – and while we’ve no doubt many of you will consider it insanity to pay this much for something that doesn't come with four wheels and at least a couple of seats, we’re equally sure that for the fortunate few, SIM2’s HT3000E really is worth all that cash.
This is a stunning home cinema projector. True, it’s not the very best in the company’s range – check out our review of the HT5000 for more about that – but given the quality it offers relative to its cost, it could well be the best all-rounder in SIM2’s arsenal.
Get past the typically swoopy and elegant SIM2 styling – so much more sultry than most projectors – and you’ll find a single-chip Full HD 1920x1080 chassis, utilising DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology and teamed with the latest BrilliantColor image processing.
That means a sophisticated six-segment colour wheel, using red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan colour segments, all controlled by a powerful digital brain that attempts to both maximise the range of available colours, and also provide the fullest possible colour ‘gamut’ within each specific hue. The result? Natural, brilliant colour, with as many as one billion potential variations on offer – which compares rather well to the 16.7 million offered by lesser designs.
True, some cheaper projectors offer part or all of this capability, including SIM2’s own HT380 (£6500), but the HT3000E’s full-spec design, when combined with its exceptional optics and blisteringly bright lamp, give it the performance edge over all its rivals. In fact, the company reckons its new projector is so much more efficient than its older HT3000 model that even after being calibrated properly, it can boast of a 100% increase in brightness.
Dramatic, class-leading picture
If ever you’ve seen a projector in a pub and wondered what all the fuss is about, don’t be mislead: chances are that kit wasn’t well set-up, and projectors don’t really work that well in very bright rooms. Put the HT3000E in its proper environment – a home cinema, preferably with a nice big screen – and it’ll amaze you with its images.
Pictures have so much drama and life that you could be fooled into thinking they’re coming from a huge telly - there’s so much more light and punch radiating off the screen than with lesser designs.
That punch doesn’t come at the expense of proper contrast, either. Crank the light output on a cheap projector, and you can persuade it to deliver a bright image, but you’ll also lose any insight into black areas of screen (with really cheap kit, you’ll lose blacks altogether). Not so here. The dynamic range of the picture – the difference between dense, inky blacks and light, bright whites – is staggering.
What’s left to say? Connectivity is okay, but nothing more. Set-up is easy enough, although if you pay this much, you’ll be expecting an installation as part of the deal. And there’s an optional cinemascope lens (another couple of grand, it should be noted) for those of you with especially large rooms and even deeper pockets. The only other thing to add is that we want one. Badly.