|Marantz VP-12S2 DLP Video Projector|
|Home Theater Front Projectors DLP Projectors|
|Written by Augie Bettencourt|
|Friday, 01 August 2003|
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At $12,499, the Marantz VP-12S2 is definitely not the cheapest DLP projector on the market, but it is still a good value, considering its excellent picture quality. I would like to see a projector at this price-point provide the user with a better, backlit remote control. It makes little sense that a product at this level wouldn’t have such features. To top that, Marantz makes plenty of nice ones on other products.
Although I am not sensitive to something known as “rainbow effect,” anyone considering purchasing any single-chip DLP should preview the projector for this phenomenon before actually purchasing it. The rainbow effect is flashes of color caused by the rotation of the color wheel strobing with eye movement. I am not particularly sensitive to rainbows, but I have seen them in other older DLP projectors, though I personally never saw this effect with the Marantz VP-12S2.
As far as digital projectors go, this is a very quiet one, yet if someone plans on mounting it directly above their seating area, any noise a projector produces should be considered. This projector also has a slightly shorter throw-distance than many others. Throw-distance should be calculated before considering ant projector installation, as this may limit you from being able to mount it in your application.
With any digital projector, the bulb eventually needs to be replaced. Marantz claims will the VP12S2’s bulb will last up to 2000 hours. A new bulb costs $700, which breaks down to $0.35/hr. This is much lower than the 1000 hours a D-ILA bulb lasts at an even higher cost of $900 per bulb. It is important to know that digital projectors will not function on a bulb past its lifespan, because the bulbs fail catastrophically and bulb failure can damage the projector badly. The cost of the bulb is a factor to consider, but it is far less than the cost of having a professional video guru converge and tweak your CRT projector every three to six months.
Until recently, CRT projectors have ruled the video projector market, with filmlike images that have wonderful lush colors and excellent contrast ratios, but are still quite expensive and difficult to both calibrate and maintain. In contrast (no pun intended), lower-cost digital projectors are steadily gaining in popularity with home theater enthusiasts, because the prices of digital projectors keep falling while their quality keeps improving. Although some videophiles still prefer the CRT as their projector of choice, many predict their eventual extinction with the digital projector being the heir apparent. As one of the most recent HD2/Mustang DLP projectors, the Marantz VP-12S2 offers leading-edge technologies, such as the latest Texas Instruments Mustang/HD2 chip, three Faroudja chipsets that incorporate patented DCDi™ Directional Correlational Deinterlacing technology, a high-definition 1280 x 720 pixel panel and Minolta custom optics, all in one user-friendly package. Although the Marantz VP-12S2 falls just short of producing the level of colors and black detail of the best CRTs or the resolution and brightness of some DIL-A and LCD projectors, its stunning image quality, cutting-edge technology and user friendly quality make it a great buy. The Marantz VP-12S2 is easily the best looking projector I have seen if my home theater and the best looking, all-in-one, single solution digital projector I have seen under $13,000. The VP12S2 shines like no other in its class.