|Marantz VP-12S4 DLP Video Projector|
|Home Theater Front Projectors DLP Projectors|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Thursday, 01 December 2005|
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The only performance complaint I have is performance with 480i television. With this source, the jagged edges and artifacts could be disturbing. This appeared to be source dependent, as on some programs the problem would be minimal and on others it would be very noticeable. As the processor did a wonderful job with all the other sources, I hope that there are future upgrades to improve this aspect as well. High performance and fidelity in a playback system are a double-edged sword, as they reveal the flaws in the source material that would otherwise go unnoticed.
This is a tough time for high-end 720p projectors, as the 1080p chips are just now coming on the market. Theoretically, the higher resolution should be better, but I would not be surprised if it takes a couple generations of the new 1080p chips until they reach the performance levels of the HD2+ DarkChip 3 in the Marantz VP-12S4. As with all video, it is going to keep getting better over time and it is up to the individual to decide whether he or she wants to enjoy it now or wait until the next great improvement is out.
The VP-12S4 is designed to be a class leader in terms of video performance, but there is more to ownership than that. Optoma has a “no dead pixel” warranty that some criticize Marantz for not implementing. While the difference in written policies is quite significant, in all fairness, I have not heard of any consumer who has had a dead pixel in a VP-12 projector that wasn’t fixed by Marantz.
Lastly, in Thomas Garcia’s review of the VP-12S3, there was a complaint about accidentally powering off the projector due to button placement. The S4 version has the option of requiring confirmation of the power off command to prevent this from occurring.
There is no doubt that the Marantz VP-12S4 is one of the best single-chip DLP projectors currently on the market. Many participants in the online video forums have expressed concerns about buying any 720p video device at this time. I understand their concerns but disagree. As I stated above, I believe it will take a couple of generations of 1080p DLP chips to get performance up to levels commensurate with the resolution. Second, mainstream 1080p sources are a rarity right now and probably will be a few years to come to market. So why not get the best possible picture you can get now and enjoy it now? That is what I did. I bought the sample projector to use for my reference system.