|Marantz VP-15S1 DLP Projector|
|Home Theater Front Projectors DLP Projectors|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Friday, 01 February 2008|
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Television And Movies
I chose to start with a Blu-ray disc, the format that is taking the lead in the battle with HD DVD. I recently acquired Casino Royale (Sony Home Entertainment), the latest James Bond film. The opening scene, in black and white, takes place at night in front of a modern, angular building. While watching the section chief get out of his car in front of the building, I noticed that the grays were not color-shifted and that the picture was extremely clear. The lines of the angular building were razor sharp and the picture had excellent depth. However, in comparison to the twice as expensive VP-11S1, there was slightly more dithering in the darker areas, which led to visible noise. The foot chase scene provided a multitude of colorful backdrops, which I found to be slightly oversaturated with the Marantz’s out-of-the-box setting. With the color level turned down slightly, I found the picture to be much more color accurate, but still not quite as accurate as the VP-11S1. The most noticeable difference was with green foliage. The simplest way to describe the difference is that the VP-15S1 looked like a good plasma and the VP-11S1 more like a good CRT. As with the opening scene, the foot chase scene was portrayed with extremely good detail on a razor-sharp image, with virtually no video processing artifacts.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Blu-ray) is a well-recorded disc that let the VP-15S1 show off its capabilities. The opening scenes in Columbia featured a rich and artistic use of coloring. The video quality was quite good throughout the film and I was easily able to discern the director’s use of grain in the desert scenes; the rest of the film was sharp and clear.
While watching X-Men: The Last Stand (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Blu-ray), specifically the confrontation scene at Jean’s house, I again noticed the VP-15S1’s the ability to portray fine detail with motion. The dust that was generated during the fighting did not suffer from any blocking or other artifacts.
While watching football on ESPN HD via DirecTV, I let the Gennum processor in the VP-15S1 do all of the scaling. The goal lines in the turf remained free from jagged edges without any loss of detail on the playing field. As before, I found the green of the field to be a bit yellow in color when compared to the VP-11S1. The picture was vibrant, with a good range of contrast and color between the players on the field and the crowds in the background.
High-definition news feeds varied widely in quality and the Marantz made it quite easy to see the differences between the various feeds. The projector maintained the integrity of the feed; whether it was good or bad, the video was accurately reproduced. Having CNN in HD is a major plus with the new DirecTV HD receiver/dish combos.
Standard-definition video sources varied even more in quality, as they do with most projectors. The better feeds looked similar to high definition, but just a bit softer, as though the image was slightly de-focused. Standard DVDs were scaled, well with minimal artifacts. When I played The Incredibles (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), this animated feature provided relatively large fields of uniform color, which were reproduced by the Marantz with no visible variation in uniformity. The images were clear and sharp throughout the disc. Live action DVDs, such as Shakespeare in Love (Miramax Home Entertainment) were reproduced with sufficient detail to provide an enjoyable picture. During one of the Shakespeare’s play scenes, the Marantz reproduced the image with enough detail to make out the various textures of the costumes and rendered a good sense of depth. The detail lacked in comparison to high-definition offerings, but had I not experienced high definition, the Marantz’s images from standard-definition DVDs would have been all I could ask for.