|Marantz VP-11S2 DLP Video Projector|
|Home Theater Front Projectors DLP Projectors|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Wednesday, 01 October 2008|
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It is hard to criticize this projector. The two items I noted in my review of the VP-15S1, mechanical noise and video noise in the darker scenes, have been well-addressed. The color wheel speed lets the user slow down the wheel and reduce the noise. The low-light detail has also been improved with the dramatic increase in contrast.
In an ideal world, the mechanical noise could be decreased even more with an option to dim the status LED (noticeable only in a completely dark room). With respect to the mechanical noise, I should note that I only noticed it when the projector was stand-mounted two to three feet from my head. When I switched to the 110-inch SMX screen, I had the guys from Evolution Audio Video come to my house and mount the VP-11S2 on the ceiling. When the projector was moved to the ceiling, about four feet behind my viewing position, the noise all but disappeared. Of course, as DLP technology improves, I would like to see even better contrast ratios approaching those available with D-ILA, but without sacrificing DLP’s color accuracy advantages.
The VP-11S2 is quite simply one of the best projectors available on the market. The Marantz has excellent color fidelity, uniformity and processing. One needs to realize that a projector is a compilation of parts, all of which are important. Some projectors many have higher contrast, more lumens, etc., but the Marantz takes an excellent light engine and matches it with an equally capable processor and lens system. The combination of these components makes for a system that is hard to beat for those seeking high-fidelity video.
The Marantz VP-11S2 takes DLP performance to the next level. I recognize that video aficionados are split into D-ILA and DLP camps, just as many audiophiles are split between tubes and solid state. D-ILA has long held a lead in absolute contrast over DLP. The newest Marantz minimizes that difference by providing excellent contrast. Only on the lowest light-level scenes will the D-ILA prevail. The limitations of the current DLP systems have a slight film in these scenes, whereas D-ILA does not. Both systems have tradeoffs. Thankfully, there are manufacturers who strive to better their products and both types of systems are improving by leaps and bounds. Excellent video quality can be achieved with either system.
Considering all of the above, I choose DLP, specifically the Marantz VP-11S2, as my personal reference projector. I have put my money where my mouth, selling my old projector and buying the review sample. As a reviewer, I have had the opportunity to view many systems, prototype and production, in show conditions and in fully-controlled rooms. Having viewed a large number of systems, I believe the Marantz VP-11S2 to be an excellent choice for a system seeking absolute video fidelity. Less expensive than its predecessor, it is very competitively priced. Kudos to the guys (and gals) at Marantz on hitting a home run with the VP-11S2.