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InFocus ScreenPlay 7205 DLP Video Projector Print E-mail
Friday, 01 April 2005
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InFocus ScreenPlay 7205 DLP Video Projector
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ImageI have been looking at getting a new, mid-priced video projector. My trusty old CRT, after years of service in my theater, is requiring too much maintenance from the technician. The InFocus ScreenPlay 7205 was first recommended to me by a good friend of mine who designs and installs ultra-high-end home theater systems as a worthy contender in the under $10,000 field of projectors. At the time of the recommendation, the 7205 was retailing for $8,999; the current retail price is now down to $4,999.

The InFocus ScreenPlay 7205 is a DLP-based projector. If you are not familiar with DLP technology I highly recommend that you take a look at the www. website for an excellent walkthrough of the technology. The 7205 features Texas Instruments’ HD2+ Mustang chip. Like all digital displays, this projector has a fixed resolution. The DLP chip features a resolution of 1280 x 720 and improves upon the prior HD2 chip by removing the dimple in the middle of each mirror and increasing the tilt from 10 to 12 degrees. Removing the dimple decreases light scatter and increases the angle of the tilt between the on and off positions, increasing contrast. I note that at this price range, most DLP projectors utilize the lower-resolution Matterhorn DLP chip.

The dual level bulb (220/250 watts) shines through a seven-segment color wheel and reflects off the mirrors on the DLP chip. The precise timing of the light pulses through the spinning color wheel, in conjunction with the mirrors flipping on and off, which creates the images which are then projected through a Carl Zeiss lens assembly.

The 7205 is said to achieve a contrast ratio of 2200:1 and 1100 ANSI lumens, although these numbers are often far higher than are measured in installed systems after professional calibration. Needless to say, no matter how you measure the light output of the projector, it is bright. The five-speed color wheel has been calibrated to the D65 mastering standard for home theater use. The high speed of the color wheel minimizes the rainbow effect that plagued older DLP projectors with slower color wheels, while the D65 color standard keeps color accurate for home theater usage. The bulb life on the 7205 is between 2000 and 3000 hours, depending on the settings. A new bulb will set you back $495. The projector also features the Faroudja FLI2310 DCDi deinterlacing with both 3:2 and 2:2 pulldown, as well as a 48HZ film mode. This is the essential ingredient in the long-touted Faroudja NR series scalers of past In short, this projector packs plenty of features in its nine-and-one-half pound, 13.8 inches wide, 12.8 inches long and four-and-a-third-inch tall chassis.

One of the issues with projectors is that there is often a set distance from the screen to achieve a specific projection size. The InFocus ScreenPlay 7205 features a zoom lens, which allows a good degree of flexibility in the installation. If you are wondering what size picture your unit will be able to provide in your viewing room, just go to the InFocus website, which has an excellent, easy-to-use distance calculator for each of its projectors.

While there is flexibility as to distance between the projector and screen, it is still important to place the projector on the horizontal midpoint of the screen. Depending on whether you want to mount the projector on a table or ceiling, the mounting height should be at the bottom or top of the picture, respectively. If you absolutely cannot do this, the projector features digital keystone correction. The correction works fairly well, but adds another process to the signal and eats up some of your resolution. It is always recommended that you set your projector as close to the recommended nominal position as you can and use the digital correction as little as possible for best results.

As my set-up was temporary, I placed the projector on a high stand that brought the projector to the same height as my screen. The adjustable feet allowed me to easily level the projector. Next, I connected the projector. The back panel features a plethora of connections, including two component RCA, 1 D5 component, two S-Video, one composite, one M1-DA VESA and one HD15, as well as an RS-232, IR repeater, IEC power and 12-volt trigger. I used Monster Cable’s THX video cables to make my component and S-Video connections. InFocus has an optional adapter to convert the M1-DA input to accept DVI cables.

I then adjusted the manual zoom ring until the picture just filled my 67-inch wide DaLite 1.0 gain screen. The InFocus 7205 does not have a motorized focus ring, so I had someone help me slowly adjust the focus ring while I stood close to the screen until the picture was perfectly focused.

On smaller screens, one may want to experiment with using a neutral density filter. The InFocus ScreenPlay 7205 accepts standard 72mm camera filters. The neutral density filter reduces the amount of light hitting the screen and increases contrast. As the screen size increases, brightness becomes more important.


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