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SIM2 Grand Cinema HT200 DM DLP Video Projector Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 January 2002
Article Index
SIM2 Grand Cinema HT200 DM DLP Video Projector
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ImageIn the last few years, the world of large-scale video projection has been turned upside down by the advent of fixed-pixel digital projectors. The two most prevalent technologies are Texas Instruments' DLP and JVC’s D-ILA chip based units. While the digital projectors clearly have shortcomings when compared to traditional CRT projectors, especially the big gun nine-inch CRTs, these new projectors have won over many a fan because of their diminutive size, incredible brightness, their reliability and ability to project huge images for home theater applications.

The SIM2 HT200 DM is a single-chip DLP front video projector that is capable of 800 x 600 lines of resolution and, as with all projectors in SIM2's Grand Cinema line, is specifically designed for the home entertainment market. Most DLP and D-ILA projectors are first designed for professional applications such as conference rooms, Las Vegas sports books and restaurants. The HT200 physically measures 13-3/4 inches wide, 6.5 inches in height, and 12.5 inches deep. It weighs a mere 11 pounds and has a retail price of $8,595, which is not much more than some of the best big screen TV sets.
More on DLP
DLP technology was developed by Texas Instruments in an effort to provide maintenance-free projection to both the business and home markets. DLP, which stands for "Digital Light Processing," utilizes a chip that measures approximately one-and-a-half square inches. In the case of the HT200 DM, this chip has 480,000 individual micro-mirrors. What makes this chip so intriguing is that each of these mirrors can be rotated independently of one another. To explain it simply, the picture starts with a digital signal from your video source. As the projector's processor receives this signal, it fires the projector's lamp. In front of this lamp is a color wheel containing the three primary color segments: red, green and blue. The filtered light then passes through the specific color on the rotating wheel and reflects off the DLP chip. At this point, the mirrors can be rotated so that they are either in position to reflect this light or to avoid their reflection. This light then passes through the lens assembly and onto your screen. Despite the brevity of this explanation, this technology is very complex and an engineering masterpiece.

On a more emotional level, the SIM2 HT200 DM comes in a beautifully designed chassis. Our review model was two-tone metal-flake blue and gray, finished as nicely as a fine automobile. Of all the available DLP projectors, the SIM2 Grand Cinema line is my clear aesthetic favorite. It has a sleek contemporary elegance with a finish that looks like a million bucks.

The Grand Cinema HT200 DM competes against a small number of manufacturers in the DLP front-projection market. What makes SIM2 unique is that they are a company that was started to specifically address the home theater market. SIM2 developed projectors from the ground up with features that specifically benefit the home user rather than many of their competitors, who have adapted models most often seen in the conference rooms of professional companies.

The HT200 is a dual mode projector, which can process signals from both 4:3 and 16:9 sources. It incorporates a six-segment color wheel with two segments of each of the red, green and blue colors. The color wheel travels at a standard 3,000 RPM yet the added color segments emulate a wheel turning at twice the speed. This feature reduces the rainbow effect and color separation artifacts that plague many DLP projectors. This effect is best recognized when viewing information from the corner of your eye or peripherally. Rainbow effect will make your image appear to flicker and look less than natural. In addition, the HT200 DM provides double keystone adjustment, allowing for much greater correction of projector positions. This is accomplished by both optical and digital correction. In many home applications, we are forced to place the projector in less than recommended locations, such as on higher ceilings and/or perhaps not perfectly centered on the screen. The keystone feature allows for much greater correction capability. Additionally, the HT200 DM boasts an impressive contrast ratio of 600:1. It provides selectable aspect ratios for 4:3, 16:9, anamorphic, and a unique feature of three additional user-defined aspect ratios for those who prefer finite adjustments.

A significant feature that makes the SIM2 HT200 unique is its sealed lens assembly. Most all DLP projectors have a sealed lens, but what makes the Seleco projector unique is that the entire light path is sealed including the DLP chip and color wheel. This patented design is exclusive to SIM2’s line of DLP projectors. This feature improves black level and virtually eliminates contamination that can degrade your picture over time. Additionally this feature allows Seleco to eliminate air filters that can reduce airflow and later reduce the life of the bulb.

The HT200 incorporates a new lamp that is designed to last 6000 hours. It has a power consumption of 120W with a bulb replacement cost of $599. Focusing is a breeze with the HT200 DM’s remote-controlled, motorized adjustment. There is even an optical zoom, in case you want to catch that important cinematic detail.


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