Product Reviews

Product Reviews

In Brief

You don't have to spend $50,000 to get great home theater. You've already got the DVD player and 6.1 Dolby Digital surround sound with a subwoofer to deliver bone-jarring bass. So why not watch an image that's equally awesome? For less then $5,000, the ScreenPlay 5700 from InFocus delivers crisp, brilliant widescreen video that will make you the envy of the neighborhood. Get the popcorn a-poppin'.


Price

$4,999

InFocus
Wilsonville, Ore.

Competition

It seems like everyone is selling video projectors. 3M, Barco, BenQ, Boxlight, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, HP, Mitsubishi, Olympus, Panasonic, Proxima, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, ViewSonic, and Yamaha are only some of the other players.


Key Specs

4Inputs and Outputs
2  Component (Gold RCA): HDTV, EDTV, and Standard TV component
1 - Component (D5): HDTV, EDTV, Standard TV, RGB SCART with adapter
2 - S-Video: Standard Video
1 - Composite (RCA): Standard Video
1 - M1-DA VESA: HDTV RGB, HDTV Component,
Digital visual interface (DVI), computer and USB
1 - HD15 VESA: HDTV RGB, HDTV component, computer
1 - 9-pin Dsub male: RS-232
1 - 3.5mm mini-jack: IR Repeater (Niles/Xantech compatible)
2 - 3.5mm mini-jack: 1-12v screen drop, 1-12v 4:3 aspect 'curtains'

4Display:
Projection System: New TI Matterhorn 12° LVDS DMD
Resolution: 1024 x 576 (16:9)
Projection Lens: Wide: F/2.5,Tele: F3.1, 26.6 - 36.8mm focal length
Color Wheel: Proprietary auto-calibrating, 6 segment, 5x color wheel
(6500K color temperature)
Contrast Ratio: 1400:1 full on/full off
Lamp: 220-Watt UHP (3000 hours)/250-Watt UHP (2000 hours)
Lumens: 1000 ANSI (optimized for video)
Colors: 16.7 million simultaneously displayable
Modes: Front/rear/ceiling
Focusing Distance: 5'/1.5 m to ∞
Keystone Correction: Digital, up to +/- 20°
SMPTE Brightness: Up to 126" (3.2m) wide, 16:9 screen
Throw Ratio: 1.89:1 - 2.63:1 (distance/width)
2400 image quality

4General
Product Dimensions:
4.3" (H) x 13.8" (W) x 12.8" (L) (110mm x 351mm x 325mm)
Weight: 9.5 lbs/4.3 kg
Power Supply: 100V - 240V at 50 - 60 Hz
Operating Temperature: 10° - 35° C = 50° - 95° F
Conformances: UL, CSA,TUV,C Tick, NOM, MIC,GOST, IRAM,CCC, S-JQA, FCC B,
EN55022, ICES-003
Ships with: Power cord, Home Entertainment remote, cable cover, SCART adapter
Menu Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Italian,
Norwegian, Russian, Chinese Simple, Chinese Traditional

4Warranty: Two years parts and labor, 1 year for accessories
Lamp Warranty: 90 days or 500 hours

 

   Tech News From
   The New York Times
 

Home Theater Video Projectors

InFocus ScreenPlay 5700

Rating:

By Joel Shore

March 3, 2004

Some spectacles look good only a big screen. The Super Bowl (but not Janet Jackson). Movies. More movies. And there is an increasing number of television shows being photographed and broadcast in glorious high definition. You can go out and lay down the big bucks for a plasma television or you can do it right and create a true home theater experience. A great way to do that is with the Screenplay 5700 home theater projector from InFocus. For less than $5,000, it provides superbly bright and crisp images.

Sure, you can get a video projector for $1,000 these days. But they just won't do for home theater. And they certainly don't know anything about widescreen format, commonly known as a 16:9 aspect ratio. Projecting an acceptable image of that rectangular shape is a lot tougher than the nearly square 4:3 aspect ratio of traditional TV or PCs. For that reason, you need a projector designed from the ground up for home theater use.

ADVERTISEMENT
 

The ScreenPlay 5700 includes the latest and most advanced technology from both Texas Instruments and Faroudja, as if a homeowner really cares. What's obvious is that these technologies help the ScreenPlay 5700 deliver uniform brightness, high contrast in black and gray levels, and sharp, full-image focus with no evidence of pincushioning or barrel image distortion.

 

The rear panel of the InFocus ScreenPlay is cleanly laid out. Twin S-video inputs (#4 and 5, center) are surrounded by two sets of component video inputs (#3 and 6). A computer's video signal can be attached at input #2, and a composite video signal can be fed to the yellow jack (#7). You can control the projector's functions from a PC via the serial control port. The two trigger jacks (top right) provide a signal that you can use to automatically lower or retract a motorized screen when the projector is turned on or off, pretty cool.

The ScreenPlay 5700 is the first home projector to ship with Matterhorn DLP technology from Texas Instruments, which provides native 16:9 aspect ratio resolution. With most movie DVDs coming to market in their original wide movie theater formats, we homeowners have been faced with watching Hollywood's stars either squished short and fat or stretched long and thin so they can fit into plasma or LCD screens. And believe me, that's not how I want to see Catherine Zeta-Jones look when I'm watching Chicago. The ScreenPlay 5700 displays images in the way they were meant to be seen; corners won’t be cropped and heads won’t be cut off.
 

For ceiling installations, the optional mounting column extends and swivels, letting you adjust both height and tilt.

The ScreenPlay 5700 features 1,000 lumens of brightness for clear pictures in almost any home lighting condition and a 1400:1 contrast ratio for crisp blacks and detailed gray scale. While that's less brightness than you'll get from a projector designed for presentations in a business environment, that's really not a problem because your den or living room is a whole lot smaller than the average corporate boardroom or auditorium. You simply don't need all that brightness.

Set up was very easy. Instead of routing the signal from my DVD player into my Denon AV receiver, we connected it to the ScreenPlay 5700. We placed the projector on a wall shelf above our heads. After we turned the unit on, we were greeted by an opening screen image. We used that to adjust the zoom lens, giving us a correctly sized image.

There's a menu of options for adjusting the image in non different ways. Since we were projecting onto a painted wall that was not pure white (it was a warm white, Benjamin Moore's Linen White), we adjusted the image's color temperature. Also, our image was not square; the top was slightly wider than the bottom, a phenomenon known as keystoning. (That's because the projector wasn't exactly perpendicular to the screen -- look at the ceiling mount photo above, you can see that the projector isn't pointed straight at the screen.) Fortunately, keystone adjustments are made using push buttons located right on the top of the unit. No need to navigate a menu. It was a breeze.

You can make other adjustments, too. If you mount the unit on a ceiling, you'll need to project an upside-down image.

The remote control is a lot simpler than your typical TV remote. There's a menu button and navigation buttons. Other controls adjust image size, contrast, brightness, choose the input source, and, wisely, blank the image completely.

The 5700 uses Texas Instruments' Matterhorn DLP (Digital Light Processing) chip to provide a 1024 x 576 image, a widescreen 16:9 ratio. Why is this important? A standard 1024x768 XGA resolution chip, with its non-widescreen 4:3 format (like a standard TV) uses a 1024 x 576 portion of the chip. That means the left-over 192 lines are rendered as black. That's why you get black bars at the top and bottom of the image. The 5700 delivers its 16:9 image at the same resolution as a 4:3 XGA projector, but you don't get those miserable black bars.

An Image Worthy of 1,000 Words

When you use a video projector, there are really only two things you need to be concerned about on a day-to-day basis: image quality and noise. There's a lot of the first and very little of the second.

Even on our not-perfectly-white wall, images were bright and crisp, and colors were beautifully saturated. We watched Superbowl XXXVIII, Chicago, episodes from TV's The Family Guy, Toy Story 2, and Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King. And no movie night at our house would be complete without watching Blazing Saddles, even though the video transfer is pretty awful. Once the neighbors learned what we were up to, the steady stream of visitors told us that the ScreenPlay 5700 was a hit. If it weren't illegal, we might have even charged admission.

As for noise level, you'll know the ScreenPlay 5700 is there, but the fan is as close to whisper quiet as we've ever heard. Due to the considerable heat generated by the lamp, a ventilation fan is required. That's true of any video projector, not just this one.

We kept the InFocus ScreenPlay 5700 several months past our deadline for returning it. We were sad to see it go. If you're ready for a serious home theater experience, our advice is to heed those movie titles: the ScreenPlay 5700 is As Good As It Gets.<

 
Yeas & Nays

Yea:

4Easy installation

4Brilliant color

4As quiet as you can get for a projector

4Versatile array of inputs and controls

4Simple controls
 

Nay:

4Doesn't ship with a replacement lamp

 
In The Box

• Projector
• User's guide
• Power cord
• Setup Guide
• Cable cover for
   ceiling installations
• Remote control

• Warranty card
 

What is DLP?

Digital Light Processing is the world's only all-digital display solution and a key ingredient in the best digital projectors available today. Developed by Texas Instruments, DLP uses an optical semiconductor to recreate source material with a fidelity that analog systems cannot match.

4To learn how DLP works, visit the DLP Web site and take the interactive tour.

Lamp Health

The lamp life for the ScreenPlay 5700 is about 2,000 to 3,000 hours, depending on whether the High Power option is selected on the Settings menu.

After 1,980 hours of use, a Change Lamp message appears on the screen 30 seconds on startup.

To maintain the best video quality, InFocus suggests changing the lamp at 2,000 hours, especially if you use the High Power option. After you change the lamp, you'll want to reset the lamp timer.

   

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