InFocus has shed its stuffy corporate image, donning a snazzy new designer get-up and focusing on the lucrative home theatre market. Its first range of projectors designed purely for the home user has recently arrived, with the flagship IN76 leading its living-room charge.
Due to its use of a DLP chip, the positioning of the IN76 is crucial when installing this projector; without lens shift it’s very picky about where it will call home. Your best bet is to ceiling mount this projector, but we had to make do with mounting it on a shelf directly opposite the centre of our viewing area. Unfortunately this required the projector to be mounted very low, making it impossible for viewers to sit directly in front of the projector.
However, once it was in the correct position, setting it up via the projector’s image options was a breeze. Simple image tweaks reside at the top of the menu system, with very in-depth options for the hardcore user buried deeper within the menu.
The rear of the projector has a healthy range of inputs, although a second component input wouldn’t have gone astray. An interesting touch is the pedestal that the projector is mounted on, allowing you to tilt and rotate the unit. But again, we highly recommend a ceiling mount for the IN76 even with this convenient base.
We used the Digital Video Essentials DVD to calibrate the unit by eye, and found that out of the box its colour accuracy was exceptional. Even better than the colour accuracy was the brightness; while on paper 1000 Lumens might not sound too dazzling, it turns out that InFocus is actually measuring ‘Video Optimised’ Lumens, which is a more accurate measurement than the standard brightness rating found on most projector spec sheets. As a result, the IN76 is one of the brightest DLP projectors in this price range that we’ve seen, and equals most LCDs.
Unfortunately the same glowing praise can’t be extended to the contrast ratio, which can’t compete with new dynamic iris technology appearing in cheaper LCD projectors. While it has a relatively high-speed six-segment, 4x speed colour wheel, we still noticed the problematic rainbow effect that some users see when viewing a DLP projector. However, we’re quite sensitive to this effect where many others won’t notice a thing, so we highly recommend spending an hour or two with this projector before making a purchasing decision.
Fan noise was also noticeable and, surprisingly, the difference between whisper mode and high bright was minimal. Balancing out these minor issues was an excellent sharpness to the image, and the DLP’s smoothing out of individual pixels made screendoor artefacting (where the minute spaces between the individual mirrors on the chip appear as a grid over the projected imaged) non-existent. This helped to make high definition games on the Xbox 360 look better than we’ve ever seen before.
While more expensive than similarly specified current-model DLP projectors, the ‘finessing’ of the IN76 by InFocus makes it a standout in both the image and cosmetic departments. If you have $5,000 to spend on creating a very large, very nice picture, this DLP will see you well sorted.
Reviewer: Bennett Ring