Is 3D support a must-have in your view? If the answer’s ‘yes’, move on: the rest of this review is not for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re more equivocal on the matter (you and, it would appear, most everyone else) then it’s worth lingering a moment, because the new InFocus ScreenPlay 8604 certainly has much to commend it.
As with other ScreenPlay projectors before it, the 8604’s a DLP design, based on the DarkChip3 Digital MicroMirror Device (DMD) that, in this implementation, confers a claimed 5000:1 contrast ratio plus a promising 1700 lumens of light output.
Pixelworks DNX video processing takes care of scaling, deinterlacing and so on.
The 8604’s easy enough to install: while it omits the motorised lens controls of some rivals, its thumbwheel adjusters for vertical and horizontal lens shift are just as effective in practice.
More after the break
There’s a good range of throw adjustment in the standard lens and, should that not suffice, short-throw or long-throw alternatives are also available.
Picture performance is greatOut of the box, the 8604’s brightness and scale is immediately apparent, but so is its tendency to rather over-cook its colours.
However, it’s easy to tweak things to arrive at an image that impresses across the board, with good black levels, very low levels of background noise.
Motion handling is fine with the motion smoothing system switched off: to our eyes, turning it on adds an unnatural feel that we’d do without.
So it’s talented, easy to install and use…what’s the problem? Surprisingly, it’s not the presence of JVC’s 3D-capable £3500 DLA-X3 that causes us most concern: it’s the BenQ W1200, which is nearly as good as the 8604, but half the price.