Avielo Helios Review Wheeling WV
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Avielo Helios Review
October 2, 2009 By David Birch-Jones
Three. Two. The One.
Aptly named after the mythological Greek sun god, the helios is outfitted with not one but two 330-watt UHP lamps. These can be operated in single- or dual-lamp modes according to light output requirements.
This flexibility affords a wide range of installation and usage options, including the ability to have the projector put out a sufficiently bright image that allows daytime viewing in a high ambient light environment or dropping light output by half or more for nighttime viewing.
The helios is designed to appeal to both high-end home theater system owners and those in a professional studio environment that are looking for a top-flight projector for critical viewing in a screening room. The projector comes without a lens installed, and users can choose from five different lens options for various throw distances over a wide range.
The lenses themselves are elaborate affairs that feature internally motorized optics, which include focus, zoom along with horizontal and vertical lens shift. Installing the lens is literally a snap, as the system features a turn-and-click style mounting system that’s very much akin to mounting a lens to an SLR camera body. The projector features ten optical memory settings.
Around back, the extensive input panel features a full set of operating controls along with a five-inch LCD screen to aid in setup. There are input connections for virtually every type of signal, analog and digital. Of interest to professional users is the inclusion of two X-Port expansion card slots that allow expanded connectivity (one optional X-Port card allows high-definition serial digital input, for example).
The dual lamp configuration allows a number of usage options. The helios can be configured to run both lamps for maximum brightness, or single-lamp operation for reduced light output. There’s also a provision for automatic lamp switchover in single lamp mode if one lamp fails. As with other projectors that feature UHP-type lamps, the projector offers standard and economy lamp modes. The optics also features a motorized iris that further adds to the light output adjustment capabilities.
The three-chip, 1080p DLP optical imaging engine is their design, and the helios features an internal optical filter that can be engaged to expand the set’s color gamut to beyond that of the HDTV standard (a small drop in brightness accompanies this expanded color gamut choice). The optical filter option will be especially useful for video professionals looking to monitor a DCI-based source, as that standard features a wider color gamut than the HDTV specification calls for.
projectiondesign’s affable Dan Miller coached me through the calibration procedure over the phone. Ordinarily, calibrating a projector of this caliber would take two to three hours. Not so now, he pointed out, as the helios features self-calibration. The projector is factory-calibrated to the D65 color ...