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SIM2 C3X Three-Chip DLP Projector Beaumont TX

And bright it is, measuring a whopping 82 footlamberts on a midsized neutral gain screen—a substantially brighter picture than its 250-watt lamp rating would suggest. It does not achieve this brightness at the expense of black reproduction; the blacks look just as deep as with other top DLP projectors, and the picture never appears washed-out.

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Brock Audio/Video Systems
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SIM2 C3X Three-Chip DLP Projector

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November 27, 2006 By David Birch-Jones

In a television interview, legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti once groused that for all his world renown, the balconistas at Milan's famed Teatro alla Scala opera house cut him no slack. They were quick to chastise him for less than note-perfect performances and expected a lung-busting volume sufficient to satisfy those at the farthest reaches of the house. With its C3X three-chip DLP projector, Italy's SIM2 seems to be reaching for di forza ranking, as this projector combines SIM2's own three-chip 720p imaging assembly along with an optical engine that provides substantially more light output than others in the class.

And bright it is, measuring a whopping 82 footlamberts on a midsized neutral gain screen—a substantially brighter picture than its 250-watt lamp rating would suggest. It does not achieve this brightness at the expense of black reproduction; the blacks look just as deep as with other top DLP projectors, and the picture never appears washed-out. The projector's prodigious light output allows for very large screen sizes; we estimate that the C3X can accommodate screen widths of up to 15 feet and still put out a suitably bright 10 footlamberts. (In fact, editor-in-chief Brent Butterworth and Mike Wood, then editor-in-chief of HE sister publication Digital TV & Sound , had a chance to try the C3X on a 16-foot screen; you can read about their exploits here .) For moderate screen sizes, your dealer may recommend the C3X Lite, which is identical except for its 150-watt lamp rating and lower price.

SIM2 supplies the C3X with a basic remote that provides direct access to most functions—which greatly simplifies the process of programming a full-system remote like a Crestron or AMX touchscreen, or a Philips Pronto. (Click image to enlarge.)
As with other projectors, the C3X offers a choice of color temperatures. However, it goes quite a bit further than most in offering no less than 36 color temperature choices, selectable through an on-screen matrix that references the CIE color chart. The color temperature points are not specified by number—i.e., 7,500 degrees Kelvin—because the actual color temperature obtained will be a combination of the projector's settings and the characteristics of the screen. I take a stab at number 29 on the selection grid as being roughly nearest to the ideal 6,500-degree temperature, and our photospectrometer tells me that the color is spot-on. In this setting, with a matte white screen, the C3X yields a virtually perfect gray scale from dark to bright, within a couple percent over the entire brightness range. One could probably not do better even with professional calibration.

Within the picture menus we also find numerous gamma choices. Gamma determines how evenly the brightness increases as the video signal strength increases. Although the projector measures closest to ideal when I choose the Enhanced 2 setting, the def...

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