Projectors

Marantz VP-11S2 Single-Chip DLP 1080p Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

 

In Use

I watched many of the Blu-ray movies I reviewed in April, May, and June, using the VP-11S2. I am sorry now that I have to send the review unit back. Even out of the box, the picture was fantastic. Sometimes, one or two of a projector's modes will look garish, but that was not the case here. All of them were watchable.

Like most projectors, I could see a bit of chromatic aberration at the extreme part of the image, about 0.25 pixel worth, while at the center, aberration was 0.1 pixel. In general, very sharp. The lens has a metal body instead of plastic, so it should be durable over the years. I tested both the standard lens and the long throw lens (the long throw lens is for when the projector has to be situated farther back in the room).

Here is a screen shot of a focus pattern at the center. You can see blue at the top edge, green at the left edge, and red at the bottom edge (this is the chromatic aberration), about 0.10 pixel in width. Chromatic aberration is a result of the lens not bending the different wavelengths of light (different colors) the same amount. All lenses have this problem to varying degrees.

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And, here is a shot of the focus pattern at one far side. The chromatic aberration at the periphery is about 0.25 pixel. Aberration is worse at the extreme zoom.

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I tend to like extra brightness, and I thought I would have to go to the brighter output setting, but I was very happy with it at the lowest brightness setting, because the black level was so outstanding there. I could barely tell the lamp was on, where usually, there is a faint, but very visible, gray outline of the 16:9 panel on the projection screen when there is no picture being shown.

I really like the old war movies, and when I saw the new Blu-ray release of Patton, using the VP-11S2, I knew it is really worthwhile to have a top notch projector. Patton was shot on 70mm, and the color depth is just spectacular, but if you watch it on a projector that does not have a good black level, you will miss out. I didn't miss anything with the Marantz. I connected my Blu-ray player directly to the VP-11S2 using HDMI. No other video processor in the signal path. Wow, what a picture!

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In Standard mode, which was a low brightness setting, the Full On/Off CR was 3032:1, and ANSI CR was 404:1. Output measured 784 lumens, which is very close to the spec of 800 lumens. This was the measurement right out of the box, uncalibrated.

In Theater 1 mode, after calibration, the Full On/Off CR measured 2511:1, and ANSI CR was 433:1. This was at contrast and brightness settings that I considered the most preferrable for watching movies. I was able to obtain a maximum Full On/Off CR of 7507:1. ANSI CR uses an array of black and white squares, so even when you are measuring the black, there is intense white light coming through the lens for the white squares, and this results in light scatter, which lowers the contrast.

You can vary the color wheel so that it spins from 4X to 6X. I chose the high speed because I am very sensitive to the Rainbow Effect. There is an iris on this projector, and for all my viewing, I used it closed down to give the best black level.

At this price, I would have liked to see horizontal lens shift. Other than that, I was very happy with the performance.