InFocus ScreenPlay LS110

  • Editors' rating
    8.0 Excellent

Pros

  • Wide aspect ratio
  • excellent range of inputs
  • easy to configure.

Cons

  • Available at lower cost from other vendors
  • remote control only works from certain angles.

InFocus is usually associated with business projectors, but the ScreenPlay range is aimed squarely at home users. A multitude of inputs, support for 16:9 aspect ratio, colour control options and high contrast make this a great projector for movies, irrespective of whether you're using a DVD player or a PC as your image source. However, the same basic product is available from Toshiba at a lower price.

The ScreenPlay LS110 is a DLP projector, and hence has a high contrast ratio of 600:1. The projector's 220W lamp delivers 1000 ANSI Lumens, and is bright even in an artificially lit room. The native resolution is 848 by 600, which is four pixels short of being able to display 480-line wide-screen images at native resolution. However, since this represents less than 1 per cent of the width of the image, it would be harsh to criticise InFocus for this. What you’re not able to do with an analogue PC connection is to use the projector's full resolution –- only 800 by 600 is available.

A six-colour, 4X-speed colour wheel is used in the LS110, which helps minimise the colour fringing effect seen on fast-moving images, particularly on older DLP projectors with slower colour wheel speeds. The LS110 also features a Faroudja de-interlacer. This is designed to improve the image quality when viewing material from an interlaced source. Standard de-interlacers -– which turn interlaced video into progressive scan video -– can produce 'tearing' when the image changes quickly, due to there being a significant difference between the two halves of the interlaced image. Faroudja de-interlacing claims to be less susceptible to tearing by compensating for the difference between two halves of an interlaced image.

The basic projector has an input connector similar to a DVI port but slightly wider and not compatible, an S-Video input, a composite video input and an audio input jack. You get an adapter cable for the DVI-style port which connects to a VGA connector and a USB port for analogue input and mouse control. A digital version of the same cable is available as an option. However, the LS110 becomes far more useful when you add the add-on input module. This provides every kind of video input you’re likely to need -– the same DVI-style port, VGA, composite video, S-Video and component video, plus a monitor out port, should you need it. It also has stereo audio phono inputs, and an RS-232 connector.

All these connectors are at the rear of the unit, with the power inlet at the side. There’s a single infrared receiver on the rear of the unit, and we found that we needed to hold the remote control at a particular angle to get consistent operation. The remote control itself is quite small and light, and replicates all the controls on the projector’s top panel, adding direct access to the digital zoom function.

The on-screen menu is text based, and is relatively easy to navigate. You can configure the auto-standby time, from one minute to a couple of hours -– we’re not sure why you’d want to wait that long before going to standby, but it’s there anyway. The aspect ratio control allows you to choose between a standard and anamorphic image input.

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The LS110 has a 'de-gamma' control, which adjusts the projector’s own gamma to suit that of the image source -- be it a PC, DVD player or VCR. Note that if you’ve already adjusted your PC’s gamma to suit movies, then using PC gamma on the projector won’t deliver the desired results. You can also alter the colour space used by the projector –- RGB, SMPTE240, REC709, REC601 or automatic colour space -– although you’re unlikely to need to use this feature unless you’re using an unusual combination of image source and input.

This projector has lots of things going for it, including a wide range of inputs, native wide-screen images, good contrast and brightness. However, the same projector, with all the same benefits, is available from Toshiba at a lower list price. It may be that street prices even out this difference, but be sure to check prices of both versions of this projector in order to get the best deal.

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