Everybody is so focussed on the flat TV world and its crazy price wars that another, possibly even more cut-throat war seems to be going largely ignored - even though that other war is arguably of greater interest to the really dedicated home cinephile.
We're talking about the world of home cinema projection, where the rate of price erosion is such that we're looking today at a really excellent DLP projector selling for under a grand. Strewth! With the InFocus IN76 able to project images more than 200in across, suddenly that puny 50in TV doesn't seem such great value at £1,500, does it?!
You get a good feeling about the IN76 as soon as you clap eyes on it. For with its vaguely circular shape, high-gloss black finish and reasonably small footprint, it looks as classy as it does domesticated.
It's got better connectivity than you've any right to expect for its money, too. For as well as a standard HDMI socket, there's also an ‘M1-DA' socket able to take HDMI or DVI feeds - as well as PC inputs and pretty much any analogue format you can think of - via a suitable adaptor. Plus there are dedicated component video and PC jacks, a 12V trigger output for automatically starting a connected electronic screen, and even an RS-232 control port to aid system integration.
Turning our sights on the IN76's innards, we find a DarkChip 2 DLP chipset from Texas Instruments, producing a native resolution of 1,280 x 720 and a claimed contrast ratio of 3,000:1 - actually a very high figure for a DC2 system. Admittedly the DC2 system lacks contrast and delivers a worse response time versus the newer DarkChip 3 system now carried in some projectors, but there's no way in hell you're going to find a DC3 projector as cheap as the IN76. For now, at least…
The projector also boasts the same Pixelworks DNX 10-bit image processing engine found on the more expensive IN78 we reviewed a while back, which means it has the ability to take in and handle 1080p inputs - something precious few current sub-£1k projectors can also claim. Furthermore, the projector's claimed brightness of 1000ANSI Lumens is also higher than you might expect of a sub-£1k projector, enabling it to work in a bigger room than many of its peers.