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Ask anyone what countries they associate with cutting edge AV technology and the answer you get back will almost always be Japan or Korea, with the occasional Taiwan, China or America thrown in to keep you on your toes.
One country we're certain you will NOT hear mentioned is Norway. Yet in fact the home of the elk and pretty fjords genuinely does contain a true AV force to be reckoned with: Projectiondesign.
As their rather inelegant name suggests, Projectiondesign's key business is projectors. And sitting at the top of its current home cinema projection range is the Action! Model Three 1080: a Full HD DLP model yours for the cool sum of £10k. Or nearer £15k according to some sites we've seen it on. Crikey.
This sort of price would usually get you at least somewhere in the vicinity of a three-chip DLP projector, which uses separate DLP devices for the red, green and blue parts of the image in order to dispense with the colour wheel systems - and their attendant video noise and running noise issues - required by single-chip DLP projectors.
But the Action Model Three is definitely only a single-chip model, so we're going to have to look elsewhere in our bid to understand where its hefty price comes from.
Some clue as to its ‘high-endness' can be seen in its design. For starters, it's absolutely huge; a fat, not especially attractive hulk of a thing that couldn't be further removed from the remarkable smallness and elegance of the only other Projectiondesign model we've tested, the much cheaper Action! M20.
It's also very heavy by home projection standards, hinting at some high quality innards and plenty of electronic screening in the chassis itself.
By far the biggest indicator that the Action! Model Three is anything but ‘standard issue' home cinema kit, though, is the fact that despite the relative enormity of its bodywork, it still can't fit all of its video processing in. Instead it ships with a separate video processing unit with a Crystalio II logo on the front.
This rather serious looking but still attractive box of processing tricks hails from Pixel Magic, the company also responsible for the generally outstanding video processing systems in InFocus projectors. And it's driven by both the acclaimed Gennum VXP video scaling engine, and Faroudja's famed DCDi de-interlacing system.
The Crystalio II can take in any sort of video signal, of any resolution, and convert it to fill the full 1,920 x 1,080p resolution of the projector, before feeding it out digitally to the projector.
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