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If we had to pick a brand in another market that most resembled SIM2, we'd probably plump for Stella Artois, with its ‘reassuringly expensive' catchphrase. As a case in point, the last SIM2 projector we reviewed, the HT3000E, was undeniably brilliant but weighed in at a ‘cool' £10k. And that's nowhere near the top of the SIM2 range!
So it's fair to say that the Domino D10 comes as a bit of a surprise. For at just £1,600 it's miles cheaper than any projector SIM2 has ever launched before, and really can be considered a ‘mainstream' product.
The idea is clear: the brand wants to open its doors to a whole new level of clientele in the hope that they'll remain loyal and maybe step up to more sophisticated SIM2 products somewhere down the line.
We can't help but be concerned, though, that ‘going budget' is so far out of SIM2's comfort zone that it might just feasibly make a right royal mess of it…
These concerns are reinforced as soon as you clap eyes on the DLP-based D10, as it really does look like the runt of the SIM2 litter. To be fair, this impression owes at least something to the fact that every other SIM2 projector is absolutely stunning. But even compared with the vast majority of its similarly priced rivals, the D10 is drab to say the least in its matt black finish and uninspiring curves. The best think you can say about it is that you certainly aren't distracted by its physical presence while watching a film.
Also troubling is the discovery that the optical system at the D10's heart is based around one of Texas Instruments' DarkChip2 chipsets rather than the newer and better DarkChip3 arrangement found on one or two rivals we've seen recently. Rivals such as Planar's slightly more expensive £1,700 PD7060 and the £1,500 InFocus IN78.
Our concerns are that the DarkChip3 system delivers better black level and motion response than DC2, and so the D10 would seem to be starting off already a step behind the best of its rivals.
However, the D10 does claim one element that might help it get back on at least an even footing: full BrilliantColor support. BrilliantColor is a picture-boosting system developed by Texas Instruments which, in its full incarnation, as apparently employed in the D10, combines both a processing element and a ‘hardware' element in the shape of a special colour wheel that adds cyan, magenta and yellow elements to the usual red, green and blue.