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Sorry folks, but I'm afraid the price at the top of this review is correct; we haven't stuck an extra digit in there by mistake. The Grand Cinema HT3000E really does cost the best part of £10k. Perhaps it would have been better to call it the ‘10 Grand Cinema HT3000E'…
Clearly we realise that at this point many of you will probably already have chuckled about the incompatibility of the HT3000E with your bank balance and quietly closed your browsers down to go off and do something more useful instead. But if you haven't, well congratulations on either being interested in seeing how the other half live, or on having a far healthier bank balance than the rest of us will probably ever enjoy…
Anyway, getting back to the product at hand, it comes as no surprise to find it looking every inch the opulent, ultra stylish bit of kit you'd really demand for £10K. SIM2's projector designs (by famed concept designer Giorgio Revoldini) are the stuff of legend even with its more affordable projectors, but here it's gone into overdrive with a dizzying blend of stunningly robust build quality, gorgeous curves in all the right places, and a high gloss finish that we found ourselves completely unable to resist stroking every time we walked past it.
The exterior isn't just about flash styling, of course, as there's also the small matter of the HT3000E's connections to deal with. And here again all is pretty much as you'd expect of a high-end projector beast, with two HDMIs leading the way supported by component video inputs and a D-Sub PC jack - as well as the usual lower quality S-Video and composite video options for anyone insane enough to use them. We guess a third HDMI wouldn't have gone amiss on a 10k product, but heck; if you can afford an HT3000E adding an HDMI switch box to your expenditure is just a drop in the ocean.
Good though the stuff we've covered so far might be, it hardly explains the £10,000 price tag. For that we need to delve into the HT3000E's innards - where we quickly discover the key to it all: one of Texas Instruments' very latest full HD DLP chipsets. This offers a 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution (to match the native resolution of the vast majority of the UK's HD sources) from a mere 0.95in chipset, which should ensure that there's practically no chance whatsoever of seeing any pixellation or ‘gridding' in the final image. It should also help on the contrast and brightness fronts, as having less gaps between the DLP mirrors that make up each pixel should reduce wasted light in the optical system.
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