The set’s black level response, meanwhile, really is nearly as profound as the extravagant 10000:1 contrast claim would lead you to expect. The darkest, dankest corners of Gears of War are portrayed effortlessly, for instance, with no sense at all that you have to strain your eyes to make out what’s going on there. We also seldom if ever felt conscious either of obvious brightness shifts caused by the continually adjusting projection lamp, or of dark scenes lacking dynamism thanks to any brightness reductions.
Rich, deep black levels usually play host to dynamic, vibrant colours, and so it proves here. The sumptuous palette of Casino Royale’s card-playing scenes leaps off the screen, giving the image tremendous solidity and intensity – especially as the full HD resolution also allows for greater subtlety in colour blends.
Yet along with the vibrancy you get outstandingly natural colour toning, a fact which delivers another sucker punch to practically every previous rear projection TV technology we’ve seen.
And still we’re not done with the TV’s strengths. For also to be applauded is the way the image’s brightness remains completely uniform right across the frame, even into the corners, thereby dodging another traditional rear projection shortcoming. And finally the set’s audio is nearly as potent and grandstanding as its pictures, as the 70R2000 uses its necessary bulk to great effect in producing healthy bass levels, plenty of volume and a highly expressive audio range.
So is there anything bad to say about the 70R2000 at all? Well, we guess there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s not quite as at home with standard definition sources as it is high definition ones. It actually scales them up to its full HD resolution rather better than many smaller full HD screens we’ve seen, but there’s certainly a touch more general softness and more obviousness to MPEG decoding artefacts with digital broadcasts than you might ideally want.
There’s also no getting round the fact that as with all rear projection TVs, the picture can lose a little brightness if viewed from well above or below the screen. But actually with a screen this big, getting far above or below the screen is actually pretty hard anyway!
With its stunning high definition performance, perfectly decent standard definition performance, enormous screen size, surprisingly affordable price tag and excellent features, we really can’t recommend the 70R2000 enough – especially if you’re after a centrepiece for a dedicated home cinema room but don’t want the hassle of a front projection system.
It would appear that rumours of rear projection’s death have been greatly exaggerated…