The first word that springs to mind as we settle in to watch the M-Vision Cine LED is ‘wow’. As we’ll see, there are plenty of individual reasons for this emotionally positive response, but we just wanted to give you a sense right away of the overall combined impact of all the many things the projector gets right.
The single greatest of the M-Vision Cine LED’s strengths is its incredible sharpness. The projector’s ability to not only present but somehow emphasise every last drop of detail in an HD source has to be seen to be believed. And we specifically avoided using any phrase like ‘pixel-level detailing’ back there because we didn’t want to give the impression that the image’s intense clarity and sharpness was in any way affected by visible pixellation and image structure.
It’s just fantastically sharp in the same smooth way celluloid is fantastically sharp, and you can’t ask for more than that. Well, you can’t ask for more than that unless you cough up £140,000 to buy Meridian’s unfeasibly high resolution 810 Reference Video System, anyway...
Also phenomenal is the M-Vision Cine LED’s colour performance. The first thing that hits you is how wide the visible colour palette is, a classic LED advantage that manages the dual feat of making pictures look incredibly punchy and dynamic but also so perceivably and measurably natural that you’d swear you’re looking through a window rather than at an image that’s travelled through a digital projection system.
Making the colour effect all the more impressive is the effortless way the projector presents colour blends and tonal shifts with almost infinite subtlety and finesse. Striping, flaring, blocking and colour noise are simply not an issue at all.
Next up is the M-Vision Cine LED’s handling of motion. Which is again pretty much perfect. There’s no judder at all beyond what’s natural to a source, and blur is non-existent so far as we can tell.
There’s no noise in the picture beyond what might be found in a source (the accuracy of the M-Vision’s images is, of course, rather revealing of source noise, but this is hardly the projector’s fault!). And last but by no means least, the LED lighting and the quality of the projector’s optics combine to make the M-Vision Cine LED a brilliantly good reproducer of shadow detail during dark scenes.
Really the only chink in the M-Vision Cine LED’s armour - and it really is only a chink - is its inability to deliver black colours with as much depth, richness and impact as some rivals - most notably JVC’s X9 and X7 models. But the reproduction of shadow detail is so good it kind of makes you forget that you’ve seen deeper blacks elsewhere.
Obviously with a price tag of £16,000, the Digital Projection M-Vision Cine LED is going to be a mere dream for the majority of people. But as fantasies go, it’s a heck of a tempting one, serving up pictures so good it hurts. As in, it hurts to have to go back to a normal mainstream projector that we’d previously thought was really good... Sigh.