The first thing to say here is that we don’t seriously expect many or any of you to actually be able to buy a Digital Projection Titan Reference 1080p 3D projector. They do, after all, cost between £90,000 and £96,000. Each.
However, the gadget lover in us is always irresistibly drawn to uber-expensive kit if only to find out just why/how anything can cost so much. Especially as experience has shown that it’s often the very expensive stuff which introduces key technologies that eventually filter down in some form or other to more mainstream products. In other words, high-end gear can be a living, breathing vision of the future.
As we’ll discover, though, the Titan Reference 1080p 3D projector unfortunately feels more like an unwelcome trip down memory lane than a gleaming glimpse of what’s to come.
If you’re the sort of person who likes something physically substantial for your money, than the Titan gets off to a great start by being absolutely ruddy huge. It actually arrives in two boxes - one humungous one carrying the 31kg, 645mm long projector chassis, and a smaller one carrying the also massive lens, which locks into a gaping hole in the main chassis and sticks out the best part of a foot from the projector’s front edge.
This all underlines in fat red ink the idea that this is a serious, almost commercial-grade bit of custom-install kit rather than some bit of fluff you can just pop on a coffee table when you fancy a bit of projector fun.
While the uncompromising nature of the Titan’s bodywork might raise plenty of expectations about the quality of what it’s got inside, though, it sure isn’t pretty by any normal aesthetic standards. Just as well it will likely be boxed away somewhere in a perennially darkened room.
The Titan’s side-mounted connections are bizarre - and massively problematic. For it’s immediately apparent that there are no HDMIs. Not one. Instead you get a high-end SDI input, a trio of DVI inputs, a D-Sub PC input, a BNC-style composite video input, an S-Video input, a BNC-style component video input, and a BNC-style RGB input, along with LAN and RS-232 control port options and a sync port for the external 3D transmitter unit.
For a projector costing this much to give you composite and S-Video options but no HDMI inputs immediately reveals that rather than the bleeding edge bit of technology you might have expected, the Titan 3D is actually rather old now.
This doesn’t intrinsically matter, of course, provided its age doesn’t stop it performing insanely well. But the lack of any HDMIs presents an actually quite devastating problem for 3D viewers. For it means there’s no HDMI v1.4 support on the projector, which in turn means the projector won’t ‘handshake’ with the vast majority of 3D Blu-ray players.
In fact, the Titan shouldn’t be able to handshake with any 3D Blu-ray players, though Digital Projection has found - and we can confirm this - that Samsung C5900 and C6900 Blu-ray players do seem happy to speak to the Titan, presumably on account of their not being as strict in looking for the v1.4 protocols as other players.
We tried a PS3, two standalone Sony 3D Blu-ray players, and a Panasonic 3D unit, and all of them refused point blank to acknowledge the Titan as a 3D device. We weren't able to test the newer Samsung D6900 Blu-ray deck, but we wouldn't be at all surprised if it didn't work.