Digital Projection Titan 3D - Set up and 3D Pictures

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Even our Samsung C6900 was a bit hit and miss about when it decided to play 3D into the Titan, though this could be because our player is a pre-production sample; Digital Projection reckons it hasn’t had any problems with its own C6900.

Needless to say, this is an utterly crazy situation to be faced with on a bit of kit costing £90k. Especially as the Samsung players we’re talking about here are hardly the last word in Blu-ray quality. A unit like the Titan surely ought to be fed an immaculate signal from a high-end Blu-ray player, not some decent but hardly state of the art mass market machine like the C6900/C5900.

The Titan will, at least, play Sky’s side by side 3D broadcasts with no problems, though obviously these are at a lower resolution than 3D Blu-rays, and you can certainly see the difference when watching them on the sort of large screens the Titan was ‘born’ to fill.

We found the projector’s 3D menus to be pretty confusing during our tests, though to be fair the Titan will obviously be installed professionally for anyone rich enough to buy one. The installer will also, of course, wrestle with Digital Projections exceptionally sophisticated and rich ColorMax and Xenon Color Mode calibration systems on your behalf.

Looking inside the Titan 3D’s bodywork for answers to why it costs so much uncover a number of key things. We’ve already discussed the spectacular size and apparent quality of the lens, but also key is the projector’s carriage of not one but two separate 350W lamps. This enables it to pump out a phenomenal maximum 6000 ANSI Lumens of light, which should prove mighty handy in countering the dimming effect of active shutter 3D glasses.

Digital Projection Titan 3D projector

The projector also carries a three-chip DLP engine for fast-responding, noise-free, detailed and colour-rich images with none of the rainbow effect issues associated with single-chip DLP projectors. Plus it boasts Digital Projection's startlingly clever FastFrame technology to deliver enhanced motion reproduction, and the brand’s proprietary ‘Active-3D sideboard’, which contains a ‘direct to DLP Digital Mirror Device’ high bandwidth input introducing what Digital Projection claims is less than one frame of latency.

The projector delivers up to 16-bit colour processing, and features triple-flash technology to reduce flicker and crosstalk when playing back 24p 3D Blu-rays. Mind you, the Sim2 Lumis 3D-S offers triple flash technology too for a third as much money as the Titan.

One final niggle to report before finding out if the Titan can deliver a performance worthy of its price is that while the XpanD glasses we were sent were comfortable and worked very well, they never seemed to switch off fully, even with the 3D sync transmitter unplugged, which must mean they’ll eat batteries for dinner.

Not surprisingly, the Titan’s picture quality is, in many ways, amazing. The amount of brightness it delivers is unprecedented; almost scary, in fact, if you’ve got both lamps in play (you can choose to only use one if you prefer) and are driving a fairly typical 100in screen in a mid-to-large room. Clearly brightness levels this extreme are capable of driving much larger screens in much larger venues of the sort anyone able to afford £90k on a projector will doubtless have.

As hoped, this level of brightness is a revelation with 3D content, allowing it to appear, despite the presence of active 3D glasses, with a level of brightness and colour punch that we’ve never seen before outside of a commercial cinema. This has a further benefit in that it allows the image to retain more detail in shadowy areas than you get with any less bright solution we’ve seen.

Rob

December 30, 2013, 5:52 am

Comparing the Titan to the JVC X9 because it has a higher contrast ratio and costs less, is pointless. The manufacturers numbers really mean nothing when it comes to image quality.A 5000:1 contrast ratio for a 6000 lumen device is amazing. I doubt it is achievable in its brightest double lamp mode. The JVC is only 1300 lumen and less than 800 in its cinema modes. Getting 100,000 darker than 800 lumens vs 5000 times darker than 6000 lumens is less of a gap than just quoting the cr on its own. The difference is going to be most noticeable on all black screens.

The human eye notices large changes in brightness more than subtle ones. I find that blacks often look great on bright projectors next to the super bright, saturated colors. The exception is when the whole screen is black where brighter devices struggle next to the dim JVCs where you can barely tell they are switched on at all. That is an advantage if you like watching black screens. I prefer to watch movies.

On high end devices, the quality of the glass and the processing is noticeably better than on cheaper home theater devices which appear to have better numbers on paper. There are no free lunches and given the choice, i would go with the Titan. The manufacturers numbers really mean nothing. Read some reviews and you will often see cheap devices with higher claimed contrast ratios, that don't have the best blacks or image quality. The difference in the level of detail you get with high end glass is far greater than marketing specs can tell you. The first Sony 4k home theater projector which costs over $20k, didn't have high end glass, just entry level. The newer, cheaper model (at $10k less), uses a plastics lens. Until recently, 5000:1 was considered a great contrast ratio. The average DCI compliant digital theater projector is still only putting out 2000:1 and they can be more expensive than a Titan by 2-4x.

Specs make people feel better about their projector and make them buy new ones but a lot of the time, the incremental improvement is invisible to the naked eye when watching movie content. You can't see the difference between 50,000:1 and 60,000:1. Plus, for most people, their room won't let them get anywhere near that 50,000:1 cr.

In addition to a much better image quality from the glass and superior processing, you also get better features on high end devices such as more flexibility with motorized lenses, a choice of lenses for different throw requirements, better color management systems. One of my devices is a high end pro install device and it automatically adjusts the color to match the 6500k I set it to. It does this on a constant basis so as the lamp gets older, it still matches colors accurately which lets me get more life from the lamp. Sorry to state the obvious, but $90k projectors almost always put out a better image than $5k ones.

Rob

December 30, 2013, 9:40 am

Also, wouldn't most people who buy a $90k projector, also be able to afford a top of the line outboard processor with an HDMI input? It isn't that much of a big deal. Most professional installations use DVI inputs over HDMI, which is a consumer format.

I would be asking a more relevant question with this review which is, would I get better 3d performance with 2 $40k projectors plus lenses and a 3d outboard processor that is capable of converting 3d sources to 120hz. This would enable the user create a passive 3d set-up without losing any vertical resolution, just like you get at an IMAX theater. Projectiondesigns passive 3d technology doesn't even need a silver screen. It works on any screen, just like active 3d, except, with more comfortable lightweight passive glasses you can "borrow" from the theater. Also, less brightness is lost and there is less flickers plus, you can use any projectors, not just the more expensive 3d ready ones.

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