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A couple of years ago, InFocus projectors seemed on the cusp of world domination, with a host of hot models at crazy prices proving hard to resist. But then everything went strangely and disturbingly quiet.
Thankfully, though, the brand certainly has not become another name driven under by the now officially Very Boring Indeed recession. In fact, InFocus is not only back on the scene with the new ScreenPlay SP8602, but it’s back with a vengeance.
The ScreenPlay part of this DLP projector’s name is actually quite interesting, since the same name was used at an earlier stage in InFocus’s history, suggesting that the SP8602 might be a return to 'core' values, or something similar. But actually, this isn’t borne out at all by the projector’s design!
For InFocus has certainly never made a projector that looks remotely like the SP8602 before. It’s a true original, right from the unusual elongated matt black chassis through to the extraordinarily bright glowing ring around the lens and the fact that you can alter the appearance of the projector’s top by swapping between a selection of slide-on 'skins'.
Designed to replace the matt black standard finish, these optional skins come in gloss black, white and a walnut wood effect, with one further option being a skin on which you can paint your own colour or design. Not that this latter choice sounds like a particularly attractive option to someone who obtained a score of 28 per cent in the last art exam he took...
As a little side note on the design, we were rather entertained to discover that InFocus has designed the remote control to be a 'mini-me' version of the projector chassis. This little indulgence hasn’t led to the remote becoming either impractical or unwieldy, though. In fact, it’s one of the more straightforward remotes we’ve come across - especially as it features a nice, bright backlight.
While the various design elements mentioned above certainly give the SP8602 a striking and characterful appearance, though, one of them doesn’t actually seem like a very good idea. For as soon as we started using the SP8602, it became apparent that the remarkably bright blue ring it sports around the lens was actually causing a bluish light to reach and bounce off our projection screen, negatively affecting the colour tone of the picture. You won’t be too surprised to learn, then, that this thankfully optional light remained well and truly off during our tests!