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For starters, the X10's picture is almost unbelievably sharp. While watching the nice-picture-shame-about-the-movie Blu-ray of National Treasure 2, the definition in the actors' faces during the bright White House egg hunt sequence is little short of jaw-dropping. There's exceptional fine detailing, total crispness, and a complete absence of video noise. What's more, the outstanding detail levels also help generate a terrific sense of depth to the image, revealing every last subtlety of focus as the image trails into the distance.
Actually, the detailing here is so cute that it slightly reveals the shots of the White House for what they actually are: a special effects addition achieved through the miracle of blue-screen…
I'd really doubted that a projector as cheap as this one could deliver the full benefit a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count can bring to an HD movie. But as well as the detail and lack of noise already noted, I was also struck by the purity of colour blends, as the X10's extra pixel density does away with the vast majority of the ‘colour banding' problem that can afflict budget projectors.
Also nothing short of remarkable is how bright the picture looks. DLP projectors at the X10's sort of price point traditionally struggle to give images any real dynamism, but there's dynamism aplenty on show here, even during the dark scenes that make up National Treasure 2's final half hour in the Olmec caverns.
Of course, brightness alone does not a great video picture make. But don't worry; while the best picture quality on the X10 is achieved with the iris slightly closed (I personally set it to between 64 and 73), the resulting loss of brightness isn't at all severe in the context of the benefits you reap in terms of black level improvement.
With the iris slightly closed the black levels you can achieve are simply in a different world to anything - repeat, ANYTHING - else we've seen anywhere at anything like the X10's price.
And still we're not even close to being done with the good news, for the X10 is also streets ahead of its price point with its colour saturations. They're both radiantly rich - as is spectacularly apparent during the HD Disney logo that precedes the National Treasure 2 presentation - and, even more remarkably, terrifically natural in tone. For instance, all the faces on show in the lecture theatre where Ed Harris's character drops his historical ‘bombshell' are rendered with emphatically authentic toning, even though this scene is, by its nature, rather dark. There's not a PC-biased colour tone in sight.
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