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The HD950 does actually have an adjustable aperture. In fact, it sports an impressive 16 different aperture settings. But crucially this manual aperture adjustment is only there to aid with optimising the HD950 for different types of room environment it might find itself in, or the type of screen it’s going to be partnered with. It’s not there to artificially boost the HD950’s contrast measurements.
Not surprisingly given its custom install aspirations, the HD950’s customisability doesn’t end with its aperture setting. Crucially, for instance, the projector also carries a colour management toolbox, via which you can tinker with the brightness, hue and saturation of the key magenta, cyan, yellow, red, green and blue colour elements. Plus there are a set of colour temperature presets, presented in Kelvin values, and including a 6,500K setting which, as expected, proves the best option with the vast majority of film and video sources.
You can also manually set the picture’s gamma level, tell the projector the finish of your screen so it can adjust the image accordingly, and call in a couple of intriguing tricks dubbed inverse telecine mode and Clear Motion Drive processing.
The first of these intriguingly converts normal standard def fare into a 24p signal, which it then doubles to 48fps for playback. Why? Because it makes the likes of the Jeremy Kyle Show and EastEnders look more cinematic! The effect is actually more interesting than it sounds, though I also have to say that it sometimes seems a bit incongruous. After all, it can’t also turn Ian Beale into Tom Cruise, so its ‘Hollywoodisation’ of your average TV programme only goes so far!
The feature comes more into its own, obviously, with DVD playback – though to be honest, if you can afford the HD950, you’d be stark raving bonkers not to also get some sort of Blu-ray player to feed it films with.
The Clear Motion Drive, meanwhile, interpolates extra frames of image data in a bid to reduce judder. And actually, it’s so potent in the HD950 that it can pretty much remove judder altogether. The only problem – aside from the fact that such ‘liquid’ images can actually look unnatural – is that the Clear Motion Drive processing also generates quite a few noticeable side effects. And for me, these frequently proved more distracting than the judder the system was designed to repress. As a result, I personally left the system turned off for the vast majority of time.
With this in mind, it’s a relief that the HD950’s pictures don’t turn into some sort of juddery mess when the Clear Motion Drive is inactive. In fact, the small amount of judder that remains for the most part simply looks quite natural to my eye.