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If you’re one of those people who likes to get a lot of ‘real estate’ for your money, the Action! M20 projector from Norwegian brand projectiondesign is probably not the projector for you. For something costing north of £3,000 it’s really remarkably small, with its tiny footprint and dramatic curves and grilles making it look more like a funky bit of fun than a truly serious home cinema machine. But in this case, we assure you, looks can be deceptive...
For starters, making the M20 so diminutive hasn’t exactly been easy for projectiondesign - inside the little exterior there really does beat a mighty large projection technology heart. In fact, to realise its dream of fitting high quality optics into a truly insubstantial chassis, projectiondesign turned to the same people who design the renowned Koenigsegg super car and Hydrolift power boats. Plus it made the bodywork out of cast magnesium so that it could function as a heat sink, removing the customary need for ‘cooling’ space inside the projector.
In other words, the M20’s smallness is for once more a sign of its seriousness than an indication of any kind of shallow approach. Though for those of you who are suckers for a bit of glamour, you might like to know that projectiondesign does the M20’s high gloss exterior in four equally cute colour options: Vanquish Grey, Pearl White, Maranello Blue, and British Racing Green.
Projectiondesign’s innovations with the M20 aren’t restricted to its TARDIS-like bodywork. For inside resides something called BrilliantColor: a brand new imaging arrangement that the company’s own engineers have developed in tandem with Texas Instruments (which invented the DLP technology the M20 uses).
Designed to produce brighter peak colours and more natural tones, with less accompanying colour noise, BrilliantColor comprises two elements: software algorithms and a new colour wheel design that includes yellow, cyan, and magenta elements alongside the usual red, green and blue. While other brands can use the software part of this system, the M20 is currently the only 720p DLP projector using the software and hardware components together. Hopefully this full BrilliantColor system will help give it the sort of performance edge over the 720p competition that its relatively high price really demands that it should.
Connectivity is actually a touch disappointing, thanks to the provision of a single DVI-type digital video input. There’s no great problem with this jack not being an HDMI, as it’s a simple and not necessarily expensive process to equip yourself with an HDMI-to-DVI cable, or an HDMI-to-DVI adaptor. And actually the DVI socket is arguably sturdier than an HDMI one anyway. The problem is that there’s only one such input; this is not really enough in these days of HD disc players, Sky HD receivers and next-gen games consoles. You may therefore need to factor in the cost of a digital input switching box, unless you happen to have an AV receiver with HDMI switching built in.