Finally, when it’s set to work on a selection of our favourite things, one thing becomes apparent about the D10 very quickly: it’s the best DC2 projector we’ve seen, south of two grand.
Predictably, the main reason we can say this so confidently is its colour response. The BrilliantColor system helps it portray colours so vivid and rich that they even outperform those of most sub-£2,500 DarkChip3 projectors, while the wider range of the palette helps it produce traditionally tricky colours such as skin tones with unusual accuracy.
Then there are the D10’s black levels. Playing through the Mines sequence in ”Half Life 2: Episode 2” on the Xbox 360, we were really struck by how surprisingly dark the walls looked, with far less of the low-contrast greyness than we’d frankly expected given the D10’s fairly low 2,000:1 contrast figure. Perhaps SIM2 has merely measured this figure more ‘realistically’ than some of its more fanciful rivals…
HD films such as ”The Prestige” on HD DVD, meanwhile, look impeccably sharp and detailed on the D10. Partly because of an inherent purity and crispness to its presentation, but also partly because it’s unusually good at portraying the sort of subtle details in dark areas that bring dark scenes to life but which commonly elude less accomplished projectors and TVs.
Yet more good news finds the D10’s pictures largely unbothered by DLP’s common issues with fizzing noise over motion and the ‘rainbow effect’ (where pure stripes of colour flit around your peripheral vision). This impressive state of affairs could well be a result (at least in part) of that RGBCYM colour wheel arrangement.
Add to this already heady brew a surprisingly high brightness level for a relatively affordable projector, and voila: the best DarkChip2 projector so far.
Having said so many good things about the SIM2 Domino D10, and acknowledging that it does perform marginally better than Planar’s PD7010 – not to mention InFocus’s DarkChip 2 model, the sub-£1,000 IN76 – we‘re not entirely convinced that it’s as much as £500-£600 better than those striking rivals.
What’s more, aside from its colours, the D10 is also no better and in one or two ways is actually less outstanding than the DarkChip 3 InFocus IN78, even though that model, too, is £100 cheaper.
So in the end, while the D10 does a really SIM2-like job of getting the best from the technology available to it, and is cheap by SIM2’s standards, it’s still not quite cheap enough to see off all of its potential rivals.