The word Fuoriserie in Italian is used (mainly in the car industry) to describe a custom-built, high-performance, exclusive, and almost always highly expensive item. So it’s no wonder luxury Italian manufacturer Sim2 have elected to use it on its new flagship projector.
The Fuoriserie is a limited edition model – only 30 are being made initially – and if you fancy joining the elite Fuoriserie club you’ll need to be able to get your hands on the small matter of £79,000… Which raises one simple question: can any home entertainment product ever truly justify such a monumental price tag?
ROUND-UP: Best Projectors
If you’re struggling to figure out how to pronounce Fuoriserie, our suggestion for the first part at least would be to say it as ‘phwooar’. For if there’s a more beautiful looking projector out there in the world today we haven’t seen it.
For starters it enjoys that familiar, beautifully curvaceous Giorgio Revoldini shaping so familiar from Sim2 Lumis projectors, here given added pizzazz by the use of a bold red colour scheme that mixes high gloss and rubberised matt finishes to wonderfully strokable effect.
Also remarkable about the Fuoriserie, considering how powerful it is, is the smallness of its footprint. It’s no bigger than many sub-£2000 projectors, despite being able to pump out a massive 3000 Lumens of brightness while delivering a contrast ratio of more than 10,000:1.
Nothing we’ve covered so far, though, really explains why the Fuoriserie should cost more than twice as much as Sim2’s jaw-dropping Superlumis projector. So without further ado let’s start exploring these differences.
First, the Fuoriserie carries a five-year warranty rather than the two-year one offered with the Superlumis. Also included as an extra are two service visits and two lamp changes – the latter being a particularly big deal given that the Philips lamps at the Fuoriserie’s heart are costly items.
Another part of the ‘value added’ service pack with the Fuoriserie is that, should anything go wrong with your Fuoriserie, Sim2 will provide you with a loan product to cover the time yours is away. It’s all about putting the customer first. Which makes sense when customers to date include the likes of Sylvester Stallone!
There are, of course, also hardware changes from the Superlumis. The most potentially important of which is the use of hand-selected components throughout the Fuoriserie’s three-chip DLP arrangement, to deliver an advanced performance level. This may sound like some kind of ‘fish oil’ AV quackery to some of our more cynical users. But we should point out JVC does a broadly similar thing with its top-end projectors, with obvious and welcome picture quality benefits.
Next up are the Fuoriserie’s new network functions. For starters, the projector carries built in web pages you can access via your computer and home network to help you get the best from your Fuoriserie experience.
These include the facility to keep your projector in constant communication via the cloud with Sim2. So, for instance, if the projector’s self-diagnostic routines detect a potential problem it can automatically dial home to report the issue, enabling a dealer to be pro-active about organising a fix. Crucially given that you don’t tend to run projectors as continually as you do a TV, the Fuoriserie can even make its reports when in standby.
Being connected to your home network also enables the Fuoriserie to receive software updates whenever Sim2 finds a firmware method of improving performance or features.
A clue to another reason the Fuoriserie costs £42,000 more than the Superlumis can be seen in the accessories you get with it. Not the ‘3D kit’, with its four free pairs of active shutter glasses; that’s the same as you get with the Superlumis. Rather we’re talking about the included X-Rite I1 colour analyser. This connects to the Fuoriserie via a USB port and hangs in front of it courtesy of an also-supplied bracket, constantly monitoring and measuring the light and colour properties of the room so that the projector’s settings can be adjusted accordingly.
The projector also does an automatic D65 calibration every 30 seconds, to ensure pictures are constantly adhering to the post-production AV world’s standards. What makes this feature particularly welcome is the fact that it enables the Fuoriserie to constantly compensate for adjustments in the projector’s optics that naturally occur over a projector’s life-time.
You can, of course, adjust normal Superlumis projectors to compensate for things like reductions in lamp output and shifts in colour reproduction over time - but only by periodically calling out an engineer to perform new calibrations. Having this done free and constantly by the Fuoriserie is clearly a boon, and should also crucially mean that picture quality is consistently better over the projector’s lifetime.
So much for the main differences between the standard Superlumis and the Fuoriserie. Let’s quickly cover some other key points common to both projectors. For starters, both use a new Philips lamp design that avoids the usual projector lamps’ tendency to favour green tones by delivering a native colour temperature of around 6500 Kelvins versus the normal 8000K. In this respect it acts more like an expensive Xenon lamp.
Its native characteristics also enable it to deliver a wider colour gamut. Indeed, it can even create the huge colour space used by the Digital Cinema Initiative, providing a high-quality Rec 709/DCI sliding colour filter together with a more advanced driver for manipulating light. Though it should be said that the huge data bandwidths involved with DCI distribution mean it’s likely to be a very long time before DCI is readily available in homes. Even really posh ones!
The Fuoriserie obviously supports the addition of an external anamorphic lens for people using a 21:9 screen, and as with the past few Sim2 projectors we’ve tested its 3D playback is enhanced by ‘Triple Flash’ 144Hz technology, designed to eradicate the crosstalk ghosting noise associated with active 3D systems.
There’s a rather large elephant in the room when discussing the Fuoriserie’s feature count that we can’t just ignore (especially when talking about an 80 grand spend): 4K. Or rather the Fuoriserie’s lack of native 4K support. It’s a full HD model only.
As noted in our review of the Superlumis, resolution is just one part of picture quality. But while the Superlumis’s extraordinary talents made its lack of 4K support much easier to accept than expected, we have to say we’re finding 4K’s absence rather less palatable now the price has ballooned to £80,000.
This section is rendered pretty much redundant, really, by the fact that anyone lucky enough to be able to afford a Fuoriserie will have it professionally installed and maintained, while the projector pretty much calibrates itself!