SIM2 Grand Cinema MICO 50 LED DLP Projector - SIM2 Grand Cinema MICO 50

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Editors choice
SIM2 Grand Cinema MICO 50 LED DLP Projector

Summary

Our Score:

10

Not having to buy replacement lamps every few thousand hours also makes the MICO 50 quite cost effective in the long term - notwithstanding the fact that it will have cost you the best part of £16k up front, of course! And let’s not forget, either, the ecological benefits of not having to keep replacing lamps.

Continuing the green theme, the MICO 50 employs no mercury or lead in its construction, uses less than 1W in standby, and also runs far more efficiently than a normal projector - not least because it impressively employs a liquid cooling system, drastically reducing the effort needed from the two onboard fans. This fact also makes the MICO 50 exceptionally quiet to run for such a powerful machine - as well as making it much less likely to turn your living room into a sauna during a movie marathon.

With a mighty claimed contrast ratio of 100,000:1, a claimed colour palette of 200 trillion colours and Sim2’s own PureLED video processing on top of all the LED benefits described earlier, it’s fair to say that the MICO 50 has already gone a mighty long way towards justifying its high price. But we’re not done yet, for it can also be calibrated to within a millimetre of perfection courtesy of Sim2’s outstanding Live Colour Calibration software.

I won’t go into detail on this here, as I covered it in an earlier review of Sim2’s C3X Lumis. Suffice it to say that it makes the usual ‘built-in’ colour management systems look positively amateurish by comparison.

The MICO 50’s connections go further than your average projector too. For as well as the expected couple of HDMIs, you get all the usual ‘legacy’ stuff (composite, S-Video and component inputs) and a host of bits and bobs designed to aid the custom installation market at which the MICO 50 is so clearly targeted. RS-232 serial and USB ports, 12-volt trigger outputs, IR sensor inputs, and anamorphic projection functionality... they’re all there.

If like my dear old nan you’re one of those people who likes quantity as well as quality for your buck, fear not. For the MICO 50 is an absolute beast of a machine, measuring 540 x 235 x 641mm and weighing a disc-slipping 25kg.

I have to say that at first I didn’t think its design delivered Sim2’s usual penchant for Ferrari-esque beauty. But weirdly the design grew on me with every day that I spent with it, as I really started to appreciate the glorious quality of its glossy finish, and the way all of its high-spec items - its lens array, its cooling vents, its liquid cooling chambers, its LED optics and so on - have been incorporated without completely losing that blend of curvaceous fun and refinement that the Italian brand has made its trademark. In fact, by the time I reluctantly handed the MICO 50 back to Sim2, I’d started to see it as a minor masterpiece of industrial design.

mkaibear

February 3, 2010, 3:14 pm

John - do they allow you to give the projectors back after you've drooled all over them? ;)

mobies

February 3, 2010, 5:06 pm

Do the lcd light sources make any difference to the refresh rate?


I think colour wheels limit some DLPs to around 80hz.


Does the lack of one mean it can obtain a high enough refresh rate to be used with lcd shutter glasses for 3d?


The refresh rate doesnt seem to be listed in most projector spec sheets currently.

Chocoa

February 3, 2010, 5:27 pm

Glad to see SIM have finally designed a case that does not look like a slug on steroids!


Also wonder why they see to be commuted ( stuck?) with single chip DLP technology? - I appreciate that 3LEDs and 3 DPL chips would be a hard to handle concept to put into production . But aren't we taking about a high end manufacturer here?





Still outside my pay scale 'she' tells,at least 3 fold :) so I wont miss the Eds Choice Monica LOL

gazbarber

February 3, 2010, 10:44 pm

Why would you want 3 chip? I thought that was a solution to remove rainbow, but introduced convergence issues similar to an LCD projector.


How long till we get a model that had a White LED too to take care of the extra bright scenes?





The LED's change at the eqiv of 47 or so colour wheel, but how fast can the mirrors move? seing how that determines the intra contrast (AFAIK).

Chocoa

February 4, 2010, 4:36 am

@ gazbarber


I am not saying you (SIM)do need three chips. My point was that SIM has stuck with one chip even when most other high end makers have moved to three... their moves I guess being for the very reason you make. Though convergence is simplistically a factor of the quality of the optics used and hence unit price. - A SIM trademark ;)





So far as SIM goes I was thinking along the lines of physics.. each colour is a different wavelength and therefore would benefit from differing optical treatment to achieve ultimate focus/sharpness/depth, what ever.. After all, SIM do charge a helluva premium more than most for their kit, so why not push the boat er 'added value' out even further?





As for white LED's, how would you separate the colours to achieve a composite image on screen of a digital 'RGB' signal from one white LED with only one DPL chip?- If you have one white led then you need a colour wheel again don't you? Thus defeating the object of fast LED switching? If it was just to enhance the luminosity then surely you would just get a washed out image dominated by the extra white light killing the contrast.

gazbarber

February 4, 2010, 8:09 pm

Sorry Chocoa but sim Make 3 chip DLP projectors (C3X series? http://www.sim2.co.uk/home/us/..., they just don't need to make one here as there is no wheel therefore no need for a prism to combine the colours.





To consider convergence to be a non issue is neive IMO, as its more than just a lens issue with a 3 chiper as you seem to suggest.





The white LED would be in addition to the other 3 on a single chip arrangement and could be pulsed and timed with mirror tilts/pivots just as it does for any other colour, it would simply increase the brighness as used by some LCD TV manufacturers to increase the colour gaurmet and overall brighness, e.g. assume the red LED is a rich red (255 if 8bit)but you want to show a bright pink or faded red, this is more difficult without the white as the mirrors are away from the lens more than they are on it to produce the pink ... but then you loose brightness as the amount of colour given is reduce as your trying to produce a less intense colour from an intense one while also attempting to keep the brightness (if that makes any sense).





The dlp algorthms would take care of the washed out issue just as they can currently with a colour wheel with a white segment, although granted a brighter set of RGB LED's would be easier to work with, but there is a lot of white as well as black in most movies... so i think for many reasons a white LED could have an advantage if used correctly.

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