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

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Editors choice
SIM2 Grand Cinema MICO 50 LED DLP Projector


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Of course, it’s entirely possible that my growing feelings of admiration for the MICO 50’s design may have sprung from my deep adoration of its performance - if ever an AV product had the performance skills to actually inspire love in anyone lucky enough to own it, it’s the MICO 50.

It gets so many things so very, very right with its pictures that I actually found trying to break the image quality down into its constituent parts quite difficult. The picture seems so organic, well-rounded and natural that you just sink into it, without easily being able to separate out its various elements. Luckily I had the projector for a whole week, though, and hammered it to death in that time, so I was finally able to get some thoughts together beyond ‘holy s**t, it’s good’...

Let’s start with a surprise: the image’s brightness. The on-paper brightness figure quoted for the MICO 50 is a fairly uninspiring 800 ANSI Lumens. Yet its image positively exploded off my screen; so much so that for the first time in the year my new test room has been built, I found myself getting annoyed that the walls are painted white. You see, the image hit my screen with such ferocity that it bounced back onto the surrounding walls enough to reduce the impact of the projector’s fearsome black level response - at least where scenes contain a mix of bright and dark material. Hmm. I wonder if I could work in a room painted matt black, or if that would just drive me even more round the bend?...

I can only put the discrepancy between the MICO 50’s quoted brightness and the actual experience of watching it down to the LED light engine at the projector’s heart. And anyway, it just goes to show yet again that you should never make judgments based on manufacturers’ quoted specifications.

What makes the MICO 50’s brightness all the more remarkable is that it’s accomplished at exactly the same time as it produces some of the deepest black levels I’ve ever seen from a home projector. Unlike the brightness figure, the 100,000:1 contrast ratio claim doesn’t seem at all unrealistic, as the MICO 50 projector achieves depths of blackness - without sacrificing shadow detail and image depth - that humbles all rivals save Vivitek’s own three-LED H9080 and possibly the top models of JVC’s D-ILA range.


February 3, 2010, 3:14 pm

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


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.


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


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).


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.


February 4, 2010, 8:09 pm

Sorry Chocoa but sim Make 3 chip DLP projectors (C3X series?, 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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