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

One of the last picture strengths to become clear to me while reviewing the MICO 50 is actually one of its strongest: motion handling. The thing is, the MICO 50 handles motion so effortlessly from whatever sort of source you throw at it that you completely forget that motion normally causes most displays a few problems - especially in these days of 1080p/24 Blu-rays.

There’s no blurring whatsoever, no transient noise that I could see, and best of all, no distracting judder. Also, however, the image doesn’t go processing crazy and try to produce a picture that moves so silkily smoothly that it looks nauseating and unnatural. Instead you just get an image that looks pretty much exactly like something you’d see in a commercial cinema. And you can’t say fairer than that.

With the MICO 50 also doing a startlingly smart job of upscaling standard definition (it’s actually more forgiving of standard def than it is poor-quality HD), finding things not to like about the MICO 50 is a pretty thankless task. Aside from the fact that it costs more than I’ll likely ever be able to afford, of course!

I guess there’s a tiny bit of DLP dot noise visible during really dark shots - though you have to practically have your face pressed to your screen to really be distracted by this. I’m also no fan of Sim2’s operating system, finding the onscreen menus rather technical and unfriendly, while the remote control far more basic than such a projector deserves.

However, it doesn’t make a great deal of sense to dwell on this latter point, since the Sim2 will doubtless be professionally installed for you when you buy it; you won’t just be sent one and expected to sort it out for yourself. In fact, it will likely more often than not become part of a much larger installation, where it will be controlled via a fancy third-party control device from the likes of Crestron.

For this same reason I haven’t gone into my usual detail in this review on how the MICO 50 is to set-up - though I might as well say in passing now that I’ve mentioned it that with its fully motorised image shifting, zoom and focus, built-in test signals and long and short-throw lens options, it’s actually extremely easy to install.

Let’s wrap up, though, by getting back to the only thing that will really matter to the MICO 50’s likely buyers: its truly amazing pictures. If you want to achieve the aficionado’s dream of being able to see an HD picture on your projection screen that looks exactly like it did when it was mastered or broadcast, or a standard def picture that looks better large than you could ever have expected, this Sim2 is for you.

Verdict

The MICO 50 might be Sim2’s first foray into LED waters, but the Italian brand has absolutely nailed it. With its amazing build quality, excellent custom install flexibility, extreme colour management and almost other-worldly picture quality, it’s an absolute poster boy for what LED can do.

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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