The extra brightness further has a profound effect on 3D viewing, enabling the Sim2 M.150 to combat more effectively than the Mico 50 the inevitable dimming you get when you don a pair of Sim2’s active 3D glasses. This helps 3D images look more dynamic, more colourful, more detailed, and more full of depth.
Couple all this with the M.150’s complete freedom from active 3D’s dreaded crosstalk ghosting problem, and as with every other Sim2 3D projector we’ve seen, the M.150 provides staggering proof that 3D viewing in the home really can be an amazing experience rather than just the headache-inducing marketing gimmick it can appear to be on lesser products.
2D and HD Reproduction
Going back to 2D, the M.150’s pictures also benefit from more or less perfect colour response. Colours are immaculately balanced, almost infinitely nuanced, totally natural in tone (even in dark picture areas), and utterly free of any sort of noise or distortion. In other words, here again the M.150 is capable of delivering a ‘celluloid-like’ experience on a level we just haven’t witnessed before other than on the aforementioned Lumis 3D-S.
The sharpness of the Sim2 M.150’s HD pictures needs to be seen to be believed, too. Its images are so precise and clean, in fact, that the only Blu-ray scenes we’ve been able to find that do maximum justice to them are the shot-for-IMAX bits of The Dark Knight - most notably the opening bank robbery sequence. So extreme is the clarity on show here that we found it hard to believe we were just watching a normal HD feed rather than some sort of ‘super resolution’ source.
We guess one question that needs to be asked is if the M.150 justifies its extra cost over the non-LED £13,000 and £16,000 Sim2 Nero models. And the simple answer is yes. For starters, you never have to change the bulbs in the M.150 (a £750-a-pop process on the Neros). Also, the M.150’s images benefit from greater stability and slightly more natural motion reproduction (there’s really no need at all to use the projector’s provided motion processing options), as well as remaining free of puny amounts of rainbow effect that extremely susceptible viewers might very occasionally detect on the Neros.
The only other projectors in town that might potentially cause the M.150 any grief are the JVC X90 and the Sony VW1000ES. The JVC, it must be said, delivers deeper black levels than the M.150 can. But the M.150 more than compensates for this with the extra crispness and colour subtlety of its 2D pictures; by producing more shadow detail; and by rendering 3D with much less crosstalk than the JVC.
The £17k Sony represents a tougher challenge in that there’s no doubt that genuine 4k material does take home cinema projection to a whole new level. However, there’s precious little 4k material around at the moment, and while the Sony upscales HD to 4k quite nicely, the M.150’s HD detail levels are only marginally smaller, yet its pictures look more consistently natural and less processed. The Sim2 also delivers a richer black level response, especially when it comes to reproducing shadow details in dark areas.
Pretty much the only serious gripe we might raise about the M.150’s imperious performance is that it runs a touch more noisily than we’d like. But the extreme flexibility of its set up options means that your installer shouldn’t have much difficulty at all in positioning the projector so that its noise doesn’t trouble you at all.
While LED lighting in projectors might not yet be catching on quite as much as we’d expected it to, the Sim2 M.150 proves that it remains every bit as impressive a technology as we first thought it was. In fact, the M.150 is probably the second best Sim2 projector we’ve seen behind the Lumis 3D-S, and you can’t say fairer than that.