It’s fair to say that a bit of AV gear costing 30 grand wouldn’t normally win one of our product of the year awards. But this year our judging panel in conjunction, remarkably, with a public vote all decided that the £30k Sim2 Lumis 3D-S projector was just so cutting edge, beautiful, and just plain brilliant that not to make it projector of the year would have been borderline criminal.
The main reason the 3D-S is so special is its 3D performance. For during our tests it delivered what remains to this day the only truly flawless demonstration of what full HD 3D in the home is capable of, complete with bright, punchy images, outstanding colour saturations, effortless 3D depth, perfectly judged contrast, a stunning exhibition of full HD active 3D fine detailing, and best of all, no crosstalk ghosting noise whatsoever.
So we’re understandably pretty pumped today to be getting our hands on another Sim2 3D projector. Especially as this model, the Nero 3D-1, costs vastly less than its all-conquering sibling. In fact, at £12,995 it’s not much more than a third the price of the Lumis 3D-S. That said, clearly even £12,995 is a heck of a chunk of cash for most folk. Especially as the external 3D transmitter and 3D glasses are optional extras (£750 gets you the emitter with four pairs of glasses, for instance).
But we’d venture to suggest that you could perhaps add £13k-£14k to your mortgage without necessarily feeling the pain too much...
The first question that needs to be addressed in assessing the Nero 3D-1, of course, is exactly why it’s so much cheaper than the Lumis 3D-S. And the most important part of the answer is that it employs a single-chip DLP optical system rather than the Lumis 3D-S’s three-chip engine. This means the Nero has to use a spinning colour wheel system to produce its colours, a fact which has the potential to negatively impact motion reproduction and noise levels while also possibly generating the ‘rainbow effect’, where you see coloured stripes over bright objects; in your peripheral vision; or when you flit your eyes over the picture.
To be absolutely clear about this, we’re not saying that all single chip projectors necessarily look like a POS compared with three-chip ones! In fact, the vast majority of DLP projectors we’ve seen are single-chip, and some are excellent. But if you’re looking for ‘big’ reasons for the Nero 3D-1’s relative cheapness, then there they are.
The Nero 3D-1 also uses a slightly less powerful lamp than the 3D-S, resulting in a quoted brightness of 1600 ANSI Lumens versus the 3000 ANSI Lumens of the 3D-S. This has the potential to make a significant difference to 3D viewing given the inevitable dimming effect of active shutter glasses.
One final key internal difference is the absence in the Nero 3D-1 of the key triple-flash technology sported by the 3D-S, which did such an amazing job of removing flicker and crosstalk from that model’s 3D images. Triple Flash isn’t possible on a single-chip DLP model.