Given the DM2’s 480-line native resolution, I hadn’t expected it to present pictures with much sharpness. But I still felt let down by just how soft pictures look with HD, which ultimately doesn’t really look any different to standard definition.
You’re perhaps wondering at this point what preset mode I’m running the DM2 in. Maybe I’ve forgotten to try its Theatre preset? Sadly, no. The results recorded have all been noted in the Theatre mode – things simply look even worse if you try any of the other presets.
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t have been impressed by the DM2’s performance – even as a mega-budget, ultra-casual projector – two years ago. So now that we’ve got the Optoma GameTime GT-7000 offering vastly superior picture quality for the same money, the DM2’s flawed inclusion of a built-in DVD player is little if any compensation.
So is there anything good I can say about the DM2 at all? Hmm. Well, as noted earlier the sound quality produced by its onboard speakers contains more volume and clarity than I would ever have expected – even though this is nowhere near enough to compensate for the dislocation effect I described.
Also, the DVD section is actually surprisingly able, reproducing film discs with little if any significant MPEG decoding noise, and decent vibrancy. So far as we can tell, most if not all of the problems with the final picture quality produced by the DM2 come from its projector section, not its DVD section.
Another positive thing about the DM2 is the way its use of LCD technology precludes it from suffering the rainbow effect problem found on budget DLP projectors. Though having said that, of course, the DM2 does a fine job of reminding us of LCD’s inherent problems, namely the chicken wire effect and lack of contrast.
The last and perhaps most surprising strength of the DM2 is the fact that it actually reproduces standard definition sources quite well, at least when it comes to keeping video noise out of the picture – a product, no doubt, of the on-board Pixelworks DNX processing engine. But let’s not get carried away with this, for while the projector might make standard def sources look less noisy than expected, all the other colour/contrast/chicken wire problems remain.
Sorry, Epson, but this woefully poor implementation of a fundamentally flawed concept is barely worth £100, never mind £440.