Heading into the projector’s performance, the frame interpolation system proves to be, frustratingly, both the best of things and the worst of things. By which I mean that it can be both mesmerisingly effective and aggravatingly distracting.
It’s at its most effective with high definition – particularly 24p Blu-rays. With these, the extent to which the projector reduces motion judder when using the processing’s Normal or High modes is at times quite amazing. A great example of just how startlingly powerful the system can be occurs in the BodyWorlds exhibition in ”Casino Royale”. This scene is full of camera pans and crowds of people moving around in all sorts of different directions, but the processing succeeds in making everything cross the screen with silky smoothness.
As well as making the picture look noticeably clearer and sharper, this impressive effect really helps pictures look more three-dimensional and the film world thus more immersive. Honestly, the system is sometimes nothing short of spectacular.
Unfortunately, though, a bit too often for comfort, the mesmerising effect of the frame interpolation processing is shattered by a processing glitch. These come in three forms: a shimmering halo around objects that ‘glide’ across the screen; the occasional stutter; and most commonly, a flickering effect over really fast action like flailing fists or running legs.
Switching to the Low setting for the frame interpolation system reduces the appearance of these artefacts considerably, but only at the expense of the return of some judder – judder that’s all the more noticeable because you’ve just seen it removed so completely by the frame interpolation processing’s higher settings!
With standard definition the processing’s negative side effects crop up markedly less, though the benefits it brings are slightly less extreme, too.
The bottom line is that the TW5800’s frame interpolation system is on one level arguably the most effective I’ve seen on a projector costing anything less than monopoly money. But ironically its very effectiveness makes its glitches when they occur all the more noticeable.
For me this makes the frame interpolation very much a matter of personal taste. But I have to say that ultimately I personally preferred to leave the system switched off, at least while watching HD films – even though I felt genuinely aggrieved to be missing out on the many positives the system brings to the table.