The first sign of any trouble with the IN83 comes as I try to set it up. For starters, the projector is mounted on an unusual foot arrangement that enables you to swivel it left and right or tilt it up and down. This sounds great in principle, and there was a time when this system’s sheer novelty had me firmly on its side. However, I have to say that I got really frustrated by how hard it is to make small adjustments, especially when tilting the image up or down.
My other complaint is the limited amount of optical zoom; just 1.2x. This could make it tough to accommodate in some living or home cinema rooms (I’d recommend you check out InFocus’ interactive image size calculator).
On the plus side, you do get digital vertical image shifting, which could save the day if you the tilting mechanism drives you crazy. Plus there’s keystone correction to help get images perpendicular if the IN83 is sited above or below the centre of your screen.
It’s also worth pointing out that the IN83 carries the facility to store day and night settings calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation professional, should you want to pay such a professional to optimise the projector for your particular viewing environment. There’s a huge amount of colour flexibility at your disposal, too, courtesy of InFocus’s Colour Gamut Calibrator.
As you’d expect of such a sophisticated projector, the IN83 is calibrated to deliver the video-friendly D65K colour standard right out of the box, and sports some pretty high-spec video processing: namely the same Pixelworks DNX 10-bit system that’s worked so well on many previous InFocus projectors.
The IN83’s video processing engine includes, helpfully, the facility to view 2.35:1 movies utilising their full 1,920 x 1,080 resolution via an optional anamorphic lens attachment.
Finally in the processing department is the software implementation of Texas Instruments’ BrilliantColour technology, designed to improve colour saturations and tones.
So now, at last, I’m free to discover if the arrival of DarkChip 4 can really be seen in the IN83’s picture performance.
And the simple answer to that is yes, it can; resulting in the IN83 delivering the single best picture quality I’ve seen on a DLP projector in the £4k or less price bracket. In fact, the IN83 could have cost a grand more and I’d still have loved it.
Obviously, we should start our assessment of the IN83’s video credentials with its black level performance. As hoped, the depth of the blacks on show during a run-through of – appropriately enough – ”Men In Black” on Blu-ray is nothing short of awesome.
As the bug flies through the night sky during the opening credits, for instance, the night-time backdrop looks blacker than I’ve ever seen it on any projector other than JVC’s recent HD1 and HD100 models, with their D-ILA technology. In other words, with a little judicious tweaking of its iris settings (levels 55-64 worked for me) the IN83 delivers the deepest black levels I’ve seen on a DLP projector – or at least on a DLP projector with any kind of remotely affordable price tag attached.