Accompanying the 11S1H’s great colours is an equally great black level response. The ND filter seems to compensate superbly for the lack of the 15S1’s second iris, making the 11S1H’s black levels look deep and natural.
Even better, dark scenes look unusually transparent, which is to say the projector’s effortless, dynamic iris-free combination of extensive contrast and impressive brightness allow it to reveal levels of shadow detail, greyscale finesse and image depth/scale that elude the vast majority of cheaper models.
The picture is also transparent in terms of the detail it contains. As you’d hope from a projector with a Full HD resolution and Gennum processing, not one single pixel of detail seems to get lost in the journey from a Blu-ray disc or Sky HD broadcast to the screen. In fact, the extreme clarity of the picture is such that it even makes you feel as if the projector might be actually adding some detail.
Furthermore, it would appear that the hand-picking of the 11S1H’s lens and DLP device also delivers a small benefit, as the picture seemed somehow fractionally more uniform in its sharpness than that of the 15S1.
Another key plus we’ve come to expect of Gennum processors is their ability to rescale standard definition pictures better than most. And so it proves here, as all but the very grubbiest standard definition images are raised up to the 11S1H’s Full HD, huge-screen game with a truly remarkable sharpness and freedom from noise.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, it’s hard to find fault with this projector. But there are a trio of puny things worth mentioning. First, it runs rather noisily, despite its heavyweight bodywork. I’d even go so far as to say it sounds like a vacuum cleaner when you turn it off – but luckily you’ve already stopped watching it by then!
I also detected some minute chroma flaws in the extreme corners of the picture. To be fair, though, they’re actually less overt than you’d get with a typical home projector, and the only reason I noticed them at all was probably because of the extreme accuracy and purity of the rest of the image.
My last thought is that there’s a tiny bit of improvement room when it comes to black level depth. But I certainly wouldn’t want this to come at the expense of the gorgeous shadow detailing that helps set the 11S1H apart from cheaper rivals.
On paper I wasn’t sure the 11S1H had quite enough in its locker to justify costing a grand more than Marantz’s already stunning 15S1. But in the end I suspect that to the 11S1H’s target market, spending a grand to pretty much remove DLP’s rainbow effect from the equation probably seems like money very well spent.
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