The 15S1 impresses with its colours, too, which enjoy an outstanding combination of intense vibrancy, remarkable tonal accuracy (after a touch of colour space tweaking, anyway), and pin-perfect blends achieved without so much as a trace of colour-banding. The ”Casino Royale” Bahamas sequences have never looked more inviting on a single-chip DLP projector, and crucially they also looked richer in tone than they did on JVC’s otherwise stunning £5k HD100 D-ILA model.
Perhaps the single greatest ace up the 15S1’s sleeve, though, is its sharpness. For me, DLP projectors sometimes struggle more to deliver the full impact of a Full HD resolution than rival LCD and SXRD/D-ILA technologies. But here the 15S1 effortlessly pulls out the very textures of the bricks during the external shots around Venice, or individual leaves and beads of sweat in the early scenes in a Ugandan jungle.
This sharpness can mean the 15S1 is a touch merciless when it comes to revealing any video noise that might be inherent to a source, such as the (deliberate) grain in ”Casino Royale’s” black and white sequence. But you can hardly blame the 15S1 for being too accurate! And in any case, don’t forget that a noise reduction system is provided should the source noise prove too daunting. Just don’t forget to switch this system off again when you’re back watching a more pristine source.
A final key strength of the 15S1 is its image stability, especially when watching 24p stuff from Blu-ray, as there’s not even the slightest trace of judder.
A couple of small issues that might persuade particularly well-heeled home cinema fans to invest even higher up the projection tree are the very occasional appearance of DLP’s rainbow effect over particularly bright colour elements (such as the ‘white’ bits in the opening black and white ”Casino Royale” scene), and some very slight motion blur with extremely fast movement.
There’s no denying that the Marantz 15S1 isn’t cheap at the best part of six grand, and I’d also have to question if its extra colour intensity is enough to justify it costing £1,500 more than JVC’s HD100. But for now, at least, it can proudly call itself the best and certainly most filmic mid-range projector we’ve had the pleasure to watch, and as such has got to be worth at least considering saving up for.
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