Admittedly, the XGA LCD panel means that you’re not really getting Full HD or even a proper 720p resolution, but the HQV processing does a great job of disguising that fact. Connecting my Xbox 360 Elite via HDMI, I ran through a selection of DVD, downloaded movie, and game material and the results were consistently impressive – to the extent that I had to re-check the specs just to ensure that the XGA resolution was correct.
LCD panels still have a bad reputation for producing muddy grey blacks and differentiating between darker tones, but while the black level isn’t as deep as it might be on a good DLP home cinema projector, the VT-800 still did an excellent job of handling the night fight between Spidey and an airborne Harry Osborne in ”Spider-Man 3”.
A quick session of Ninja Gaiden 3 showed that this business projector can also deal with the rapid motion, high detail, rich colour and spurting claret the game is famous for. Race Driver: GRID, meanwhile, was a horrendously high-octane experience, the beautifully modelled motors glinting gorgeously in the sunshine as they speed towards the next collision. If you want a projector that can handle a little play on top of work, then the VT-800 will certainly do the job. Or help you avoid doing your job, come to that.
Of course, it’s not alone in this and the one fly in the ointment is the existence of the Infocus IN35W, which packs in a more HD-friendly 1,280 x 800 resolution and an excellent DLP engine at a very similar price. What’s more, while the VT-800 comes with a shoulder bag, its 3.7KG weight means it’s nowhere near as portable as the 2.27Kg Infocus. That said, it does have the networking features and built-in HDMI, where the Infocus would require an HDMI to DVI cable.
In the end, it all comes down to how much you value the NEC’s versatility against the Infocus’s higher resolution. If you don’t need the networking features (or can plump up the extra for Infocus’s LiteShow Wireless projection adaptor) then the Infocus still has the edge, but if I were in the market for a strong business projector with the potential for a little play, then the VT-800 would still be on my shortlist.
Despite its XGA resolution, the VT-800 combines a strong performance as a business projector with excellent networking features, strong connectivity and surprisingly good HD and SD video playback. Even given strong competition from the WXGA Infocus IN35W, it’s still well worth considering.
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