While we’re on the subject of DLP-related artefacts, I’m pleased to say that the A600B is also relatively untroubled by DLP’s dreaded rainbow effect. Even during a particularly taxing sequence like the black and white scene at the start of ”Casino Royale”, I only felt truly distracted by the tell-tale blue, red and green striping flaw if I aggressively moved my eyes from one extreme side of the picture to the other – something nobody in their right mind would do during normal viewing unless they are either sitting way too close to the screen. Or maybe watching a tennis match…
I should say here, though, that I personally only tend to be averagely troubled by the rainbow effect. So if you know from hard experience that you’re one of those people who are exceptionally susceptible to it, you should still try and audition an A600B before you think about buying one.
One final string to the A600B’s bow concerns its running noise. For it’s pretty quiet by budget DLP standards, at least in its Eco lamp mode, producing a gentle – and thankfully consistent – gentle whirring noise that’s easy to ignore.
There are two good reasons why the A600B only scores a seven for picture in our ratings, though. The biggest problem by far concerns the projector’s black level response, which is rather average by today’s standards, even at the budget end of the market.
Dark scenes invariably appear through a veil of greyness, even if you use customised versions of the two provided Movie preset modes. This doesn’t lead to the typical loss of shadow detail, at least, since the projector has enough brightness to pick out subtle details in dark scenes. But the grey look to black colours does leave dark scenes looking generally slightly unnatural.
The A600B’s black level limitations might also explain – at least partially – the second problem I have with its pictures, namely that colours tend to look a bit muted.
This isn’t to suggest that the A600B’s colours are a disaster by any means; actually, some of its tones, especially where skin is concerned, are impressively accurate for such an affordable machine. But there just isn’t as much vibrancy around as I’d like to see during heavily saturated sequences like the ”Casino Royale” opening credits, or a typical HD footie match on Sky.
While there are enough good things about the A600B to persuade me that Samsung should persevere in the scarily competitive projection marketplace, I can’t help but think that Samsung really needs to commit to the market more whole-heartedly if it’s going to keep up with the projection Joneses. If you manage to find an A600B going for sub-£1,000 at some point in the future, it might just be worth a punt. But as it stands, for me it doesn’t have enough going for it to justify £1,190.