SIM2 Grand Cinema MICO 40 - Specs and Early Picture Thoughts



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The LED lamps drive a DarkChip 3 DLP chip, which as well as giving you DLP’s contrast and colour advantages also seems to avoid the rainbow noise problem normally associated with single-chip DLP projectors. Actually, SIM2’s so-called PureLED engine has been designed to pulse the LED’s exceptionally rapidly, producing a colour cycle of 20x for every frame of the picture in a bid to reduce colour artefacts and improve colour saturations, contrast and greyscale.

As if the MICO 40 wasn’t already looking mighty impressive for its money, it also comes equipped with SIM2‘s full roster of calibration tools. These include, most significantly, the facility to hook up to colour calibration software on a PC and fine-tune colours to within a millimetre of perfection.

Naturally any projector costing the MICO 40’s sort of money will be professionally installed for anyone who buys one, so you won’t have to worry about tackling the immensely sophisticated calibration tools yourself. But it’s reassuring to know they’re there.

As we fired the MICO 40 up, we could find only two areas for concern. One is the remote control, which is rather flimsy and bland for such a high-end projector, and doesn’t work particularly intuitively with the onscreen menus. The other potential problem is the projector’s rated brightness of just 700 ANSI Lumens – a far lower figure, in fact, than those seen with many projectors costing less than £2k, never mind north of £10k.

It takes hardly any time at all, though, for the MICO 40’s pictures to tuck this concern safely away. For actually, far from looking dull and flat, its pictures are actually startlingly dynamic and rich, immediately portraying – seemingly effortlessly – that combination of rich contrasts, stable colours and awesome colour finesse that we’ve come to see as the defining features of the luxury home cinema projector market.

The projector’s post-calibration colours are particularly telling, as they seem to contain parts of the colour spectrum lesser projectors just cannot reach. Even better, the projector’s colour processing is able to reproduce even the subtlest of colour blends without striping or patching.

The MICO 40’s reproduction of black colours is superb too, allowing even the darkest scenes to look totally natural and as full of depth as the bright scenes. This sort of bright and dark consistency is a rare find in the home cinema world, despite being crucial to recreating a truly cinematic experience.

The biggest surprise is how dynamic the MICO 40 looks with dark scenes. It was with these that we feared we’d really notice its on-paper lack of brightness, but in fact dark scenes look really quite punchy, and the projector copes extremely well when asked to portray a few bright highlights amid a mostly dark scene.

All of this just underlines a couple of points we’ve made before on TrustedReviews; first that you should never judge a projector or TV by the numbers on its spec sheet, and second that a strong contrast/black level performance is far more important to a convincing home theatre image than brightness.