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projectiondesign M20: Add 200 trillion colours to your life

The M20 video projector from projectiondesigns makes the heady boast of being able to produce 200 trillion different colour shades

There are pros and cons to video projectors. On the one hand, films can look stunning when blown up to the size of a wall. On the other hand, Deal or No Deal is unlikely to benefit from being expanded to such epic proportions. With high-definition content becoming more common though, there is an increasing amount of stuff just begging to be projected on to a huge screen.

The projectiondesign M20 promises high-end performance, but it doesn't come cheap at £3,500. The price seems particularly steep when you consider this is only a 720p projector. The good news is that the M20 is nice and quiet, registering at -24db. It also claims to produce 200 trillion colour shades. Now, call us sceptical, but we couldn't name 20 actual colours. Even allowing for all the shades of pink in the spectrum, we aren't sure how 200 trillion different shades are possible.

The connectivity is fairly basic, offering DVI, component, S-Video and composite inputs. There is no HDMI on this projector, so instead you'll have to get an HDMI-to-DVI adaptor if you want to hook up your PlayStation 3 or HD DVD player. In practice, this isn't likely to cause many problems because it still supports HDCP, so copy-protected content will still be playable.

The M20 also has a 7x colour wheel, which might sound like the sort of thing you'd find on a hippie's Christmas list, but is in fact quite an important feature. All DLP projectors have a colour wheel, which rotates very quickly in order to produce the image you see projected. The problem with colour wheels is they can produce an ugly rainbow effect, which can be very distracting. The M20 claims that the 7x colour wheel cuts down on these artefacts and produces a much smoother image.

The projector is available in several colours, including British racing green, which we think is a particularly strange colour to produce electrical equipment in. Clearly someone at projectiondesign likes cars though, because you can also get it in Vanquish grey and Maranello blue. -Ian Morris

Update: A full review of the projectiondesign Action! M20 is now live.