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SIM2 D80: Cheap as 1080p chipsets?

SIM2's latest 1080p projector, the D80, isn't what you might call affordable, but it's still competitively priced for what it is...

Seven grand may not sound like a steal for a high-definition projector, yet in the grand circles that SIM2 moves in, it's almost the sale of the century -- especially with accompanying models costing around the same price as a new sports car.

With the arrival of high-definition hardware, like Blu-ray and HD DVD featuring true HD content using the latest 1080p formats, people are beginning to realise the appeal of home cinema projectors. Put simply, they offer unrivalled image quality on a super-size screen that dwarves most digital displays.

SIM2's latest addition to its Domino range is the (ahem) competitively priced D80 -- an entry-level model possibly designed for those who haven't quite made it into Forbes rich list yet, but still holiday in Tuscany.

So, what do you get for your money?

The D80 uses the new Dark Chip3 chipset from Texas Instruments, which features a 'Full HD' (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution capable of displaying all high-definition formats, including uncompressed 1080p signals.

There's an Alpha Path light engine using a 160W lamp and full, end-to-end 10-bit colour processing, which controls the loss of colour definition. The seven-segment colour wheel includes a neutral section that reduces green picture noise. And industry-leading deinterlacing and scaling also means you can display close to true high-definition images from standard-definition and DVD sources.

As you would expect from the Italians, the design is imaginatively styled using sleek contours and comes in either Black Shadow or White Evolution. It's comprehensively connected, including component and HDMI inputs that can be used with high-definition sources. Crave had a chance to witness the D80 in action at a recent show and could almost hear the mental arithmetic as viewers calculated how they could beg, borrow or steal the cash required to get these stunning picture into their homes.

The SIM2 D80 is available this month, priced £6,999. -RA