I certainly wish Fujitsu would use some common names for its preset PICTURE MODE memories. NATURAL, FINE, EFFECTIVE, CONVENTIONAL, and STILL don’t exactly conjure up useful real-world scenarios. I ended up using FINE for all of my viewing, since many of the others blew the image out.
The PRECISION settings are another universe of befuddlement entirely, including such items as DETAIL GRADATION, 3D NR, and CODEC NR. Color temperature cannot even be easily described or adjusted in this beast.
The last adjustment in the menu is something called COLOR FOCUS. It turns out to be an adjustment for primary and secondary color-point location within the color spectrum. I did not have the equipment available to explore the full range of these controls, but experimentation suggested that they must have been tweaked to the max in order to produce the cartoonish colors I saw during a demo at the recent Consumer Electronics Show.
After all this whining and complaining, I powered on the unit…and was dazzled from that moment onward. Powering the projector down became a wrestling match with my will—the image was so enticing. Admittedly the degree of dazzle and enticement depended upon the source, but 1080p LCD is obviously a technology with a future. The LPFD711 throws an image with nearly unbelievable clarity, color depth, and a surprising lack of distractions.
I don’t even want to know how bright this projector can shine. My very conservative bulb setting along with the brightness and color temperature adjustments surely took a toll on its maximum light output, and it still measured 40fL on an 8-foot diagonal screen! This was more than enough light to combat some indirect sunshine, but for best performance it is still best to eliminate any stray light on the screen. Anyone who tells you that this thing can handle ambient light doesn’t care or know how good it can look in a controlled environment.
With all that light output, I thought I’d need to stretch out Stewart Filmscreen’s GrayHawk material to get the black level right, but I never switched from the 1.3-gain Stewart StudioTek 130 that’s my reference. That’s the highest praise this CRT junkie can deliver to a fixed-pixel projector. The black levels were low enough not to be a constant buzz-kill. My only complaint is that the occasional errant dust speck in the light path would cause a fuzzy spot in dark scenes, and video black leading to commercial breaks always brought them to my attention.
Although the unit shipped with the image tinted slightly toward green, I was able to eliminate distracting greenish shadows at low light levels. Even though this solution caused slightly greater deviation from flat at the higher (brighter) end, it was a solid compromise. Overall, once it was adjusted the unit continued to track grays decently, if not as spot on as I would’ve liked.
Colors were surprisingly accurate. The red was slightly orangish, but not nearly as bad as many boardroom projectors I’ve seen and not enough to wash out flesh tones. Green was very slightly yellow, but it didn’t cartoon the grass from my HD recordings of the SuperBowl and Rose Bowl. Thanks to the accuracy of its color decoder, this projector created some of the most consistently stable and subtle flesh tones I’ve ever seen. Particularly tough is the range of pigmentation on the basketball courts of the NBA playoffs. Whether the players were in full court illumination or in the shadows of a team huddle on the bench, the Fujitsu rendered them accurately.
The 1920x1080 panels show every ounce of shortcomings in the material presented to them, revealing both production errors in broadcasts and videoprocessing errors in the LPF-WSD1. I was surprised to see the deinterlacing of 1080i HD images break down with even slight vertical motion. In my D-VHS recordings of one of the old SuperBowls the distant cameras jiggled up and down often, causing the fine mesh jerseys and grass to become perfect test patterns.
The grass morphed from multitudes of blades into broad lumps of green, and the perforations in the jerseys would simply disappear. This was not apparent with 720p sports, which I watched closely during the review period, as a proud and proper fair-weather Detroit Pistons fan. So, purity lovers, do not be surprised if even a $25k projector doesn’t completely knock your socks off at all times with all material. Artifacts like these are not common, but when present they practically jump off the screen in comparison to the overall solidity and perfection of the rest of the image.
Ayre Acoustics kindly sent its superlative DX-7 DVD player with both DVI and component-video outputs, so I could investigate the new video-format connection. With the Fujitsu the DVI connection offered no obvious benefit in performance. Component (480p) delivered the best DVD performance with this device, actually showing fewer artifacts on test patterns.