With spot-on colorimetry, the Samsung excels at producing vivid color, but not at the expense of exaggerated skin tones, making the show visually pop.
With the improved contrast over the SPA-800B version, the Samsung excels at keeping deep blacks from becoming washed out by nearby brighter portions of the image—this attribute is called “depth of modulation” and is a key performance parameter that sets this projector apart from most other front projectors.
The many close-ups of the three-judge panel feature the audience behind in shadows, and here again the Samsung does a superb job of providing excellent dark shadow details.
Someone should tell the show’s producers to avoid the use of strobe lights, as that causes the broadcast HD encoder to go haywire as it chokes to compress the HD video data down to the ATSC HD broadcast format’s data rate. It’s not the fault of the Samsung at all, which dutifully displayed the obnoxious compression artifacts that virtually always occur with strobe lighting and live HD video.
Samsung has another winner with the SP-A900B, with improved contrast, possibly even quieter fan noise than the 800 version (which itself runs very quietly), and anamorphic vertical stretch processing for widescreen movie buffs (like me) who want to see 2.40:1 movies in their full original theatrical presentation. The increased contrast is also noteworthy, and pro users using desktop HD video editing workstations will appreciate the ability to switch between HD video and PC video encoding ranges. While the projector carries a $3,000 premium over the SP-A800B version, I suspect that for true movie buffs as well as post-production houses looking for an all-round excellent front projector, that premium will be easily justified.
Samsung SP-A900B 1080p DLP projector
Practical Screen Size Upper Limit (10 Foot-Lamberts, 1.0 gain): 164” diagonal 16:9
Pixel resolution: 1920 x 1080
1:1 Mode: Yes
Has Mode 1 Scaling (vertical stretch for anamorphic lens compatibility)?: Yes
Video inputs: 2 HDMI, 2 component, 1 S-video, 1 composite, 1 RGB PC
Other connections: RS-232 serial
Dimensions (W x H x D): 18” x 8.5” x 19”
Weight: 21.6 lbs.
Warranty: 2 years parts & labor
DVE Dist. Inc.
1275 Bloomfield Ave
Building 9 Unit 78
Fairfield, NJ 07004