The red, green, and blue color points were not where they're supposed to be. Red and blue were too saturated, and green tended toward yellow. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the primary color points. On the other hand, the grayscale was very close to accurate, once I found the correct user setting, and calibration got it even closer.
The Faroudja DCDi processor did a reasonably good job with 480i material. Noise reduction worked best in Manual mode and cranked to its maximum value; the Auto mode didn’t work nearly as well. It locked onto 3:2 pulldown fairly quickly, though there was a bit of weird shimmering in detailed areas after it picked up the cadence. This was especially evident on the edges of letters in some opening credits.
Flesh tones were ever-so-slightly yellowish, and reds tended to pop a bit more than I prefer, especially in such saturated movies as Moulin Rouge. Otherwise, the color was quite pleasing. I saw evidence of chromatic aberration at the sides and top of the image in certain cases, especially when something white appeared on a dark background, but it wasn’t common.
Shadow detail was excellent once I found the best gamma setting (most were not good at all). The opening below-deck scene of Master and Commander looked great, with gradations and detail I rarely see. The black of space in Star Trek: Insurrection also looked quite convincing.
In HD, Smart Travels on KCET HD (the Los Angeles PBS station) looked spectacular; the scenes from Oahu and Kauai were rich and textured, with excellent detail and good color. The news set and anchors on KABC (the only L.A station to broadcast its local news in HD) also looked great.
I did see some significant posterization in Sunrise Earth: Total Eclipse on Discovery HD Theater, which includes direct shots of the sun as it is eclipsed by the moon. As the sun’s limb started to peek out, definite discrete levels of brightness were evident where there should have been a smooth gradient.
As you would expect, I saw no rainbows in the C3X’s picture; with three imaging chips, there is no color wheel to produce these annoying artifacts. And in many ways, the picture was excellent, with accurate grayscale and great shadow detail (once you find the right color-temperature and gamma settings). However, the chromatic aberration is an issue that should not affect such an expensive projector, and the color primaries should be more accurate, or at least adjustable.
If you are extremely susceptible to rainbows, the only DLP display you’ll be able to tolerate is a triple-chipper, and the SIM2 C3X is a valiant attempt to bring the cost of such products down. You may be immune to the shortcomings I found as you rejoice in seeing no rainbows; if so, and you’ve got the scratch, the C3X is worth considering. TPV