On Screen Display
Colorful and legible, the OSD features adjustments that stay on screen long enough to be useful when setting up and tuning. However, the Contrast control (a critical first adjustment) behaves badly, pushing the black level way out of line (which shouldn’t happen at all). Curiously, in the next sub-menu, White Level and Black Level adjustments are provided, which serve to replace/duplicate the Contrast and Brightness controls.
To properly adjust the Dream’E, I had to leave the Brightness and Contrast at their middle (default positions) and use the White and Black level adjustments instead. Here again, the Dream’E misbehaves though, as turning a control “up” actually causes the reverse of the intended effect (and vice-versa). Very odd behavior indeed.
While the product literature touts Mosquito, Block, and Temporal noise reduction modes (which can be useful with highly compressed and visibly noisy sources), they’re not user-adjustable (they’re hidden away behind a passcode-protected installer mode), for absolutely no good reason that I can imagine. Plus, the literature also incorrectly states that these modes work on both SD and HD sources, but that’s not the case with the current generation Reon chip, as these modes only work at the SD (and not the HD) level.
Featuring soft red backlighting, the remote features dedicated source selector buttons, as well as six picture modes (three preset, three user-defined), which should be enough for most. Discrete power on and off buttons are a big plus for external system control (or via a unified system remote).
Blu-ray Evaluation: Bolt
Detail: Crisp and clear, the Dream’E features tight convergence so individual pixel elements are well-defined with minimal color fringing.
Color: That extra dab of color intensity noted earlier gives this animated movie lots of color pop, but not excessively so.
Blacks: Good deep blacks are a hallmark of LCoS imaging technology and here the film displays very good deep blacks. Use the economy lamp mode if you can, to further improve deep blacks (and extend the lamp life at the same time).
Shadow Detail: A scene in a darkened video control room has easily discernable studio elements along the darkened back wall and ceiling.
Artifacts/Noise: None noted.
Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: Kings (NBC)