Last night I attended a special preview called "The Glamour of Technology," which was hosted by the renowned Italian projector company SIM2. The purpose of the press event was to single out their new Grand Cinema C3X projector -- C3X 1080 -- that is reportedly the smallest and highest-performing Full HD 3 Chip projector on the market, and is one of the first to use Texas Instruments DLP Products' latest DarkChip4 chip. SIM2's goal is to integrate superior contrast and benchmark-quality 1080p video display with the functions and features required to power today's sophisticated home theaters -- all within the dramatic industrial design for which SIM2 is justly famous. The event was held in a SoHo gallery.
The striking C3X 1080 offers the utmost in terms of performance, design and flexibility of installation. According to the manufacturer, it is a creative tool for designers and installers alike as it is capable of delivering an emotional impact in every application while complementing a room's interior design. In the best SIM2 tradition, the 17-inch-square, 22-pound C3X 1080 is housed in an exceptionally well-crafted, high-gloss sculpted cabinet designed by Giorgio Revoldini with the company's trademark, flowing lines. Revoldini, who has designed several SIM2 models, has won several prestigious international industrial design awards, including a 2006 Good Design medal, administered by the Chicago Athenaeum—a coveted award in industrial and graphic design.
Although diminutive in size, the C3X 1080 is quite powerful, and offers a great deal of technology. The projector is based on a trio of the latest 0.95-inch, 1080p DLP chipsets from Texas Instruments, whose centerpiece, the DarkChip4 DLP device, catalyzes an important increase in picture quality with improved blacks and superior brightness. DarkChip 4 helps the new 3-chip DLP SIM2 product achieve a combination of contrast, color, brightness, and resolution that repositions the digital imaging benchmark for a compact high-performance projector.
The three-chip SIM2 design further exploits new all-glass optics in SIM2's proprietary ALPHAPATH light engine to form a system able to deliver full-HD, 1920x1080 progressive video of stunning clarity and definition. The combination's superb contrast (>10,000:1, typically) matches its impressive color depth and remarkable brightness capability, for a net result of breathtaking, almost three-dimensional picture performance from high-quality source material. The projector also includes full-depth 10-bit video processing, with HD scaling and deinterlacing capabilities, and maintains 1080p/24fps full-HD purity under actual content-playback conditions. The C3X 1080 delivers twin selectable HDMI inputs with HDCP, as well as S-video, and composite-video, and RGB. Both RS-232 serial and USB ports are included as well as 12-volt trigger outputs, as well as IR-sensor inputs. The C3X 1080 is priced at $31, 995, and is available in high-gloss Gunmetal (standard), Black, Red, and Gold color finishes.
Also on-hand were representatives from Dolby. Dolby unveiled a new prototype of a high dynamic range (HDR)-enabled liquid crystal display (LCD) flat screen using Dolby's new light-emitting diodes (LED) local dimming technology. As part of this partnership, SIM2 will provide Dolby with manufacturing reference designs. The new prototype displays will feature Dolby's dynamic range imaging technologies, Dolby Contrast and Dolby Vision, incorporated in SIM2's unique industrial concept. Dolby Contrast leverages LEDs with local dimming to provide dramatically enhanced contrast. Dolby Vision combines high brightness with enhanced contrast to deliver picture quality that virtually matches real-world visual perception of depth, detail, and color. Dolby is meeting with the press in December to discuss further details of these revolutionary technologies.