The increasing interest in HDTV combined with falling prices of projectors is encouraging more and more people to invest in some form of home cinema setup.
Infocus’s IN42 is at the top of their business range and offers a high-end solution for business users and home entertainment alike. Tagged the "Workbig", the IN42 reaches a maximum image size of over 25 feet under optimum conditions, and combined with an impressive 3500 lumens rating you’ll find image clarity impressive both at this size and in broad daylight. Hooked up to a laptop or PC, the IN42’s primary purpose, we were impressed by the accurate colour representation and clear sharp lines, business users wanting to get full impact from presentations will be impressed by the clarity of the display even at maximum size.
With data resolutions of up to 1600 x 1200, pixilation is kept to a minimum, and a range of pre-set image adjustments for presentations, photographs and text make it easy to maintain the clarity of the image under different conditions.
As well as the standard VGA input you’ll find component, DVI, S-video and composite, so those wanting to connect a DVD player, television or games console have plenty of options. As a home entertainment solution the IN42 is well prepared for the modern age, supporting HD resolutions of up to 720p/1080i. Testing under these conditions doesn’t offer quite the results the specifications suggest though, a contrast ratio of 1000:1 doesn’t combine well with the high lumens rating and attempts to establish solid blacks even with no ambient light weren’t as impressive as we’d hoped. In this instance you’re left arguing between the impact of such a large screen and the resulting absence of an effective dynamic contrast ratio.
Adjusting image settings to attempt to improve this situation helps somewhat, and the effective menu structure and minimalist control set and remote does mean occasional tweaks can be carried out quickly and easily. There are plenty of options for adjusting every aspect of the projected image, from colours and keystones to aspect ratio and screen position. What’s more, many of your settings can be saved to preset positions making it easy to store and revert to previous combinations with a few button presses.
The IN42 certainly isn’t a portable solution, and would benefit from permanent mounting if your situation allows. Weighing 6kg and at over a foot and a half wide and a foot long, it’s certainly not something you can carry around if you’re on the move. A fairly standard 2000 hour bulb life and 32db noise level round off that is overall a pretty solid device.
If you’re planning on buying a projector primarily for home entertainment use you’ll find the IN42 lacking in the contrast control and consistent image clarity that we strive for today. It’s certainly adaptable enough, with an impressively large screen size, lumens rating and a user-friendly control-set, but its strength really lies in professional-level business use.