I had the chance to get a detailed viewing of the pre-production Sim2 Duo at Alan's theater. We compared it to his high contrast modified 4K Barco Prometheus. All around Alan's modified Barco has been the best projector picture I've seen, although I have not seen the High Contrast Thor, it has bettered all the other laser projectors I've seen including Sony, JVC, and Cinemeccanica/ Barco 6p. This is the 3rd and most detailed viewing I've had of the Duo, each time has marked a major improvement. Since my last viewing the projector's have had major firmware upgrades and Alan is now driving them with a Lumagen Pro running beta HDR software. Alan has input a new HDR gama curve using the Lumagen.
In my previous viewing the Duo showed incredible contrast but did have some clipping, also it had good P3 color but could not match the modified Barco (REC 2020). This is no longer the case. The Duo driven by the Lumagen Pro clearly exceeds the Modified Barco and approaches flat panel HDR performance. The contrast in the Smurfs2 flame scene was reference level with no clipping and the colors matched the richness of the Barco. The 3D depth of the HDR picture (my HDR reference framework) was unmatched. The Barco is very good in this respect but almost looked flat in comparison. It was almost like the Sim2 took the Barco picture and added contrast pop and significant depth to the picture. The only area the Barco lead was sharpness. The Sim2 looked analog, like an oil painting, almost 70mm. The Barco was digital and razor sharp. Alan indicated he had removed a filter from the Sim2 and could make it sharper but he liked the more film like look, I can't say I disagree, for having such contrast pop the picture also had a soothing feel to it. The Barco also excelled when Alan gave it DC content. We could not compare with the Sim2 as it is consumer only, but the DC content had better color than the HDR bluray's. I hope this will change over time. Since none of the content was REC 2020, its not clear weather the Barco could have bested the Sim2, but with The UHD disks played (Smurfs 2 and Battleship) it could not. The Duo accepts a UHD signal but is downrezed to 1080p, given its HDR and Color performance this was not a visible issue for me.