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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that the Infocus has been out for a few weeks, this comparison is inevitable. These seem like the top two contenders right now. I know, I know...Marantz - better CR and better blacks, Infocus - brighter and more punch. Anyone directly compare these two? The only comparison I've read about here was a few weeks ago from Switzerland (or was it Sweden?) that concluded that the Marantz was the clear winner. However, the Infocus was not the final product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Actually, I think the other post is between the VPS1 and the 7200 (HD1 vs HD2). I'm more interested in HD2 vs HD2.
 

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Yes, I had seen the 7200 vs S1 post prior to posting this. But I wanted to be sure to focus the discussion on the S2 and not the S1 since many have said the difference between the S1 and S2 is significant. I think both pjs will be excellent, and will likely just come down to a matter of personal taste based on which "personality" of the projector appeals best to each of us. It'll certainly be a start to read about how these compare, but ultimately I want to see the S2 square up. More to come...
 

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I am thinking about purchasing one of these projectors. Anyone out there planning a comparison?


Alfred--
 

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The problem is seeing them both in a controlled setting. I have seen both the S2 and the 7200 here in San Jose, but I would be remiss in thinking I could say definitively which is better.


The S2 was not set up properly - contrast set way too high, and the 7200 was mounted too high for the screen. It was tilted down and was using keystone adjustment. However the it was just calibrated using Avia.


Both were on different screens. You get the idea...


I would agree with what has been said here in these forums so far...

The 7200 is brighter. I did see a little video noise, but this could have been key stoning, or could have been the noise mentioned in other threads. Infocus has said that a firmware upgrade will change the Gamma curves, to help address this issue.


The S2 had a great picture, however the low lumen count when calibrated scares me. A high gain screen could fix that, though. ;)
 

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I have seen both in perfect light controlled rooms, in a local HT store here in Stockholm, Sweden a couple of weeks ago.


The rooms had dark walls, ceilings and floors. The screens were 1.0 gain and about 8 feet wide. They used component interlaced signals from Pioneers 757iA to both projectors. And the day before I was there a professional had calibrated all there projectors (with color facts I think). So everything was ideal (except for the screens maybe).


The first thing I noticed was the smooth film like image of the S2, really beautiful. The blacks where very deep, and the gray scale was very nice. Normally I see rainbows very easy on DLPs but not on this one, not even in the subtitles where I usually see them all the time. The projector was very quiet, although you could hear it in quiet parts of the movie. To my eye the colors where very accurate. And the picture was extremely clear and detailed, the only time I have seen so much detail before is from a 9" CRT.

The only deal breaker on this projector is the price, €15k!!!


Now to the 7200. The first thing I noticed when I walked in to the room was the noise from the projector! It is very loud, not a deal breaker for me, but perhaps for some. The blacks are not as good as the S2 but still very satisfying. The picture does have some more punch due to the higher light output. I do not think the picture from the 7200 was as clear and detailed as the S2, but again still very satisfying. Color appeared accurate on this projector to. No rainbows visible to me on this one either.


While walking between the to rooms I passed another room with the NEC HT1000. Although this unit showed the vertical banding on PAL (which has been fixed with new firmware now) the picture was still very beautiful! Blacks and contrast at level with the S2 and clearly better then the 7200. Unfortunately I could see rainbows on this unit if the subtitles where switched on, but not otherwise. Almost dead silent fan in eco-mode.


Between the S2 and the 7200 the winner is clearly the Marantz.


Personally I am choosing between the 7200/MT8 and the HT1000. My budget does not allow me to spend 15k on a projector, and personally I think it is not the smartest thing to do when you could get almost the same performance for less than half the price (€7k for MT8). But since we here in Europe does not have HDTV I am not sure I want to pay €2k more for the extra resolution and faster color wheel when I get lower CR and more fan noise.


I remind you that all this is just my personal opinion.


/Nick
 

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Scott,

the screen that they where using the HT1000 with was the same as for the other projectors. A matte white 1.0 gain screen, about 8 feet wide.


The image appeared very bright on the NEC, but I am not sure how the brightness compared to the InFocus... To me it had enough punch for a screen of that size.


/Nick
 

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I too have spent some time with both the Marantz S2 and Infocus 7200.


As others have stated the Marantz is very smooth and the picture is very film-like. The Marantz was set-up in dealer's showroom totally controlled environment with a Stewart Studiotek 130 (w/ perfs), the dealer also noted a rep from Stewart was in the previous day and convinced him to change to a Firehawk. The source was a Goldmund DVD player with a DVI output to the S2. I could see only a few artifacts. We watched LOR and the new Austin Powers. LOR looked great very dark and smooth, the skin tones on Austin Powers seemed a bit off, but not much. In HD, HDNet was vibrant and also looked great. The build quality was very solid and I seriously considered purchasing the PJ, but I wanted to wait, as I was to see a 7200 the following day. The other thing I kept wondering was if the DVD looked so good because for the DVI input. The dealer noted he can no longer sell the DWIN TV2 after people see the S2, infact, one person had just traded a stacked Vidikron Vision 1 setup ($50K each) for the Marantz S2, he noted this was for ease of use not because of PQ.


The 7200 was set up also in controlled room (Greyhawk w/ a HTPC,), but not as tweaked as the Marantz setup. The 7200 was not adjusted and still set at the factor defaults. That said, the first thing I noticed was colors, very vibrant and realistic (much better than my Sharp 9000). The 7200 had a lot of 'punch' even with the lights on full (the Marantz was OK with the light on, but not even close to the 7200). The picture was very good, but I did see the black artifacts noted by others in the dark scenes. The picture was not as smooth as the S2, but it was more alive vibrant. I played with the controls and could tell there was a lot of adjustment available and that once calibrated this unit could be very nice.


I ended up purchasing the 7200. The deciding factor for me was having the ability to watch a movie or TV with the lights on in our theater. I liked the Marantz better for ‘critical’ viewing in a controlled environment, and the 7200 better for less than optimal settings. I have an awesome theater, but I like to have the lights on when watching something like Shrek with my 2.5 years old or football with friends. I installed the 7200 on Christmas Eve and my wife could not believe how much better the 7200 looked compared to the Sharp 9000. In summary, both the 7200 and S2 are great PJs. Go take a look and purchase the one that fits your own lifestyle. The BIG price difference between the two units was also a deciding factor.


Pete
 

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Wow. It looks like HD2 projectors have really made some strides over HD1, especially if it can kick the Sharp 9000's butt. The Sharp has been known to have great color and sharpness.
 

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It's interesting that they both use the HD2 chip, but the Marantz S2 betters it in the most important ways... blacks, picture smoothness, both video noise and ambient noise levels & build quality. I've never been happier that I bought the S2 (especially before the 7200 came out) Whew! Now i don't feel that maybe i should have waited!


It seems all I kept reading was that that the 7200's being called the 'Giant Killer'... And the 7200 is this... and the 7200 is that... and you shouldn't have bought the S2... you should have waited... blah, blah, blah. Not any more. Now, I guess that's why it's cheaper than the S2.
 

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I haven't seen the S2, but I wonder how much of the video noise issue with the 7200 is due to being able to see artifacts and noise with the extra brightness. It would be interesting to hear how the S2 and 7200 would compare if the 7200 was optimized for black level through the menus and then a neutral filter was added to the 7200 to give it about the same brightness as the S2. Maybe somebody has already tried this and I missed it.


I'm just dealing with a relatively lowly Sharp M20x, but I'm basically calibrating things so that I have a dimmer setting for low quality material and a brighter setting for higher quality material. With HD through my HTPC I can go with a gamma that goes fairly bright and don't see a lot of artifacts, since they aren't there. If I try that with a DVD I end up seeing them.


--Darin
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by phovenier
I too have spent some time with both the Marantz S2 and Infocus 7200.


As others have stated the Marantz is very smooth and the picture is very film-like. The Marantz was set-up in dealer's showroom totally controlled environment with a Stewart Studiotek 130 (w/ perfs), the dealer also noted a rep from Stewart was in the previous day and convinced him to change to a Firehawk. The source was a Goldmund DVD player with a DVI output to the S2. I could see only a few artifacts. We watched LOR and the new Austin Powers. LOR looked great very dark and smooth, the skin tones on Austin Powers seemed a bit off, but not much. In HD, HDNet was vibrant and also looked great. The build quality was very solid and I seriously considered purchasing the PJ, but I wanted to wait, as I was to see a 7200 the following day. The other thing I kept wondering was if the DVD looked so good because for the DVI input. The dealer noted he can no longer sell the DWIN TV2 after people see the S2, infact, one person had just traded a stacked Vidikron Vision 1 setup ($50K each) for the Marantz S2, he noted this was for ease of use not because of PQ.


The 7200 was set up also in controlled room (Greyhawk w/ a HTPC,), but not as tweaked as the Marantz setup. The 7200 was not adjusted and still set at the factor defaults. That said, the first thing I noticed was colors, very vibrant and realistic (much better than my Sharp 9000). The 7200 had a lot of 'punch' even with the lights on full (the Marantz was OK with the light on, but not even close to the 7200). The picture was very good, but I did see the black artifacts noted by others in the dark scenes. The picture was not as smooth as the S2, but it was more alive vibrant. I played with the controls and could tell there was a lot of adjustment available and that once calibrated this unit could be very nice.


I ended up purchasing the 7200. The deciding factor for me was having the ability to watch a movie or TV with the lights on in our theater. I liked the Marantz better for ‘critical’ viewing in a controlled environment, and the 7200 better for less than optimal settings. I have an awesome theater, but I like to have the lights on when watching something like Shrek with my 2.5 years old or football with friends. I installed the 7200 on Christmas Eve and my wife could not believe how much better the 7200 looked compared to the Sharp 9000. In summary, both the 7200 and S2 are great PJs. Go take a look and purchase the one that fits your own lifestyle. The BIG price difference between the two units was also a deciding factor.


Pete


Great post Pete! Thanks for the fair and balanced reporting :)-)


Bernie
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Would the Marantz work with a 10' wide screen or am I better off with the 7200. I would be using a Firehawk screen.


With the 10' wide screen how much light could I have in the room with the 7200. My plan is to use it only at night as I cannot control the light in the room. Glass across the entire back wall and no side wall.


What are the Lumens and Contrast ratings for these two projectors?


Thanks, Alfred--
 

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Alfred,


At 10' wide and your lighting issues, I'd go with the 7200 which would be approx. 23 ft lamberts, the S2 would only be 16.2 ft. lamberts which is a bit too dim for me.


I have my 7200 on a 110" Firehawk and the picture is very bright...and I love it. The main reason I decided to upgrade from the Sharp 9000 to the 7200 was because the 9000 was too dim when I had some lights on in the room.


The 7200 specs list 1000 lumens with a 1000:1 CR. The Marantz S2 specs are listed at 700 lumens with a 2600:1 CR. Both are very nice, but as I stated above I'd go with the Infocus given your lighting situation.


Pete
 

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Quote:
I haven't seen the S2, but I wonder how much of the video noise issue with the 7200 is due to being able to see artifacts and noise with the extra brightness.
There's been quite a few post about the video noise problem (very blocky, digital artifacts in the dark areas) with the 7200. It's not the brightness that makes it more apparent, it's in the electronics. Most users have set-up their 7200's properly, but somewhere in the signal processing of the unit, its got a problem.
 

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I viewed the Infocus 7200 for over an hour and never notice any digital artifacts. I viewed quite a bit of the movie Panic Room which is a very dark movie. Great picture, great price. I bought one.


Tom
 

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Finally saw the s2 in action on a smaller white screen. Even uncalibrated the image was lovely. Very film like. Was unable to see HD but a great image. Will let you know what the 7200 looks like when it arrives...
 

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I couldn't imagine Infocus producing anything that was worth $10K. I made a mistake spending $5K on one of their projectors. Sure, the picture is great, when it works, but the thing needs service every few months Avoid the Infocus, unless you like mounting, unmounting, connecting, and disconnecting your projector more than watching movies on it.
 
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