Samsung claims that it has the 'best possible resolution for Home Cinema' and that it's 'compatible with all HD sources like Blu-ray.' That's perfectly true.
Handling: quiet, but no lens shift
While Optoma has understandably decided to make savings by use the same body for its Home Cinema and office projectors, Samsung's curvy alternative is more clearly aimed at the general public. Its black glossy finish (watch out for greasy fingerprints) helps it out stand out from the crowd. On the top, there are some very delicate touch-sensitive controls that it's very easy to press without even realising. We're glad to report that it uses 27 W while projecting and 0.6 W on standby, and produces 25.5 dB, which is quieter than the PS3 we tested for instance.
In less good news, the remote control isn't backlit, there's no lens-shift to adjust the projected area and the zoom is less powerful than on LCD projectors.
Image Quality: the basics are all there
Leaving aside our prejudices about entry-level products, it's still important to point out what sets this model apart from its more high-end cousins: there's no dynamic iris, no 100 Hz mode to improve the fluidity of moving images and no advanced colour settings to adjust each shade. That said, that leaves the menus much simpler, which makes it much easier to use.
Our contrast measures for the SP-A600B
Compare the Samsung SP-A600B to other projectors in our Product Face-Off
We found the amount of electronic noise was well handled: there is some, but it's pretty hard to spot. We tried the digital noise reduction filter, but didn't find it made much of an improvement.
Bright areas are also nicely handled, and even the lightest areas don't seem burned out. In general, the 1000 lumen lamp means that this is a projector to use in a dark room, and you'll want to close the curtains for watching sport.
The PS3 that we use for our tests is better at upscaling to 1080p, so you're better off leaving this job to a good DVD plater. For native 1080p sources, we noticed that very thin lines were sometimes lost. That's because of two reasons: the staircase effect could be handled better and chromatic aberrations leave green and purple fringes. Take a look at the 1080p test card in our Product Face-Off to see how it looks.
The rainbow effect is definitely there if you're sensitive to it or go looking for it; if you can't stand it, then look elsewhere.
- Good looks
- Good contrast
- Doesn't use much power on standby
- Easy to set up
- Remote not backlit
- No advanced image settings
- Rainbow effect
- No lens shift
- Some chromatic aberrations
The SP-A600B is a stylish projector that's easy to use: it doesn't take many adjustments at all to produce a very decent image quality. It misses out on our top score because more advanced LCD projectors offer more options. Note that it produces the rainbow effect.