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SIM2 Introduces DarkChip3 DLP Projectors At CEDIA

SIM2 USA used CEDIA Expo to unveil the industry’s first front projectors to employ Texas Instruments’ new DarkChip3 DLP technology.

The company said it would offer two models based on the chip in its Grand Cinema HT DLP projector line. Models include the HT300 E-LINK and HT300 E.

The company also used the show to demonstrate its recently introduced three-chip DLP HT500 LINK projector, and announced a 40W-inch flat-panel LCD TV and a new front projector in its ultra-compact Domino line.

The HT300 E-LINK ($14,995 suggested retail) and HT300 E ($11,995) employ the new 0.8-inch 720p HD2+ with DarkChip3 technology.

DarkChip3 DMDs incorporate smaller mirror hinges; reduced gaps between mirrors; a flatter, more reflective surface; and a new light-absorbent coating for improved contrast and color uniformity. DarkChip3 is also said to be a “Fast Track Pixel (FTP) chip” that allows an approximate 50 percent reduction in the dithering effect to display a sharp, natural image.

The DarkChip3 coupled with improved software, and SIM2’s optics allows the HT300 E-LINK and HT300 E to reach a “true contrast ratio of 3,500:1,” the company said.

The HT300 E-LINK features all the properties of the HT300 E plus SIM2’s DigiOptic Image Processor, which is a remote unit equipped with multiple input connections that is linked to the projector through a thin digital fiber-optic cable.

The DigitOptic box includes three Intelligent Memory functions for each input, making a total of 75 and 36 settings, respectively.

Digital inputs on the projectors include HDMI with HDCP directly on the HT300 projector and DVI with HDCP on HT300 E-LINK DigiOptic box.

Video processing includes a second-generation Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing chip.

SIM2 also introduced two 40W-inch high-definition LCD monitor panels in the HTL40 ($8,995 suggested retail) and HTL40 LINK ($11,995), both of which are scheduled to ship to dealers in October.

Each panel features 1,366 by 768 native resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Contrast ratios are said to be 1,000:1, and brightness levels are listed as 600 cd/m2. The viewing angles are both said to be 170 degrees, and the back-lighting lamp-life is rated at 60,000 hours.

The HTL40 has onboard inputs, while the HTL40 LINK adds SIM2’s DigiOptic Image Processor box with a package of inputs and video processing circuitry. The DigiOptic box is tethered to the panel via a fiber optic cable. Digital inputs include HDMI and DVI with HDCP.

Image processing is handled through Faroudja’s second-generation DCDi de-interlacing technology.

Cosmetic styling for each panel was crafted by designer Giorgio Revoldini, who used front crystal glass with a choice of refined woods or matte silver back panels, and optional crystal or matte silver tabletop stands.

Maurizio Cini, SIM2’s CEO, said the company is also planning to introduce a 46W-inch LCD TV in 2005. That model is expected to be unveiled at International CES in January.

New in the SIM2’s compact Domino DLP projector series is the Domino 55M, which features a more traditional design and matte black finish.

The unit, which will ship in October at a $6,995 suggested retail, is based on TI’s HD2 digital micro-mirror device (DMD), with 1,280 by 720 native resolution. The contrast ratio is listed at 1,800:1. Other features include stereo speakers via external amplifier for left and right or center applications.

Inputs include HD component video, and HDMI with HDCP.

Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing is incorporated for up conversion of film-based material.