InFocus Screenplay 4805 review

July 1, 2004

sp4805The InFocus Screenplay 4805 at $1,499 is easily one of the most eagerly anticipated DLP projectors among budget minded, home theater enthusiasts. With a Native 16:9 Resolution of 854 x 480 (EDTV) and powered by a new chipset from Texas Instruments the DarkChip2. Anyone familiar with the InFocus X1, X2 or 4800 will immediately recognize the appearance of the 4805, the case is almost identical to its predecessors, although performance wise this is quite a different projector, the supplied backlit remote was adequate, lacking only illumination of the text, only the icons can be seen while backlit.

The 4805 has 1 Component, 1 S-Video, 1 Composite and 1 DVI/M1 connections via the back panel, I measured the fan noise at 66db in high power mode and at a 57db in economy setting (which was more than bright enough) all testing and review was done in economy mode as it was more than bright enough for my environment.

Associated equipment for this review was a 96” 16:9 High Contrast Da-Lite Da-Mat screen, Samsung 841 DVD player, a Sony DVP-S53OD DVD player and Voom satellite. Digital Video Essentials and the Avia guide to home theater setup disc were used as well. The majority of my emphasis with this review will be DVD playback as its a perfect match to the projectors native resolution, I’ll touch on HDTV a little with Voom as a source.

I received my Infocus ScreenPlay 4805 review unit a few days ago, and honestly the review would have been finished quicker if I had been able to tear myself away from my DVD collection. the 4805 showed itself to be a natural performer with DVD’s, out of the box it provided excellent images, with a little tweaking my interest was really peaked and at the same time made me curious. If InFocus can deliver this kind of performance for around $1500 street, what would the replacements for the 5700 and 7200 be like? But back to the 4805.

First impressions were quite favorable considering the relative low cost of this projector, for comparisons sake the last video projector I reviewed was the DreamVision Dreamweaver with a MSRP of $9,995.00, obviously much higher in price than the 4805 but it should give quite a contrast in performance to the 4805.

The 4805 produced deep blacks and bright whites, the color was very vivid. I had no real qualms with any of the projected images in my first round of tests. A few of the discs I used for review were Gladiator, Finding Nemo, Matrix Revolutions and The Fifth Element as well as The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers and lastly The Brotherhood of the Wolf.

I started off the viewing tests with the Fifth Element one of my favorite films for both pure enjoyment and the great images, one thing the 4805 wont fail to please with is color reproduction, it was always easy to discern orange (tons of in this movie) from red. Black level was quite impressive for a projector in this price range, even gradients of grey in scenes with deep blacks was easily identifiable. Moving on to the LOTR the two towers, as this film has several bright outdoor scenes I used it as a brightness reference, the bright sunlit “travel” scenes really showed off the light out capability of the 4805, not once was I ever tempted to raise the factory brightness setting higher than the default 50%.

Moving on to Gladiator I skipped right to the battle sequences, the motion was smooth and fluid, not suffering from any visable motion artifacts. Several of the costumes in the movie have a deep rich matte like hue to the colors, especially the blue uniforms worn toward the end, the 4805 reproduced these subtleties without fail, several of the fight scenes are filled with dust swirling around, the screenplay 4805 had no trouble reproducing these scenes with impressive accuracy.

Later I threw on Finding Nemo, what impressed me most with this material was the color, nothing short of eye popping considering the cost of the projector, on to another impressive live action scene for color reproduction in The Brotherhood of the Wolf, was the red strewn dinner scene where there several shades of red and like, again the 4805 didn’t let me down.

Finally having satisfied myself that DVD’s were little challenge for the 4805 I moved on the some HDTV via a Voom set top box. All images were 720p source and scaled down by the projector, connection was component and later DVI. I watched some Equator HD programming first and was impressed at the 4805’s ability to faithfully reproduce the scaled down images as well as could be expected, moving on to the DVI connection was the first time I felt the pinch of the screenplay’s less than hi-def resolution, nothing unbearable just not quite what I’d remembered seeing on my direct view crt, obviously as my monitor was able to render all of the images resolution where the 4805 was not. Later we watched Blade 2 on EncoreHD, this was quite a revelation as the picture quality was amazing for a sub 2k projector, and indicated just how much “HD” varies from channel to channel.

Summing up this is one steal of a deal in front projection. If you’re even considering a front projection unit under $2500 make a point to see the InFocus 4805 for your self, especially if you’re willing to invest and enjoy now with the mindset of upgrading to a full high definition unit later. Bravo Infocus for bringing an affordable Home Theater projection unit to the masses.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Projector Reviews, Reviews