VP-15S1 Build Quality and Features
Passion is what drove me to become a videoholic. I love good quality video - be it HDTV or high definition DVD. It doesn't matter if the subject matter is retarded African pigmy elephants, a great picture will glue me to the screen. With that said, this review started off as any other except that after a while I began to become obsessed with how well this projector integrated into my room. I found that I more quickly became drawn into the story lines of films and my ability to forget I was sitting in my theater room instead of being a part of the on-screen content became greatly diminished. In short, this projector made me covet...
The chassis of the Marantz VP-15S1 weighs 28.6 pounds. Yeah, I actually had to exert effort when mounting the unit to my Peerless PRG-UNV Precision Gear universal projector mount. Lucky for me my mount is literally anchored to the top of my ceiling joists or I may have been concerned that the unit, with its rigid die-cast chassis, could have pulled out of my ceiling. As it stands, you can rest assured that this is a cut above the type of build quality found in budget consumer DLP projectors.
If you take a head-on look at the projector you can't help but notice the rather impressive looking glass protruding from the center. A custom-built Konika Minolta 1.45x zoom lens gives the VP-15S1 an edge that is readily-apparent when comparing the system to other high-end projectors. It was the same difference between an all-in-one point-and-shoot camera and a high-end Digital SLR model. The glass does affect the image and likely explains why the viewing tests we'll get into later were so phenomenally detailed.
Marantz spared no expense on this unit, except to refrain from including a full 3-chip DLP system, that is. We'll leave the "Why aren't there 3-chip DLP projectors under $15,000?" question for another time, however and simply point out that the VP-15S1 includes Texas Instruments' Darkchip3 1080p DLP technology. Coupled with a high-end Gennum VXP video processing chipset, this projector packs a high definition video punch that is hard to beat. We've discussed the Gennum VXP GF9351-based system in the past, so we don't need to rehash its top of the line? deinterlacing, scaling, and motion adaptive noise reduction features here - oops, too late.
The light engine utilizes a large 98mm 6-segment color wheel that spins at a 5x speed (9000 rpm) which is apparently very favorable to people like me who perceive rainbow effect (RBE) everywhere there is a single chip DLP. I'm not going to say there isn't RBE, but it's mostly apparent on test patterns and doesn't rear its head too easily on typical program material. The color wheel was also very quiet from about 5 feet away, even though at this speed you would think it would sound like a small jet engine. The "fluid dynamic bearing motor" apparently works as advertised to reduce noise in this area.
One other item that deserves mentioning is the presence of vertical lens shift. This is extremely helpful in making sure your installation avoids keystoning, especially when you are unable, for whatever reason, to correctly align the projector at the exact proper height to the screen. I do have to take away marks, however for not including a horizontal lens shift - at this price there is simply little excuse for missing this important feature.
The system itself has adjustable feet which I can't imagine ever being used by anyone who can afford this projector (who wouldn't be utilizing a mount?). There are ventilation holes on the bottom of the chassis for air intake and exhaust holes on the front of the unit and on the lamp cover. The lamp is rear-replaceable, something I like to see in good-quality projectors since this means you don’t have to remove the unit from a ceiling mount in order to provide simple maintenance. There are dual IR sensors - one on the front and one on the back, so the included remote should be able to make contact regardless of how you mount the projector.
Taking a look at the rear panel of the unit you will see that Marantz has provided a pair of HDMI and component video inputs, both of which can support up to 1080p/24/60 resolution. The HDMI inputs included in this system are 1.3-compliant, supporting up to 12-bit Deep Color (per channel). There are also composite and S-video inputs, but if you use these I will personally come to your home and replace this projector with a $999 DLP unit since you obviously can’t tell the difference! I liked the inclusion of dual triggers and RS-232C is mandatory at this price point.
Passion is what drove me to become a videoholic. I love good quality video - be it HDTV or high definition DVD. It doesn't matter if the subject matter is retarded African pigmy elephants, a great picture will glue me to the screen. With that said, this review of the Marantz VP-15S1 DLP projector started off as any other except that after a while I began to become obsessed with how well this projector integrated into my room. I found that I more quickly became drawn into the story lines of films and my ability to forget I was sitting in my theater room instead of being a part of the on-screen content became greatly diminished. In short, this projector made me covet...
Discuss "Marantz VP-15S1 DLP Projector Review" here. Read the article [audioholics.com].
Anybody want to weigh in on how this compares with the JVC RS-1 and RS-2?