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Wolf Cinema SDC-15 3D D-ILA Projector First Look

Wolf Cinema SDC-15 3D Projector

Wolf Cinema SDC-15 3D Projector


  • Product Name: SDC-15 3D Projector
  • Manufacturer: Wolf Cinema
  • Review Date: June 08, 2011 00:30
  • MSRP: $15,000
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Advanced three-chip, 1920x1080 D-ILA engine
  • Factory calibrated for both 2D and 3D operation
  • 220W lamp, 1300 ANSI, ~100,000:1 CR performance
  • Ultra-high contrast chipset with next-gen home cinema iris
  • Wolf Cinema’s multi-axis color management system (R,G,B,C,M,Y and Orange)
  • 99 custom preset memories
  • Extended range primary lens: 1.45:1 to 2.78:1 TD
  • Optional Wolf Cinema ProScaler
  • Inputs: HDMI 1.4a (2), Component, PC
  • IR Remote Control included plus LAN, RS-232 system control capabilities
  • Two optional VariScope FX Fixed Anamorphic Lens Assemblies
  • Elegant gloss black cabinet with optimized thermal design for extended projector and lamp life
  • Optional 3D starter pack includes 3D signal emitter and two pair of active glasses; additional glasses available
  • Optional WC-PM-M ceiling mount kit


You've got to hand it to esoteric AV companies. I can think of few industries where you can take $15,000 from a person and nickname your product "The Cub," pretty much guaranteeing someone is going to make a snide remark about their purchase. "Oh, you got The Cub? What, they were all sold out of "The Guppy" and "The Bowl of Patchouli"?" Well, according to the marketing material, this is their "affordable" projector offering, so maybe you should save your pennies until you can afford one of the better models. You know, the ones that range from $65,000 to $110,000. Depending on the options you choose. Obviously, these products are for the few and the proud.

Oh yes, they are customizable. I'll take mine in gold plate. Preferably with my name displayed prominently by inlaid penguin teeth.

When compared to the larger brethren, the SDC-15 really is affordable. According to Wolf, the projector is good for screens up to 11 feet wide and, like all of the others, sports a JVC designed D-ILA  three-chip engine. The projector is factory calibrated for both 2D and 3D performance. It sports a modest two HDMI version 1.4a inputs and one component video input. It has an PC input as well, plus an IR Remote Control.

The larger Wolf projectors have huge cases to deal with the heat from the lamp. Rather than use a normal UHP lamp, these high end projectors use xenon lamps. This are much more powerful and last up to two or three times a normal lamp. The problem is they create a great deal of heat. The case is designed to deal with this heat intake but still exhaust systems must be installed. This usually isn't a problem as all Wolf Cinema projectors must be professionally installed.

Hey, it's high end, what did you expect?

The SDC-15 retains the same boxy styling (looking more like an AV amplifier than a projector), but has a much more modest 220W lamp (the larger ones start at 500 watts). It is rated for 1300 ANSI lumens with around 100,000:1 contrast ratio. There is no indication that the cooling precautions on the larger Wolf projectors are needed here. 

The SDC-15 has Wolf Cinema’s multi-axis color management system (R,G,B,C,M,Y and Orange), which should let you dial in a perfect color gamut to match the HDTV CIE profile you want. It also features an extended range primary lens (1.45:1 to 2.78:1), and can be paired with one of two optional VariScope FX Fixed Anamorphic Lens Assemblies (only one will be available at launch and a third party video processor is suggested). In fact, there are lots of options available including an optional 3D starter pack (includes 3D signal emitter and two pairs of active glasses - additional glasses available, but also extra), an optional WC-PM-M ceiling mount kit, optional (we think) LAN and RS-232 system control capabilities, and an optional Wolf Cinema ProScaler. What does that add up to? We don't know. But if you think you're going to plop down $15k and you're going to have a 3D projector that is plug and play ready, you're going to be disappointed.


We're not kidding anyone here. The SDC-15 "The Cub" projector is for the uber-rich to put in their kid's room. It isn't really designed for the core of Wolf Cinema's customers. We've seen these projectors at work at some of the high end shows we've attended. They are huge beasts with flexible ducting snaking out of them like octopus arms. They are huge, heavy, and you can tell, just by looking at them, that you can't afford them. We're sure they are some of the best on the planet. But we won't know until our lottery numbers hit.

For more information, please visit www.wolfcinema.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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