At this price you'd expect performance to be exceptional, and it's not far off
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Priced at £4,500, Dreamvision's new DLP projector, the Dreamweaver 2, certainly has the status to put its owners in an elite group. Sleek, smart and very sexy, the Dreamweaver 2 comes in a choice of white, silver or black finishes so it shouldn't have any problems blending in well with most living-rooms.
It features Texas Instruments' Matterhorn DLP DMD, the chip that is causing considerable excitement among AV enthusiasts. It has a native widescreen resolution of 1,024 x 576 pixels, which makes it a near perfect match with the UK TV standard. The chip has also been used by manufacturers such as Sharp (in its XV-Z200E), InFocus (Screenplay 5700) and SIM2 (Domino 20), and it will be interesting to see what Dreamvision can do with the technology.
The back of the unit boasts a comprehensive array of connections. In addition to the standard composite and S-video offerings, users are also treated to two component video inputs and a DVI in, albeit a non-HDCP (High Bandwidth Content Protection) compliant one.
Set-up via the menus can be a tad confusing, particularly for projector novices. A nice range of picture adjustments is available for full configuration but most aren't sufficiently explained and could easily baffle some users. Thankfully, the Dreamweaver 2 needs very little tuning to get a good picture straight from the box, with only some contrast and brightness adjustment initially required.
Once up and running, a distinct lack of fan noise (specified at 27dB) becomes immediately apparent, with the projector providing an almost silent performance. This is a real boon when watching movies, as quiet dialogue sections won't be ruined by incessant humming.
The Dreamweaver 2 also sports a fairly long-throw lens, allowing it to be placed a good distance from the screen. Both this and the low fan noise mean that you will hardly notice that it's there in the room with you.
However, there is a flaw in this otherwise great design. A fairly noticeable amount of light seeps out of the ventilation slots. Luckily, the ventilation doesn't point towards the screen, so the effect this spill has on the projector's display proves to be fairly negligible but it is still an unfortunate oversight nonetheless.
The Dreamweaver 2 has a native widescreen resolution of 1,024 x 576 and provides an excellent image. Feeding a component signal from a DVD player produces a clean, detailed picture, with some great, natural skin tones, decent black levels and nicely vibrant colours.
However, one particular flaw detracts from the Dreamweaver 2's performance. Due to a reflective quality inside the lens barrel, a fairly poor contrast ratio is produced, undermining the overall image ever so slightly. Picture quality is still top-notch, but for an asking price this high, a poor contrast seems like a needless headache to have to contend with.
Back on a positive note, the Dreamweaver 2's image processing is exceptional. With hardly any artefacts making their way into the picture, there's very little to complain about and plenty to put a smile on your face.
On paper, the Dreamweaver 2 is also one of the brightest projectors in its class (1,100 ANSI Lumens), so as a result it can be used in rooms that aren't completely blacked out. In practice this holds true, as it delivers some sizzlingly bright colours and peak whites.
With a price just shy of £5,000, you'd expect performance to be exceptional, and it's not far off. What flaws it possesses do not impact significantly on its performance. Add to the equation its sleek futuristic design, that looks like nothing we've ever seen before, and the large number of features and you've got a good bet for your money.
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