Review: SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST Projector

Two-piece Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST projector provides exceptional detail and clarity.

Review: SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST Projector
Dennis P. Barker · July 2, 2009

SIM2’s new modular projector system combines larger-than-life visuals, the latest technology and a flexible setup.

The Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST pairs a reference-quality 3-chip DLP projector with a discrete outboard control module/video processor to provide some of the finest blacks and color you will see anywhere — and it better at its $40,000 to $42,000 base price.

HOST of Features

The C3X Lumis HOST is based on a trio of the DarkChip4 DLP chipsets that yields improved overall picture quality with better blacks and increased brightness. It uses SIM2’s proprietary Alphapath light engine that features precision glass optics to deliver a Full HD 1920 x 1080 image with a contrast ratio of 35,000:1 and light output of 3,000 ANSI lumens.

The two components in the system, the projector and rack-mountable control module, are connected via a proprietary three-line optical-digital High-Definition Optical Signal Transfer (HOST) system that offers a special fiber-optic lossless cable for runs up to 250 meters. The module uses 10-bit video processing with high-definition scaling and deinterlacing, and its on-board LCD panel displays all vital information: brightness, contrast, gamma, signal type, etc.

Within the projector itself is the proprietary Dynamic Black technology, which dramatically increases black levels and dark details. That means midtones become bright tones and dark details become quite visible. Through the use of an optical aperture, the system can then reduce the light output to the correct amount while maintaining the dynamic range and boosting the black levels.

Better Blacks, Life-like Effects

The C3X’s precision-matched light intensity adjustment resulted in significantly better blacks and shadow detail. This added a new sense of realism to images, noticeably in the dark scenes from The Dark Knight and Independence Day. Images from satellite and Blu-ray Disc sources showed superb clarity and definition.

High-definition images in particular produced a life-like effect, especially when viewing all forms of nature on DiscoveryHD Theater. Two films on Blu-ray, Speed Racer and Disney’s newly-restored Sleeping Beauty, threw us colors that were so rich and vibrant that they seemed to leap off the screen.

The SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Lumis HOST is just the ticket for years of viewing splendor.

3-chip DLP using DarkChip4
Resolution 1920 x 1080/24p
Picture size 50 to 300 inches
Contrast ratio 35:000:1
3000 ANSI Lumens brightness
280-watt dimmable lamp
Alphapath light engine with precision glass optics
DynamicBlack technology and user iris system
Fiber optic connections up to 250 meters
6 HDMI ports (1.3 with Deep Color)
Prices: $39,995 (with T1 short-throw or T2 long-throw lens);
$41,995 (with T3 extra-long throw lens);
SCOPE Anamorphic Lens Kit: $14,995

Pros: Great blacks with enhanced realism; Adjustable iris system; Flexible installation with 2-piece system

Cons: Got bucks?

Dennis P. Barker has been involved with Consumer Electronics forever it seems. His 25+-year career includes a 12-year tour of duty at Consumer Reports magazine, as well as stints as a product reviewer, market analyst, technical editor, and consultant for the electronics industry. He lives in Ossining, NY with his two children, one demanding cat and piles of A/V equipment.

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