Sim2 debuts high-design xTV Ultra Short throw Hybrid Laser projector

posted on Thursday, 14th July 2016 by Steve May

projectors  Interior Design  High-end  Invision UK  Media Rooms 

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Italian high-end projection specialist SIM2 has launched its first Ultra Short throw projector. The xTV made it debut at a takeover of the DSE Group showroom in Central London, yesterday. The xTV is designed for locations where a large screen TV or front projection system are either impractical, because of physical space limitations, nor seen as undesirable by interior designers. “We see it as a very different category of product,” CEO Maurizio Cini told Inside CI. “It offers a solution that can’t be matched by front projection or a flat panel.”

The SIM2 xTV can typically cast an image between 85- and 110-inches, and can be placed on furniture or ceiling mounted. An iteration of the device will be available for those that want to build it directly into bespoke furniture. The unit was demonstrated at its launch on a fixed screen (see below), but its real appeal will be when used on a plain white wall. It’s a now you see it, now you don’t display.

“The concept is not to compete with a flat panel, but create a new sales opportunity. If you have an area with high ambient light, you can use the xTV with a screen that makes the picture brighter than a television. Of course, that goes slightly against our concept of an invisible display solution, but it depends on what the customer wants,” says Cini.

Showroom (1)

Inspection

Lens (2)

Tom Garrett, from distributor Anthem AV, commented: “When used on a wall, integrators need to be sure the surface is perfectly flat. It will reveal any imperfections in plastering.” When it comes to wall paint, Cini adds: “White is ideal, but grey is fine, maybe even a little colour – but just not red.”

The xTV uses a hybrid laser light engine with a single chip 1080p DMD device. Cini says that Sim2 does have a roadmap to produce a 4K version in a year or so, “it’s all down to the availability of a 4K DLP solution,” he says.

While Ultra Short Throw projectors are not new – they’ve been a staple of the corporate and education sector for years – the industry has never seen one quite like the xTV. Designed by Giorgio Revoldini, the unit features a crystal glass top which features a variety of optical treatments (“The coating is very hard and it’s difficult to damage”) and a trapezoid chassis. It’s large but runs quietly, at less than 28dB.

The laser light engine is rated at 2,900 lumens, and provides a perfectly watchable image in high ambient light, although contrast and colour obviously benefit from black-out conditions. In the DSE Group showroom, there was plenty of light, yet visiting integrators were all impressed by its clarity. The laser light engine has a lifespan of at least 20,000 hours.

Connections include three HDMIs, one composite video, an RS232 port, a 3.5mini jacks and USB A/B jacks. The cabinet itself measures 537 x 115 x383mm, and has an all up weight of 13.5kg. It boasts a fixed throw of 0.25:1.

Despicable Me

Cini

High Gloss

The xTV can also be used with a warping image processor for more unusual installations. “If you have a very special wall that requires some adjustment, you can use an edge blending processor with two xTVs,” explains Cini.  “We have an installation in Miami that will use five models in a very long table – you can even place your wine on the crystal glass. During the day it’s just a room with standard furniture, in the evening the homeowners can offer special entertainment with a very long video wall. I’ve seen the rendering, it’s very attractive.”

It seems the xTV has also piqued the interest of marine integrators. “We’ve had many enquires from yacht owners, as the product is basically a sealed piece of glass. For sure we can make it waterproof.”

Initially the xTV will be available in black, but SIM2 says it also has a white version in production. “We can basically make any colour,” says Cini, “but black and white are the main options.“

The SIM2 xTV will retail for £14,000 and is distributed by Anthem AV, through Invision UK. For more stories about Invision’s product range and services, visit our partner page here.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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