Image quality subjective review

I know there are a lot of backers who have yet to receive their PPM, have been watching the resolution comments with some interest, are on the fence about trying to get a refund, etc. I was once in the same place with the disaster that was the Eve V Laptop. As I have had my unit a week now, I thought I would add some firsthand experience comments instead of “detail speculation”…

First off, I am a quite savvy person with technology and projection, but not a full blown expert. My uncle had one of the very first generation home theater projectors with the three separate color emitters. I have used very high end projectors in classroom and auditorium type settings, but the PPM is actually the first one I have spent my own money on.

I’m currently projecting onto my bedroom wall, onto a non-white, barely textured, very matte painted surface. Image size is about 2.8m, viewed from maybe 2.5m away. Suboptimal in many respects, but it has helped me see what this thing can and can’t do.

Brightness is plenty for a room dark enough to be hard to walk in, even in eco mode. Makes the Nebula line look positively dull and dim by comparison. Presentation mode is bright enough for a room with medium weight curtains closed, even with light spilling around them from a fully sunny Colorado day at 2100m elevation. Yes, you will lose some contrast and gain some fan noise in those conditions, but both of those will drop below notice in less than a minute. Open the curtains and the image is almost unusable to even navigate menus by, until you bring the image size down to say less than 1 m. At .5m size the image is plenty contrasty even in the brightest room I have on my house. There is a halo of light spilling around the projected image quite far in all four directions, but that is probably better for eye health in the very dark room setting anyway.

As to resolution, the lower resolution emitter plus pixel shift is not at all an issue except in a few specific cases. As an example of how good it is, I put up the same x265 encoded ~3GB file size BR rip of the movie Gravity in VLC on both the PPM and my old 1920x1080 screen laptop. On the scenes with the ISS station where Dr. Stone is tangled in the parachute lines, you can see exactly the same level of detail in the PPM image and on the laptop.

Where the pixel shift might be objectionable is very very fast action, such as sword play scenes or when punches are being thrown very near to the camera. In this case it appears the PPM GPU can’t keep up and drops the highly changing frames, and the pixel shift drawing style exacerbates the issue. It’s almost like inverse motion blur or rolling shutter effect, where the edges are too detailed but the middle of the motion doesn’t seem “solid”. Watching the opening credits to DaVinci’s Demons, with it’s “flipbook animation with dancing errors” visual style is somehow unnerving on the PPM in a way that it definitely is not on the laptop…

I am able to focus the unit using auto to get good crispness and it usually only takes one button press of further manual adjustment to get the image to crazy crispness, both center and edge. As in I can see individual hairs on actors’ heads crispness. However, consistency of areas of the same color is a bit of an issue, especially with whites and strong highlights. There’s a regular rectangular blocky pattern visible there, like the white is a brick wall built with bright marble bricks and dull sandstone bricks. It’s objectionable if you focus on it, but does not ruin the viewing experience if you are truly watching the whole scene. Keep in mind I am projecting to a very large image size, and this effect decreases greatly when you reduce the image size below 2m or so. Still, I would like to see this worked on on further Software Updates and image calibration efforts in the future.

Subtitles look very pixelated, jagged, and blocky in pretty much every app I have tried. Text in menus is fairly similar. I don’t notice it so much when screen mirroring a text document from Android, however, so I suspect this is a software issue that could be solved with anti-aliasing on the OS level.

Colors are good and strong, plenty of saturation and range, but will suffer greatly with poor quality videos. As in, good video is so vibrant you will notice when a video is shot with poor coloring…

If you are expecting this unit to be an IMAX in a box, or compete with the 4K Laser projectors from LG, think again. But for the cost, size, weight, I am quite happy with the image quality and truly enjoy watching my favorite titles on this projector. I do have one show stopper level issue that I have documented in another thread here, but if this can be fixed I will be quite happy to call the PPM well worth the money.

If there is anything else you have questions about, or someone really needs specifically reviewed or tested, let me know and I’ll try to get to it.

Thanks

  • DH
28 Likes

Thank you very much for this detailed review

Outstanding review!

Can you further elaborate on which Nebula projector you have experience with? I have the Capsule II, and tested a Mars 2 Pro for a week. Mars 2 Pro was night and day better looking IQ with it’s big boost to brightness. However, I still ultimately love my Capsule II due to the built in speakers and AndroidTV ease of use. I’m now backing a PPM because 1080P and that big brightness bump. I briefly had a Xgimi MOGO Pro as well, but the built in speakers were anemic, and I thought the 1080P image looked “off” somehow, like it wasn’t really 1080P.

Thanks for the review. This part was very informative:

Open the curtains and the image is almost unusable to even navigate menus by, until you bring the image size down to say less than 1 m.

Considering the fact that the projector is advertised as for “a stunning viewing experience with superior brightness that you can enjoy at home […]” and most of the advertised pictures were made in a sun-lit room, it’s pretty evident that the projector’s brightness doesn’t live up to one’s expectations.

Well considering this is Pico projector if anybody expect it to work on high daily light enviroment is very ambitious. PPM is if not the brightest then one of the brightest pico projectors right now so in subject of brightness it is just what was promised.

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Agreed - even reviews for 1500-2000 lumen dedicated theater projectors suffer greatly in a fully lit room. Not sure why people have such blown out expectations that aren’t based in any reality. Perhaps in another 5-10 years we will have a DLP based device, along with an LED light source that can rival normal TVs, but even in that world, you are still subject to physics and reflection of light off very imperfect surfaces.

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I am not a professional when it comes to projectors, but I’m not 100% inexperienced when it comes to technical gadgets, either. I’ve based my first purchasing decision on the project video, which pictured a lady doing yoga in a bright, sun-lit room in front of a maybe 2-3m projected screen by a PicoPix Max prototype, I presume. Also on the advertised text, which said it has superior brightness you can enjoy at home, and lastly on the project images, which depict the projector in those positions, too (really bright office environment, windowed apartment etc.).

Was I tricked to then put money into the project? Should I have assumed it not working in all of the depicted environments?

Since you still have the option to refund I don’t get it why your comment is like you have lost your money? It does have superior brightness … compared to others in its class - pico projectors. As for the video and pictures - don’t really remember those so can’t say anything about them.

Fantastic review. Definitely looking forward to receiving my one in Ireland.

@vzhivkov don’t mind me personally, I already asked for a refund and am just waiting to process the return of both the campaign pledge and the VAT fee (reason for refund: no BT audio in HDMI input, so no sound bar and subwoofer while watching BluRays).

It was just a simple question though: If different types of usage are shown in a campaign video and pictures, should those scenarios not be possible with the gadget you’re backing?

Daylight is highly variable. My computer monitor is 500 nits and is next to floor to ceiling glass windows. On a cloudy summer day, I have to constantly change the brightness from 100 to 500 and it’s still not enough. This is about an LCD monitor. So with a little expectation management I think you’ll be happy with the brightness.

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@mo0h , since you have chosen that why are you losing your time here? If I chose to refund I would never spend even 1 minute more to read and especially write about PPM.

I have not owned any, but have watched 1-2 hrs of content on each of a capsule and I think mars 2 (but not pro IIRC). I remember thinking Blade Runner 2049 was too dark to be enjoyed in a completely dark room using the Mars on a portable screen. Even on my non ideal painted wall the same movie / file is way brighter and far more details on the shadowy areas. I still would prefer the PPM had just a bit more boost to the dark areas even.

Very true. And to be fair I have 1 set of floor to ceiling windows and one more set of windows letting in a ton of light bouncing off the snow here. Our solar panels produce 15-25% more than comparable panels at sea level sure to elevation and clear skies. For reference a 300 nit computer monitor is just comfortably bright next to the same windows I had the PPM projecting next to.

i have done a research on the market and have not found any projector that offered android tv box integrated and bt support for hdmi content. only projectors that do not include an integrated tv box offer bt in a higher price range. the reason is that you would need to have two bluetooth servers one on the projector and one on android and pair with one or the other based on what you are watching

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Excellent review!! I think too many backers are expecting a portable projector works like a professional theatre projector. I am sorry to say this is quite unrealistic when taking all things including price, size, spec, etc into account.

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Thanks for the follow up! Without a doubt, the PPM should be demonstrably better than the Capsule based on specs alone, but always good to see a side by side. I guess I may be first in line to do that and reporting back here. I’m assuming that in normal mode, the PPM will probably look like the Mars 2 Pro for brightness.

What’s your opinion on the built in speakers? My Capsule II has one 8W driver, and this PPM says 2x4 watt. I expect the Capsule II to be better. Obviously neither is sufficient for “home theater” use, but I don’t expect that. I still want fuller sound with good freq response for sports watching.

@vzhivkov you’re still trying to make this about me, please don’t, it’s childish. My reasons for following, reserving time for and taking part in this discussion are mine alone.

@Sinisa here’s the thing: personally I have no use for most of the functionality that any Android version, be it TV ot not, would add to the deal besides maybe using YouTube and Netflix on the go. What I needed was a small form factor, affordable 1080p60 brand projector to be primarilly used as output device for both game consoles and my BluRay player, both day and night.

Side by side is really the only way to test, to be sure.

Internal speakers are really not very good. That needs its own thread though.

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Having in mind the size of PPM you can not expect HiFi sound in no way.