The SIM2 LUMIS HOST projector is an apex predator in the ever-changing world of high-end video. Priced at $39,995, this three-chip DLP projector with sexy Italian lines and a mean motor under the hood is designed to give the guys at Runco, Wolf Cinema, Digital Projections and even at JVC one of those "gulp" moments. Mainstream consumers in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression might have the same gulp moment when they hear the cost, but the SIM2 LUMIS HOST is not for them. This projector is for someone with a significant home that includes a media room that commands truly film-like video playback for movies, HD television and legacy content material.
I've set up my fair share of projectors over the last 40 years, both film and video. But when I first received the SIM2 C3X LUMIS HOST, their Flagship model, I was very surprised by the manageability, small size and lightness of the box. In the past, any projectors that included a very high light output, such as this SIM2's 3,000 ANSI Lumens, typically required a robust exhaust system and sometimes a hush box or projection booth, due to the prodigious fan noise. What I found inside the box instead was a small, mostly black-and-silver projector in the same smooth curved lines as other recent SIM2 projectors. The projector's lines looked interpretively like a big kitten, or so my wife commented with delight. It was very simple for even one person to unpack and install, including mounting on a ceiling bracket. The other half of this elegant package, the LUMIS HOST video processor, is a standard two-rack-spaces tall and can be located up to eight hundred feet away from the projector. That's right: the SIM2 C3X projector and LUMIS HOST video processor are connected via a trio of glass fiber optic cables, featuring LT snap connectors, giving them the ability to be separated by previously absurd distances and an ease of set-up found with any other plug and play projector. It is a heck of a lot easier to pull these optical cables through an existing wall than the typical HDMI wire and termination. In fact, the installation of the two pieces took only half an hour, mostly owing to the site of the projector. There is also an optional motorized SIM2 (CinemaScope System) featuring an ISCO anamorphic lens available ($15,995 MSRP), which improves the presentation quality for 2.40:1 Cinemascope movies displayed on a dedicated Scope screen, such as the Stewart CineCurve or Director's Choice series of screen products. The ISCO lens is available with a motorized sled (at additional cost) to automate its positioning when an appropriately source is selected on the LUMIS HOST or through a touch-screen system. Clearly, there are some big-boy options for those looking to go all the way with this manly projector.
I tested the SIM2 LUMIS HOST System as I do all projectors (both video and film). Each is served a complete regimen of familiar tests and program material (movies, TV shows, video games, lives sporting events, commercials, music concerts and test patterns) from the following sources, with various parameters measured using the Minolta CS-2000 Polychrometer Type Spectroradiometer: Blu-ray, HD DVD, D-VHS, Playstation 3, XBOX 360, HD Cable (Optima), HD Satellite (Direct TV), HD Muse Laserdisc, DVD and Wii. Most of these sources are of the digital variety, emanating from HDMI connections with HDCP encryption up to version 1.3, but a few are analog (like HD MUSE Laserdisc and Nintendo Wii), allowing me to make use of the entire plethora of inputs offered, while completely stretching the capabilities of the LUMIS HOST as a video processor, noise reducer and image controller.