Marantz bows first 1080p DLP front projector

If you're in the market for an HDTV, you've probably heard the term "1080p" once or twice. The cryptic number refers to the highest of high-definition formats, rarely sighted in the wild (Samsung's just-released Blu-ray Disc player is one of the only devices that can produce a native 1080p signal) but rapidly becoming the gold standard of high-def. A small but growing number of TVs can actually render every single pixel in the bandwidth-heavy 1080p signal, although so far there has been no DLP front projector capable of spraying a screen with a full-HD 1080p image… until now. Marantz's VP-11S1 is the first projector to include Texas Instruments' 1080p DLP chip, and it has the processing chops to use it: a souped-up image processor from Gennum, which upconverts all lower-resolution video to 1080p. Although the projector uses only a single DLP chip instead of three, its color wheel spins faster than any previous DLP projector, said to reduce the potential for any color-smearing artifacts (sometimes noticeable as a "rainbow effect" on single-chip models). But the single-chip design at least keeps the cost down to a mere $20,000 — still worthy of a spit take, but not bad for such a first-ever, ultra-high-end item, considering. Basically, once you have this baby, you shouldn't have to upgrade your home theater until they start broadcasting holograms.