Philips Screeneo HDP 1590TV full review
Ultra-short throw projectors are a staple of the education and corporate video market. Yet they've so far failed make an impact with home users. Will that change with the launch of the Philips Screeneo? Certainly from a design and usability point of view, this compact DLP projector is a uniquely attractive big-screen proposition. See also Group test: what's the best projector?
The key benefit of any ultra-short throw projector is that you can create a large image in a compact area with minimal effort. The projector needs only be placed between 10- and 45 cm from the wall to cast an image 50- to 100 inches across. A small shuffle from the wall is enough to double image size. You don't have to worry about walking in front of any projected image or having a room large enough to create a big-screen experience.
Consequently, installing the Screeneo is a breeze. There's some keystone correction offered to square up the image, but by and large setup is plug and play. You can also ceiling mount the Screeneo if required. If you don't actually have a convenient white wall to project onto, there is electronic wall colour correction available for yellow, pink, green and blue hues. Floral wallpapers though are a bust.
In terms of design, the Screeneo owes more to a Bluetooth sound system than a projector. The lens arrangement is angled from the top of the body, while the front of the unit is all speakers. Rear-placed connections comprise two HDMI, a digital audio output, two USB, a pair of stereo phono inputs, Ethernet, VGA connector and 12 V trigger.
Hidden beneath the front-facing Philips logo is an additional HDMI input, plus SD card reader, USB, headphone jack and manual focus wheel. The projector supports Bluetooth streaming and has integrated Wi-Fi.
The main user interface mimics that found on Philips TVs, as does the feature roster: there's an integrated TV tuner, connected app portal and media playback facilities. The Screeneo will unwrap files from both USB stick and across a LAN and offers extensive compatibility, including MKV, MPEG, AVI and MOV. You can also mirror Google smartphone content using Miracast.
Importantly, the Screeneo's LED light engine runs cool, so you don't get the fan-heater effect common to other small projectors. This is reassuring if it's going to be used around children and pets. The light source is also largely maintenance free – Philips quotes 30,000 hours lamp life. General operating noise is specified at a reassuringly low 26 dB.
Although not overly bright, the Screeneo performs well in moderate levels of ambient light, and in a fully dark room it's positively dynamic.
Image resolution is limited to 720p (1280 x 800). While the projector comes with an integrated DVB tuner, this is defiantly standard-def. Consequently, tuner images blown large look decidedly coarse. Still, when fed high-def, be it Sky HD or from a Blu-ray player, things improve immeasurably. HD sources look crisp from a distance. Black level performance is acceptable but not outstanding.
Although not sharp enough to satisfy serious home-cinema fans, the Screeneo offers a great social experience. It's ideal for projecting general TV and sport in non-mission critical viewing spaces (large kitchens seem a natural), and looks great with 720p-era games consoles. An integrated carry handle makes it easy to transport to and from kids bedrooms.
The projector is 3D capable and ships with a single pair of lightweight Active Shutter specs. 3D depth is rather good, with only minimal crosstalk evident.
The onboard audio system is rated at a loud 26W. Used for Bluetooth streaming, it's a rival for a basic wireless audio speaker. The HDP1590 runs on a version of the Android OS and comes preloaded with YouTube, a web browser and Office.
Philips Screeneo HDP 1590TV: Specs
- LED DLP Ultra Short Throw projector
- 1280 x 800 resolution, 720p
- 3 x HDMI
- composite video
- 3 x USB
- phono stereo
- PC VGA
- Optical digital output
- 12V trigger
- Active Shutter 3D with one pairs of 3D glasses supplied
- keystone correction
- 26W built-in audio
- SD card reader
- 150W power consumption
- 339 x 287 x 148 mm (wdh)
- 5 kg