Philips Screeneo 2.0
FOR Smooth, stable picture; aptx Bluetooth; clear sound AGAINST Contrast could be better; some features absent
Take one look at the Philips Screeneo 2.0 and you may feel the urge to feed it your unwanted bills. With the appearance of a paper shredder, it hardly resembles the typical home cinema projector.
However, it does look similar to the original Philips Screeneo we awarded four stars last year – just a little wider and shorter. Like its predecessor, the Screeneo 2.0 is an ultra show-throw 3D DLP projector, designed to sit close to a wall or screen, and compact and portable enough to carry around. Watch the Olympics on a 120in screen without the fuss of setting up a dedicated projector? The Philips Screeneo 2.0 is worth consideration.
Apart from a bigger image than the maximum 100in of the original Screeneo, the 2.0 is also Full HD (1920 x 1080) instead of 1280 x 800 resolution. That means native playback of HD channels, Blu-rays and PS4 games, no downscaling necessary.
Contrast ratio is also up from 100,000:1 to 200,000:1, but the Philips is not quite the gift that keeps on giving. It’s less multimedia-focused than the older Screeneo, leaving TV tuner and network streaming duties to your Blu-ray player or games console, and settling for just aptx Bluetooth functionality. There’s still clearly a place for both, so it makes sense that the Screeneo 2.0 is an addition to Philips' line-up rather than a replacement.
Differing priorities cause some discrepancies with connectivity – there’s no SD card on the Screeneo 2.0, for example – but the main ones are here: three HDMI and single USB, VGA, composite and analogue audio inputs. Not forgetting optical and headphone outputs.
With a 0.21:1 throw ratio, the Screeneo 2.0 is capable of projecting a 120in image from a distance of 42cm, or a 50in one from 10cm – front, rear or ceiling-facing. You’ll get the best results beaming to a dedicated screen, but any patch of plain wall will do. You don’t need to paint your living room wall either, as a wall colour correction setting can change the balance accordingly for white, beige, grey or green. Keystone adjustment can also be found in the menus and operated by the remote, while focus is electrically adjusted on the unit itself.
Wondering where the lens is? The most jarring way to find out is to turn on the unit, peer over it and get an eyeful, as it beams up through a window on the top panel. You have been warned! The Screeneo reaches 2000 lumens, meaning you get a picture that is reasonably bright. That’s not to say brightness levels should be whacked up automatically – there’s a balance to be struck with contrast and, especially, black levels. Achieving that takes a bit of picture tweaking in the menus, even after you’ve run the THX Optimizer disc through it.
The Flow Motion processing comes in handy to iron out the out-of-the-box judder during camera pans. We play Guardians Of
The Galaxy on Blu-ray and, when it kicks off in the prison, the Flow Motion helps with the slight instability that taints the action scene. Colours are strong but not saturated – Yondu’s blue face and Gamora’s green skin are delivered on a rich, pleasing palette. You shouldn’t expect the same crispness, subtlety or detail levels of a good dedicated home cinema projector at this price, but it is easy on the eyes and generally a comfortable, compelling watch. DVD performance is good too, the drop in resolution not obvious at first glance, and noise is kept to a minimum.
Sound, typically, isn’t much of an area for expertise with projectors. But this isn’t just any old projector. Determined not to rely on an external sound system, the Philips has 2.1-channel set-up.
Powered by 26W of amplification, it sounds surprisingly capable, delivering the film soundtrack’s retro pop tunes with gusto and clarity. They not only go loud enough for dialogue to be heard from across a room, but also have the insight to communicate Rocket’s sarcastic quips and Groot’s deep gruffness too. Despite the small proportions, bass isn’t bad either.
It’s a balanced and entertaining sonic presentation, making its Bluetooth audio functionality more than worthwhile. Cd-quality streams from a smartphone come through clearly, with good detail.
Philips has plucked the neat concept of a portable all-in-one projector out of nowhere and executed it brilliantly. The Screeneo 2.0 may not be ideal for home cinema purists, but as a convenient projector it’s a success.
It may look like a paper shredder, but the Screeneo is a neat home cinema projector
The main inputs are here, including three HDMIS – there are optical and headphone outputs too
VERDICT Philips has plucked the idea of an on-the-fly projector out of the air, but this practical, decent machine works