Wolf Cinema’s 8K TXF-3500 projection system is the foundation of an awesome-looking high-end home theater rig at CES 2019.
At CES 2019 I stopped by the Wolf Cinema, Seymour-Screen Excellence, Dynaudio & AudioControl Demo room in The Venetian to see the performance of the Wolf Cinema TXF-3500 8K projector. In this room, Seymour-Screen Excellence showed its new Ambient-Visionaire Black 0.9 gain screen that’s 110″ wide with a 16:9 aspect ratio—it looked great with the lights out or while using the company’s White Bias LED Lighting Kit. The room featured sound by Dynaudio and AudioControl.
While Wolf Cinema has a tendency to rile up some readers who consider it a rebadge with a fancy case, the reality is Wolf has never denied that it tweaks gear from other brands; it simply argues that the tweaks provide a higher level of performance, not unlike having a car souped up by a custom tuner. Regardless of whether we’re discussing projectors or automobiles, the cost of that sort of tuning is typically high. But the main thing is, I’m not making a value judgment. I stopped by the room to assess the quality of what I saw on-screen, and it was undeniably awesome—whether the content was 1080p HD or 4K, everything about it looked natural—the color and contrast were spot-on and there was enough brightness to make it look like a giant and amazing TV in the room.
The White Bias light kit is a nice option that has created some contranation among purists. But here’s the thing, I observed what happened to the black levels with the ambient light kit on and off, and the difference was extraordinarily minor. And the idea here is that it allows you to have some light in the room, while having a minimal impact on the screen itself (which is ambient light-rejecting after all). If you want to be “serious” about batcave-style movie consumption, by all means shut the light off. If you want to have a little light in the room without ruining the picture, turn it on. And if you are planning on marathon HDR gaming sessions, your irises will thank you because it will be less fatiguing.
Demo clips included an assortment ranging from Roger Waters: The Wall to an IMAX film about railroads. The sound in the room was also great, but I did not sit to give it a proper evaluation since I was very busy. But judging the picture was easy, this is the look of “projection, perfected” regardless of whether the bias lighting is turned on or off. Is it worth the money over a stock JVC? Like the car analogy, it really just depends on whether you want the very best, most highly-tuned version of a top-tier product… or not. If the proof is in the pudding, what you see in this room at CES 2019 is subjectively impeccable. Of course I don’t have a meter with me or another projector to compare to, but the holistic effect of the system on display was to make the screen itself disappear.
Especially notable is how the Seymour-Screen Excellence Ambient-Visionaire Black 0.9 gain film screen was free of hotspotting or any trace of visible texture. That, combined with the invisible pixels delivered by 8K, means you can walk right up to the screen and will still only see the pure image. This is as “clean” a presentation as you’re gonna get.
Here’s the screen with the White Bias light kit turned on and dialed-in with a compensation for the wall color.