Just received and setup my Formovie Theater. Have been a self confessed home theater addict for decades, but could never bring myself to spend the money needed to put a projector into the mix. In my mind, that was money that could be spent on my other addiction, two channel audio... After reading about the projector shootout, I finally succumbed to the siren song of a larger viewing experience. Black Friday found me with credit card in hand pulling the trigger on a Formovie and 120" ALR screen.
The Projector Screen team could not have been more helpful and made sure I was comfortable with my selections and overall purchase. During the 3 weeks that my FT1 was in transit, I had some questions for the Projector Screen team and they were immediately responsive as well as helpful. I have already pointed several friends in their direction.
Bottom Line Up Front: The experience has been close to glorious and the ability to watch all but the dimmest content (Dark Knight anyone) with ambient light is a revelation. I am still stumbling my way through the settings and am trying to integrate the calibration settings from multiple sources cited on various forums. I currently have the projector and screen "roughed in" as we will be running cable channels through the walls and moving all of the system components into a closet based rack. Even in this immature state, I am having a ball with this setup.
We as humans tend to focus on criticisms first. I have a few that will be constructive, but I would like to lead with the positives.
Top of my list are the members of the AVSForum HT1 group to include the Projector Screen team. I have been a member for years and in every case, I have been able to wring maximum performance and more importantly, enjoyment from new gear because of the generous and knowledgeable contributors to threads such as these. I thank all of you
Basic setup (picture settings notwithstanding) was very straight forward and intuitive
With an Ethernet connection I have had no network hiccups
HDMI handshakes have been rock solid
Though the projector uses Android/Google to provide streaming content, I am able to completely bypass the "Google-verse" and treat this projector as a dumb monitor without setting up an account. This is a rarity and refreshing for someone such as myself that does not want my device logged in if it doesn't need to be
My unit will be hidden behind a center channel speaker, but aesthetically, the unit is handsome
The price - $3K in this inflated economy for a projector that nips at the heels of much more expensive traditional projectors is just a great step forward for value oriented enthusiasts such as myself
The picture! I have miles to go before I can say I have I have successfully fine tuned this unit, but myself, my wife,friends, neighbors, etc are all stunned by how good this projector looks with all of the content we have put through it thus far. Is it an OLED, no, but I don't think 123 inches of this can be compared to an OLED that might be blacker and more accurate, but cant provide the immersive experience that we have had over the past few days and nights
The OEM is on the AVS Forum and openly communicating with its customers!!! @Formovie Official, I thank you for taking the time and effort to engage with your customers. This is the exception and so encouraging for a relatively new market entrant. Please all, let's not take this presence for granted and find our most constructive voice with our Formovie teammates
The less than optimal:
Manual is a disappointment for something that costs this much especially when there is no online manual (that I could find)
My projector has numerous scratches along the top of the unit... Will I ever see them, probably not, but this is a NEW device and I find this unacceptable from a quality control perspective
Bluetooth remote... It works great (thus far), but not having the ability to integrate my new projector into an automation ecosystem such as Harmony, or something else is a misfire for the home theater crowd. An IR port on the back would have been nice
Focus. I had hoped that the upper left corner issue was due to early manufacturing issues. This is not the case and there is no way that someone at Formovie could not have noticed that this issue existed if they were taking even the most rudimentary quality control measures
Motion control settings - Even on low, I am getting a SOE... Turned it off, but am concerned that I will now get some motion artifacts as the trade associated with that setting.
The fan is quite noticeable and given where the projector sits relative to a center channel speaker, you can't help but focus on it during quiet passages
The picture settings menu - pretty much everything that has been said by others. I LOVE the fact that Formovie has given us such detailed inputs. For that I applaud them. But being able to reuse settings across different modes/inputs is a much needed improvement. When highlighting a setting, something should tell you what that setting does (hobbyist, not a full time pro) and being able to toggle modes on the fly would be welcome
I have the internal speakers bypassed due to having a full surround system. No matter what I do, every time I turn on the unit, it asks me if I want to turn on the speakers
No lens cover. Even if it was manual the need to keep the lens debris free is obvious. An automatically retracting shutter would be a nice touch for the next gen projector
As a last comment to the Projector Screen team, I would recommend the calibration settings for all projectors that they have been created for be better highlighted, or archived on a separate page for easy retrieval and reference.
Overall, I am thrilled with my decision to buy the Formovie Theater and I am convinced that the handful of common constructive criticisms can be addressed via progressive firmware updates by the Formovie team. I also look forward to continued collaboration with the Projector Screen and AVS Forum crowd as we optimize our viewing experience over the next few months.