As readers may have noted elsewhere, I have now acquired my Qumi (1280x800 DLP+LED 300 lumen projector) and it's lovely! As this write-up is somewhat off the primary thrust of the main story in this blog, I'm putting it in a sub-post rather than adding it to the posts at the top.
Here's the plan: Stream from HDR-FOX T2 - HomePlug - HomePlug - O2 WiFi router - Edimax 7711 WiFi adapter - HD-FOX T2 - Qumi (via HDMI).
To get a quick feel of it I went router - HD-FOX by Cat5 (the router is in the same room) and had the HD-FOX and Qumi on a table, everything worked straight off so I moved on to a lash-up approximating my aim: TV watching in bed.
The Qumi is so small and light (a real surprise when I opened the box, even having read the forums for several weeks), close to a 3.5" hard drive, it was easy and not at all worrying to bodge a shelf for it with a couple of clamps. Then came the problem of hooking up the HD-FOX by HDMI. The Qumi has a mini-HDMI socket, so the only means I had to hand was the HDMI to mini-HDMI lead that came in the box - and that is only 18" long! (Note to self: go shopping today.) That meant also suspending the HD-FOX over my head - a little more worrying!
OK, next job get the WiFi adapter running. Unfortunately I have a long complicated WiFi password from a random key generator. A couple of times I set out to enter it into the setup screen on the HD-FOX, and it kept timing out before I got to the end and clearing everything I had done so far. Then I spotted my password has a "%" symbol in it - and no % on the Humax's input! That means to get the WiFi connection working I will have to change my password - and configure all my other WiFi devices to suit (sigh). Needless to say I stuck with the Cat5 for the time being.
As far as the HD-FOX is concerned - nothing unexpected. I streamed StDef and HiDef absolutely fine, but although I'm on 1.02.20 I couldn't get through to the TV portal - I will take that up in the relevant forum. As I am writing this however, I have a HiDef steam running and it has bombed out at 55 minutes. I tried again several times and it keeps bombing out at the same place - I must now investigate whether it does the same when played locally.
Now first impressions of the Qumi. The only bad thing I have to say is the sound. The forums said it was weak but I wasn't prepared for how weak. At first I thought there wasn't any (over the noise of the fan), but then I went into the menus and found the volume was set to 4 (goes up to 8), so I set it to max and set the volume on the Humax to max and I could just about hear it. I plugged in a set of headphones, and at max it is just about OK - not good enough at all. I will dig out a set of powered PC speakers for the audio.
The next most disappointing thing is the remote control. It uses a coin cell, it works but the UI is a bit fiddly, but there is no on/off. However, it is only needed for fine-tuning the setup, so it could be fit-and-forget. On the subject of on/off, being LED with no warm-up/cool-down cycles, it's just a case of fitting a remote power switch at the plug (I might use a master-slave socket switched by the Humax going on and off).
The picture was, I thought, a little dim in low room lighting at about 48" diagonal, but then I found the factory preset was for eco mode, so I set it to "normal" and the brightness was much better - but the fan became louder too. I have a white wall opposite the bed which is the projection surface, and as long as the lighting isn't actually straight at the wall the picture is good enough with the lights on. With the lights off, I could switch down to eco mode again and get a lot less noise from the fan. It's not the sort of thing you could watch in the day without thick curtains, but then we knew that didn't we.
With my jury-rigged projection shelf and the Qumi angled up a bit to get the 105% offset (or there abouts), I was projecting 66" and getting an image from a HiDef stream equivalent to a 47" diagonal TV. Because my viewing angle (from the bed) is quite low, I used keystone correction to make the image appear rectangular. All good. I've not been critical with focussing yet, but the warm-up focussing shift is evident. I will probably put up with a soft focus during the warm-up rather than fiddle with it. I was worried about the throw ratio, but it's fine in my situation. If and when I travel with it, a zoom might be nice - I'm wondering what might be possible as an adapter lens or a mod, but I don't need to go that far for normal service.
Having cycled through all the video settings I found the best compromise (as others have done) is Gamma set to PC and colour temperature set to cool. Out of the box the colours are a bit saturated. Clarity is great, even though I have not refined the focus. I might have more to say re picture quality when I do have a critical focus. As has been noted there is some light bleed most notably to the lower left, but it is not troublesome and only noticed when the image is dark. Proper screens have a black surround though, so that over-spray is absorbed (in fact, it was the black surround of the screen which defined the frame for cine projection, rather than have the ragged edge of the projected fluff in the gate)!
Something to note: there is a control which cycles through image rotate and image reverse - all four combinations. This means you can mount the Qumi either way up or even rear-projection or via a mirror, and there is a mode which will cope (and I will be investigating using the tripod thread to mount it upside down).
Summary: Am I happy? You bet. Is it worth Â£500? That's a hard one. For big-screen TV in a darkened room it's a lot cheaper than a TV. For viewing in daylight, you need a TV or a bulb projector - but you can't just bung a TV or a bulb projector in a bag and use it almost anywhere. For what I want (and having prepared myself what to expect), it's brilliant.
PS: I've not read the manual yet. Everything is intuitive or by what I've gleaned by reading forums.