Comparing the Digital Decorating Kits

July 28, 2017 | Posted in News

The new AtmosFX Digital Decorating Kit (or “DDK”) will be available very soon! We’ve told you how it’s even better than the wildly popular Holiday Digital Decorating Kit that was released (and immediately sold out) last year. Now we’re going to take this blog post to explain in detail what we’ve done to improve upon the bestseller.

Last year, our main priority was to develop a product more powerful, brighter, and offering better resolution than the WindowFX Kit. The WindowFX Kit proved to be a fantastic little budget performer for those just getting into digital decorating, but we felt like we could offer something better while still remaining budget-friendly. The 2016 Holiday Digital Decorating Kit (HDDK) accomplished every one of these goals, being brighter and offering an improved picture resolution.

Please note, this article discusses the standard-definition (SD) DDK and compares it to the AtmosFX standard-definition kits of previous years. (If you want to read up on the differences between the HDDK and the WindowFX Kit, you can find the comparative blog post here.) As you know, we are also offering a high-definition (HD) Digital Decorating Kit Plus (DDK+). Many of the improvements in quality that we detail below are also true for the DDK+. But when it comes to issues like brightness and color optimization, comparing SD projectors to HD projectors is like comparing apples to oranges. So for the purposes of this article, we’ll be comparing just the SD projector kits.

One important change that occurred with our business was switching manufacturing partners in 2017. One of the main reasons for this was to identify a manufacturing partner who shared our common values around product quality. As a company that is pioneering digital decorating into the future, we want to continue to offer what we feel are the best customer experiences. This year there will be a number of new competitors entering the digital decorating market. Not only have we been lucky enough to see what our competitors are offering, but we are confident that no other product available offers the same quality or innovations as AtmosFX.

What leads us to be so confident in the quality of our products?

Durability was an important priority for us this year. Last year we attempted to develop an outer shipping box that could withstand even the most careless delivery driver to save shipping costs for our customers, but we found that if dropped just-right and with enough force the HDDK could still succumb to damage.

We analized the HDDK from the inside-out for structural weaknesses and redesigned the enclosure housing to include reinforcements in areas that we considered weak. We also spent some time evaluating the foam packaging and outer shipping box. This year’s Digital Decorating Kit is not only more durable but our hope is that this, in turn, will help shave down shipping costs for our customers.

LED chip quality
A little known fact in LED manufacturing is that not every LED chip is made equal. As one of the most expensive components in an LED projector, this is usually one of the areas a manufacturer will look to cut costs. Without stewing too deep into the details, better LED chips regulate consistent power, and chips featuring malfunctioning or dead LEDs are filtered out through the QC process. A video explaining the issue can be viewed here.

Finding quality LED chips not only influences brightness performance but also power efficiency and color consistency. Even though it took extra work and time to identify a LED chip manufacturer who we trusted, the benefits were paramount in developing a better product.

Each photo below was taken with the same camera settings (f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/60)

WindowFX Kit (2015) Brightness Test

Holiday Digital Decorating Kit (2016) Brightness Test

AtmosFX Digital Decorating Kit (2017) Brightness Test

Custom software
While we are happy with both the WindowFX Kit and HDDK, we have always felt there could be more improvements made on the device software. The DDK features a software interface that we developed to be more intuitive, easier to use, and a lot better looking. The three below, in order, are the WindowFX Kit, the HDDK, and the DDK.

Optimized colors
We modified both the contrast and color profile based on specs we believe are better for digital decorating. The color profile of our Holiday Digital Decorating Kit was a little too flat (less contrast) and lacked vibrancy. Higher contrast doesn’t just mean darker blacks. With better contrast management, images come alive and exhibit more foreground and background depth.

Each photo below was taken with the same camera settings (f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/60)

Holiday Digital Decorating Kit (2016) Color Profile and Vibrancy

Digital Decorating Kit (2017) Color Profile and Vibrancy

Holiday Digital Decorating Kit (2016) Contrast and Detail

Digital Decorating Kit (2017) Contrast and Detail

And all this is just the beginning. We are pleased with the improvements that we have been able to make to the AtmosFX Digital Decorating Kit – and still keep it at a reasonable price. For us, the attention to detail and the quality of the components speak for themselves from the moment you open up the box. We think you’ll be quite pleased, too.

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