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PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Kris Deering Posted: Apr 23, 2014 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $8,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Raises the bar for contrast
Excellent dynamic iris
performance
Minus
HDMI slow to lock on to signals

THE VERDICT
With the introduction of its first dynamic iris system, JVC has set a new standard for black level and contrast.

My dad worked on helicopters when I was growing up. In our garage was a picture of the latest Army Chinook, with the tag line “Only the Silhouette Remains the Same.” When I started my review of the DLA-X700R, JVC’s latest 3D LCOS projector, that phrase came back to mind. The projector looks exactly like my reference DLA-X75R—but on the inside, almost everything is new. After about a month of extensive use, I’ve discovered that JVC has achieved a massive step up in performance, making their new line of projectors the best they’ve delivered yet.

Al Griffin Posted: Apr 04, 2014 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,899

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent contrast and black level for LCD
Capable of powerful brightness
Good overall 2D and 3D performance
Minus
Wireless transmitter needs to be in same space as projector

THE VERDICT
Powerful light output and contrast combined with impressive 3D make the 5030UBe a great projector option at an affordable price.

When Sound & Vision reviewed the Epson 5030UBe’s predecessor, the 5020UBe, in 2013, we were impressed by its exceptional brightness and its ability to convey satisfying blacks. Clearly, LCD projection has come a long way in a short time. Home theater projectors like the 5020UBe tend to get reviewed in a cluster with models from companies like JVC and Sony, and while the Epson ultimately didn’t match its LCOS competition when it came to contrast (JVC) or color accuracy (Sony), overall it held up extremely well—especially considering that the Epson cost several hundred dollars less and offers significantly greater brightness than either of those options.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 28, 2014 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $15,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Smooth, clean detail
Excellent color
Rich, dark blacks
Minus
Occasional iris pumping
Pricey

THE VERDICT
With its compelling reproduction of smooth detail, fine color, and impressive brightness with 2D content, the VPL-VW600ES offers a tantalizing taste of 4K.

In case you haven’t noticed—or have just returned from an extended spring break in Antarctica—the newest thing in home video is Ultra HD, or 4K. 3D is so 2010. 4K is now.

But 4K home projectors are still a rarity, and so far, there haven’t been any true 4K consumer projectors even remotely approaching the price of a good 1080p model. Until now, that is. Sony’s new VPL-VW600ES comes in at an MSRP of $15,000, or just over half the price of the company’s VPL-VW1100ES, a recent update of the VPL-VW1000ES (Sony’s first consumer 4K model). That’s not exactly chicken feed, but it’s a move in the right direction.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 30, 2014 3 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright 1080p for $1,000
No rainbows (for those who care)
Minus
Contrast ratio is mediocre
Color accuracy is only average

THE VERDICT
Despite a bright image, poor contrast and otherwise average performance put Epson’s 1080p budget projector out of contention at the $1,000 price point.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised it was bright. I mean, it’s an Epson projector; of course it was going to be bright. But 42 foot-lamberts and 1080p for $1,000? That’s not too shabby. It’s perhaps even more impressive that all of that light bursts forth from such a tiny package.

Small, bright, a pair of HDMI inputs, even 3D capability: The PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 ticks all the boxes for a projector in our modern era. But box ticking is one thing, and not the thing we’re interested in.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 06, 2013 0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent color
Crisp detail
Punchy image
Minus
Dim 3D
So-so blacks and contrast

THE VERDICT
You won’t find the deepest blacks in this price class, but the HC8000D’s bright, sharp, pleasing 2D picture is worth a look.

It seems like only yesterday that Mitsubishi ended its solitary status as the last holdout in the rear-projection DLP business. Oh, wait, it was only yesterday—at least in geologic HDTV time. But this was by no means the twilight of Mitsubishi Electric’s DLP video ambitions. These live on in a wide range of projectors, including the HC8000D single-chip DLP—a key player in the company’s consumer lineup.

Filed under
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 21, 2013 0 comments
Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,795

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Includes lens and projector attachment mount
Accommodates 8- to 18-foot focal distance
Minus
Some loss of horizontal resolution
Finicky setup/installation process

THE VERDICT
The CineVista lens provides a brighter and more detailed-looking image for ultra-wide movies on a 2.35:1 projection screen.

High-def televisions and projectors have an aspect ratio of 16:9. And all native HDTV content comes in that same format, which is also known as 1.78:1. It’s a different situation, however, for movies. Many blockbuster releases from the 1950s onward have a much wider aspect ratio of 2.25:1 or 2.40:1 (often called CinemaScope). When you watch these on your TV, the result of the mismatch is black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Kris Deering Posted: Aug 22, 2013 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $12,000
At A Glance(br) Plus: Best contrast ratio performance ever • Hand-Picked Parts • 3D performance is catching up
Minus: Not true 4K • Loud in high lamp mode

THE VERDICT
The best contrast performance I’ve seen or measured to date and spectacular pixel focus and uniformity.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to review JVC’s spectacular DLA-X55R 3D D-ILA projector and proclaimed it “the best 2D picture I’ve seen from any projector in my room to date.” That was the truth until my personal DLA-X75R arrived shortly after. The DLA-X75R is one up in JVC’s lineup and had improved contrast performance and was actually a bit sharper. So when I was given the opportunity to review JVC’s flagship DLA-X95R I was more than happy to accept. This would give me the opportunity to see just how much improvement JVC’s hand-picked parts added to the performance. Boasting a 130,000:1 native contrast performance while supposedly maintaining the brightness of my DLA-X75R, I was more than intrigued.

Filed under
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 07, 2013 0 comments

Even by the standards of pico projectors, this thing is tiny: an actual projector of images barely larger than a crabapple.

Battery powered and with an HDMI input, it's a mighty mini...

maybe.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 28, 2013 0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,000 At A Glance: Stunning brightness • Good color and detail • Mediocre black level and contrast

While our subject here is the W1070 home theater projector from BenQ, there’s more than a little business projector DNA in its genes. How else to explain a single-chip DLP design that’s a third the size and weight of most dedicated home theater models, has built-in audio with grim but usable mono sound, is equipped with a “digital zoom” that magnifies the image within the frame set by the standard zoom control (just the thing for a close examination of that quarterly profit and loss spreadsheet), still offers an S-video input, and has a relatively close-throw lens with a significant vertical offset?

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 08, 2013 6 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,000 At A Glance: Superior 2D color and adjustability • Crisp resolution • Outstanding value

Epson is one of the world’s most prolific projector manufacturers, serving both the business and home markets. The company’s current flagship home theater model, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 6020UB, sells for $4,000. But for $2,700, you can buy the PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UB. The latter omits the spare lamp, ceiling mount, additional warranty year, and all-black case that come standard with the 6020UB.

Filed under
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 29, 2013 0 comments
Let’s cut right to it: this projector is staggeringly, amazingly, blindingly bright. It’s brighter than any projector I can remember measuring. It’s brighter than any plasma. It’s brighter than most LCD TVs I’ve reviewed. Uncalibrated, on a 102-inch, 1.0-gain screen, I got 87 footlamberts. That means, with a slightly smaller screen, or a screen with even a little gain, you could have an over 100-footlambert image from a projector.

Oh, and it’s $800...

Filed under
Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments

Let’s go over some of the numbers here: 1080p, 3D, $1,000. Pretty solid specs and pricing for flat-panel TV, except ... this is no flat-panel. BenQ’s W1070 is, as you have probably deduced, a projector. I’ve reviewed a few projectors in this price range  as exclusives for soundandvision.com and all came up rather lacking.

Kris Deering Posted: Feb 28, 2013 2 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $5,000 At A Glance: Improved 3D performance • Quasi-4K performance at a lower price • Industry-leading contrast

JVC has been Home Theater’s standard bearer for reference quality, high-value displays these past few years, with one model or another finding its way into the reference systems of several members of our reviewing staff. There are projectors out there that outperform it in one way or another, but you’d be hard pressed to find any full line that performs as consistently well overall as JVC’s. This year’s lineup doesn’t introduce a lot of new features but does offer refinements to last year’s already strong line. For this review, I looked at the newest addition, the DLA-X55R. This is the only brand-new model, occupying a middle price point of $5,000 between the $3,500 entrylevel DLA-X35 and the more feature-laden DLA-X75R at $8,000. Notably, it brings JVC’s e-shift 4K technology to a new low price point.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 14, 2013 2 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,499 At A Glance: Crisp and detailed picture • Good black levels • Thorough but com- plex calibration controls

Panasonic entered the home theater projector market in 2001. But the company already had decades of experience in the business projector world, beginning with CRTs in 1975 and later moving into its current mix of LCDs and DLPs. All of the company’s home theater designs have used LCD imaging chips, however, and the PT-AE8000U is the latest link in a long chain dating back to that 2001 model, the PT-AE100.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 06, 2013 0 comments

Winter is my favorite season, when all the past year’s new flat-panel TVs have been reviewed and I can switch my attention to projectors. This season was particularly bountiful, as I was able to score three of the best projectors on the market for review. Sony’s VPL-HW50ES, plus an Epson and a JVC, all arrived on my doorstep within a few days of one another. Not too shabby, that. Time for a roundup.

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