PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Peter Putman Posted: Apr 17, 2005 0 comments

Sharp's XV-Z2000 front DLP projector raised more than a few eyebrows when it first appeared at CEDIA Expo 2004. Was this indeed the first 1280x720 HD2+ DLP projector for less than $5000? If so, it would represent a seismic but long overdue change in DLP projector pricing, which has typically kept the MSRPs of 720p models above $7000—and, by extension, non-competitive with 720p LCD projectors that retail for half of that price or less.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 20, 2005 0 comments

With its fold-down front panel and uninspiring plastic case, the Sanyo PLV-Z3 suggests nothing so much as a large (okay, very large) clock radio. In a world where, not so very long ago, video projectors were expected to require three or four strong longshoremen to deliver and set up, the newest digital designs still generate a sense of wonder. Even now, audiophiles continue to equate size and mass with quality, and "longer, lower, wider" are still the watchwords with car enthusiasts (though it's no longer politically correct to actually say so in polite company).

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 18, 2005 0 comments
Now that's a black level.

Take a minute to look at the measurement box. Keep in mind that this is an LCD-based product. At 0.003 foot-lamberts, the VPL-HS51 is only 0.001 ft-L higher than the Yamaha DLP projector that's also in this issue. Not bad for a projector that's less than a third of the Yamaha's price. And did I mention it's an LCD? Impressive.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 18, 2005 0 comments
Beauty is on the inside.

We've reviewed several Panasonic projectors in the past few years. Their price ranges have varied slightly, but two things have remained constant: a decent picture and an ugly box.

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Edward Meredith Posted: Mar 18, 2005 0 comments
Not quite HD, but it throws up a great picture.

While plasma and LCD flat-panel TVs get all of the media attention these days as "must-have" products, they're still rather high on the dollars-per-square-foot scale. Mitsubishi's HC900 blows the glass guys out of the water in terms of visual area capability per dollar spent and shows that the transition from the boardroom-presentation-projector market to the home theater venue can have significant benefits for the savvy home-cinema shopper.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 18, 2005 0 comments
No compromises.

As a reviewer, my life is hard. I have to sit in air-conditioned rooms watching movies all day long. It's a tough job, but I labor through it just for you, our fearless reader. A bad day could be one where the product is cranky, doesn't calibrate well, or, even after a fair amount of tinkering, still only looks OK (or worse). Writing those reviews is "fun." Then there are the days when I get to sit down with a product like this one. This means day after day of coming to work, enjoying a few movies and TV, all on a display that, out of the box, looks fantastic.

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Peter Putman Posted: Jan 30, 2005 0 comments

Panasonic's PT-AE500U made waves in fall 2003 with its low price and improved color rendering over previous Panasonic LCD projectors. Plenty of them were sold, and the model made many reviewers' "Best Of" lists for the year.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 30, 2005 0 comments

Once upon a time, it was widely accepted that LCD projectors had two major weaknesses. First, in commonly available consumer models, the pixel structure could result in the infamous "screen door effect." That is, because the wiring driving each pixel had to be routed between the pixels, the pixel spacing, or pitch, was wide enough to make the pixel grid visible at close viewing distances.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 12, 2005 0 comments

As the first three-chip DLP projector to pass through my studio, the InFocus ScreenPlay 777 generated more than a little excitement. Apart from its futuristic, streamlined appearance, its size and weight—not to mention its price—immediately set it apart from the one-chip designs that have come to dominate the home-theater projection market.

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Peter Putman Posted: Jan 12, 2005 0 comments

There's an old saying: "Good things come in small packages." In our industry, however, there's often a perceived correlation between the size of an AV component (speakers, amplifiers, plasma TVs) and its level of performance. Here, the working mentality seems to be "the bigger (or pricier), the better."

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Peter Putman Posted: Jan 12, 2005 0 comments

Mitsubishi has been a market leader for some time in the business and professional world, offering a wide variety of LCD and DLP projectors. Regular readers of <I>Stereophile Ultimate AV</I> know Mitsubishi as a major player in rear-projection and plasma and LCD TVs, but probably haven't seen that name on a home-theater projector before.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 17, 2004 0 comments

I was mighty impressed by BenQ's PE8700 DLP projector, reviewed in the June 2004 UAV. Now its replacement, the PE8700+, has been launched, and it's no letdown. True, the price has gone up a couple of big ones over the PE8700's closeout price of $6000. But in compensation, the new model gives you the new Texas Instruments 16:9 DMD, the HD2+.

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Peter Putman Posted: Oct 17, 2004 0 comments

Hitachi's PJTX100 UltraVision front LCD projector replaces the short-lived Home 1, a low-cost, 964x544-pixel design that made a brief appearance earlier this year. I liked many things about the Home 1, but it suffered from very low light output&mdash;too low to be practical for most home-theater applications.

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Sep 21, 2004 0 comments

As faithful readers with good memories will recall, I reported that after checking out various DLP and LCD projectors, I settled on the Marantz VP-12S2 as providing the best overall performance, and bought one to serve as a reference in my home theater system. (See my "Take 2" of the VP-12S2 in the November 2003 issue, and the sidebar in my review of the Primare SP31.7 and A30.5 Mk.II in January 2004; see also Peter Putman's original review of the VP-12S2 in May 2003.) For the past year I've been enjoying the VP-12S2 a great deal, and whenever I saw demos of DLP or LCD projectors at shows and dealers, I felt ever so slightly smug that the picture quality I was getting at home was better.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
Quite simply, our winner.

This unassuming little projector surprised me. It's not as attractive as the Epson, it's not as compact as the BenQ, and its price is between them both. Without a doubt, though, this was our winner. Why? Well, in a word: black level. OK, so that's two words.

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