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PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 14, 2002 0 comments

Imagine that General Motors or Ford or DaimlerChrysler held a patent on the internal-combustion engine, of which only one model was available to vehicle manufacturers worldwide. That's similar to the situation faced by projector manufacturers who wish to use that most wondrous of Texas Instruments technologies, Digital Light Processing (DLP), which packs more than a million micromirrors onto a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) chip approximately the size of a 35mm slide. (If you're unfamiliar with DMD, be sure to read "From Cathode Ray to Digital Micromirror: A History of Electronic Projection Display," at <A HREF="http://www.dlp.com/dlp/resources/whitepapers/pdf/titj03.pdf">www.dlp.com....)

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Steven Stone Posted: Jun 18, 2002 0 comments

DLP projectors are the future. Of course, Sony and Philips said the same thing about the compact disc in 1983. When I heard my first CD player, the Sony CDP-101, I lasted 15 seconds before I left the room&mdash;it sounded that horrible. The first Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector I laid eyes on fared much better. I watched it for a full five minutes before I fled, blinded by the "rainbow effect."

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jun 11, 2002 Published: Jun 12, 2002 0 comments
�SIM2 enters the one-chip-DLP arena.

SIM2 is a large Italian projector manufacturer that has been making inroads into the U.S. video market for the last several years. The company is squarely behind DLP technology and has introduced a high-resolution 1,280-by-720 one-chip DLP projector as the most recent addition to their Grand Cinema line. The HT300 is one of only a few of these new one-chip wonders on the market and is the most attractive DLP projector currently available, with a design that reflects all of the heritage and flair of its Italian creators. It's housed in an attractive dark-gray case with a metallic high-gloss finish called gunmetal gray, which is the only color this handsome projector comes in. The HT300 is extremely compact, measuring 13.7 by 7.2 by 12.5 inches (L/H/D) and weighing a mere 12.1 pounds.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 03, 2002 0 comments

Until recently, the beer-budget options available for equipping a home theater with a projection system were severely limited. You either bought used or you settled for a projector designed primarily to serve the business market. Both approaches saved money, but neither was ideal. You can luck out buying used gear&mdash;a car holds its value far longer than a video projector&mdash;but you can also get burned. A business projector can perform reasonably well at home, but it won't be optimized for home applications and often lacks important features, such as full control of aspect ratio.

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Kevin Miller Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
A new player in the home theater arena.

In the past few years, DLP technology has come a long way in terms of both picture quality and affordability. Not long ago, an entry-level one-chip 800-by-600 projector cost about $10,000. With the advent of the higher-resolution (1,024 by 768 and now 1,280 by 720) one-chip projectors, the front-projection world has become accessible to many more people. As the technology is rapidly becoming one of the hottest of the new fixed-pixel-display alternatives for both rear- and front-projection applications, new companies are constantly joining the DLP fold. InFocus—a company that, until now, concentrated solely on the professional business market—has entered the home market. The company's first offering is the ScreenPlay 110, a dual-mode one-chip DLP front projector with a resolution of 800 by 600 in the 4:3 mode and 853 by 480 in the enhanced-widescreen or anamorphic mode.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 10, 2002 0 comments

You want to believe. I want to believe. We all want to believe that, some day, a tiny chip the size of a 35mm transparency in a video-display device the size and weight of a slide projector will be capable of producing a moving video image so exquisitely filmlike that it will banish bulky, expensive, tweaky CRT projectors to the trash heap of technological history.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 17, 2002 0 comments

When Madrigal Audio Labs decided to get into the video-projector business, it was no surprise that they aimed right for the top. With its Mark Levinson, Proceed, and Revel lines, Madrigal is not exactly known for budget products, and the MP-9 makes an immediate statement that the company is as serious about high-end video as it is about high-end audio. Not so incidentally, the addition of a video line, Madrigal Imaging, now makes Madrigal dealers one-stop shops for state-of-the-art home theater.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jan 03, 2002 Published: Jan 04, 2002 0 comments
Welcome to a new era of DLP performance.

In terms of video performance, DLP-projection technology for home theater applications has just taken a major leap forward. Sharp's new XV-Z9000U is the first DLP projector based on Texas Instruments' new native 16:9, 1,280-by-720-resolution chip. This projector promises to radically change the front-projector market, as it offers unprecedented picture quality in its product category at a very reasonable price. At a list price of $10,995, the XV-Z9000U comes close to delivering the same picture quality as 7- and 8-inch CRT-based front projectors that range in price from $15,000 to $30,000. The XV-Z9000U is one of those rare products in the home theater industry that elevates its category to a performance level that many of us previously thought was unachievable.

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Mike Wood Posted: Dec 29, 2001 Published: Dec 30, 2001 0 comments
The Piano HE-3100 DLP projector is such a bargain, you can add fries and a Coke.

Let's face it. Cheeseburgers, at least to low-income-bracket electronics reviewers, are one of three perfect foods (pizza and beer being the other two). So, I greatly anticipated tasting southwest-U.S.-based fast-food chain Carl's Jr.'s Six-Dollar Burger . . . for $3.95. Supposedly, we can now have the same-quality burger normally found at Chili's or T.G.I. Friday's or wherever, but for less money. It was with much the same anticipation that I looked upon PLUS Corporation's announcement that they would market a $3,000 DLP projector, dubbed the Piano. Since most home-theater-based DLP projectors, like the ones in our recent Face Off (October 2001), cost around $10,000, $3,000 seemed like a pretty tasty deal.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 14, 2001 0 comments

For years, the only game in town for those wanting a home-theater video projector was the cathode-ray tube, or CRT. Many buyers are put off by the bulky size, setup sensitivity, need for constant tweaking, and limited brightness of these devices, but there's no denying that, when combined with a screen of sensible size for the typical living room, a CRT provided overall home-theater performance second to none.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 28, 2001 Published: Mar 01, 2001 0 comments
Better than I pixelled it.

The first step in overcoming any problem is admitting that you have one, so I'll admit that I don't normally like LCD projectors. There's no point in hiding the fact—it was bound to come out. Of course, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm prejudiced against an entire class of display devices. This is America, after all, where products should be judged on merit and not the composition of their pixels. But, you know, they're fine for other people. It's just not the kind of projector I'd have in my living room . . . . So, I was fully prepared not to like Sharp's XV-DW100U LCD projector. Sure, it can accept input signals from an analog NTSC tuner all the way up to 720p and 1080i from an outboard DTV tuner. So what if it easily connects to your computer, too? All right, it is amazingly easy to set up. OK, it works as a front or rear, floor or ceiling projector. I'll even give you the fact that it's a blast to watch. But, hey, it's still an LCD projector, remember?

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Mike Wood Posted: Jan 18, 2001 Published: Jan 19, 2001 0 comments
"It's not dead yet! In fact, it looks like it's going for a walk."

Monty Python's take on the plague in the Middle Ages could just as easily be applied to the CRT-based front-projector market. Pundits have long proclaimed that CRT technology, at least 30 to 40 years old and an admitted setup and maintenance hassle, is dead, or at least in its last years of life. Upstarts like DLP and D-ILA and adolescents like LCD are ready to take CRT's place in the front-projector market. Then, as other consumer-projector manufacturers close their doors, a new CRT company pops up.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 29, 2000 0 comments

Audio considerations seem to be the top priority of most home-theater enthusiasts. But once you reach a certain plateau of sound quality you begin to take a good look at your video display, and most of us end up wanting a separate projector and screen for that real movie experience. At <I>SGHT</I>, we've reviewed some of the most exotic video-display products on the planet. But when the daydreaming stops, we realize that these projectors are the video equivalents of Ferraris. As much fun as they are to write and (we hope) read about, only a few lucky readers will ever park them in their homes.

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John J. Gannon Posted: Nov 29, 2000 0 comments

Ever since the days of David and Goliath, the world has rooted for the little guy. In the underdog we invest our imagination and our collective hope: we want him to win&mdash;or at least put up a good fight. And every once in a while, the little dog gets to choose weapons that can skew the results in his favor. Such is the case with the newest entry in the residential CRT market, the Theater Automation Wow HD-800 CRT projector.

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Mike Wood Posted: Oct 28, 2000 Published: Oct 29, 2000 0 comments
We've often said that a projector is only as good as the processor that feeds it. The most expensive projector on the planet won't save your picture from a bad video processor. Until now, most people bought projectors and processors like dim sum: à la carte or piece by piece. With few exceptions, they would buy a projector from one company and a processor from another. Runco is looking to change all that by tailoring their processors to work with specific display devices so that you can get the most out of both.

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