Shootout: Three 1080p Front Projectors Page 8

Test Benches

Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080
GRAYSCALE (Before/After Calibration): 30 IRE: 6,350/6,564 K 40 IRE: 6,541/6,518 K 50 IRE: 6,348/6,572 K 60 IRE: 6,416/6,580 K 70 IRE: 6,336/6,588 K 80 IRE: 6,329/6,588 K 90 IRE: 6,328/6,597 K 100 IRE: 6,469/6,698 K BRIGHTNESS (100 IRE, Before/After): 14.2/12 ftL
Panasonic PT-AE1000U
GRAYSCALE (Before/After Calibration): 30 IRE: 6,068/6,574 K 40 IRE: 5,760/6,343 K 50 IRE: 6,163/6,393 K 60 IRE: 6,365/6,400 K 70 IRE: 6,321/6,407 K 80 IRE: 6,500/6,546 K 90 IRE: 6,766/6,577 K 100 IRE: 6,814/6,742 K BRIGHTNESS (100 IRE, Before/After): 17/12.5 ftL
Sharp XV-Z20000
GRAYSCALE (Before/After Calibration): 30 IRE: 6,719/6,534 K 40 IRE: 6,686/6,679 K 50 IRE: 6,474/6,746 K 60 IRE: 6,614/6,622 K 70 IRE: 6,557/6,661 K 80 IRE: 6,645/6,643 K 90 IRE: 6,644/6,689 K 100 IRE: 6,493/7,386 K BRIGHTNESS (100 IRE, Before/After): 11.9/11.6 ftL
Front projectors offering full 1080p resolution may be a relatively new category, but prices for these models have been shrinking at an amazing rate. If you're seeking a true 1080p bargain for your DIY home theater, the Panasonic PT-AE1000U's natural color reproduction, deep blacks (with Auto Iris on), and flexible setup features make it one of the best home theater values around.

On the other hand, if you're working with a custom installer, inquire about the Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080. Its picture quality is as compelling as the Panasonic's, and its HDMI 1.3 connection means you'll be ready for the future.

The Sharp's 10-grand price tag puts it in another league altogether, but the XV-Z20000 really does deliver something special. Its ability to show both deep blacks and fully fleshed-out shadow details is bound to satisfy the fussiest videophiles, and its exceptionally crisp, clear image stands up to that of any front projector I've ever tested, period.

If you're ready to step up to a true bigscreen experience, any one of these projectors can deliver the 1080p goods. Their costs may vary, but for film fanatics, viewing movies at home under these conditions will be a priceless experience.

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