PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 21, 2016 1 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $14,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Native 4K imaging chips
HDR10 compatible
Minus
Lacks full HDMI v2.0a capabilities
Less than perfect focus uniformity
Careful setup needed for best results

THE VERDICT
Sony’s mid-cycle refresh of the VPL-VW600ES offers decent bumps in dynamic contrast, brightness, and features. While it still lacks some key future-proofing and has a few niggling issues, its compelling native 4K imagery is some of the best we’ve seen from front projectors on the market today.

Here we are now a full four years beyond Sony’s debut of the VPL-VW1000ES, the first consumer-level native 4K projector. And yet the bounty of 4K content that was promised at that time is really now just coming to fruition with an assortment of streaming options and a new Blu-ray format springing forth. In late 2015, Sony did what I’d call a mid-cycle refresh on one of our previous Top Picks, the VPL-VW600ES (May 2014; review at soundandvision.com), adding a few new features like HDR capabilities and improved contrast and brightness. But is the VPL-VW665ES the projector to buy as we head into the land of Ultra HD and all its promises?

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 27, 2012 4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $7,999 At A Glance: Outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy • Whisper quiet • Punchy 3D images

The performance we’ve been seeing from the projector world as of late has just been astounding. Sony has been right there at the top of the heap, too, earning our Top Pick for the last three projectors we’ve reviewed. The company continues to push new boundaries with its recently reviewed flagship 4K projector, the VPL-VW1000ES, and price/performance boundaries with its superb VPL-HW30ES. Last year Tom Norton was pleased as punch with Sony’s first 3D projector, the VPL-VW90ES, and I’ve been lucky enough to follow it up with its latest high-end effort, the VPL-VW95ES. Sony claims improvements in 3D performance and value. With a price point that falls $2,000 less than last year’s model, the company’s definitely made good on the value part. But can a lower-priced high-end model really outperform last year’s Top Pick? Let’s find out.

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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.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 19, 2012 0 comments

This is my second time writing this review. I don’t mean that I tweaked and changed it a lot and that this is a second draft. I mean I had to completely rewrite it. No computer error: I simply found something so bizarre, so transformative about Epson’s Home Cinema 5010 projector that it radically changed my opinion of it. So much so that I had to start over completely.

And I almost missed it.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 05, 2012 0 comments

If there’s a sweet spot for home projector prices right now, it would be $3,000 to $3,500. Over the past few months, we’ve reviewed excellent projectors in that range from Epson and Sony, and promising, similarly priced offerings are also available from JVC and other manufacturers.

Once an LCD projector staple, Mitsubishi made the switch to DLP a few years ago. On paper, its HC7800D ticks all the right boxes: 3D-capable, full-glass lens, and all the other bells and whistles.

But that’s just on paper. So we figured we’d test it for real, right here... on paper. Eh, you get my meaning. Behold, the HC7800D!

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 30, 2011 0 comments

There are two ways to look at the rapidly decreasing price point of 3D HD projectors. The first way: Manufacturers are racing one another to the bottom by finding ways to make 3D cheaper and cheaper. The second, more accurate way: 3D is just a new feature (though one marketed to within an inch of its life) found on cheaper and cheaper products, just as 1080p resolution was a few years ago.

Looked at through those eyes, the Sony VPLHW30ES is less a “new 3D projector” and more a continuation of a long line of excellent SXRD models from Sony that now just happen to also do 3D. Plus, it’s a fantastic value.

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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—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.

John J. Gannon Posted: Oct 24, 2002 0 comments

In the November 2000 <I>SGHT</I> I reviewed the HD800, an 8-inch CRT video projector from a Florida Internet startup called Theater Automation Wow!, or TAW. Phil Tuttobene and his crew promised then to "change the way America buys home theater." Since then we've seen the term Internet startup lose more than its sparkle, but TAW is still shining. They've succeeded in a tough marketplace&mdash;a high percentage of new companies fail in their first year of operation&mdash;but that same market has changed the way they do business. At first, TAW sold products directly to consumers; now, they work through a traditional dealer network, with 43 U.S. dealers. Not a bad start in less than 24 months.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: May 15, 2006 0 comments
Where there's a will, there's a way.

Say your Great-Aunt Edna died and left you $10,000 or so in her will with the stipulation that you had to spend it on a home theater system (that's why she always was your favorite great-aunt). You and I could while away the better part of an evening arguing the particulars of what gear to buy—and especially how the money should be divided between the audio and video parts of the system.

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Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Apr 10, 2007 Published: Mar 11, 2007 0 comments
Keeping up with the Joneses.

It is not too surprising that ViewSonic has decided to make a push into the home theater projection market. The company has a healthy lineup of business projectors and has watched other projector manufacturers successfully transition over to the HT side. But is anyone else surprised that a company known primarily for LCD TVs and monitors would go with DLP for their new line of home theater projectors? Maybe it's just me.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 18, 2007 0 comments
  • $1,999 (est. street price)
  • 1280x768 single-chip DLP
  • Key Connections: One HDMI input
Features We Like: Faroudja processing
Al Griffin Posted: Aug 17, 2016 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $890

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive brightness
Clean, detailed picture
Good overall 3D performance
Minus
So-so contrast
Relatively high fan noise

THE VERDICT
ViewSonic’s low-budget Pro7827HD home theater projector has its compromises but delivers impressive performance for the price.

When you consider the benefits of buying a 1080p projector, the main one that should come to mind is price. There are a few native 4K models, including ones with high dynamic range capability, but they still remain costly, with the cheapest being Sony’s VPL-VW350ES at $8,000. Even those that accept 4K signals and deliver a faux 4K picture, such as JVC’s e-shift models, remain in the several thousand dollar range. Survey the plain ol’ 1080p field, on the other hand, and you’ll find plenty of bargains, including ViewSonic’s LightStream Pro7827HD DLP projector, with a list price of $890 and an online street price of just $799.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 04, 2012 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,499 At A Glance: Poor blacks & shadow detail • Good color • Good detail with 1080p content • Very limited placement options

In my ongoing quest for low-cost projectors that perform well, I came across the H1085 from Vivitek. Unlike most such projectors, this one is available only through custom installers. How does it perform? Let's find out.

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Shane Buettner Posted: May 25, 2010 0 comments
Price: $15,000 At A Glance: LEDs promise longevity, consistent performance • Excellent color • Good contrast mitigated by unrefined dynamic contrast performance

Get the LED In

The last few years have been a golden age for digital front projection in home theater applications. Today’s best projectors offer an absolutely stellar combination of price, convenience, essential features, and most importantly, performance. In virtually all of these respects, today’s digital projectors shatter any expectations we had a few years ago. But there is a rub. Digital projection as we’ve known it has been driven by analog lamps for illumination. These lamps, which generally cost $300 to $500 each, age and need to be replaced every couple of thousand hours. If you insist on the very best performanceyou may need to replace them even sooner. In addition to dropping light output, aging lamps also affect a projector’s color performance, gammaand gray-scale tracking. Inother words, the lamp-driven projector you buy today isn’t the same projector you’ll have after several hundred hours without a touch-up calibration.

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