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PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Peter Putman Posted: Feb 01, 2003 0 comments

When it comes to selling front projectors into the home-theater market, JVC has always gone its own way. When other manufacturers were jumping into Digital Light Processing (DLP) and high-temperature polysilicon LCD, JVC introduced the direct-drive image light amplifier (D-ILA)—basically, a liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) imaging device. When others were adopting short-arc metal-halide and vapor lamps, JVC opted for xenon arc lamps to improve white balance.

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Peter Putman Posted: Jan 22, 2003 0 comments

Epson's entrance into the home-theater projector arena has long been anticipated. For years, Epson has had the best color-management system of any maker of LCD projectors, and their ability to tame the uneven spectral output of short-arc metal-halide lamps has been impressive.

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J. Gordon Holt Posted: Dec 11, 2002 0 comments

At 27 inches long, 77 pounds, and $7895 list, the SVP 420HB from SIM2 Multimedia is the least expensive, smallest, lightest CRT projector I've ever had in my home—although it's not exactly what I'd call portable. (Normally, my personal schlep limit is 55 pounds. One martini takes it to 65, but 77 pounds would mean a week in bed.)

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.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Oct 05, 2002 Published: Oct 06, 2002 0 comments
The Marantz VP-12S1 1,280-by-720 one-chip DLP projector is certainly a contender for the best product in its category. The new crop of high-resolution, 16:9, one-chip DLP projectors delivers significantly better picture quality than the earlier 4:3-chip designs. The VP-12S1 is extremely well built, provides superb video processing for NTSC sources, falls in the middle of the category's price range, and therefore represents a really solid value.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2002 0 comments

When a video product is arguably the best of its kind, it's hard to find the right words to describe it without blubbering. "The Next Best Thing to Being There" sounds vaguely familiar. "The Real Thing" might perk up your thirst, but doesn't quite gel. And "Must See TV" is only two-thirds right. With the Reference Imaging CinePro 9x Elite CRT projector and Teranex HDX Cinema MX video processor, we're definitely not in TV-land anymore.

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John J. Gannon Posted: Sep 02, 2002 0 comments

As the Greek mathematician Zeno stated more than 2400 years ago, traveling half the distance toward one's destination, then half of the remaining half, and so on, might mean that one never gets there. The ability to re-create visual reality on a video screen improves with each generation of whichever new technology you choose&mdash;LCD, DLP, D-ILA&mdash;but they seem to be merely continuing to halve the distance remaining from the still-unrivaled performance of the decades-old cathode-ray-tube (CRT) projector. Longtime readers might think that I sound a bit like a skipping CD, but even this late in 2002, the CRT video-projection technology continues to reign as the king of video fidelity.

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Mike Wood Posted: Aug 05, 2002 Published: Aug 06, 2002 0 comments
If you call Runco's company headquarters and get put on hold, you'll hear about Roger Ebert's love for the film and Runco products, as well as his opinion that the latter makes home theater look much like the former. As my wife and I recently watched Panic Room in a real movie theater, I couldn't help but wonder if Ebert's comment was much of an endorsement. The picture quality was good. We just realized that, among other things, film has a lousy black level. Dark scenes were dark enough, but the blackout drapes along the sides of the screen were much darker. I've often used to the black level of CRT-based home theater projectors; I've been spoiled. I wondered, if film isn't the panacea of imaging, what is?
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 28, 2002 0 comments

The Sony VPL-VW11HT LCD projector is an update of the VPL-VW10HT, reviewed in the June 2000 <I>SGHT</I>. It uses the same 16:9 LCD panel as the Grand Wega KF-60DX100, but wraps it in a compact front-projector chassis. It offers the same wide range of aspect ratios plus a few additional ones, and accepts 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i component or RGB sources, scaling them all to the panel's native resolution of 1366x768. (Unlike in the Grand Wega, 720p is not first converted to standard-definition 480p.) There are also composite and S-video inputs, but no digital input. Six user-programmable video memories store, among other things, the user's calibrated picture settings, selected color temperature, and a default aspect ratio.

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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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