PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Kris Deering Posted: Dec 08, 2008 0 comments
Price: $15,000 (short throw), $18,000 (long throw) At A Glance: Exceptional shadow detail • Razor-sharp picture • Excellent optics • A few tweaks would be welcome

DLP’s Crowning Achievement

The Marantz VP-11S1 was one of the first 1080p projectors I had the opportunity to review. It served as my reference projector for quite a while and is still one of the best 1080p projectors I’ve seen. Since the VP-11S1’s release, Marantz has brought two more 1080p offerings to the table, the VP-15S1, which offers stunning performance at a more affordable price point, and now, the flagship VP-11S2.

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Kris Deering Posted: Oct 20, 2008 0 comments
Price: $7,999 Highlights: Excellent HD video processing • Impressive calibration options and color management • Middling dynamic-iris implementation • Inconvenient onscreen menus for calibration.

BenQ’s New Flagship Arrives

I had the chance to review and live with BenQ’s spectacular 1080p DLP projector, the W10000. I became a big fan of that design. It was sharp, provided excellent contrast, and the design was quiet and simple to use. I still consider it to be one of the most underrated 1080p values on the market today. I was excited when I saw that BenQ was quietly showing its follow-up, the W20000, at the 2007 CEDIA Expo. BenQ said it would include some significant improvements, such as a new menu system, a dynamic iris, and a video processor from Silicon Optix. The W20000 has now arrived.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 16, 2008 0 comments
Samsung has an unusual history with high-definition video projectors. Its most recent 720p DLP model, designed in consultation with video expert Joe Kane, was superb, even standard-setting in many important respects. But dealers were rare, and worse, the projectors arrived on the market just as comparably priced 1080p models were becoming available. They ultimately sold out to lucky buyers at bargain prices.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 21, 2008 0 comments
As with many projector manufacturers, Epson's product line is heavily oriented toward business applications. In that respect, the company is consistently at or near the top in worldwide sales. But Epson also occupies a significant and growing share of the home-theater market.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 23, 2008 0 comments
DLP goes dynamic.

Planar is a relatively new name in the home theater market, but it is by no means a new company. The Oregon-based manufacturer has been around for over 20 years and has deep roots in the imaging industry, with a long history of flat panels and commercial displays. Last May, Planar made a big investment in the home theater industry in acquiring Runco International, one of the leaders in high-end home theater displays.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 06, 2008 0 comments
Although Planar has a significant presence in the video-display business, it's relatively new to the home-theater market. The company first popped up a couple of years ago at a major trade show with some intriguing prototypes. Since then, it has expanded its home-theater resume by acquiring Runco and Vidikron, and all three brands maintain their separate identities under the Planar umbrella.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments
When you think of Panasonic video displays, you probably think of plasmas, and rightly so—it makes some of the best in the business. But the company also has a relatively long tradition of making LCD projectors. The PT-AE2000U is Panasonic's latest model with 1920x1080 resolution. It has features galore and produces a fine picture overall, though not without a few minor caveats.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 12, 2008 0 comments
What can JVC do to top one of the best bargains in the 1920x1080 home-projector market, the widely praised DLA-HD1? Priced just a bit over $6000 at its introduction, the HD1 set a new bar for black levels from a home projector—make that from any video projector—and it had no obvious weaknesses in any other area.
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Adrienne Maxwell Posted: May 04, 2008 0 comments
A new crop of entry-level projectors makes big-screen 1080p more affordable than ever.

There’s been a lot of fuss over the rapid drop in price of big-screen flat panels, but that ain’t nothing compared with the free-falling MSRPs you’ll find over in the 1080p projection realm. Two years ago, the going rate for one of the first 1080p projectors was about $10,000. Last year, we saw a number of high-quality offerings around the $5,000 mark. This year, companies like Optoma, Sanyo, and Mitsubishi have released 1080p projectors priced under $4,000. These entry-level models feature a nice complement of advanced image-adjustment options and all of the desired video inputs: HDMI 1.3, PC, and component video. But the important question is, how does their performance measure up with pricier competition? You’ll have to read on to find out.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 18, 2008 0 comments
A chip off the old block?

Panasonic has been making pro video projectors for years, but its first home theater projector to catch my eye was the PT-AE700U. Both that model and its follow-up, the PT-AE900U, were competent 720p LCD designs in deceptively small, businesslike black boxes that offered good value for the money.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 02, 2008 Published: Apr 02, 2008 0 comments
The power of contrast.

In the quest for deeper blacks and ever better contrast-ratio specs, dynamic irises that close down and open up the projector's light output automatically depending on the program material are all the rage. But there's no free lunch here. While the best auto-iris designs deepen blacks and increase contrast and are invisible in operation, there are inevitable issues with the varying black levels and brightness compression involved in this sleight of hand.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 03, 2008 0 comments

When it was introduced at the 2006 CEDIA Expo, Sony's VPL-VW50 redefined the entire front-projector price structure. Of course, a few other manufacturers were ready with their own new projector announcements at that show, but the VW50—which came to be widely known as the "Pearl" after the company's code name for the project—generated the most buzz.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 21, 2008 0 comments

It is a great time to be a home theater enthusiast. Sure, the format war between rivals HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc has been distracting. But the price of 1080p projectors has fallen from the stratosphere to price levels many can actually afford. Prices of 1080p projectors are now below the $3,000 mark, and we're not talking stripped down bargain units or last year's closeouts either.

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Posted: Dec 26, 2007 0 comments

<A HREF="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/506marantzvp11s1/">Marantz' VP-11S1</A> was the first 1080p DLP front projector I reviewed, and while many less expensive 1080p projectors have come through the doors since then, none has matched that projector's all around performance. I liked it so well I put my money where my mouth was, buying it to use as my reference projector for some time.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 17, 2007 0 comments

No one imagined two years ago that the cost of acquiring a high quality 1080p projector would drop to the levels many of them sell for today&mdash;levels, it could be argued, that were driven by Sony's own extremely competitive pricing, especially on the $5K <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1106sonypearl/">VPL-VW50</A> "Pearl.".

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