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PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 03, 2007 0 comments
If projector manufacturers want to compete even in a small way with the flat panels that often go out the door for under $3,000, they need a cost leader—and a full 1080p design—that can slug it out in the trenches. Optoma knows this, and its new HD80 single-chip DLP design, at $2,699 (with a current replacement lamp cost of $349), slides comfortably into this niche.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 15, 2007 0 comments
Mid 1080p take II.

Not too long ago (June 2007), we checked out this projector's predecessor. In a roundup and the Mitsubishi HC5000, we chose the JVC as the hands-down winner for picture quality, but that wasn't the whole story. The VPL-VW50 was a close second, and one participant even picked it as a favorite, finding it quieter and easier to live with than the JVC. Now, a scant seven months later, the projector landscape has changed a bit. The new Mitsubishi is down to $4,000, and the new DLA-HD100 from JVC rose up to around $8,000, leaving the new Sony all alone at the same price ($4,999) its predecessor was last year.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 15, 2007 0 comments

The prices on front projectors might not be dropping quite as fast as those on flat panel displays, but they are definitely coming down. And while much of the action is concentrated in the $5,000-$10,000 range, that's still a load of cash for most of us. If projector manufacturers want to compete even in a small way with the flat panels that often go out the door for under $3,000, they need a cost leader—and a full 1080p design—that can slug it out in the trenches.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2007 0 comments

It's been a couple of years since we last tested an InFocus projector. When Fred Manteghian reviewed the $7,000, 720p <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/905infocus/">ScreenPlay 7210</A> back in September 2005 there was a lot less competition in the front projector market, and InFocus was a major player. It's still a respected name, with a long history in business and home projectors. But the playing field has not only become a lot more crowded, the name of the game has changed to 1080p. Not just 1080p, but 1080p at what would have been seen as impossibly low prices two years ago.

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John Higgins Posted: Jul 17, 2007 Published: Jul 18, 2007 0 comments
Projected 1080p for the masses has arrived.

Since 1080p became the buzzword of the year, most projectors that supposedly employ the technology have been more expensive than those that don't. The inflated price hasn't guaranteed that the projector would actually accept 1080p, just that it possibly deinterlaces a 1080i signal. This is changing; most expensive projectors now accept the signal, but only recently has the price started to drop and reach more people's spending range.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 30, 2007 0 comments
Out with the Cineza. In with the BRAVIA.

Until recently, Sony's popular LCD video projectors carried the Cineza brand name. Apart from the fact that I always wanted to say, "bless you" whenever someone said Cineza, it was perfectly fine name. But Sony has now extended the "BRAVIA" moniker, once used to designate only its flat panel displays, across its line of displays.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 21, 2007 0 comments
JVC, Mitsubishi, and Sony square off.

I admit it; I am an unreserved fan of projectors. I've had one as my sole display since my 38-inch RCA CRT blew up four years ago. There is nothing like watching life-size (or larger than life-size) characters on a 110-inch screen. Now, that is engaging. I don't understand why everyone doesn't have a projector. Guests to my gloomy, cavelike abode could probably offer logical rationales. But come on: Look at the size of Adama's head!

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Posted: Jun 10, 2007 Published: Jun 11, 2007 0 comments

Watching three-chip 1080p front projection become something of a commodity is just weird. The inexorable march of progress has made this inevitable, of course. While I've been at the home theater game long enough to go into cautionary tale about how many tens of thousands of dollars even decent front projection used to cost back in the day, I'm only going back three years to put this thing in perspective.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2007 0 comments

I've had a soft spot for BenQ projectors since I reviewed its <A HREF=" http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/604benq/ ">PE8700</A> back in 2004. It was the first DLP projector that I felt truly demonstrated the potential of the technology to dominate the video projector market. While DLP has since faced serious competition from LCD and LCoS in both performance and price, it still does more than hold its own.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 15, 2007 Published: Mar 26, 2007 0 comments
What 1080p was made for.

Despite my, and others', repeated assurances that you don't need 1080p on a 42-inch display, that seems to be what people keep concentrating on. Such resolution is wasted on a small screen (unless you're sitting on it). But, in this "mine has more resolution than yours" world, I guess such competitive behavior is inevitable. So, what about the displays that can take advantage of 1080p? Sure, depending on where you're sitting, an RPTV can do so. But, with all the concessions to price, brightness, and market competition, you still won't be getting everything out of the signal. There are a few flat panels that would work. In a size that would let you see 1080p from any distance, though, you'd be looking at the price of a good Mercedes. So, that leaves front projection.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 25, 2007 0 comments

The introduction of a 1080p projector for less than $5,000 would have been big news early last year. While that field is now getting increasingly crowded, with projectors from Sony, Mitsubishi, and JVC muscling in on the action, it's still big news&mdash;news that now includes the new PT-AE1000U from Panasonic.

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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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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 09, 2007 0 comments

In the past few months we've seen a revolution in the video projection business. A revolution no one expected. The prices of home theater front projectors have been dropping nearly as fast as flat panel displays.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 16, 2007 0 comments
  • $6,300
  • 1920x1080 three-chip D-ILA
  • Key Connections: Dual HDMI inputs, one component inputs, one RS-232
Features We Like: Accepts 1080p/24 and 1080p/60 signals (displays at 60fps in either case), new imaging chips and improved light engine obtain deeper blacks and better contrast without a dynamic iris
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Posted: Jan 28, 2007 0 comments

CEDIA 2006 was something of a riches to rags story. We saw many three-chip 1080p DLP projectors announced at prices that were ridiculous and embarrassing, stretching into the many tens of thousands of dollars. And they were introduced with straight faces. Granted, these are high light output designs that can drive enormous screens. But I didn't find these many of these designs particularly interesting. Too many recently announced projectors appear to be aimed at the ultra-wealthy sliver of the market, and don't back up their high prices by offering technical innovation that can't be found in more reasonably priced models. About the only things these announcements did was to make the $15-20K single-chip DLPs seem like they aren't quite as hideously over priced!

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