Test Bench: Eight Budget HDTV Projectors

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We conducted all viewings and tests in a completely darkened studio on an 80-inch wide Stewart GrayHawk screen with the projectors floor-mounted. Color temperature and brightness before calibration were measured using the most home-theater-friendly picture mode on each projector. We obtained post-calibration numbers after adjusting the user-menu color temperature controls and equalizing the light output of each projector to as close to 12 foot-lamberts (fL) as possible while still maintaining optimal black level.

Except where noted, we used the digital (HDMI or DVI) input with sources set to 720p resolution. Contrast ratio was measured after calibration using a checkerboard pattern. We used a signal generator and DVDs to check primary color accuracy, color decoding, resolution, edge enhancement, uniformity, black-level retention, and overscan. Standard-definition video processing was evaluated with the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD. Test hardware included a Denon DVD-5910 DVD player, a Sencore VP403 signal generator, a Dish Network DVR-942 satellite HD receiver, and component-video and HDMI distribution amplifiers.

Included Test Benches: BenQ PE7700 | Hitachi HDPJ52 InFocus Play Big IN76 | Mitsubishi HC3000U Optoma HD72 | Panisonic AE900U Samsung SP-H710AE | Sharp XV-Z3000