Projector Reviews

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Geoffrey Morrison  |  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  |  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.

John J. Gannon  |  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  |  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.

Al Griffin  |  Aug 05, 2020  |  4 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Easy installation and setup
Built-in soundbar
Plentiful connectivity
Minus
Limited picture setup options
Limited brightness and contrast
App store lacks popular apps

THE VERDICT
Vava's 4K ultra short throw laser projector provides a simple solution for getting a large image plus sound in your living room, but requires a specific screen for best performance.

Vava's VA-LT002 4K Laser DLP projector is the first product of its kind to arrive from a company that offers a range of lifestyle-type electronics such as camera/DVRs for your car's dashboard and baby monitors to check on junior. At the 2020 CES, the VA-LT002, an ultra short throw model with built-in streaming apps and a 60-watt Harman Kardon stereo audio system, was the centerpiece of the company's suite. Paired with a 100-inch projection screen and playing 4K nature footage, I found the image it beamed absorbing—enough so that I was able to focus and block out an overexcited YouTube tech personality in the room recording a segment.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  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.

Adrienne Maxwell  |  Apr 10, 2007  |  First 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.

Shane Buettner  |  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  |  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.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 22, 2020  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Portable
Auto-focus feature
Good-quality built-in audio
Minus
Below-average contrast
Poor HDR performance
Somewhat pricey

THE VERDICT
ViewSonic's X10-4KE is a cool- looking portable projector that delivers underwhelming performance given its $1,500 price tag.

The portable video projector market is packed with options for anyone seeking a convenient, compact beamer to carry from room to room, indoors to outdoors, or home to vacation home. Most portable models top out at 1080p resolution, however, and feature only basic, and usually far from adequate, built-in audio capabilities. With its X10-4KE, ViewSonic is targeting a more discerning portable video viewer—one who expects 4K resolution and high dynamic range, along with better-than-average audio from the projector's built-in speakers.

Scott Wilkinson  |  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.

Shane Buettner  |  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.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Feb 06, 2013  |  0 comments

Winter is my favorite season, when all the past year’s new flat-panel TVs have been reviewed and I can switch my attention to projectors. This season was particularly bountiful, as I was able to score three of the best projectors on the market for review. Sony’s VPL-HW50ES, plus an Epson and a JVC, all arrived on my doorstep within a few days of one another. Not too shabby, that. Time for a roundup.

Al Griffin  |  Sep 29, 2021  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,699

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright, detailed 4K image
Excellent auto-setup features
Potent built-in audio system
LED lamp provides 25,000 hours use
Minus
Limited contrast ratio
Non-backlit remote control
Picture adjustments reset to default after unplugging

THE VERDICT
XGMI's pricey portable delivers crisp, bright 4K images along with auto-setup features that make it incredibly easy to get up and running.

Even as TVs grow ever-larger, the projector category continues to be an active one, with more recent designs like ultra short throw models giving viewers an alternative to room-dominating hang- from-ceiling setups. And while we here at Sound & Vision typically advocate for high-performance, and accordingly high-priced, options, the reality is that much of the action in the global projector scene involves affordable lower- end models, many from brands you may have not heard of before.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 14, 2001  |  0 comments

For years, the only game in town for those wanting a home-theater video projector was the cathode-ray tube, or CRT. Many buyers are put off by the bulky size, setup sensitivity, need for constant tweaking, and limited brightness of these devices, but there's no denying that, when combined with a screen of sensible size for the typical living room, a CRT provided overall home-theater performance second to none.

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