Projector Reviews

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Shane Buettner  |  May 04, 2011  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $7,995 At A Glance: State-of-the-art blacks and contrast • Reference-quality 2D and 3D performance • Painful setup and calibration to achieve best performance

The Agony and the Ecstasy

JVC’s projectors have been fixtures in HT’s Top Picks in recent years. This year, the anticipation of getting our hands on JVC’s newest projectors was even more acute. Not only has the line been completely redesigned for the first time in a couple of years, this is JVC’s first series of 3D projectors. The $7,995 DLA-X7 reviewed here is the middle child, between the $4,495 DLA-X3 (reviewed by Kris Deering on page 58) and the $11,995 flagship DLA-X9, which is essentially a DLA-X7 with hand-picked parts and 3D paraphernalia—two pair of active shutter glasses and a 3D sync transmitter—included. The DLA-X7 is THX approved for 2D and 3D. It carries over virtually all of the significant features from last year’s JVC models, while adding 3D capability. If you don’t believe I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this projector, check with JVC. Their corporate communications guru suffered an incessant onslaught of phone and voicemail messages through the holidays until the DLA-X7 was safely on my doorstep.

Kris Deering  |  Apr 23, 2014  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $8,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Raises the bar for contrast
Excellent dynamic iris
performance
Minus
HDMI slow to lock on to signals

THE VERDICT
With the introduction of its first dynamic iris system, JVC has set a new standard for black level and contrast.

My dad worked on helicopters when I was growing up. In our garage was a picture of the latest Army Chinook, with the tag line “Only the Silhouette Remains the Same.” When I started my review of the DLA-X700R, JVC’s latest 3D LCOS projector, that phrase came back to mind. The projector looks exactly like my reference DLA-X75R—but on the inside, almost everything is new. After about a month of extensive use, I’ve discovered that JVC has achieved a massive step up in performance, making their new line of projectors the best they’ve delivered yet.

Tom Norton  |  Dec 21, 2017  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $6,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Standard-setting blacks
Impressive HDR
Solid color and resolution
Minus
Complex setup menus
Some black crush

THE VERDICT
It may not have true native 4K imaging chips, but the JVC DLA-X790R shouldn’t be overlooked by those upgrading a projection system or looking for their first projector. It’s a knockout.

One of the key features of the Ultra HD format is 4K resolution. But to date, the catalog of true native 4K home theater projectors — those with imaging chips featuring a minimum of 3840 x 2160 pixels without relying on any pixel-shifting tricks — is pretty thin. JVC has the laser-lit DLA-RS4500K at $35,000, and Sony has its own premium models above $10,000. But if you're looking for something priced more affordably, you’re currently limited to Sony’s new VPL-VW285ES ($5,000) and VPL-VW385ES ($8,000).

Kris Deering  |  Aug 22, 2013  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $12,000
At A Glance(br) Plus: Best contrast ratio performance ever • Hand-Picked Parts • 3D performance is catching up
Minus: Not true 4K • Loud in high lamp mode

THE VERDICT
The best contrast performance I’ve seen or measured to date and spectacular pixel focus and uniformity.

Earlier this year, I had the chance to review JVC’s spectacular DLA-X55R 3D D-ILA projector and proclaimed it “the best 2D picture I’ve seen from any projector in my room to date.” That was the truth until my personal DLA-X75R arrived shortly after. The DLA-X75R is one up in JVC’s lineup and had improved contrast performance and was actually a bit sharper. So when I was given the opportunity to review JVC’s flagship DLA-X95R I was more than happy to accept. This would give me the opportunity to see just how much improvement JVC’s hand-picked parts added to the performance. Boasting a 130,000:1 native contrast performance while supposedly maintaining the brightness of my DLA-X75R, I was more than intrigued.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 19, 2012  |  3 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $8,000 At A Glance: Superb black level and shadow detail • Accurate 2D color • Complete but complex features

JVC has a problem—a problem more projector manufacturers wish they had. When the company launched its relatively affordable DLA-RS1 LCOS projector several years ago, it created a sensation. Every model year since then brought new updates. Expectations rose, and prior to every CEDIA (the September trade show that is the traditional launching pad for new home theater projectors), we’ve wondered what JVC would next bring to its lineup. The cosmetics have changed several times, but more importantly, a basic run of slow but steady improvements has continued. It has even inspired other projector manufacturers to up their game, and the increased value available to the consumer across the market in general has been substantial.

Kris Deering  |  May 05, 2016  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $7,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Twice as bright, same contrast
HDR10 compatible and full P3 color support
HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2
Minus
Black uniformity hit or miss
New HDMI chips slower to sync
Still no native 4K

THE VERDICT
With nearly twice the brightness of its predecessor, big improvements to 3D and 4K playback, and a good dose of UHD future-proofing, the DLA-X750R is more than just a mild refresh.

When new JVC projectors were announced at this past October’s CEDIA, they basically looked the same as the models from two years ago, with only some modest differences visible on paper in the brightness rating plus support for the latest version of HDCP. But in use, the new DLA-X750R features some significant upgrades from the outgoing DLA-X700R. Let’s dive in and see how JVC delivered one of the best projectors I’ve reviewed to date.

Kris Deering  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  5 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Easy setup and installation
Excellent image clarity
Extensive calibration options for a projector
Minus
Low light output
Limited contrast performance
Middling HDR performance

THE VERDICT
LG's HU85LA ultra-short-throw projector has high cool factor, but its limited light output and modest contrast will leave movie fans wanting.

If you're a home cinema nut like me, there's always one thing that makes or breaks the experience: screen size. For the last 15 years, I've owned a front projection system that beams images well over 100 inches diagonal, and once you have that at home, it's hard to turn back! Today's flat panel TVs provide truly extraordinary image quality, and although they keep getting bigger and bigger, models with a screen size above 90 inches remain prohibitively expensive.

Al Griffin  |  May 26, 2021  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ample brightness and good contrast
Flexible zoom and lens shift range
Built-in streaming apps
Minus
Requires calibration for best performance
Smart features may be overkill for some

THE VERDICT
LG's 4K laser DLP projector is packed with smart features and offers impressive all-around performance at a reasonable price.

As the "Smart TV" has become the norm, projectors in contrast have remained steadfastly dumb. For many home theater enthusiasts, that arrangement has worked out just fine, with streaming, voice control, and other forms of internet-connected interaction handled by front-end components on the A/V rack and the projector serving as little more than a means to display an image.

Al Griffin  |  May 18, 2016  |  2 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,400

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ultra short throw design
Accurate color
Built-in smart/streaming features
Minus
Mediocre picture contrast
Limited brightness
Poor picture uniformity

THE VERDICT
LG’s PF1000U has a number of compelling convenience features, but its performance is well below that of other comparably priced 1080p projectors.

A compact, portable projector makes sense for a rec room or vacation home where a full-scale, full-time home theater isn’t possible—or even wanted. LG isn’t well known as a projector company, but they’ve been steadily building a portfolio of compact projector options over the past few years. Last year, I checked out the PF85U (soundandvision.com), a 1080p model with an array of smart features, including Web browsing and Netflix streaming. This time around, I’m looking at LG’s PF1000U, another 1080p DLP model packed with an array of smart/streaming features.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 31, 2015  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp, bright image for a portable projector
Accurate color
Provides built-in Smart TV and streaming features
Minus
So-so black levels and picture contrast
Visible DLP rainbow effect
Limited installation options

THE VERDICT
LG’s portable PF85U has cool features and impressive picture quality for a portable projector, but its performance isn’t exactly up to snuff for regular home theater use.

LG’s PF85U DLP projector brings some interesting things to the table (literally, in many cases). It’s compact, portable, and driven by an LED light source. It has built-in Wi-Fi, LG’s Smart TV interface, and its streaming options include Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video. At $1,199, it’s priced attractively for a 1080p-res projector with decent light output.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 17, 2002  |  0 comments

When Madrigal Audio Labs decided to get into the video-projector business, it was no surprise that they aimed right for the top. With its Mark Levinson, Proceed, and Revel lines, Madrigal is not exactly known for budget products, and the MP-9 makes an immediate statement that the company is as serious about high-end video as it is about high-end audio. Not so incidentally, the addition of a video line, Madrigal Imaging, now makes Madrigal dealers one-stop shops for state-of-the-art home theater.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 17, 2002  |  0 comments
When Madrigal Audio Labs decided to get into the video-projector business, it was no surprise that they aimed right for the top. With its Mark Levinson, Proceed, and Revel lines, Madrigal is not exactly known for budget products, and the MP-9 makes an immediate statement that the company is as serious about high-end video as it is about high-end audio. Not so incidentally, the addition of a video line, Madrigal Imaging, now makes Madrigal dealers one-stop shops for state-of-the-art home theater.
Shane Buettner  |  Sep 12, 2006  |  First Published: Sep 13, 2006  |  0 comments
  • $19,995 (22,995 with optional long throw lens)
  • 1920x1080 single-chip DarkChip3 DLP
  • Key Connections: Dual HDMI and component inputs, one RGB/PC on 15-pin DSUB
Features We Like: 1080p!, full10-bit broadcast-grade processing by Gennum VXP, accepts 1080p signals, high-end lens assembly from Konica/Minolta, vertical lens shift
 |  Jul 24, 2006  |  0 comments

1080p display devices have been proliferating rapidly, and it's been bit of a surprise that DLP front projection, which has led the charge of digital displays for years, has been late to the party. Not anymore.

Kris Deering  |  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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