3D PROJECTOR REVIEWS

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Al Griffin  |  Dec 13, 2016  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $579

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great value
Good overall performance
Backlit remote control
Minus
Limited installation features
So-so contrast

THE VERDICT
Good overall performance, ample adjustments, and a low price make Optoma’s HD142X a great entry-level projector.

You might not be aware of it, but there’s a new war going on. No, it’s not between countries, ideologies, or individuals; it’s between DLP projector manufacturers. A handful of companies are battling to provide a single-chip model that delivers the best-looking, brightest picture at the lowest price. Over the past few months, I’ve reported on two such projectors, the ViewSonic LightStream Pro7827HD ($890, Sound & Vision, September) and the InFocus ScreenPlay SP1080 ($549, see review at soundandvision.com). Next up: Optoma’s HD142X ($579), another affordable model aimed at the casual home theater fan and gamer.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 07, 2012  |  0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,499 At A Glance: Among least expensive 3D projectors • Good detail and color • High black level in 2D, low brightness in 3D • No lens shift

Like it or not, 3D compatibility is becoming nearly ubiquitous in midrange to high-end flat panels and projectors. But what about those who are looking for an entry-level projector with 3D? Are they out of luck? Not according to Optoma, whose HD33 DLP projector sells for less than $1,500, making it one of the least expensive 1080p 3D projectors on the market.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 14, 2013  |  2 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,499 At A Glance: Crisp and detailed picture • Good black levels • Thorough but com- plex calibration controls

Panasonic entered the home theater projector market in 2001. But the company already had decades of experience in the business projector world, beginning with CRTs in 1975 and later moving into its current mix of LCDs and DLPs. All of the company’s home theater designs have used LCD imaging chips, however, and the PT-AE8000U is the latest link in a long chain dating back to that 2001 model, the PT-AE100.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jan 30, 2012  |  0 comments

Ready or not, here comes 4K. . . sort of. Having maxed out HD resolution years ago and flogged the 3D horse ’til everyone got bored and went back to their coffee, TV manufacturers are now going above and beyond. Above and beyond the ATSC HD maximum resolution spec, that is, to 4K.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Dec 28, 2011  |  0 comments

Optoma made a name for itself early on by making high-quality, low-cost DLP projectors. But with the HD8300, Optoma isn’t going after the budget end of the projector spectrum. Instead, the company is aiming right at its new heart: $5k-ish 3D.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Sharp was once king of the $10,000 projector class, a class now nearly disappeared. With the 3D era under way, it returns to the game with this $4,995 offering, only to find the market far more competitive than before. Most notable is the $500-cheaper JVC DLA-X3, the baby brother of the X7 model I reviewed in the April/May issue. 

John Sciacca  |  Mar 14, 2011  |  0 comments
I first experienced Runco’s new D-73d 3D projector at the CEDIA Expo last September and was pretty impressed. By “pretty impressed” I mean that it was the best display of 3D technology I witnessed at the show. I find myself prone to headaches and discomfort when viewing many 3D demonstrations, and the D-73d was the easiest-on-the-eyes solution I’d seen. But there is a big difference between being wowed by a 10-minute demo and evaluating something critically for hours on end. So, when an opportunity to review this new projector at Runco’s factory headquarters came up, I jumped at the chance!
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 21, 2011  |  1 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $5,500 At A Glance: Bright, punchy images • Good (though not highly accurate) color • Middling black level and contrast

Many of us here at Home Theater are big on 3D, but a lot of front-projection fans have been holding off. Until recently, their only options in the $5,000 3D projector market were two identical JVC models (sold either through that company’s pro or consumer distribution channels).

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 12, 2011  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $9,999 At A Glance: Deep, rich blacks • Accurate color • 3D-to-2D conversion • improved brightness and contrast

3D Gets Big

It seems like only yesterday that I reviewed Sony’s VPL-VW85 projector, but it was a year and a half ago (Home Theater, November 2009). Sony launches a new flagship home theater projector every year at the September CEDIA EXPO, and 2010 was no exception.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 02, 2011  |  5 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,700 At A Glance: Deep blacks • Accurate 2D color • Outstanding brightness

Sony’s VPL-HW projectors go back a few years, with steady model-to-model refinements. Last year it was the VPL-HW20; this year it’s the VPL-HW30ES. Note that the HW30 now carries Sony’s premier ES designation. But there’s more than that to account for its price premium over the VLP-HW20. Not only does the new model build on its predecessor’s already excellent 2D performance, but it’s also 3D-ready, using active shutter glasses you can purchase separately along with an external 3D emitter. Or if you prefer your projector to be 3D-capable right out of the box, you can purchase it with two pair of model TDG-PJ1 glasses and the TMR-PJ1 emitter included as the VPL-HW30AES for $4,000.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 30, 2017  |  0 comments

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

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent color and detail
Bright, punchy picture
That price!
Minus
Middling blacks and shadow detail

THE VERDICT
With all of today’s hullabaloo about 4K and HDR, it’s easy to forget that there’s something special about a theater-like image on a big projection screen—even if it’s plain vanilla, standard dynamic range, and 1080p. One look at the Sony VPL-HW45ES will remind you of that fact.

I've been projector-less for a good two years. It began with a 2015 move across the country from California to Florida. Then came a steady stream of flat-screen TVs as that technology progressed from the 2K era to the age of Ultra HD with 4K resolution, advanced color, and high dynamic range (HDR). Still, it’s not like I’ve been exiled to the proverbial desert island. Those top-of-the-line TVs have been a treat, and there’ll be more to come. I’ve missed having a big screen, however, with the sense of image immersion that only a frontprojection setup can provide.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 04, 2013  |  5 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $4,000 At A Glance: Superb detail resolution • Superior blacks and shadow detail • Solid color performance • Includes spare lamp

In Sony’s pantheon of projectors, the VPL-HW models are the company’s solid middle-class family. While a product selling for $4,000 or nearly so isn’t likely to be found at Target or Walmart, in the projector world it sits nicely between bargain basement and “if you have to ask” pricing.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 14, 2016  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great brightness for the price
Dynamic iris control enhances contrast
Very good 3D performance
Minus
Low Lamp Control setting greatly diminishes brightness
Manual focus, zoom, and lens shift controls

THE VERDICT
Thanks to its dynamic iris, Sony’s 1080p projector beams bright images with great contrast and delivers performance so good that you may not care it’s not 4K.

The last time I had my hands on a Sony product, it was a 4K projector priced at ten grand. That model, the VPL-VW350ES, had many positive attributes (I gave it a Top Pick stamp, after all), along with one weakness: somewhat lackluster contrast compared with that of projectors that provide a dynamic iris control.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 24, 2012  |  1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
(92-inch high-gain screen)
3D Performance
(118-inch standard screen)
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $25,000 At A Glance: Superb 4K resolution • Excellent blacks and shadow detail • High-gain screen recommended for 3D

Editor's note: This is an addendum to our earlier review of the Sony VPL-VW1000 4K 3D projector, covering only its 3D picture quality. Click here for the orignal review.

In our February 2012 issue, we published an exclusive first look at Sony’s new top-of-the-line projector. In addition to stunning performance with conventional, high-defintion, consumer material, the VPL-VW1000 employs 4K imaging chips, offering four times the resolution of standard high-definition video.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 06, 2011  |  9 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance   (See Review)
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Editor’s note: Click here for Tom Norton’s review covering the 3D capabilities and performance of the VPL-VW1000ES.

Editors Note: Home Theater is pleased to bring you this exclusive first review of Sony's VPL-VW1000ES, the world's first 4K projector built from the ground up for the consumer market. With more than four times the resolution of HDTV, 4K is already transforming digital cinema, and it now stands to create a more engaging and dramatic home theater experience as well.—Rob Sabin

Price: $25,000 At A Glance: Superb resolution • Excellent blacks and shadow detail • Four times the pixel density of 1920x1080 HD

Things could hardly be looking better for the video projector fan. The quality you can get today for under $10,000—or even under $5,000—is astonishing.

But the competition is fierce, and to stand out in the crowd, manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. True, 3D is still on its run as the NBT of the decade. Beyond that, 4K video lurks, waiting for its time in the spotlight.

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