Projector Reviews

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Kris Deering  |  Jun 09, 2022  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Laser light engine
HDMI 2.1-compatible (4K/120Hz)
HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG support
Minus
Not native 4K
No frame-by-frame adaptive processing for HDR
No 3D Support

THE VERDICT
Offering great image punch, clarity, and good contrast, Epson's LS12000 impresses with most content, though its HDR performance is hindered by the lack of dynamic tone mapping.

After what felt like a lifetime since its last new home theater projector announcement, Epson recently launched the LS12000 4K PRO-UHD laser model. Selling at the surprisingly low retail price of $4,999, the new Epson boasts serious chops when it comes to features and specifications, and I felt fortunate to have a review sample sent my way. Let's dive in and see what this new projector brings to the home theater game.

Al Griffin  |  May 04, 2022  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive contrast
Flexible zoom and lens shift range
Built-in streaming platform with HDMI eARC
Minus
Limited brightness necessitates dark room viewing
Smart interface not for everyone

THE VERDICT
LG’s 4K laser DLP projector delivers impressive picture quality and value, but its limited brightness requires a dark room for best performance.

LG has been at the vanguard in manufacturing "smart" projectors—models that, like more traditional offerings, sit at the back of the room and beam images to a separate screen, but also provide the streaming and voice control features you'd find in any smart OLED or LCD flat-panel TV. In 2021 we reviewed the company's HU810PW ($2,999), a single-chip (0.47-inch) DLP projector that delivered 4K images via pixel-shifting. Now, we have that model's sibling, the HU710PW, a similarly featured projector that arrives with a lower 2,000 ANSI lumens brightness spec, but also a lower price ($2,499 MSRP).

Al Griffin  |  Mar 02, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent detail
Vivid color reproduction
Motorized focus, zoom, lens shift
Minus
Relatively limited light output
No dynamic iris
Basic HDR tone-mapping adjustment

THE VERDICT
Sony's entry-level full 4K projector delivers detailed, seamless images and is a great option for dedicated home movie theaters.

Sony's projector lineup is notable for its use of the company's full 4K-resolution (4,096 x 2,160-pixel) SXRD (Sony-speak for LCOS) chips. It's also been notable for featuring a 5K model—5K as in $5,000, the price for the line's entry-level projector. Back in 2021, the company replaced that model, the VPL-VW295ES, with the VPL-VW325ES, an updated version offering a few new features, though at a higher $5,499 price. Are the updates worth the extra coin? Let's find out.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 19, 2022  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ample brightness
Contrast-boosting HDR-Pro feature
Vivid color and detail
Living room-friendly design
Minus
Wide Color Gamut filter dramatically reduces light output
Relatively high fan noise in Normal Light mode
No integrated Netflix streaming

THE VERDICT
BenQ’s first ultra short throw projector is a winner on many fronts, offering compelling brightness, vivid color, and a dynamic presentation of 4K/HDR sources.

Is there a projector maker that hasn't yet come out with an ultra short throw (UST) model aimed at viewers who want a theater-size image in their living room, but without the usual ceiling-mount and dark room baggage that accompanies it? If you asked me that question one year ago, I would have replied "BenQ." But now, with its V7050i 4K DLP Laser TV, BenQ has joined the UST projector fold, adding its name to the ranks of Sony, Epson, Optoma, Vava, Hisense, LG, Samsung, and others.

Kris Deering  |  Dec 01, 2021  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $24,999.95

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Industry leading HDR performance
Contrast improved over previous flagship models
True 8K video input and displa
Minus
Light loss in wide color gamut mode
Laser dimming needs some refinement

THE VERDICT
The DLA-NZ9 has an impressive list of features including support for true 8K and 4K/120Hz video. Its HDR performance is second to none for a projector and a new laser light engine provides a robust increase in light output along with a reduction of operating noise.

Given the current uncertain state of the world, I was truly surprised when JVC announced not one but three new projectors prior to the kickoff of CEDIA Expo 2021, an event that ended up being a pale shade of its regular self. The new JVC trio largely replaces the company's current projector lineup, offering a list of new features including a next-gen BLU-Escent laser light engine, HDMI 2.1 connectivity with full 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video input support, and HDR10+ high dynamic range.

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.

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  |  Nov 25, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright, living room-friendly image
Packaged with easy to assemble screen
Plentiful picture adjustment options
Minus
Limited contrast and color space coverage
High fan noise in Normal Light Output mode
Basic remote control

THE VERDICT
With its powerful brightness and impressive overall picture, Epson's LS500 offers a compelling alternative to pricey oversize flat-panel TVs.

Remember the rear-projection TV (RPTV)? RPTVs were big, boxy contraptions housing a projector that beamed an image at the rear of a screen mounted on the set's front surface. While necessarily inelegant compared with the sleek flat-panel TVs that eventually replaced them, the RPTV in its heyday solved the problem of getting a big image—screen sizes topped out around 80-inches—without having to resort to a room-dominating two-piece system with a ceiling-mounted projector and separate screen.

Kris Deering  |  Oct 07, 2020  |  11 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $20,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
True 4K resolution
Laser light source
Excellent out-of-box color accuracy
Minus
Some limitations with HDR
Steep price for feature set

THE VERDICT
Sony's new projector is capable of delivering dazzling images, though it lacks some cutting-edge features and components expected at this price point.

Three years ago, Sony introduced the VPL-VW885ES, a 4K LCOS projector with a laser light engine. I found the 885ES to be capable of throwing high-quality images when I reviewed it, but in the end wasn't fully enamored with the new projector. Basically, I felt it had obvious shortcomings that were hard to ignore at the premium $25,000 price.

Kris Deering  |  Sep 15, 2020  |  8 comments
At the last CEDIA Expo in September 2019, JVC announced a firmware update for its native 4K D-ILA projectors that delivered true frame adaptive HDR tone mapping to the lineup. For CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020, the company’s key announcement is an improved version of that Frame Adapt HDR feature called Theater Optimizer. The firmware also includes a few other tweaks and new features and will be available as a free firmware update in November 2020 for the following models: DLA-NX5, DLA-NX7, DLA-NX9, DLA-RS1000, DLA-RS2000, and DLA-RS3000.
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.

Al Griffin  |  May 20, 2020  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,699

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Very good contrast and light output
Low input lag
Generous lens shift range
Fully backlit remote
Minus
Limited DCI-P3 color space coverage

THE VERDICT
Epson's latest 3LCD projector goes easy on the wallet while delivering performance and features typically found in more expensive models.

Epson's Home Cinema LCD projector lineup ranges from basic, inexpensive beamers designed for portable use to high-end models meant for serious home theater installations. Of these, we typically devote space to the company's premium UB (Ultra Black) offerings such as the 5050UB 4K PRO-UHD (reviewed in the August/September issue and also on soundandvision.com), along with mid-range models like the 3800 under evaluation here. A big plus of the Epson projector family is that the costs usually top out at $3,000, with mid-range offerings priced about one-third to one-half that amount while providing many of the same features found in the high-end offerings.

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.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 15, 2020  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Extended color
Good brightness
Great value
Minus
Contrast could be better
Difficult to access HDR adjustment

THE VERDICT
BenQ's budget 4K DLP projector delivers solid overall video performance at a very affordable price.

[Editor's note: BenQ raised the price of the HT3550 to $1,699 after this review was originally written. According to the company, the price increase is due to "tariffs."]

As you might expect, low-cost projectors are much more common than premium models. Survey the market, and you'll find loads of options in the under-$3,000 range, while projectors priced above $10,000 are rare birds, indeed. Even so, affordable models are by no means basic: a look at the under-$1,500 range will turn up plenty of projectors with features such as 4K and HDR10 support—BenQ's CinePrime $1,499 HT3550, for example.

Kris Deering  |  Nov 26, 2019  |  1 comments
In a departure for JVC, the company didn’t announce new D-ILA projector models at CEDIA Expo in September 2019. Instead, JVC’s key announcement at the show was a firmware update for the native 4K projector line it had unveiled at the previous CEDIA Expo in 2018.

Pages

X