Kris Deering

Kris Deering  |  Apr 28, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $1,484 (material only, as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent Image Uniformity
Dramatic reduction in artifacts over previous generation
Exceptional build quality and ease of installation
Minus
Minor artifacts on images with vertical camera motion

THE VERDICT
With dramatically improved performance over the previous generation StudioTek 130 material, Stewart Filmscreen's new ST130 G4 establishes a new reference standard for a gain screen.

I often feel that the screen is the most overlooked component of a video projection system. That's because the screen material itself lacks "wow" factor, and it typically doesn't get tagged with the sexy marketing buzzwords associated with other home theater gear. But selecting the right screen for a video system is crucial since the screen ultimately will serve to either enhance or reduce your projector's performance.

Kris Deering  |  Dec 11, 2019  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,739 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Easy setup and installation
Sleek, attractive user interface
Scalable—can add other rooms as needed
Minus
Does not retain HDR metadata
No Dolby Vision or HDR10+ Support
Requires wired network for best results

THE VERDICT
An easy to use digital ecosystem with a sleek interface that lets you rip your entire music and movie disc library and access it from any room in the house.

With today's streamers and smart TVs offering myriad apps to watch movies from, one thing has become painfully obvious about discs: they're clunky. While I'm a firm believer in pre-recorded media due to its superior technical merits, I'll admit that shelves overflowing with discs can get overwhelming. Also, let's face it: case spines aren't nearly as sexy as a slick onscreen interface. From early Windows Media solutions to the latest apps like Kodi, I've seen numerous solutions crop up over the last decade to bring pre-recorded media to a modern playback environment.

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.
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.

Kris Deering  |  Aug 02, 2019  |  2 comments
The Spears & Munsil (S&M) UHD HDR Benchmark is a video test disc developed with a wide range of users in mind. It has basic video setup and evaluation patterns aimed at the general consumer, but also patterns and features designed for use by professional calibrators, reviewers, and even manufacturers. Unlike S&M's previous test disc, the HD Benchmark, this version does not include general explanations on how to use the patterns wrapped into its interface but is still easy to navigate and use. (Tips are posted on the spearsandmunsil.com website that will help to get the most from the disc's content.)
Kris Deering  |  Jul 24, 2019  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $8,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Reference-level optics
Maintenance-free LED light engine
Outstanding color accuracy
Minus
Lacks lens memories and motorized adjustments
Disappointing contrast
Limited HDR performance

THE VERDICT
BenQ's latest flagship projector outclasses its predecessor with HDR and wide color gamut sup- port, but contrast performance and HDR handling leave much to be desired compared with the high-end competition.

Back in 2017, I had an opportunity to review BenQ's HT9050 DLP projector, a flagship 4K model featuring a spectacular all-glass lens, an LED light engine, and the latest Texas Instruments DLP imaging device. To sum that review up briefly, I had a lot of issues with the HT9050, which lacked both HDR support and convenience features commonly seen on other models at or near its $8,999 price. Now BenQ has brought out the HT9060, another $8,999 model sitting at the top of its "CinePro" projector line.

Kris Deering  |  Jul 16, 2019  |  0 comments
My recent article, High Dynamic Range Explained, covered what HDR is and how it gets implemented in different types of displays. The focus was movies on Ultra HD Blu-ray disc and on streaming services, but another topic worth discussing — one regularly overlooked — is HDR gaming.
Kris Deering  |  May 01, 2019  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,099

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High-quality HDR to SDR conversion
SACD and DVD-Audio disc support
Detailed Info screen
Minus
No streaming apps or wireless connectivity
Somewhat tedious user interface
Occasional playback glitches

THE VERDICT
The UDP-LX500's universal disc support, high-quality onboard HDR tone mapping, and formidable build quality make it a welcome addition to the Ultra HD Blu-ray player scene.

It has now been a full year since Oppo Digital ceased production of its popular Ultra HD Blu-ray player lineup. Up until that point, Oppo was one of the few high- performance player options in a market concentrated on budget models packed with streaming features. We've since seen a few companies step up to fill the high-end player void, among them Pioneer, a company that produced numerous reference-level players back in the regular Blu-ray and DVD days. Pioneer's new offering, the UDP-LX500, is a universal disc player that supports playback of SACD and DVD-Audio discs. As you might expect, it sports both the Pioneer Elite logo and the high-end look and build associated with that iconic badge. At $1,099, it certainly has flagship pricing, so let's see if it measures up.

Kris Deering  |  Apr 17, 2019  |  5 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $18,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fantastic HDR performance
Reference-level optics
Industry leading contrast
Minus
Some dynamic contrast-related artifacts
Noticeable fan noise in High lamp mode

THE VERDICT
JVC’s second-generation 4K beamer sets a new high bar for projector HDR performance. Add industry leading contrast, reference-quality optics, and exceptional usability and you have a projector that punches way above its price point.

It took a while, but JVC has finally updated its full consumer projector lineup to native 4K (4,096 x 2,160) resolution. Just over two years ago, Sound & Vision reviewed the company's first native 4K model, the $29,995 flagship DLA-RS4500. For this review I am going to cover the flagship model from the new range, the DLA-NX9 (also available as the DLA-RS3000 from JVC's professional division). At $18,000, the NX9 isn't exactly a casual purchase, though it does deliver some new features at a price point we haven't seen before from JVC.

Kris Deering  |  Feb 20, 2019  |  5 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $35,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Breathtaking image quality
Reference-level optics
Laser light source
Minus
Low light output for price point
Lacks dedicated picture mode for HDR

THE VERDICT
The Sony VPL-VW995ES delivers reference-level images with all video formats and benefits from a high-end lens that's optimized for 4K playback.

In 2018, I reviewed Sony's VPL-VW885ES 4K laser projector, a $25,000 model that I hoped would be the successor to previous Sound & Vision Top Pick winners from Sony, the VPL-VW1000 and VPL-VW1100ES, but it fell slightly short of expectations. At CEDIA 2018, Sony unveiled its VPL-VW995ES, a next-gen step-up model in the ES projector line that sported the high-end optics missing from the VW885ES plus a few new tricks. The VPL-VW995ES appears to be a true successor to the earlier designs, but at a steep $35,000, does it have the chops to command such a lofty price? Let's find out.

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