Kris Deering

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.

Kris Deering  |  Dec 29, 2021  |  5 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $10,995 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Compact form factor—fits in standard-width rack space with Strato C player
Significantly boosts movie download speed
Minus
Pricey
Kaleidescape Store immersive audio support still spotty

THE VERDICT
Kaleidescape new compact Terra Movie Server delivers an improved user experience and greater flexibility over the company’s standard Strato system.

Kaleidescape sure has been busy since I reviewed its Strato S 4K Ultra HD Movie Player late last year (October/ November 2020 issue). The company added three new servers to its Terra lineup: the compact 6TB ($5,995), 12TB ($7,995), 18TB ($9,995) options, and a 72TB monster ($23,995) for those who want massive storage without having to string multiple Terra units together. For this review, I was sent the 12TB Terra, along with a Strato C 4K Movie Player (recently reduced in price to $2,995) to test it with. I'll focus first on the 12TB Terra and then give an update on my overall Kaleidescape experience after living with a system for over a year (I purchased my Strato S review unit).

Kris Deering  |  Dec 01, 2021  |  3 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.

Kris Deering  |  Nov 03, 2021  |  2 comments


Reavon UBR-X100
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

Reavon UBR-X200
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $799 (UBR-X100), $1699 (UBR-X200)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Reference-quality video
Universal disc playback (UBR-X200)
Pure Direct output
Minus
No DVD-Audio or SACD support (UBR-X100)
Build quality lags that of other flagship players
Interface needs polish

THE VERDICT
This pair of players from newcomer Reavon succeeds brilliantly in giving the Ultra HD Blu-ray format, along with other shiny discs, a new lease on life.

It's no secret that the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player market has become a barren wasteland over the past few years. It seems like we've lost more players than we've gained, with little in the way of new models coming from manufacturers who used to debut several players a year during the heyday of shiny discs. And the situation is even worse for someone seeking a high- end player with advanced features, broad disc format support, and top-flight build quality.

Kris Deering  |  Oct 21, 2020  |  6 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
16-channel processing and output
Extensive customization options
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D support
Dirac Live with Bass Control sub integration
Minus
Setup may intimidate casual users
No onscreen display

THE VERDICT
With support for all key immersive audio formats, 16-channel output, and Dirac Live room correction, the Monolith HTP-1 surround sound processor punches well above its price class.

It's been interesting to watch the evolution of Monoprice in the home theater market following the introduction of its Monolith product line. Monolith encompasses a broad range of components, including speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers, all produced in partnership with big names in A/V product design and development, and all offering impressive performance at a strikingly low cost. The company's latest market disruptor is the Monolith HTP-1 surround sound processor, a stunning freshman effort that includes features typically seen only on components that cost significantly more than the $3,999 HTP-1.

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 23, 2020  |  1 comments

Harmony Elite
Performance
Ergonomics
Value

Harmony Pro 2400
Performance
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $350 (Harmony Elite), $550 (Harmony Pro 2400)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Easy setup and system integration
Cloud-based control and backup
Controls via IR, TCP/IP, and Bluetooth
Minus
Lacks Apple Siri support
Pro 2400 limited to custom installation channel

THE VERDICT
Harmony remotes offer the convenience and customization options of high-priced control systems, but without the intensive support requirements that come with them.

The biggest complaint I hear from clients when I'm out in the field doing video display calibration work involves problems with remote control systems. You'd think this would be because they have a stack of them to shuffle through, or they had bought some cheap off-the-rack universal remote at Walmart. On the contrary, the complaints are always about some high-end home automation system. As a happy Logitech Harmony remote control user, I've managed to avoid that direction. For the last few years, my remote of choice has been the Harmony Elite, which this review will focus on alongside its new cohort in the custom installation market, the Harmony Pro 2400.

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.
Kris Deering  |  Sep 09, 2020  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,995 ($8,995 as reviewed)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Outstanding interface and ease-of-use
Movie store offers 4K titles not available on disc
No A/V quality compromise compared with discs
Minus
Pricey hardware
Some movies lack immersive audio
No Movies Anywhere support

THE VERDICT
Kaleidescape delivers an out- standing user experience, and its online movie store features Ultra HD movies with uncompromised A/V quality, including some titles that aren’t available on disc.

I've been keenly aware of Kaleidescape since the company's start when I first laid eyes on its beautiful onscreen interface at a high-end A/V store in Seattle. Since then, I've regularly encountered that same interface in the homes of my video calibration clients, in stores, and at trade shows.

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.

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