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Best Projectors under $1000
November 13, 2014,
BEST HOME THEATER:
The HT1075 is an incremental upgrade to the venerable W1070, which at two years old was due for a replacement. The addition of MHL and a new simplified menu system add to the already excellent image quality, color accuracy, and placement flexibility, but the projector is still available for a very reasonable $899 from authorized resellers.
The HT1075 is our choice for home theater for five reasons:
Picture quality. When it comes down to it, the HT1075 simply has a cleaner, more refined, more natural image than any of its competitors. This is due to a million little factors, from contrast to color to digital noise to detail clarity, but the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. When you set the BenQ HT1075 up next to any of the other projectors in the shootout, you get a better image out of the HT1075 - at least as far as home theater is concerned.
Excellent factory calibrations. Without changing a single setting, the HT1075 is ready for prime time. That's because the projector comes from the factory with accurate, well-saturated color and a smooth, level grayscale. Color accuracy both out of the box and after calibration is visibly better than the other projectors in the shootout. If you don't feel ready to learn the ins and outs of calibration, the HT1075 is a great projector to start with.
Fast color wheel. All single-chip DLP projectors can produce color separation artifacts, or rainbows, for some people. Lots of folks will see rainbows on a 2x-speed color wheel, which is what the other projectors in the shootout use, especially when the color wheel contains non-RGB segments. But the HT1075 uses a color wheel with only RGB segments, and it spins at either 4x or 6x speed depending on the input signal you give it.
Color brightness. Because the HT1075's color wheel only uses RGB segments, it produces bright, saturated colors that look balanced and natural next to bright highlights. When white light output is significantly higher than color light output, it makes colors look dull and drab and can make the image as a whole seem artificial. The other projectors in the shootout can also produce balanced white and color light output, but only by drastically lowering white light output to match.
Placement flexibility. The HT1075's 1.3:1 lens is good for this class of projector, but its inclusion of vertical lens shift is exceptional. Though the adjustment range is limited to just a few inches up or down, it is especially useful when you are permanently installing both the projector and its screen, because it gives you some ability to fine-tune the image's location on your wall. When you are going to use the same projector and screen over and over again, as you do in a home theater, getting the placement just right is especially important.
The HT1075 isn't the right projector for everyone, even though it has a lot of good qualities. It has higher input lag than the other projectors in the shootout, so it's not the best choice for fast-paced gaming. Those planning to use their projector as a TV replacement should note the relatively high price ($230) of the HT1075's lamps, which can add up quickly when you're using the projector for six to eight hours per day. And there's no VESA 3D sync port, which is a downside for anyone who doesn't want to use DLP Link 3D.
Buy the BenQ HT1075 online here:
Buy the Epson Home Cinema 2030 online here:
Buy the InFocus IN8606HD online here:
Buy the Optoma HD26 online here:
Buy the ViewSonic PJD7820HD online here:
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