CEDIA 2011 -- Home Theater Projectors

Evan Powell, September 13, 2011
Contents

CEDIA, the home theater industry's chronically ill-timed trade show, just wrapped up in Indianapolis yesterday. This is the show where vendors typically unveil not-quite- ready new products to be delivered in the not-too-distant future just in time to miss half of the fall buying season. And to boot, the vendors are always forced to sacrifice their Labor Day weekend scrambling to get ready for it.

But this year something exciting happened. Several manufacturers said, "Why wait for CEDIA? We want to get OUR show on the road NOW!" So we had more new home theater projectors announced in July and August than we've ever seen. This is great news because it allows channel sales activity to start early. Dealers and resellers can do order/inventory planning and vendors can get shipments moving so buyers can get their hands on the latest home theater projectors earlier in the football season. Everyone wins. We wish all vendors could get their new home theater projectors announced in July and August.

This year's summer releases included the Sony VPL-HW30ES, a 3D-enabled 1080p SXRD projector which started shipping in July for $3,699. The Panasonic PT-AE7000 was unveiled in late July, and will begin shipping in another two to three weeks. Reviews of the Sony HW30ES and Panasonic AE7000 have already been posted. We have also posted a shootout covering the differences between the two.

Meanwhile, Optoma announced a trio of new 3D 1080p models in August, including the entry level HD33 at only $1499 which is already shipping (see HD33 review here). The Optoma HD3300 at $1999 and the top of the line HD8300 at $4,499 should be available momentarily. We plan to have a review of the HD8300 done within three weeks. (The HD3300 is essentially an HD33 packaged for a different sales channel.)

In August we got an advance look at the new Mitsubishi HC7800D, their new mid-range 3D 1080p projector priced at $3,495. The 3D on this unit is clear as a bell and a pleasure to watch. You can expect to see the HC7800D come to market around November, and we plan to review it next month prior to release.

Also in August,Runco announced and began shipments of the LS-1, an extremely low priced (by Runco standards) 1080p single-chip DLP projector. This unit retails at $3,995. The LS-1 incorporates the ISF™ (Imaging Science Foundation) calibration suite for optimal performance in various rooms and lighting conditions. Runco's offering of a 1080p projector at this price point will provide opportunity to reach a larger consumer base than the company has targeted heretofore.

Finally, the folks at Epson tipped their hand a week before the show and pre-announced three new 3D-enabled 1080p models using their new 480 Hz D9 panels. The most aggressively priced unit, the Home Cinema 3010, delivers full HD 3D with two pairs of 3D glasses and an emitter for only $1,599. It is rated at 30,000:1 contrast and 2200 lumens, and is scheduled for shipment next month. There is a fascinating dogfight shaping up between the Epson 3010 and the Optoma HD33 as the only two 3D capable 1080p home theater projectors around $1500.

Epson's Home Cinema 5010 and Pro Cinema 6010 are the higher performance models, rated at 200,000:1 contrast and 2400 lumens. The differences between them are related to marketing channels. The Pro Cinema 6010 is packaged for the custom installer. It includes ISF Calibration for customizable settings, an extra lamp, a ceiling mount, a third year of warranty, and a cable cover for flexibility in installation.

The Epson 5010 will be more widely available through online resellers, and is a less expensive package designed for the DIY home theater enthusiast. Pricing on the 5010 and 6010 is not yet finalized, but the price of the 5010 will be under $3,000 and the price of the 6010 will be under $4,000. These models should be available in November.

The two Home Cinema models will also be offered with wireless capability. Those models will be known as the 5010e, to be priced under $3,500, and the 3010e, which will be $1,799.

Epson still plans to release the 1,000,000:1 contrast, reflective LCD based Pro Cinema 610000 that was announced last year. Currently this model, which is not 3D-enabled, is scheduled for shipment prior to year end. Epson says plans for the Home Cinema 21000 and 31000, also announced last year, have changed. There is currently no plan to release them in the United States in the near future.

Contents: Summer Release Recap New Releases at CEDIA

Reader Comments(16 comments)

Posted May 6, 2012 6:25 AM

By John

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What happened to the Epson 21000? Most of us theatre guys don't care about 3D. I bought the panny 7000 and could not get the two aspect ratios programed after hours of trying includiog hiring a professional. He couldn't do it either. I sent it back and paid a restocking fee ugh.If I need an overseas seller ,please tell me where I can get the Epson 21000.

Posted Nov 20, 2011 3:55 PM

By Fred

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Sorry to disappoint you but the JVC DLA-RS45 is overpriced with only 1300 lumens, 50,000:1 compare to the panasonic AE7000 with an outstanding 300,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,000 lumens of brightness.

Posted Oct 12, 2011 8:57 AM

By jay

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whats a good projector that can put on a clear screen 3x3 meters that can run cool and lens don't over heat. dosen't have to be 3D and around the 1000 to 1500 dollar mark

Posted Oct 11, 2011 10:26 PM

By Felix Alonzo

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Is 3D really gonna be here to stay? Or is it just another home entertainment fad that will slowly lose interest. A ton of people that I know all say that it sucks and its not worth it.

Posted Sep 30, 2011 12:52 PM

By Lary

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which ones (if any) actually do 3D movies & games from Sony's PS3 ? No splitters converters or BS gadgets needed, just a simple HDMI hook-up?

Posted Sep 26, 2011 7:42 AM

By BRANDO

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Any word on the red projector yet?

Posted Sep 20, 2011 8:30 AM

By Bill

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Any news on an upgrade for the Epson 8350? I know factory stock is low? I need one now but hate to but right before an upgrade comes out.

Posted Sep 16, 2011 7:17 PM

By iaw4

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LED light source. it is not so much the money per hour (good projectors cost so much in fixed cost that the time-variable cost seems not too important), as it is the heat that the light sources produce. LEDs don't seem to be much more efficient per lumen than high pressure lamps. (high-powered LEDs seem to require a lot of cooling, too.) I really want a light source that is so cool that the projector would not be a heat lamp when I sit right next to it. this would also make fan cooling, if any, even less important. I wonder if lasers could fit this bill, or if their efficiency per lumen is also not too good. high pressure bulbs seem to produce a lot of lumen per watt. they produce a lot of lumens... or am I mistaken?

Posted Sep 15, 2011 3:56 PM

By MalibuMovieMan

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Any word yet on how the new JVC's compare to the current line (RS40/50/60) in terms of brightness?

Posted Sep 15, 2011 10:26 AM

By Evan Powell, Editor

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Thanks for the feedback folks. To SteveG and John, yep, I overlooked mention of the lower priced JVC and Vivitek units, and have added comments regarding both of those to the write up. I won't have much to say about them until we see them in the lab, as I don't really know what to anticipate from either of them.

Cory, I have no specific idea when the 5010 or 3010 will arrive. We are still waiting for word from Epson. I don't expect it will be longer than another couple weeks. We will certainly do a shootout between the 5010 and the AE7000.

Shane, Panny's new HT model is the AR100, which I discussed on page 1. It will be shipping in November. Since the MSRP is $1999, I'm guessing the street will be around $1500, but I'm just guessing.

Steve, regarding LED, my impression is that the vendors would love to get LED based models to market if they could do so with the lumen and price parameters that the market demands. So far they can't. Meanwhile, lamp prices have dropped and lamp life has improved on high pressure lamps, so the cost of ownership issue is not as burdensome as it once was. It used to be that lamps were about $400 and you could get only 2000 hours, so you were paying about 20 cents an hour to operate. These days, lamps are often $300 or less, and you get 3,000 to 4,000 hours out of them, so operating cost is under 10 cents an hour. Still not free, but a lot less than it used to be.

Posted Sep 14, 2011 3:07 PM

By SteveG

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I'm surprised that you didn't mention the JVC DLA-RS45 projector in your list. There is a lot of buzz for this direct competitor to the AE7000 and HW30.

Posted Sep 14, 2011 9:53 AM

By Steve

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No news of any companies offering LED lighting technologies vice lamps in their projectors? Who cares about 3D? New projectors using LED light sources seem to be far more important to the mainstream hometheater customers to me than 3D due to cost of ownership. No one wants to pay for lamps anymore! I know SIM2 is offering it in some of their new models, but their projectors come at a stratospheric price tag. What gives?

Posted Sep 13, 2011 4:42 PM

By Shane

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In your, AE7000 and HW30ES Shoot-out Coming article, you stated that Panasonic would introduced another home theater model at CEDIA. Do you have any information on it? Thanks

Posted Sep 13, 2011 3:50 PM

By Cory

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Evan, Any idea when you'll get the Epson 5010 for review? Could you plan on a shootout with the Panasonic 7000?

Thanks, Cory

Posted Sep 13, 2011 2:16 PM

By John

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You seemed to have missed the Vivitek H1086-3D at CEDIA? Full HD 3D Home Theatre projector. Look like a 3D version of the Vivitek H1085.

Posted Sep 13, 2011 1:02 PM

By ADB

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Hmm... No news from Benq and their W7000 ?

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