We currently have the Panasonic AE7000 and Sony HW30ES in house and under review...
These are the two most aggressively priced 3D enabled 1080p home theater projectors announced to date. Reviews of both of them are under way, and will be posted no later than Wednesday of next week. Along with these two reviews we will publish a shoot-out article that gives a detailed comparison of the two.
The Sony HW30ES is currently in production, and Panasonic expects initial shipments of the AE7000 to commence next month. Kudos to both vendors for introducing consumer products earlier in the fall buying cycle than we normally see. Typically vendors wait until the CEDIA trade show in early September to unwrap new models, then delay deliveries until late fall or winter when much of the football season is over with. A July or August release date for new home theater products benefits consumers who want to get the latest equipment for the fall TV and football season, and it also benefits vendors to have products in the channels for the full duration of the fall buying season.
Nevertheless, CEDIA is coming next month, and we can expect a host of new home theater projector releases around September 8. Epson in particular will announce a new 3D-enabled 1080p model based on high speed 480Hz LCD panels. This model is designed to compete directly with the Panny AE7000 and the Sony HW30ES. It will carry a lumen rating above 2000 lumens, higher than previous Epson home theater models, and it will be competitively priced.
Meanwhile, after a two-year wait since the last home theater product from Panasonic, they will follow up the release of the AE7000 with another home theater model at the CEDIA show. We have no information about that new model as of yet, but when we do we'll post it here.
Other than Epson and Panasonic, several other of the usual suspects are gearing up for the release of new models at CEDIA. This time of year is when it gets really interesting in the home theater world, and this season is shaping up to be more fascinating than ever. In particular 1080p 3D is getting both better and cheaper, and 3D fans are going to love what is coming.