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Opinion of Jon S - Feb 19, 2003

NEC HT1000 Projector
XGA (1024x768), 1000 ANSI Lumens,
7.1 lbs, $4,495 (MSRP)
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by Jon S - Feb 19, 2003
Image Quality 5.0
Features 5.0
Construction 4.0
Ease of Use 5.0
Reliability 5.0
Value for Money 5.0
View Specs

Personal Experience
I have had a number of projectors, starting with a Davis DL450 which I thought a great value for the money. Unfortunately, the lack of black detail and color accuracy turned me off. I was able to get a NEC 9PG CRT and then a NEC XG85 CRT projector. I had it properly calibrated by ISF and was very pleased with the end result. But CRT has its limitations. Great blacks but the image was not very bright unless I "pushed" the projector.

Enter the HT1000. It is in an ISF configured room. The walls are all black or dark greys. I am using a Stewart 1.3 gain microperf screen (net gain 1.1). The HT1000 is configured with economode on (800 lumens) and iris set for max contrast. It is connected to a Sony DVD player directly with s-video (looking for a 25 ft component cable...). Colors are well saturated, contrast is excellent. Even with the lamp stopped down, it is noticeably brighter than my CRT. Watching reference DVDs (superbit 5th Element, Dark City, Attack of the Clones) exhibited excellent picture quality in all areas except for one area. In scenes which is dimly lit with no bright reference, the image lacked punch. Blacks did not appear black but rather a dark grey. As soon as something bright appeared, the whole appearance changed substantially. The picture had punch. Somehow, the mind was fooled in thinking that blacks appeared black when a bright reference point is on screen. If not, the image seem to wash out. Powering on the XG852 showed a dimmer picture but since blacks were real black, the image retained its snap. It came to this, CRTs excel in black detail to the mid-upper scale of brighntess and the HT1000 was reversed, it excelled in bright scenes and stumbled a bit in dark scenes.

Don't get me wrong, the HT1000 still provides an excellent picture, the best by far for a digital projector in its price range. The only comparable model would be the Seleco HT300+. I have not seen the Marantz 12s2 or the Sharp Z10000 so I cannot compare it with them. But I have seen the Sony VPL12HT and while it produces a brighter image, the blacks are noticeably worse.

All in all, for the money, the Ht1000 cannot be beat.

Problems
I have a eight foot ceiling. Initially I have to sit the unit on the floor in order for the image to match the screen placement without using any sort of compensation. I wish the throw angle was a bit less. Also the 100" wide screen demands placement of the projector right at where we sit.

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