Find a Projector Projector Forums Login


Top 10

Where to Buy


News & Articles

Home theater gets better and cheaper

Things are getting hot in the sub-$1000 home theater market. BenQ, Epson, Optoma, and Vivitek have all released new home theater projectors priced in the $699 to $999 range.

Our reviews of the Epson Home Cinema 2040 ($799), the Optoma HD28DSE ($799), and the Vivitek H1186-WT ($699) have already been posted. BenQ says we should expect to receive samples of the recently announced HT2050 ($799) and HT3050 ($999) by the end of the week, and if so those reviews will begin on Monday. Once we have had a chance to see all of the new 1080p products in this price range we will write a comparative round-up.

Bill’s expanded review of the Ambient Light Rejection screens is nearing completion, and we are hoping to get it posted by early next week. If you are interested in “lights on” video viewing, this shootout will cover many of the ALR screen products on the market today.

And while we’re on the subject of ambient light, you may have noticed a continuing push toward brighter high resolution projectors that are too bright for conventional dark room theater, but ideal if you prefer to view with some lights on. Among these are the new 3000-lumen Epson Home Cinema 1040 ($799), and the 4400 lumen Epson Home Cinema 1440 ($1699). We are still waiting to hear when samples will be available, but we will be reviewing them as soon as we can.

Evan Powell


Comments (5) Post a Comment
DavidK Posted Oct 7, 2015 12:49 PM PST
Incremental improvements in the low end are great, but any chance of getting a projector with decent color and contrast in the $1500'ish abyss?
crfan Posted Oct 7, 2015 2:59 PM PST
The Sony hw40 can be gotten with a ST warranty around $1800. The Panasonic ae8000 can occasionally be found as low as $1500. Otherwise you're out of luck. :(
Dixon Posted Oct 11, 2015 1:46 PM PST
Looking forward to your review of the new BenQ models, especially the HT3050. Hopefully the testing includes input lag since it's not in every review.
Ernesto Posted Oct 12, 2015 10:06 AM PST
"you may have noticed a continuing push toward brighter high resolution projectors that are too bright for conventional dark room theater"

I think the idea of a projector is to use it in a dark room, sometimes the projectors are too bright, at least the manufacturers should include more levels of eco mode, maybe in increments of 20%. That would create a much versatile projector (to use with and without light) my room is not so big, but I would like to buy a nice good projector like the sony vpl40es, but maybe it turns out too bright for my room.
chris Posted Oct 12, 2015 3:04 PM PST
I really wish that Epson would address two issues: power consumption and fan noise. High output is great but 300 watts is too much energy. I suggest they they consider a "enviro" friend mode that reduces power below 100 watts.

They could add this to existing projectors as an LED Projector killer. The "enviro" mode should offer at least 400 lumens, and a max 20 db noise. Added benefits: longer lasting image panels and even greater lamp life.

The "enviro" mode would allow the projector to be used in warm climates without the need of more air conditioning.