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Projector News

Posts about upcoming product reviews and releases, tradeshows, new technology and advanced product features as well as our thoughts and observations on all things related to projectors.

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Archives for the year 2007:
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Editor's Choice to Mitsubishi HC4900

Last week's announcement from Mitsubishi that they were offering a $500 rebate and taking the price of the HC4900 to a mere $1995 stimulated a lot of inquiries. How does the HC4900 stack up against the other aggressively priced 1080p model, the Sanyo Z2000? Well, we set them up and took another close look at both of them. The review of the Mitsubishi HC4900 is complete and posted. As you will see, the HC4900 and the Z2000 are both formidable competitors, and each has some real advantages over the other. However, we were impressed enough with the combination of picture quality, features, and price, to give the HC4900 our Editor's Choice Award.more
Topics: CES, Mitsubishi

High Marks

We have just completed the 5-star ratings of the 1080p models. They have been added to each of the reviews. There was one slight modification to the rating of the JVC RS2 we posted day before yesterday. Initially I had given it 5 stars for features. And indeed it is a remarkably well-featured projector. But no projector in the home theater category is as fully loaded with extra features as the Panasonic AE2000, so that model alone received 5-stars for features, and we've adjusted the RS2 to 4.5.more

1080p Finally Under Two Grand

We've been predicting for the past year that 1080p projectors would go below $2,000 by the holiday season this year. Well, it officially happened yesterday, December 10, 2007, for all you projector industry historians out there that are recording these things. The Mitsubishi HC4900 has an official street price of $2,495, but as of yesterday, they are offering a $500 rebate, bringing the official price to just $1995. So there we are--1080p resolution projection for under two grand. I guess we better take another look at the HC4900 and put it into perspective.more

The Choice for the Videophile Purist

We are still working through the review of the JVC DLA-RS2. I was hoping to have it done by today, but it will take another couple of days to wrap up some details. Overall, this is a beautiful projector, and a definite step up from the outstanding RS1. Contrast, black levels and color saturation exceed the RS1. In addition, several of the features we would have preferred to see on the RS1 have been added to the RS2, including HDMI 1.3 and anamorphic lens compatibility. The RS2 is not quite as bright as the RS1, but it is plenty bright enough for light controlled home theater. The DLA-RS2 will definitely be the choice for the videophile purist with the budget to get the best 1080p...more
Topics: JVC DLA-RS2

Working Through the Crunch

Just an update on the review schedule for you. We will be posting the review of the BenQ W500 this Friday afternoon, assuming all goes according to schedule. Meanwhile, the JVC DLA-RS2 has arrived, so that is the next one up in the 1080p review cycle. Neither of the Epson models have been delivered yet, but with a little luck we will see them toward the end of next week. We are still awaiting arrival of the Canon REALiS SX7 as well, but we don't have a firm date on that at this time.more

Holiday Review Schedule

We've just posted the latest 1080p projector review, that of the InFocus Play Big IN82. This is a very bright high resolution projector that is particularly good for ambient light display.more

Comparison Requests

We have been getting a lot of requests to compare models A to B, and everyone's request is a bit different. So we are trying to address the more frequently asked for comparisons first. At the top of the list have been interest in how the Panasonic AX200 stacks up against the Sanyo Z5. These are two of the hot 720p LCD products on the market right now, and Bill put together that comparison. It is posted here.more
Topics: InFocus IN82

Anamorphic Stretch Capabilities

The Sanyo Z2000 review has stimulated a lot of questions which we are trying to get to. One of them was regarding confusion over the anamorphic stretch capability of the Z2000. Apparently other reviewers are saying the Z2000 has it. I said it didn't, without any further clarification.more
Topics: Sanyo Z2000

Possibly a Highly Influential Product Release

Just a quick update, since I know everyone is wondering about the review schedule. We plan to post the review of the Sanyo Z2000 on Monday afternoon, and the Panasonic AE2000 next Friday. However, the Sanyo review will include comments on the Panny AE2000 as well.more

Deep in 1080p

We are deep into the 1080p evaluations at the moment. It looks like the first review out of the shoot will be the Sony VPL-VW60. We are still in conversations with Sony about one issue we've uncovered, and we need to get that resolved prior to completing the review. But it should not take too long. Meanwhile, many of your are asking for comments on how the Panasonic AX200 compares to the 1080p projectors, and the Panasonic AE2000 in particular. Since I referred to the AX200 as the "poor man's 1080p projector" it warrants further comment.more

Six 1080p Side by Side

We are in a fortunate position at the moment. We have the opportunity to set up and test six 1080p projectors side by side. These include the new Panasonic AE2000, the Sanyo Z2000, the Sony VW60, the InFocus IN82, the JVC RS1, and the Optoma HD80. Normally review samples come in at different times, but we got them all at once. This enables us to look at them side by side and see the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences between them.more

Busy Time of Year

Yesterday we posted the anxiously awaited review of the Panasonic AX200. I forgot to mention in that review that the replacement lamp for the AX200 is $395. I will update the review today with that info. Today we've posted Bill's new review of an exceptional XGA projector, the Epson 77c, selling for just $749.more

Apologies to Planar

We are currently working on reviews of the Mitsubishi HC6000 and the Panasonic AX200. The HC6000 is basically a refined version of last year's outstanding HC5000 with higher contrast and a few extra features. The review will be posted this week. The review of the AX200 is mostly complete, but we are waiting for Panasonic to announce a price on this model. It is not possible to make an assessment of the price/performance value rating until we know the price. So the review will be posted within a day or two of Panasonic's price decision, and at the moment we have no idea when that will be.more

Amazing Projectors at CEDIA

We just got back Sunday night from a week in Denver covering the CEDIA convention, and we've spent many hours since then updating the database with all of the new product releases and collecting the specs. I've just posted a CEDIA show review which spotlights the new projector products under $10,000 that are of the most interest to our readers. There are some amazing projectors coming out. Epson, JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sanyo, and Sony have all outdone themselves this year. Meanwhile, if you've been waiting for great deals, there are some excellent bargains on current models as dealers clear inventories for the next generation of products.more
Topics: CEDIA

For the Discriminating Videophile

Yesterday, four distinguished members of the Mitsubishi product management and development group came by for an advance presentation of the new HC6000, which is to be officially announced at CEDIA next week. This is their second generation 1080p projector that will replace the HC5000 introduced last fall. The HC6000 is an improvement over the HC5000 in three ways. First, the contrast has been boosted from 10,000:1 up to 13,000:1. Second, the auto iris adjusts to changes in scene brightness much more rapidly than it did on the HC5000. Third, the initial price upon release has been reduced 11%, from last year's $4,495 to $3,995.more

Beginning of the End

We are rapidly approaching the fall season. Accordingly, we will soon be inundated with the barrage of new product releases that always occurs at the CEDIA home theater trade show, to be held this year in Denver on Sept 5-8. Since most projector manufacturers are keeping their powder dry until that convention opens its doors, we've taken the opportunity to focus attention on some of the newest and hottest XGA portable multimedia projectors. And there have been some dramatic price/performance advances in this class of product in case you haven't looked at them lately.more

Optoma HD80-- Editor's Choice Award

The new review of the Optoma HD80 has just been posted, and it tells the whole story. But in a nutshell, this is a fantastic projector that delivers amazing 1080p image quality for only $2,699. The HD80 will give the industry's 1080p price structure another tumble since it will outperform other 1080p products that are currently selling for higher prices. That won't last long.more

Major Shootout in the Works

We have just posted the review of the Mitsubishi HC1500. Not much difference between it and the previous model, the HD1000U, but they are both outstanding models, and both get our Editor's Choice Award. Congratulations to Mitsubishi engineers and product managers for creating outstanding entry level 720p resolution home theater projectors.more

Introducing Audio Delay

I don't know about you, but I find that one of the greatest distractions in a home theater system occurs when audio and video are slightly out of synch--when lips move a little bit after you already hear the sound. This is a common problem for one simple reason--there is less digital processing required to deliver an audio signal to a speaker than there is to deliver a video signal to the screen. So they arrive at two different times.more

Falling Prices

Epson's current $500 mail in rebate puts their Home Cinema 400 home theater projector in a whole new light in terms of value for the money. So we asked for a second sample and gave it another review, updating the original review that was done last fall. At street prices of about $1100, it is now a strong contender in the entry level 720p resolution projector class.more

Formidable Entry Level HT

If you are about to get your first home theater projector and you have a very limited budget, we'd like to call your attention once again to the Mitsubishi HD1000. This is, in our opinion, currently the most formidable entry level home theater projector on the market, and selling for below $1,000. We've been spending more time with it this week, and its very sharp, high contrast image continues to amaze us. It was the first product to be given the Editor's Choice Award last fall, and for the money it is still extremely difficult to beat. Check current street prices by getting quotes from dealers, and see if it is time for you to...more

A lot of Presentation Power

We have just posted a review of the Optoma EP770, a low-priced five-pound portable projector that will be a terrific option for presenters on the road. Though there are projectors a bit smaller and lighter, this one delivers a lot of presentation power for the money. We have several business models under review at the moment, and we are also working to update a number of the commentaries and technical articles. We will be posting those as we get them updated.
Topics: Optoma 770

Optoma HD81 Value Rating Increase

We just posted summaries of the 1080p projector reviews, and a couple of updates should be noted. First, due to changes in street prices that have materialized after the initial review of the Optoma HD81, we have increased the Value rating from the initial four stars to a full five stars. (See review). At current street prices, the Optoma HD81 is very competitively priced, and an excellent value for the money. If you are planning to ceiling mount your home theater projector, give this one a very close look.more

Upset with the Delay

We were finally able to get the overview of the HD disc players posted today. It took a bit longer than anticipated due to the confusion over the 1080p/24 issue. Basically, contrary to all expectations, we saw no improvement in picture stability when transmitting 1080p/24 as compared to 1080p/60 or 1080i. We were trying to discover the reason for this, and as of yet we have not determined the root of the problem.more

Summary Roundup of 1080p

We've just posted a review of the new Epson Cinema 1080 projectors. The Home Cinema 1080 sells for just $2,999, and is a great option for DIY folks wanting to get into 1080p performance with as little investment as possible. The Pro Cinema 1080 for $4,999 is similar in performance, but it comes with an assortment of extras. We are still working on the XA2 HD DVD player from Toshiba, and the Blu-ray players from Pioneer, Panasonic, and Sony (the PS3). We hope to have some comments ready to post next week.more

Entry Level HT on a Budget

Well, okay, it took a couple days longer than I had anticipated, but we've just posted the review of the Optoma HD73. The HD73 is an updated version of the HD72, but both of them will continue to sell as they each have advantages over the other. By the way, if you are new to home theater and want to get into it with very little cash, note that Optoma has a $100 rebate going on the H31. This means you can pick up one of these outstanding little home theater projectors for amazingly little money. For entry level home theater on a budget, it is one of the best deals going. See Optoma H31 dealers for details.more
Topics: Optoma HD73

JVC DLA-RS1 Receives Editor's Choice Award

What an exciting time it was to get into the new JVC DLA-RS1. This is one of the most amazing projectors we've seen in a long time, and it was a no-brainer to give it our third Editor's Choice Award. If you have the cash to go for the best in home theater, this is the best we've seen for the money, period. We are finishing up the review of the Optoma HD73, and that should be posted by Monday. We've also got the latest Panamorph anamorphic lens with its automated track, and Toshiba's new HD DVD player, the HD-XA2.more

The Emergence of Black Screens

We've just posted a new review on the Nexy ambient light rejection screen. If you've been looking for a front projection solution that works with the lights on, this may be an option for you. We are expecting to see the release of several of these so-called "black screens" this year. That's good news for everyone who want large screen entertainment, but can't or don't want to create the dark viewing space needed for the best performance on conventional screens.more

Working on a Home Theater Buyer's Guide

Many readers have noticed that the Buyer's Guide on this site is oriented toward the buyer of commercial and business projectors. We've been working on a Home Theater Buyer's Guide that is more focused specifically on the needs of the consumers looking for their first home theater projector. While awaiting the arrival several new projectors, as well as HD DVD and Blu-ray players for review, we've been concentrating on finishing up the HT buyer's guide. It should go live in the next couple of days.more

Large Screen Theater with the Lights On

We've just completed two screen reviews that many will find of interest. The first is the Planar Xscreen. This is a unique screen made to deliver a brilliant picture when there is a lot of ambient light in the room. And frankly, it looks quite amazing when it is set up right. If you want large screen home theater and you want to leave the lights on, this is a product you should take a close look at to see if it's right for you.more

Projector Information From CES

Sometimes there are many new home theater projectors being unveiled at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Sometimes there aren't, and the CES 2007 that just wrapped up in Las Vegas was one of them. So we will forego a full show review. However, we want to spotlight what in our view were the two most important developments of the show as far as home theater projectors are concerned ....more

CES Next week

Well, we survived another holiday season only to be confronted with the huge CES trade show taking place next week in Las Vegas. We will be down there taking notes on the new releases, and we will write them up as soon as we can. We were expecting to post a review of the BenQ W10000 this week, but some technical issues have arisen during the course of the review that we want to get resolved before publishing it. We are talking with BenQ and hope to have everything clarified by early next week. Meanwhile, we were happy to see the new Viewsonic Cine5000 arrive yesterday, so we will get busy with that review as well.more