Home Theater Projectors At CEDIA 2007, New Projector Models Announced

OK, the truth is, I haven’t seen anything new, yet, at CEDIA 2007 in Denver, Colorado. In fact, I’m starting this article on the plane. I plan to get this posted tonight, or first thing Thursday moring. We’ll see how that works out. I hope to do one update from the show, and then a whole lot more information early next week.

UPDATE 9-10-07

OK, CEDIA is over, I saw roughly two dozen new projectors, so below is a listing what I will cover in this Report from CEDIA. Please note, the descriptions are brief, but will link to an additional page for each projector, or companies’ projectors, over the next few days. Extra info posted on Epson’s new MovieMates, and the JVC DLA-RS2

UPDATE 9-12-07

More info added on the Sanyo PLV-Z2000, and the Panasonic PT-AX200U and PT-AE2000U.

The short list of new home theater projectors:

Epson MovieMate 50 and MovieMate 72
Sanyo PLV-Z2000
JVC DLA-RS2, HD7100
Sony VPL-VW60 and VPL-VW200
Panasonic PT-AX200U and PT-AE2000U
Optoma HD8000
Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, Two complete theater packages (projector – 720p or 1080p), including motorized screen, front and rear speakers, subwoofer…

Most of the overviews below will contain links to additional information, and often, the official press release.

Epson MovieMate 50, MovieMate 72, All-in-one Projector Systems

Epson has been busy, they are rolling out two new MovieMate all-in-one projectors, including the first 720p resolution all-in-one, the MovieMate 72. (Finally!). In addition, rumor has it that they will be showing at least one stand alone home theater projector, possibly only at their suite. We shall see.

Update: From the show, I haven’t had my Epson meeting yet, but have spoken with some Epson folks. Turns out they have two new home theater projectors in their suite. I’ll get to see them, and, assuming a non-disclosure agreement is not required, I’ll provide information on the two stand alone Epson home theater projectors, in a couple of days.

Sanyo has finally joined the party, with the PLV-Z2000

I’m talking about 1080p projectors. Better late than never. At least, Sanyo got to skip the initial rollout last fall, the rapid price drops, and all the other “usual” insanity.

As one of the major players in the 720p home theater projector space, you can probably assume that the PLV-Z2000 will be a serious contender.

Sanyo just announced their first 1080p home theater projector: The Sanyo PLV-Z2000. The specs are most impressive. I’ll provide a very basic rundown here, then a link to more info, and Sanyo’s the press release.

First of all, in the quest for black levels and shadow detail, the PLV-Z2000 claims a contrast ratio of 15,000:1, as high a ratio as any, I have seen, but who knows what else will be shown.

The PLV-Z2000 also claims 1200 lumens, and supports HDMI 1.3, for deep color capability (a very good thing)! In fact, it claims a mere 216 billion color palette (and we used to be impressed with 16.7 million). For more information click: Sanyo PLV-Z2000.

JVC shows their new DLA-RS2 home theater projector

My first stop after arriving in Denver and checking in to my hotel, was JVC’s press conference, held at the Denver Performing Arts Center.

Many of our readers already know that I own a JVC DLA-RS1, so I was particularly interested to see if JVC had a new model. With the RS1 having only started shipping in quantity in May, it would have been optimistic to expect a replacement so soon, but I was wrong.

The new JVC RS2 is slated to ship in November. Here’s the basics:

Contrast is 30,000:1 double that of the RS1. No brightness spec yet, but it is anticipated to be about the same as the RS1. Pricing isn’t set either. For more information on the JVC DLA-RS2,

Sony launches the VPL-VW60, and VPL-VW200 Projectors

Coming soon to replace the Sony “Pearl” – the VPL-VW50, is the new VW60 home theater projector. Of course it has a number of improvements, but most notable, “dynamic contrast.” The VW60, which, like the VW50 – uses a dynamic iris to enhance black levels and shadow detail – claims an incredible contrast ratio of 35,000:1, over double that of the VW50.

The VW60 was shown at Sony’s press conference, but it was not demo’d there. I later saw it running in the Sony booth, and it looked great. Of course most systems do, in those nice little 100 blacked out rooms. While it really did look great, I won’t know more until I get one in for review.

Sony (like JVC) uses LCOS technology (but calls theirs SXRD), and the VW60, like its predecessor should be very serious contender, and may challenge the new JVC for best black levels

The other new projector, the VPL-VW200, is a more expensive projector, replacing the older VW100. Like its predecessor, it uses the more expensive Xenon lamp, for a bigger, smoother color gamut, and offers a brighter image.

Panasonic Home Theater Projectors

OK, I’ve had my meeting with Panasonic, and got a look at both the new PT-AX200U, the PT-AX100U replacement, and also, the PT-AE2000U, replacing the one thousand.

The PT-AX200U (above) is mostly evolutionary, but has one major change, in that they have added special processing to speed up the system, so that there is a mode really designed for today’s serious gamers, whether they run XBox 360, PS3, Wii, and so on. You’ll see heavy marketing to the gaming crowd. The PT-AX200U should ship in October, and final pricing is not set, but, if typical of previous models, it will start out with a street price slightly higher than the older PT-AX100U is currently getting, so likely somewhere around $1500 – $1800.

 

The PT-AE2000U, is Panasonic’s second generation 1080p LCD home theater projector. Most notably, it’s brighter than the PT-AE1000U, claiming 1500 lumens, up from 1000, a rather significant jump, plus the PT-AE2000U claims significantly higher contrast of 16,000:1, for better blacks and shadow detail. The projector is also due to ship in October.

The older PT-AE1000U is an excellent performer, but was the least bright of the 1080p projectors. It looks like the PT-AE2000U, will provide everything the older home theater projector did, but with futher improvements, and a whole lot more brightness. Street price should be around $2995.

For more information on the new 720p resolution PT-AX200U, click here.

For more information on the new 1080p resolution PT-AE2000U, click here.

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Optoma Home Theater Projectors

Optoma showed the HD8000. The HD8000 is a new version of the HD81, but one which will be sold through the CEDIA dealer channel (custom installers – your friendly local dealer). The HD8000 comes with a three year warranty with replacement program, compared to the HD81′s 2 year warranty. The HD8000 offers some extra setup capability, in the form of the ISF Day, and ISF Night modes, in addition to the usual collection of preset color modes. This makes sense, because local dealers are likely to offer calibration services, and can take advantage of the extra options. The MAP pricing for the HD8000 is $3199. For more details on the HD8000, click here!

Optoma also mentioned an HD71 – a replacement for the HD70, but, if I recall correctly, not due until very early next year. No press release or other info was available at our meeting, so best to not worry about that one for a couple of months.

Epson Home Theater Projectors, Complete Systems - Home Cinema 1080UB, Epson Projector Ensembles

Above, I touched on the new Epson All-in-one- projectors, however they also have a new 1080p to ship in late November, the Home Cinema 1080-UB.

The Home Cinema 1080p-UB uses a new generation of C2Fine LCD chips, and other improvements, designed to futher improve contrast and black levels. The new chip also has a larger aperature, so pixel structure is finer, and harder to spot than the standard Home Cinema 1080. Price: Not set yet, but right around $5000. Click for more information.

Epson "Instant Home Theaters"

Epson also has put together two really interesting Instant Home Theaters, or Epson Ensembles as they call them. These complete solutions are built around the current Home Cinema 1080, or their 720p Cinema Projector, the Home Cinema 400.

The thing that makes them unique, is that they are available bundled with motorized 100″ diagonal 16:9 projector screen with built in speakers, a separate subwoofer, rear sound system integrated into a mount for the projector, and table top control system, with built in DVD player. The complete 720p package is $4999, and the 1080p version built around the Home Cinema 1080, is $6999 Very cool, click for more info.

SIM2 Unveils 3 Chip DLP projector featuring Darkchip 4 from TI

Well, its about time. Seems like the Darkchip 3 has been around for forever (more than 2 years). You’d think the Darkchip 2 would be a museum piece by now.

To show off the Darkchip 4, it was shown in the theater in the DLP.com booth at the show. Of course, in a fully blacked out cave. It looked spectacular. The SIM2 was an early prototype 3 chip, 1080p DLP projector, in the C3X configuration, so don’t expect this wallet emptying projector to be around anytime soon. Almost certainly before next year’s Cedia though. Most impressive.

BTW, SIM2′s Darkchip 3 version of the C3X, is a mere $50,000 US.

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