October 16th, 2008 Art Feierman
I learned yesterday, from one Panasonic PT-AE3000U, authorized dealer, and then confirmed it with another:
Panasonic has set the MAP price (minimum advertised price) for the PT-AE3000U at $2499.
That pretty much determines selling price which now will be there, or in some cases, just slightly less.
Dealers are pre-selling the PT-AE3000U, and expecting first shipments in late next week.
With previous projectors, Panasonic has fiddled around with promotions with extended warranties, free blockbuster rental cards, etc.
Looks like this Q4, though, that Panasonic is keeping things simple, Read the rest of this entry »
October 10th, 2008 Art Feierman
It’s that time of year again. Most of the major home theater projector manufacturers rolled out their new projectors at CEDIA, with a few projectors shipping immediately, but most with first shipments scheduled for October, November, and December.
I’m getting buried in emails from folks asking when I’m going to get to this one, or that one. In some cases I know, in others I have ball park promises from the manufacturers. To keep my life simple, here’s what’s happening, and my best guess as to the answer to the question “when”.
By projector manufacturer:
PLV-Z3000 – Early November or end of October arrival. A priority review (as are the top of the lines from the other major brands).
Read the rest of this entry »
September 10th, 2008 Art Feierman
JVC has been busy on the home theater projector side. Once again, they have launched, essentially two new models, but since they have two divisions – Pro and Consumer, each “real” new home theater projector, has two versions. For the most part, the differences between the Pro and Consumer versions seems to be strictly cosmetic.
What we have here, on the lower end is the DLA-RS10 home theater projector (Pro group), and it’s twin, the DLA-HD350 coming from JVC’s Consumer group. Up the food chain, and you find the DLA-RS20, and matching DLA-HD350.
According to JVC, these projectors aren’t (at least immediately) going to replace the existing DLA-RS1 and DLA-RS2 (or their consumer counterparts. That does tend to make things a bit murky, but it definitely looks like the new projectors have some advantages.
Before I get into individual models, let’s look at what all four new JVC projectors have in common:
- A new 16 element lens with 2:1 zoom ratio (same 2:1 range as the older RS1 and RS2)
- Customized gamma control – the lack of the ability to customize gamma, was always something I’ve missed on the RS1.
- All have superb range in terms of lens shift both vertical (80%) and horizontal (34%), for easy placement. Lens shift is now motorized
- All support HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color and CEC
- Image processing – already good on the older projectors now uses the Silicon Optics Reon-VX
- All four, are supposed to be available this November (you never can tell, until they ship)
- All have a screen trigger – this can be used to control a motorized screen, or a masking system, or alternately can be used to control the motorized sled for an anamorphic lens.
- And all four support an anamorphic lens, without needing an outboard (expensive) processor
- JVC has moved the inputs and output panel to the side, as opposed to being on the back on the older projectors – more on this below.
- These models are brighter than their older equivalents – RS10 vs. RS1, RS20 vs. RS2, etc.
Let’s start with the DLA-RS10. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8th, 2008 Art Feierman
I’ve already briefly mentioned the new PLV-Z700, Sanyo’s new low cost 1080p projector with a $1995 list price. As it turns out, it is not a replacement for the current PLV-Z2000, but these are my first comments regarding the Sanyo PLV-Z60 home theater projector.
Let’s take one more look at the Sanyo PLV-Z700:
Contrast is good, at 10,000:1 but not quite as good as the Z2000 (15,000:1). The Z2000 however, had very good black level performance, better than some other projectors with similar contrast ratings, so, despite the “low” 10,000:1, the PLV-Z700 should still be pretty respectable when it comes to black levels.
Brightness is claimed at 1200 lumens, the same as the Z2000. That said, the Z2000 has been one of the least bright projectors, best suited for 100″ diagonal or smaller screens. Expect the same.
Placement flexibility is excellent with a 2:1 zoom lens, and vertical and horizontal lens shift! Like the Z2000, a lens cover slides in front of the lens, to keep dust out, when not powered up. This Sanyo, based on published specs, should be one of the quietest projectors around, in terms of fan noise.
A three year warranty combines with the low price point to make the Sanyo PLV-Z700 a serious contender. I should note that the Sanyo PLV-Z2000 has always been a favorite among the DIY home theater crowd. the PLV-Z700, I imagine, will receive the same attention by those with more limited budgets, but don’t want to have to settle for a 720p projector.
With 1080p projectors now dominating the market, some companies are sticking with their older 720p models, and not replacing them this fall, while a few others have new 720p home theater projectors.
Sanyo, who didn’t bother to replace the popular PLV-Z5 last year, has finally done so, with the just announced PLV-Z60. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8th, 2008 Art Feierman
OK, I’ve already blogged about the Epson Pro Cinema 7500 UB, but missed a few details. First of all, the pricing, will be under $5000 (which sounds a lot like $4999 to me, but we shall see). Final pricing is not yet set. I will update the first blog with this same information.
So, let’s talk Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB. First of all, it is not officially announced yet, and it sounds like it won’t ship until December. That means some of this info may not be completely accurate, as the product isn’t finalized yet. Normally I don’t worry much about products 3 months out, but it seemed that Epson was releasing a fair amount of information, to the CEDIA public, and I can’t rationalize keeping a secret, since much of the information is already circulating! Read the rest of this entry »
September 6th, 2008 Art Feierman
Greetings from my last day at CEDIA. I’ve got less than 10 minutes to head back over to the show, so this will be brief.
Epson showed several new projectors, and I’ll discuss them in more depth later, but the basics are – the Epson Home Cinema 6100 is their new entry level 1080p projector, with a price tag of $1999! This model claims, I believe 18,000:1 contrast, so, in terms of black levels it likely won’t quite match the current Home Cinema 1080 UB, but better than the standard Home Cinema 1080 (15,000:1) There are a number of other improvements however.
Next is the new Pro Cinema 7500 UB, this is Epson’s top of the line. Geez, it only claims 75,000:1 contrast ratio, Read the rest of this entry »
September 3rd, 2008 Art Feierman
OK, The CEDIA expo show floor opens tomorrow, but I’m spending much of today at press conferences. So, far, I’ve been to Panasonic’s where they rolled out the new PT-AE3000U 1080p home theater projector.
And I picked up a press kit for Mitsubishi, with whom I’m meeting with later this week. While Mitsubishi is already advertising their new Diamond 1080p home theater projector, I was surprised and pleased to see an announcement for the HD8000, which I will also discuss below. Mind you I haven’t seen either of these work, and in the case of Mitsubishi, the HD8000 press release leaves some things unanswered. Read the rest of this entry »
June 24th, 2008 Art Feierman
After much thought, I’ve decided to produce a report following the Infocomm show last week. It will feature capsules on about 35 or so, newly announced projectors and related products. In additional to the usual news and announcements on business and home theater projectors, I’ll be focusing on the new class of cell phone sized projectors (8-12 lumens?), that we’ll see hit the market late this year or early next year, Read the rest of this entry »
May 9th, 2008 Art Feierman
OK, time to pick up where I left off. We’ve already discussed a bit about 3LCD’s strengths in terms of more color per lumen, and in color accuracy at full power. There are, however other issues which came up in our discussions. One of those was the cost of maintenance.The guys on the other side of the isle – those DLP proponents at Texas Instruments, claim a big advantage in terms of cost of maintenance. So, let’s investigate. This isn’t about reliability, but about routine maintenance. The DLP folks point out that that most DLP projectors do not require dust filters, because DLP projectors use a sealed light path. 3LCD projectors require filters, and therefore, frequent changing of them, because dust can be a problem, and can even mar the image with what are called (aptly) dust blobs.
The 3LCD folks counter, that many of today’s 3LCD projectors don’t need filters cleaned any more frequently than they need lamp changing. If that were the case, they would have a strong case. As I said to the 3LCD folks, hey, you don’t have to be better at everything. I said that, because I do think DLP has the advantage here.There are basically two scenarios. Projectors that are placed on a table top, and those that are permanently mounted. Since cleaning or replacing a filter is a very quick thing, if you have easy access to the projector, using your projector on a table top, negates any real advantage of projectors that don’t need filters changed frequently. Ceiling mounting is a whole different story. Often, accessing a ceiling mounting projector requires at least a ladder. And it can be a real challenge if you have really high ceilings. In some commercial applications, reaching the projector can be daunting, consider many church sanctuaries, where the projector could be 50 feet up in the air, or perhaps a small auditorium, large multipurpose room, or hotel ballroom. not only a pain, but expensive timewise, especially if you contract out, or have a support department run as a profit center. Read the rest of this entry »
May 6th, 2008 Art Feierman
What a whirlwind trip. Japan and back in four days (from San Clemente California). Overall, the trip was a bit brutal, a lot of fun, and, actually rather enlightening. I’ll give you a taste of the travel schedule, and then get into the substance of the trip.
The brutal aspect of the trip started with a 10.5 hour flight from LAX to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. I’ve got to thank the 3LCD group for dropping the big bucks on Business Class. Those seats are the size of a small car, and really do open up into a flat bed. Amazing. Of course I had to leave the house 3+ hours before the flight, and once landing, there was the almost hour to get luggage, and take transport (90 minutes) from the airport to the hotel in Tokyo. Ok, that doesn’t sound so bad (if a 10.5 hour flight can ever be good – the food was).
The killer, though, was we left LA on Monday, and arrived Tuesday (crossed the international date line), around dinner time at our hotel, only to have to (after some catch up sleep Tuesday evening), meet in the hotel lobby at 7am on Wed morning, for a ride to another airport and a “short” two hour flight to northern Japan.
Once arriving on the island of Hokkaido (near Sapporo), it was a short ride to Epson’s automated 3LCD plant, located right off the airport grounds. Read the rest of this entry »