The Art of Home Theater Projectors

1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report, Optoma, BenQ Projector Reviews

Greetings all!Well, as no surprise to my “regular” readers, I’m behind the curve again, with reviews, and therefore, the big 1080p projector comparison report. This time it’s a couple of things causing the delay, but mostly the decision to slide in two more reviews, before starting the report.Next to publish is the Optoma HD803 1080p projector, a variation on the previously reviewed HD8000 and HD80. This will be a relatively short review in that this projector is so similar to the HD80, that much of the info can be taken from the HD80 review.The HD803 review should post tomorrow (Wed.) night. I hope to “rush” the BenQ W5000 (still in its box, but here), out by next Monday or Tuesday evening, and then on to the big comparison report.The structure of the 1080p report will be similar to last year’s. This time we’ll be giving out Best in Class awards in three categories: $2000 and under street price, $2000 to $4000 street price, and $4000 to $10,000 street price.Just for clarity, I don’t have the some 15+ projectors that are compared, here at one time. Rather this is put together from the many 1080p projector reviews done over the last year, including projectors such as the Panasonic PT-AE2000U, Epson Pro and Home Cinema 1080UB, Sony VW40 and VW60, JVC RS1 and RS2, some Optomas, the BenQ W5000, the Sanyo PLV-Z2000, and the Sharp XV-Z20000.The 1080p Comparison Report will feature a number of pages, that directly compare one projector to another, as was done last year.With a little luck, the Comparison report will initially publish around March 6 or 7th.Hang in there! -art

News And Comments

  • Scott

    Thanks for the update Art, glad to see you got the Benq W5000. Looking forward to see how it compares with the 1080UB and VW40.

  • JC

    Great Post. I have some similiar info on my Home theater website/magazine. I’m going to link to your blog from mine.



    Hi, and thanks. I’ll check out your site as well. -art

  • Chris K

    Has anyone seen the Planar PD 8150?


    I haven’t but I spoke with them about two weeks ago, and requested one for review – approximately mid-May. Still waiting to hear back. -art

  • Mexico Ray

    Thank you for all your help with your excellent understanding of the home theatre projector systems. At this time I am in the market for a 1080p projector. Based on your reviews of the PT-3000U and the HC 1080UB. I believe these two projectors should be fine for my application. I do have a couple of questions I would like to ask your opinion on. First, how many hours of continous these projectors can be done without harm to either unit? Second, how wide a screen will either of these two units allow. I would like to have a 144″ wide screen. My theatre room is 30 feet long.
    As far as the screen I will need. Can you suggest which kind of fixed screen would work best with either of these two projectors? The room lighting is controlled via dimmers on recessed lights and blackout curtains on the windows to eliminate the sunlight.
    Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.


    As noted in the screen recommendations section, going with typical screens – up to 1.3 – 1.4 gain, I don’t feel either projector can begin to handle a 144″ screen. That doesn’t mean you can’t go that route, but if so, you’ll probably need at least a 2.0 gain screen. With normal type screens I don’t believe either of these can be realistically pushed beyond 110″ diagonal. A 144″ screen needs about 60% more lumens to have the same brightness. A 2.0 gain screen provides a little less brightness at 144, as a 1.3 gain at 110″ (off the top of my head).
    A 2.5 gain screen will do the trick. But you’ll have roll-off issues to consider.

    If you are movies only, you might want to look at projectors that are brighter in best mode, such as the JVC RS1(x), which is at least 50% brighter in best mode. Problem is, for other watching requirements, the JVC is not as bright, so if you want to watch sports with some lights on, you can pretty much forget it. The InFocus IN83 comes to mind as an excellent choice, but it’s far more expensive. It may not match the black levels of the other two, but, I’d say, overall, is superior at just about everything else, including natural image quality, skin tones…

    hope that helps! -art