The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Epson's MovieMate 60 – the perfect stocking stuffer? Sony VPL-VW85, LG CF181D

Greetings and happy holidays to all!

Well, no rest for the wicked, as they say.   I received two more projectors in, to complete the reviews of, by year end.  Plus below, I’ll let you know what else is coming shortly.

The MovieMate 60, Epson’s newest, low cost, all-in-one projector, and Sony’s VPL-VW85 home theater projectors are the two that arrived.  Mike is picking them both up, for measurements and calibration.

My plan is to have the MovieMate 60 review up Tuesday night, that should give everyone who thinks it’s a great stocking stuffer, or gift under their tree, time to run out and buy one, if it sounds good.  BTW, the Moviemate 60 is smaller than I remember from CEDIA, it really is surprisingly small.  I like that!  Also,  it comes with a nice portable, padded, soft carry case.  Can’t tell you any more, as I haven’t fired it up yet.

I’m also very looking forward to the arrival of the Sony VPL-VW85.  From discussing with Sony back at CEDIA, the VW85 should at least close the gap (by my measure) between Sony and JVC.  From what I’ve seen, JVC will still have the advantage in black levels, but there are other important things to consider, if you are comparing projectors when black level performance is very very good, on one projector and excellent on another.  We shall see.  My goal is to publish between Christmas and New Years, but ideally closer to Christmas.

LG: OK, lighten up!   I’m getting several emails a day asking when I’m going to review the LG.  So far, I still don’t even have a good working contact there, although I’m trying.  I think they all took December off.  Actually it took any number of calls just to find out which division (LGCommercial) is handling it.  Between now and then, you’ll just have to get by, and read between the lines of that review that’s been published by “those other guys”.

I hope to finally track LG down, but many manufacturers are closed for one or both holiday weeks.   At worst, I’ll see them at CES (2nd week of January) and hopefully have a review unit in, before month end.

I basically will be telling them the truth – if I can’t get one in by end of January, they’ll miss my cut-off, to be considered in our major 1080p Projector Comparison Report, (by far our most widely read document), and at a shot at our annual Best In Class awards.

Hopefully, that will motivate them.  It tends to motivate other manufacturers.

BTW, JVC is working on finding me an DLA-RS35 for review, and failing that, they’ll send me a DLA-RS15 after the first of the year.

The JVC DLA-RS35 is identical (for all practical purposes) to the JVC HD990, and the DLA-RS15, near identical to the JVC HD550 projector.

OK, I’ll be putting together a short blog on the MovieMate 60, probably on Sunday – the usual “first look”  (I’ve got 30 relatives to deal with tomorrow (the 19th).

Late January, or, more likely early February, look for reviews of Epson’s newest 720p projector, the 705HD – I haven’t reviewed a 720p projector in quite some time, as most manufacturers have passed on introducing new 720p projectors this fall.  It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to review the true “entry level” projectors.  And it looks like I’m that somebody.

GREAT NEWS!    After CES, Screen Innovations is shipping me their 1.4 (relative) gain Black Diamond “black” projector screen.  They make two versions – 1.4 and .8 gain.  After much discussion with them, we all decided that the 1.4 makes more sense, because it offers almost all of the advantage, but is a lot brighter.   If sufficiently dazzled, it’s very likely I’ll ask them for a .8 for review as well.

Oh, there are plenty more projectors still on the list, but, above, I think,  are the most “critical” projectors to review “sooner, rather than later”.

ONe more item.  No, nevermind – it deserves it’s own blog – in about 10 minutes. -art

News And Comments

  • Sofa Cinema

    What happened to the BenQ W1000?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      I’m trying, but with people on vacation, etc. I haven’t gotten a straight answer from them in more than 2 weeks. The woman I work with there, who had told me, mid November, that early December would work, is just returning from a 2 week vacation tomorrow. No one else has been able to tell me anything, so I’ll be trying to find out more, tomorrow. I’ll advise if I learn something. Failing that, there’s a dealer I can probably borrow one from, although I prefer not to do that. There tend to be “obligations”. -art

  • hayati Akbas

    hi Art,
    I have a question for you, but first here is a little background of what’s going on:
    I just bought the Epson 8100 based on your review of that and Mitsubishi 3800. I didn’t go for the Mitsubishi purely for one reason. they have a silly offset that I either have to put the projector on the ground or glue it onto the ceiling to get it working at my set up. the shelf I have is right on the middle of the screen about 15 feet away, projecting onto 120″ scree.I upgraded from Panasonic AX200. I thought without smoothscreen filter on the panny I would see screendoor effect or something but 1080p is just beyond 720p from what I see. From 5feet and more I lose any pixelation and everything is smooth.
    Epson is amazing. I thought I could do the tweaks to settings based on your recommendations but on your review the unit you tested was a pre-production unit. also some of the settings values don’t exist on the Epson 8100 ( like brilliant cinema) I think it is mixed with Mitsubishi? I would love to get your recommended settings suggestions if you have a production unit available.
    Thank you for your reviews and adding your personality to it, which makes it so much fun and enjoyable to read reviews on projectors.
    Thank You
    Hayati

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi, I had checked with Epson. Remember, this 8100 is only a minor upgrade from last year’s 6100, and uses the same panels I believe, same general processing,e etc. As a result, according to Epson, there has been almost no change in the color tables, the exception being Dynamic, which is less bright than last year, but has better color.

      As a result, my understanding, is, that while some other things changed, here and there, from pre-production to production, that the color tables should be virtually identical, or identical. I’ve already had feedback from a couple folks using our settings with their new 8100s and it seems they work fine.

      When I have an all new projector – such as the Mits HC3800, then, there is usually a fair amount of changes made from preproduction sample to finished product. In that case, we updated our settings. Best of luck!

  • brian

    any luck on LG CF181D?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Not yet, but, soon, I hope. One of the authorized dealers is helping, but, then, they’re biggest concern are the delays. I’m told that they were originally expecting the LG on around 12/1 and now, it’s almost Feb, and still don’t have a reliable date. Hopefully it’s not “smoke and mirrors”. LG has shipped projectors elsewhere in the world, in the past, but skipping the US market.

      We shall see. Meantime, I’m now reviewing another LCoS projector, one from Cinetron – it’s also really bright. Review will post by month end. -art

  • Matt

    Thanks for the reviews of the Movie Mate 60 and the Epson 705HD. It’s nice to see manufacturers still going for the low-cost entry market with updated models. Any chance you will review the latest Optoma newcomer (HD66) too and compare it with the 705HD and HD65?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Matt,

      Optoma is sending me the HD66. Should be arriving in the next few days. I’m finishing off the Cinetron HD700, and not sure which projector will be next – several are racing their way to my door. But, it will be soon. Also coming is the BenQ equivalent – their 3D W600, which ships to me this Friday. Two birds of a feather, perhaps. We shall see. -art

  • Matt

    Just read the specs for the BenQ. It wasn’t that long ago that one had to pay an order of magnitude more for a 6x color wheel. Exciting times for the budget-counscious projector lovers…
    Can’t wait to read your review Art!

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