The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Finally More Home Theater Projectors Arriving – JVC RS4910, Optoma HD91

Greetings everyone!   It’s been a slow Q1 for home theater projector reviews.    As many of you know, there were less true home theater projectors announced this year at CEDIA, than I can remember since the early days more than a decade ago.

The good news, is that finally, I’ve got a new JVC projector inbound for review.  I want to thank the great folks at AV Science – you know –  the folks that created and brought you the AVSforum, have been kind enough to ship me a DLA-RS4910.  For those not familiar, the JVC DLA-RS4910 is a slightly different version, but almost identical to the DLA-X500R.   I’ve received the tracking number on the JVC projector, so know it’s arriving this coming week.   Best I can tell, the delays in review units from JVC are apparently due to some firmware fixes JVC wanted to accomplish with the new models.  My contact at JVC has only been able to say that he has no units to lend for review.  I hear that firmware fix now exists, although I haven’t looked into the nature of the issue, I assume the one being sent to me has the latest.)

We’ve gotten to all the Sonys and Epsons released at CEDIA, and I’m finishing off the BenQ W7500 right now (6 pages are finished, about 12 to go, it will publish in a couple more days).

The other exciting news is that Optoma is Alive!  I’m talking about in terms of real home theater projectors with great color and great black levels.  It’s been a long time since Optoma has released any real, serious home theater projectors – really just home entertainment models under $2000, although you could argue that the HD25 projectors are HT, not HE.  Optoma still have a couple in the lineup that are now getting pretty old.

HD91-300-2-597x409

Optoma’s HD91 Home Theater Projector – their first attempt at a serious LED home theater projector.

But this is truly exciting – the HD91 is coming my way.  This is an LED projector – perhaps the first modern serious one at anything resembling a reachable price.  I believe the MSRP is $3999.  the Optoma HD91 projector is  perhaps the first one that can really slug things out with the lamp based competition.   It’s no light canon, claiming only 1000 lumens, but that’s plenty (at least in 2D) for most home theaters.   I’ve reviewed a couple other home theater LED projectors in the past, the  Cinetron, and a Viewsonic, but the Cinetron was absurdly expensive (hey 4+ years ago), and the Viewsonic simply wasn’t capable of great color, even calibrated.

But I have my hopes up.  After all, if Optoma can pull this off, there are real advantages to LED, including, obviously, the long life lamp, but perhaps more important, that colors won’t shift significantly over time, as lamps do.  (Of course self calibrating projectors, or perhaps self re-calibrating projectors are likely to start hitting the market, which might negate that advantage.)

I’m hoping for a good color management system, and I’m assuming it has a dynamic iris, after seeing a 500,000:1 contrast spec listed.

While the JVC DLA-RS4910 is in transit, I don’t know yet, about the HD91.  I am definitely hoping it will arrive before the end of this month and the review published in early April.

After those two, I will finally have enough projectors reviewed to create our 2014 Best Home Theater Projectors report.  Ideally, I’ll also have a crack at the JVC DLA-RS700R or RS-900R, in time for the report, but we can make do, without it.

That’s it for now.  I’m going back to getting that BenQ review finished, and posted!  -art

 

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