The Art of Home Theater Projectors

New Home Theater Projectors for Review

BenQ W7000, Mitsubishi HC7800D, SIM2 Nero 3D-2, Sony VPL-VW95ES Projectors

Greetings home theater projector fans,

Sorry, I’ve been remiss, regarding my blog.  I’ve just finished answering probably 25+ comments scattered around a dozen different blog pieces, so with those questions all answered, deflected, or ducked, it’s time to clue you all in to what new home theater projectors are in the works and inbound!

I think you’ll be impressed:

In process right now:

Sony VPL-VW95ES 2D 3D Projector

1.  Sony VPL-VW95ES Home Theater Projector – 85% written pages starting to post this afternoon (saturday), the usual trailing items (proofing, menus, calibration settings) will be added later Would you believe:  I actually finished a screens recommendation page in time for the first uploads.

2.  SIM2 Nero 2  aka the Nero 3D-2

This is SIM2′s “low” cost ($19,995) 2D and 3D single chip projector for the rich among us.  (not the super rich – they buy 3 chip DLPs).

SIM2 Nero 3D-2 home theater projector

I’ve been watching this rather sexy looking home theater projector for far more than a dozen hours so far, and as of today, it’s my primary for the next few days (a good 20 hours more of viewing, including football tomorrow).   I’ll start posting the Nero 2 projector review this coming Wednesday (12/14 if all goes well).

In bound home theater projectors:

1.  BenQ W7000 – an engineering sample is expected to arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday.  If I’m still writing up the Nero 2 projector, then the BenQ W7000 projector will likely go right over to Mike’s for immediate calibration so that the W7000 becomes the focus of my universe (well, my review universe) by Thursday evening.

The W7000 is long overdue, the W6000 has been around a good 2 years, and was a great roughly $2500 projector when it first hit, and it has stayed competitive thanks to price drops, but it’s time for something new. The W7000 starts out with a big plus, as a 2D and 3D capable projector and that is:  The W6000 was about the brightest serious home theater projector under $10,000 when it hit the market!

As such, even if BenQ does not make the W7000 brighter, it should still be up there in brightness (or close) to the Epsons and Panasonic, which are the current 3D projectors with the most respectable brightness for 3D.

I will promise (assuming it arrives as scheduled) that the BenQ W7000 projector review  will post before Christmas Eve.

2.  Mitsubishi HC7800D – a DLP, 1600 lumen 2D/3D capable home theater projector.  The HC7800D was supposed to arrive this week, but Mitsubishi now says end of next week or during the week before Christmas.

With the BenQ now in front of it, I don’t see how I can publish the H7800D review before Santa hits the skies, but I will promise a typical  - Mitsubishi HC7800D First Look review on this blog, before Christmas eve.

The HC7800D should be interesting – first it’s a single chip projector, and it seem, on paper, to be similar or close in brightness to the Acer H9500BD projector.  The H7800D claims 1600 lumens, the Acer (another DLP) claimed 2000 but (in our improved “brightest” mode) measured about 1500.  Most likely the the Mitsubishi, which should certainly have decent brightness for 3D  will have a slight to moderate disadvantage, compared to the Acer H9500BD, and probably also, the  Epson Home Cinema 3010  and 5010 (LCD), the Panasonic (LCD) and the BenQ W7000.  But it should be brighter than just about everything else.. We shall see.

The HC7800D is geared first as a family room projector.  True, it won’t be a match for that Panasonic PT-AR100U projector, which claims 2800 lumens, but remember, that AR100U is 2D only, making it an especially bright  family room projector – but only if  you don’t care about 3D at all.

The Mistsubishi HC7800D helps fill out one’s choice of options in the $1500 – $2500 dollar range, I think, but I still don’t know what MAP pricing is, which is the best indication of what it will sell for on the street.

I’ll be taking a particularly close look at the HC7800D’s 2D to 3D conversion, which they claim is really excellent.  I’ve yet to like any projector’s attempt at conversion, so I’m looking forward to a possible “breakthrough” when I try the HC7800D’s.

Also we’ll be closely looking at the H7800D as a 2D and 3D gaming projector.

Wrap up!

That folks is the lineup through the end of the year.  Look for one additional review prior to the CES show which starts January 10th.  A couple of possible projectors are vying for that slot, but I really haven’t gotten any promises in terms of delivery.

Also, please note, for those that haven’t yet noticed – we now have Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Linked-In sites.

Expect me to be blogging a couple of times, tweeting, and “facing” from the Consumer Electronics Show.  I’ll try to tweet about any really dazzling things I see, and then follow that up.   -art

News And Comments

  • Ryan Collins

    Hi Art,

    Love the website and have found it very useful. I am new to home theatre, and have recently purchased a Panasonic AE7000, with a 120″ 2.35:1 screen. I am having a small issue with the changing between the aspect ratios, and was after some guidance.
    I have it initially set up for 16:9 for the ps3 menu, and the image is centred perectly, however when I switch to the 2.35:1 for a blu ray, the image expands to the correct size, however, the entire image moves down and a bit to the left, and needs to be moved using the Lens Shift to get it right again.

    Just wondering if you could provide some tips for me to check, to try and avoid always having to move the image.

    The projector is roof mounted, and centred to the screen, approximately 5 metres away.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.



    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi Ryan,

      I don’t have the Panny anymore – barely two weeks total. But, perhaps you’ve got the digital shift causing that. Check those settings – or, perhaps you can compensate, using them, and incorporate those changes into your various saved lens memories. -art

  • Irfan

    Hi PJ Reviews, time to publish fresh reviews, you are far behind. Awaiting BenQ w7000 Review eagerly.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi Irfan, I’m always far behind. SIM2 publishing tonight. W7000 is next…
      But, if I’m so far behind – where are the other W7000 reviews? Just kidding. Mitsubishi HC7800D is after that. -a

  • Mike

    Hi Art, your Sony 95 review states that it does not have zoom memories, this must be an error as the projector has this feature, check mnf specs and eg AVS forum discussions. Otherwise thxs for the interesting reviews, keep up the good work!

    • Lisa Feierman

      Mike, probably a residual from the previous projector review I used as as template. I used the lens memory myself (I have a 2.35:1 screen). It works as advertised, no issues. With power zoom, focus and lens shift, and digital shift it’s even more versatile than the Panasonics which were the first to sport lens memory (except maybe some super expensive 3 chip DLPs).

  • Mike

    Art, I see that you now added info and analysis on the lens memory feature under heading “VPL-VW95ES Anamorphic Lens, Lens Memory”. Thx, also good to read that it works as advertized. However, in the summary section, where you list Pros&Cons you still say the following as Pro: “Can manually (from remote) do equivalent to Lens Memory”. Then as con you say “Lacks Lens Memory – of course in this price range, dealers are recommending an anamorphic lens for those wanting Cinemascope widescreen”.

    This is now both in conflict with the facts and what you also report elsewhere in the review. Yeah, I know, residual copy/paste from some past review (maybe last years VW-90), but still, would probably be good to correct this to avoid any confusion :-)

    • Lisa Feierman

      Thanks Mike, I looked around, and tackled the Lens/Anamorphic around 2am last night. I also asked Lori to scan the whole review… but she’s not back in until tomorrow… Now that you let me know it was also on the summary… I shall correct that as well.

      thanks! -a

  • Sheraz

    I’m vary interested in buy Sony VPL-VW95ES but I have been told that it’s not good if I want to use it to display on 130″ screen. I have a completely dark room. Even then I have been told (on the forums) that it’s not bright enough to show on 130″. Your opinion plz. Thanks.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Greetings Sheraz,
      That’s most interesting! For typical movie viewing, the general guideline has always been the movie theater engineers ratings. (SMPTE). 12 ft-lamberts minimum, 16 recommended. We measured 725 calibrated lumens. Now on a 100″ screen 1000 lumens gives you a whopping 33 ft-lambert. (32 is the max the SMPTE recommends, but you won’t find theaters near that bright). That assumes a 1.0 gain screen. Let’s work with that.
      A 130″ screen is 69% more sq feet than a 100. (100×100 = 10,000 sq inches 130×130 = 16,900 sq inches)
      33 ft lamberts / 1.69 = 19.5 ft lamberts. But, with 725 instead of 1000 lumens to start, 19.5*.725 = 14.1 ft – lamberts

      So, with a 1.0 gain screen, yes, you have as much brightness as a typical theater (and your room is no doubt darker).
      But, your lamp will dim over time, so, technically after perhaps 500 hours you’ll be down to the 12 ft-lamberts, and by the time the lamp reaches claimed life you’ll be at 7 and change. (For your reference, most 3D movie theaters are apparently less than 4 ft lambert – and they are too dim.)

      So, technically, longer term, you are thin on lumens. But, if you have, for example a typical 1.3 or 1.4 gain screen, then, say with a 1.3 (like my Studiotek 130), that 14.1 ft-lambertts becomes about 18.3… My biggest concern would be for any 3D viewing you do. you’ll be movie theater dim if you try to fill the whole 130. That I can assure you from my own. I found the 95ES adequate in 3D at 100″ diagonal.

      BTW don’t forget, that’s calibrated lumens I’ve been talking about. The Sony still has very good color in our quick-cal tuned “brightest” mode, where it is almost exactly 20% brighter…

      Sheraz, while I like the 95ES, and I believe you can definitely go with it, (I have a 124, and previously a 128″ and would be ok with the 95ES’s brightness for 2D, but, that said, here’s one of those times where I think I can recommend a projector that in several ways is better choice that’s lot less expensive.

      Consider the slightly newer, Sony VPL-HW50ES. Technically it’s a step down, but, in this case, the HW50es is actually better than the older 95ES at several things. First, it’s brighter – it calibrated to 992 lumens – your brightness problem basically vanishes. Second, it produces a sharper – or rather a “sharper seeming” image thanks to it’s impressive Reality Creation. (which can be pushed too far, of course, but it really is impressive. The 95ES will still win at black levels, but the HW50ES is very good, the equal to the Epsons, and not far below the 95ES. And you can put a couple thousand aside for your true 4K projector in a few years… -art
      Let me know how it all turns out! -art

  • Lisa Feierman

    Hi Rav, Not a bad idea. I’ll see if I can find the time. Meantime, a new favorite is the most recent X-Men movie. I’ll be using it heavily. -art