The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Optoma UHD60 First Look Review

The rise of 4K and 4K UHD projectors has driven manufacturers to create their vision for the optimal 4K capable projector. Optoma, a company well-known for their use of DLP technology and their stake in the home entertainment and home theater markets (especially gaming), has come out with two new models to add to their catalog – the Optoma UHD60 and the already-reviewed UHD65.

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New Epson Home Cinema 4000 Projector: Taking Handling 4K Content To New $Lows

The Epson Home Cinema 4000 aka HC4000, is the little brother of their top rated HC5040UB projector. The HC4000’s low $2199 list price, makes it the least expensive home theater projector today, that handles 4K content with the major enhancements in contrast and color intensity.

Epson_HC4000_angle

Epson Home Cinema 4000 – the least expensive projector at this time, capable of projecting 4K content, with support for BT2020 color space and HDR!

That certainly is one of the most important skills of the HC4000, but it’s hardly the only. The lens system is fully motorized, allowing for Lens Memory, giving you the choice to go full wide screen in your screen selection, a major plus for many “movie first” home projector owners. The screen images shown below are from Epson’s Pro Cinema 4040 a more expensive model that is the most similar.

2200 lumens gives the HC4000 plenty of punch for use in a dedicated home theater, and it’s enough to tackle HDR with respectable results, which is good, as HDR is a bit challenge for just about all projectors that offer it. It will also be enough power to tackle your favorite sports in a not overly bright media, family or living room when paired with the proper screen.

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The New BenQ HT9050 Raises the Bar for 4K UHD Home Theater Projectors

I am looking forward to the review of the just formally announced BenQ HT9050 4K UHD home theater projector.

The HT9050 is their new flagship, with an MSRP of $8999.

BenQ_HT9050_LED_projector_top-frontIn many ways similar to the HT8050, the HT9050 offers much more for the extra $1000, including a long life LED light engine, and the addition of support for the larger BT2020 color space offered with 4K UHD content such as Blu-ray UHD.

Let us start with the LED light engine.  BenQ rates it as having a 20,000 hour life.
The press release did not specify brightness, but I believe it will be the same 2200 lumens claimed as the lamp-based 8050. Thanks to the solid state light LED engine, though, it is likely to seem brighter, and definitely will stay brighter longer.

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FauxK vs 4K Projectors – A Look At True 4K, 4K UHD and 1080p Pixel Shifters

Faux-K or FauxK: What is it? First, some writers started referring to projectors that could accept 4K content, but didn’t have 8 million discreet pixels to show it, as “FauxK.” I joined that party. I wish I had invented the term, but I commend whoever did. I found an early thread on one of the forums from way back in 2011 with another reviewer “debating” what he felt was a 1080 pixel shifting projector line that might be misconstrued at true 4K. He used the term FauxK. For those who are curious, there’s a link below.

VPL-VZ1000ES_4K-HDR_deepwater-horizon_rig

4K content from The DeepWater Horizon, projected by Sony’s ultra short throw true 4K projector – 8.3 megapixels no overlapping pixels.

FauxK vs 4K – what’s the verdict? I consider any projector that can put at least 3840 x 2160 discreet pixels on the screen – without any overlap, to be “true 4K” (not an official term).

Let’s start with the simple truth that FauxK isn’t any official term that some standard committee has blessed. Consider it slang.

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First Look Review: BenQ HT8050 – A DLP, 4K UHD Home Theater Projector

The BenQ HT8050 is a $7999 home theater projector, that uses TI’s new 4K UHD DLP chip. It claims 2200 lumens. It’s on the large size – for those of you familiar, not to different than the JVC projectors, or some of the Sonys. It will primarily be sold through local installing dealers here in the US.

benq-ht8050

The BenQ HT8050 is a pixel shifting home theater projector with 2516×1528 x2 native resolution, which allows it to claim 4K UHD status.

The BenQ is a lamp based projector. There’s a companion solid state projector – the HT9050 coming out shortly, I’m not certain about the price of that one, but I’m pretty certain, under $10,000. I’ll update this when I confirm.

BTW I just shot my first batch of photos of the HT8050 in action. As you can see, I dropped a few in here.

I’ll get into some more details but first I must address resolution.

To paraphrase Shakespeare: 4K or Faux-K, that is the question.

Here’s a link to another blog I just wrote discussing the credibility of treating 4K UHD the same as true 4K, without clarifying. I think the oft used term of Faux-K is the term that applies. Oh, and while I’m at it, Ron, our most technical reviewer, just put up another blog, relating to 4K viewing, this one on HDR, which he’s blogged about before.

So, short version: I don’t count the BenQ HT8050 or other new 4K UHD projectors.

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Fun with 4K Capable Projectors – the Upcoming 4K and Faux-K Reviews

Greetings projector fans. The 4K – and Faux-K projectors are coming, no, a number of them are here now to be reviewed!

BenQ HT8050 projector

The 4K UHD BenQ HT8050 set up in our home theater room

I’ve been basically slammed the past couple of months, between writing projector reviews, planning an update to the site, and also growing our newer site: SmarterHomeAutomation.com, so sorry for not writing sooner.

Those pesky 4K UHD DLP projectors that were first promised in the 2nd half of last year, then earlier this year, and finally starting to arrive on the scene, and we can’t wait. Two are in house! First, though,

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Epson’s New Home Cinema 1450 Projector – Evolutionary and More Affordable

Home-Cinema-1450-projector_beauty Epson Home Cinema 1450 – 4200 color, and white lumens of bright room…

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Epson Drops Price of Home Cinema 5040UB

The Home Cinema 5040UB was a top award winner in last year’s Best Home Theater Projectors report published late September 2016. Until now, the HC5040UB has had an official UMAP (essentially “street”) price of $2999.

Epson's HC5040UB - 4K Content Handling, Pixel shifting, Lens memory, more, all for $2999!

Epson’s HC5040UB – 4K Content Handling, Pixel shifting, Lens memory, more, now for $2699!

 

This week Epson announced a 10% price cut on the the pricing of the

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JVC Announces New Home Theater Projectors At CEDIA 2017

jvc-dla-rs620_projector-gold JVC’s Pro DLA-RS620 looks identical to the X series, except for the trim. Note the gold…

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Projectors at CES 2017 – More 4K UHD and Concept Projectors

hisense-4k-laserprojector-system HiSense 4K UHD Laser Projector – will come with screen and speakers for $…

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Sony VZ1000ES Ultra Short Throw 4K Projector – Awesome Home Theater In Any Room

sony_vz1000es-projector_living-room_daylight Pair the VZ1000ES with the right screen…

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SIM2 is the first to show a DLP 4K UHD projector at CEDIA

sim2-nero4-4k-uhd_projector The Nero4 was demonstrated in the typical really dark trade show booth theater. Pretty…

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Epson’s New LS10500 Laser Home Theater Projector – 4K HDR Support

The LS10500 dual laser home theater projector from Epson will ship this fall 2016. In most ways it is the same as its predecessor. The LS10500 is a $7999 list price projector sold through Epson’s authorized installing dealers in the US. This model adds additional 4K support. When the older version first shipped about 20 months ago, it was the first 1080p home theater projector to support 4K content, including commercial content requiring HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 copy protection. This allowed for working with the at the time, still un-released requirements for 4K Blu-ray UHD, and as it turns out, for 4K HDTV.

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BenQ’s Serious Home Theater Projector – The New HT6050

What better time to tell you about BenQ’s sleek new flagship home theater projector, the HT6050, than as I’m heading to CEDIA.
Here’s a twist: BenQ won’t be exhibiting at CEDIA this year. Officially, the HT6050 was first announced mid-July. Still, now is when home theater enthusiasts are “paying attention” due to the other announcements at the show.
Let’s start with the basics – single chip DLP projector, boasting 2000 lumens, multiple lens options and 1080p resolution.

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New Epson Home Cinema 3100, 3700 and 3900 Projectors at CEDIA

These three new home theater/home entertainment projectors from Epson replace two year old models, and serve up some performance improvements, and reconfigurations in terms of features.

I was supposed to get an actual demonstration of the Home Cinema 3100, 3700, and 3900 at Epson Long Beach, a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t happen because, instead I took a long awaited, two week family vacation.

In other words, I’ve been briefed, but haven’t yet seen them in action. I expect

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CEDIA Home Theater Projector Blogs – Coming Today and Tomorrow

Greetings from Dallas, all ye home theater projector fans. Here’s the short list of individual blogs I’m working on, of new home theater projectors that I know about so far.

CEDIA 2016

CEDIA 2016: HT projectors and smart home automation gear

Some I was briefed on many weeks ago, others by email the past few days. I’ve been on NDA – forbidden to share, until now (standard operating procedure). No doubt I’ll find more new home theater and home entertainment projectors at CEDIA to report on.

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CEDIA, Our Annual Best Home Theater Projectors Report, Are On Deck

Greetings projector fans. I had hoped to publish our annual report last week but only got a small part of it done before leaving on a family vacation. I’m back on Sunday and will be hard at work on the report. I hope to have it up on the first day of CEDIA, but that’s later than usual.

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Epson Announces Pro Cinema 4040 Projector with 4K Support at CE

Epson’s newly designed Pro Cinema 4040 projector, announced two weeks ago, features 4K and HDR support. It is the lower cost Pro Cinema sibling to the Pro Cinema 6040UB (which stands for “Ultra Black”). The PC4040, along with the new UB projectors has pixel shifting, to work in conjunction with the 4K content to provide visibly superior detail when compared with traditional 1080p projectors!

Epson Pro Cinema 4040 projector

Epson Pro Cinema 4040 projector – sleek, improved black levels, brighter, 4K support, pixel shifting, and a lot more enhancements

Compared to the 6040UB, the Pro Cinema 4040 a good choice if you’ve got a room that’s never 100% dark where the black level difference is essentially negated, or if your budget is really tight.

In fact, the Epson Pro Cinema 4040, including all the extras (see below), lists for $2699, compared to the 6040UB’s $3999 price point. That makes the Pro Cinema 4040, and the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB (which I blogged about recently) the two least expensive projectors on the market today, to support 4K content, including HDR, and the DCI standards.

Update 4/2017: Check out our Pro Cinema 4040 review!

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Epson HC 5040UB and PC 6040UB Projectors w/4K Support, Announced At CE

Epson’s new Home Cinema 5040UB and it’s non-identical twin, the Pro Cinema 6040UB represent a dramatic upgrade from Epson’s previous UB (“Ultra Black”) series. Make that massive upgrade. These projectors, while reminiscent of the models that came before, are more revolutionary than evolutionary. Epson showed them for the first time, today, at the CE Show in NYC.

Check out our full review of the Home Cinema 5040UB and Pro Cinema 6040UB here. Also – here’s a short highlight reel from our videos of these projectors.

Home Cinema 5040

Epson’s Home Cinema 5040UB accepts 4K content including DCI and HDR! It offers pixel shifting for a more detailed image.

Until now, Epson has been improving the performance of the UB series for about eight years now since first launched, but the hardware basics hadn’t changed much – for example their Fujinon 2.1:1 manual zoom lens, and the maximum supported resolution has always been 1080p. No more!

The most fun part of this story is that I had a chance to preview the new projectors at Epson’s US headquarters in Long Beach, CA earlier this month. Epson gave me a pre-product announcement type briefing, but then I got to see a demo. I’ll tell you this, for now (more below) – it was well worth the almost two-hour round trip to see it in action.

The fun part for some of you – these projectors – and two others will be shipping before the end of summer. For the sports fans among us, that’s great news – they will be out before the football season starts, before the World Series, etc. For us movie fans,

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4K Projector Experience: Sony VPL-VW665ES with Samsung Blu-ray UHD Player, Using HDR

Greetings projector fans, I am pleased to report that 4K viewing at 124″ diagonal, using Blu-ray UHD has come to pass here in my home theater. It is an awesome experience!

Sony VPL-VW665ES True 4K Projector – with 4K UHD Movies!

I still have in my possession, the true 4K Sony VPL-VW665ES projector (yep, the one that’s $14,999), for one more week.  I have managed to get everything to talk to each other (not easy), and do some viewing, so I’ll talk here about hooking things up, picture quality and specifically HDR, including a surprise there.

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