The Art of Home Theater Projectors

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

Faux-K:  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 whomever did.  I found an early thread, on one of the forums, from back in 2011 with a reviewer “debating” what he felt was a 1080 pixel shifting projector line might be misconstrued at true 4K.  For those 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.

I consider any projector that can put at least 3840×2160 discreet pixels on the screen – without any overlap, to be “true 4K”  (not an official term).

Let’s start with the simple truth that Faux-K isn’t any official term that some standard committee’s 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 it’s 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

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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

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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 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 in this story is 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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Supersize Your Super Bowl Party with a Bright Room Projector

It’s not too late to take the enjoyment factor up a level or two for your Super Bowl party, or just your everyday sports, HDTV and movie viewing. What you need is one of today’s new Bright Room projector models geared for your maximum home entertainment!

Home-Cinema-1440_HDTV_football_field

The $1499 Epson Home Cinema 1440 packs 4400 lumens of brightness, enough to tackle your fav sporting event with a fair amount of ambient light

Decisions used to be simple. A few years ago, 60 or 65 inch diagonal was about as big as LCDTVs came. Today, if you have close to $100K you can buy a 100 inch LCDTV, but we’re now seeing “affordable” 70 and 75″ LCD TVs. A quick look at the Costco website shows 75″ TVs starting at

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Supersize Your Super Bowl Party with a Bright Room Projector (Continued)

This is the second installment of our blog Supersize Your Super Bowl Party with a Bright Room Projector! If you haven’t read the first part yet, start there. If you have, read on:

A Decision You Must Make: Will your screen be visible at all times?

For many folks one huge advantage of a projector / screen combination is that with a motorized screen, when you aren’t watching content, It rolls up, so that you aren’t staring at some huge gray rectangular area on your wall, which would be a good description of any 60 – 75 inch LCDTV when turned off.

Living-room_screen-up

A closed motorized screen is far more esthetically attractive than an equal sized LCDTV that’s turned off! And even more so, if recessed into the ceiling. This screen is mounted to the wall at the top.

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For Your Holiday Pleasure: The Physics of Christmas

Greetings – and Seasons Greetings, to everyone!  As we prepare for some serious holiday celebrations, (well most of us have already started), I am reminded that over the years I, and thousands of others have been sharing an old “study” that looks into the science behind Santa delivering all those packages on Christmas Eve.

Santa-Arrives

Santa lifts off… But how fast can he go?

 

I decided to share this rather amusing document with all of you this year. I’ve been emailing it

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