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Your Longer-Term Plans

By Art Feierman

Your Next Projector

Consider Your Next Projector, after this one, before pulling the trigger.

Not only are there new projectors every year, but the technology changes rapidly. 10 years ago, there wasn’t a single affordable (under $5000) 1080p projector on the market, in fact, 720p’s were just starting to ship. 6-7 years ago, 1080p projectors were just surfacing. Five years ago, we started seeing the first “ultra high contrast” projectors such as the JVC RS1 and the Epson Home Cinema 1080UB. This is only the 3rd year of 3D capable projectors, and Two years from now, we’re likely to have some fairly affordable 4K projectors.

Why tell you all of this? Consider your enthusiasm. For example, let’s say you’ve got $3500-$4000 you can spend on a projector. And you like having a very large screen.   If 4K really makes sense to you, and you know you’ll want it sooner, rather than later, then you might consider: Spending a little less today, perhaps $2500, saving the rest, so you can move quicker to 4K.

That’s just one example. The question is, are you “hooked” on home theater projectors? Do you know yourself enough to know you’ll be wanting to upgrade when the next great thing becomes affordable. It can’t hurt to factor that in.

For the example above, currently (3/2013) it might play out like this:  Our two top award winners in our 2013 Best Home Theater Projector Report in the $2000 to $3500 price range are the Sony VPL-HW50ES and the Epson Home Cinema 5020UB. While they aren’t always interchangeable, we figure the Sony is a touch higher in overall performance (not lumens), and the Epson the slightly better value for about $800 or so less. If you can afford either, and aren’t worried about 2 years out, you could go for it – the Sony, or if you are an “upgrader” then you might choose the Epson… 

Is your budget lower?  Then it might be save $400 or so by opting for a BenQ W1070 instead of an Acer H9500BD, to save for the future.

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