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Your 2017 Holiday Guide to Four Great Home Theater Projectors Over $2000

By Art Feierman
Your 2017 Holiday Guide to Four Great Home Theater Projectors Over $2000

‘Tis the season to be shopping – for home theater projectors! Fulfill your deepest dreams of a personal home theater or media room this holiday season with one of these awesome projectors. In this guide, we’ve gathered four of what we think are great home theater projectors for over $2000. At this price range, you get real serious performance worth writing home about.

Whether you’re going to be watching films, your favorite TV shows, sports, or playing video games, there’s sure to be a projector in this guide that tickles your fancy. We don’t need to convince you that movie viewing or Netflix binge watching is just plain better on a 90”-130” diagonal screen than on a tiny 65” LCD TV. You already know the benefits of the total immersion you will experience with a home theater setup!

About 200,000 home theater/home entertainment projectors are purchased a year in the US market alone, with more than half of them being purchased between early September and the Super Bowl. Enjoy the theater experience in the comfort of your own home, whether you’re gearing up for sports watching or cozying up for a long winter of superior movie watching experiences.

This year, all but one of our hand-picked home theater projectors are capable of handling 4K content. That one exclusion has its own perks, however, so don’t be daunted by its lack of 4K compatibility – it’s very capable in other areas! Three of the projectors range from $2,699 to $5,000, with a huge jump to the true 4K $25,000 Sony that’ll rival your local theater’s quality. We’re not going in order of price this year – just to keep you on your toes!

We are glad to say that this year, we have featured one bright room projector in this guide! Most all of these projectors should be capable of handling a mild amount of ambient light, but this year’s addition from ViewSonic definitely is the top choice if you’ve got a room with undesirable lighting conditions. Now, onto the projectors!

Also check out: Your 2017 Holiday Guide to Six Great Home Theater Projectors Under $2000

And, if you're into Smart Home Automation: 2017 Holiday Guide to Affordable Smart Home Automation Gifts

Sony VPL-VW285ES – The First True 4K Projector Under $5K!

Sony VPL-VW285ES Projector - 4K and good looking on, or off.

The Holiday Gift you’ve been waiting for – the First True 4K Projector Under $5K!

I just reviewed Sony’s VPL-VW285ES projector! It is true 4K, not FauxK. If you believe that a $4,999 projector is affordable, then this is the one you’ve been waiting for. No need to settle for pixel shifters that have lower native resolution, but can accept 4K content. This Sony really exceeded my expectations. It’s more advanced than the recently discontinued $7,999 VW365ES that it is most similar to, and it performs even better!

It may be the least expensive of Sony’s extensive line-up of six true 4K projectors, but it is anything but entry-level anything. When handling good old regular high definition content, such as HDTV or a movie on Blu-ray, this Sony performs extremely well, with excellent color, and impressively good black level performance.

But, the world is going 4K, and folks, this Sony will get you there, the right way. Its three LCoS panels (SXRD) are true 4096 x 2160 resolution with no pixel shifting/overlapping (2716 x 1528 x2).

Oh, some of those “faux-K” projectors out there claim to be true 4K, but they rely on using larger pixels that overlap. Folks, it’s just not the same thing. This Sony is the real deal. If you want more detail on that, do check out the full review, or our article on 4K vs FauxK.

Feed this projector some real 4K content, and the VW285ES is truly in its own element.  It can simply resolve finer detail than those FauxK’s. That’s not to say that lower cost 4K capable projectors aren’t capable, but we’re talking a different class of performance – and more features and benefits, too!

It has support for HDR – high dynamic range – both standards (HDR10 and HLG provide a more dynamic looking image) for more pop. The same you get at your local Cineplex, while this Sony’s support for BT.2020 /P3 color provides richer, more intense color than the color standard for HDTV offers.

The bottom line – 4K is sharper, with a more dynamic image and richer, truer colors than standard 1080 content. That, folks, has been the goal. This Sony delivers. The question is, will it be delivering this extra picture quality for you? Black level performance is more than respectable, even if higher end Sony projectors do even better.

So, score one for excellent color, make that excellent picture! I should note that the black level performance is another area where the Sony outperforms those lower cost “4K UHD” projectors that use pixel shifting. This Sony easily earned one of our Hot Product Awards.

Being true 4K is great, but it’s got the bells and whistles too! All lens functions are motorized, so you can choose to go wide screen so you can watch those Cinemascope type movies without any letterboxing (grey bars at the top and bottom of the screen).

The zoom lens itself has plenty of lens shift and over a 2:1 zoom ratio, for exceptional placement flexibility.

From a personal standpoint, Sony’s VW285ES is my projector of choice if I was spending $5000 or less. For more, check out our full in-depth review. It should answer almost any question you have about the VW285ES.  Take your viewing enjoyment up a level, or two, with some great looking picture quality.  Happy Holidays!

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