Projector Reviews

Guide to the 2012 Home Theater Projector Comparison Report-2

Physical Tour

This page covers a number of topics. They are pretty much self-explanatory. The topics are:

  • Appearance (and physical layout)
  • Control Panel
  • Inputs and Outputs
  • Menus
  • Remote Control
  • Lens Throw and Lens Shift
  • Anamorphic Lens Support

Image Quality Page

This page touches on:

  • Out of the Box Picture Quality
  • Skin (Flesh) Tones
  • Black Levels and Shadow Detail
  • Color and Picture Quality (post-calibration)
  • HDTV (how well a projector is at handling general HDTV, and TV programming, and sports, including when ambient light is present)

Performance Page

This page covers:

  • Brightness
  • Sharpness
  • Audible Noise

It primarily consists of charts showing best and brightest modes of each projector.

Calibration Page

This page:

Discusses calibration briefly, and what it can do for you and your system.
Provides links to the individual Calibration pages in each projector’s review.

Projector Screen Recommendations Page

This page essentially identical to last year’s:

Discusses some basics regarding matching projector to screen to room. It summarizes some things appearing in our multiple Projector Screen articles. For specific screen recommendations for a particular projector, visit that projector’s review, many have a screens section.

Compare Projectors Page

This page, informational, is again, a repeat:

Provides an overview for comparing projectors, and for using the many individual head-to-head projector comparisons. The Compare Projectors page navigates differently than the rest of the pages found in the outline.

Warranty Page

This page repeat – minor updates:

Talks about typical warranties, shows the projectors listed by price class, discusses replacement programs briefly, and indicates the warranty of each projector.

Summary Page

One of the shortest pages – just a brief wrap up, and final thoughts – it is written last, and may touch on some things overlooked elsewhere.  It also has a short list of all the award winners by price.  On that note, only projectors that have won one of our Hot Product Awards, when reviewed, are eligible for Best In Class awards.  That makes sense, I trust!

Defining Your Expectations Regarding Projectors and Your Final Theater Experience

In general terms, I believe there are three types of people who buy home theater projectors:

The Typical Consumer

Many people setting up a home theater in their homes, or even just putting a projector in a common room, such as a family room or den, are just looking for an enjoyable viewing experience. They may willing to pay more for better quality, but for them, they just want it to look great. They aren’t overly critical, and are not bothered by the most minor of imperfections. Once it’s all set up, they want to just kick back and enjoy the content, and the overall experience.

The Enthusiast

The Enthusiasts are folks that not only enjoy the content, but essentially have turned home theater, and home theater equipment into a hobby. These folks tend to want to tweak their equipment, often changing it out regularly (as budgets allow), seeking better and better performance. The enthusiast in some cases, I believe spends as much effort admiring, or being critical of the equipment and projected image, as they do enjoying the movie, TV program or sporting event they are watching. As a group, they love their hobby. I notice a large percentage of these folks are engineers, computer/creative folks, such as graphics designers, etc., but anyone can be an enthusiast.

Above, the same image (ok, they are a few frames apart), the first on the $27K Runco, the second on the $2700 Epson.  Interesting (the Epson is a touch brighter in terms of exposure, but they are similar enough for me to point out, that seeing these images isn’t the same as seeing these projectors in action.)