Projector Reviews

Guide to the 2012 Home Theater Projector Comparison Report

Those of your who are regular readers of our reviews and articles should find this helpful. This particular section, however, is written primarily for those who are new to and new to home theater projectors.

Those of you who read last year’s reports will recognize that many topics discussed within, are slightly updated versions from the previous report.

Greetings, this is our 2012 edition of our 1080p Projector Comparison report, now renamed the Home Theater Projector Comparison Report – 2012.

This is a very different – and shorter report than last year. Sections such as Physical Tour, Image Quality and Performance pages, will be much quicker, relying more on links back to the individual reviews of the projectors considered in this home theater projector report.

To assist those not familiar with our site, or for that matter, our projector review layouts, and writing style, this guide should prove to be helpful.

The topics covered are:

  • What’s in this Report
  • Defining your expectations: Are you an average consumer, enthusiast, or purist
  • Understanding your room environment in selecting the proper projector equipment

While my writing style definitely can ramble, I do pay close attention to word crafting. This is important so you can understand subtle differences. You should get different feels from phrases like very good, really good, impressive, especially good, rather excellent, excellent, superb, and others. Don’t think that I use terms like “excellent” and “very good” interchangeably. By the same token, when I say “this $999 projector has excellent image quality for the price, that doesn’t mean it’s as good as a projector that’s “excellent” in the $3500+ class.

Much of this report is subjective. You are reading my opinions as to how these projectors look and feel, and my take on which are best. I realize some people get to see one, maybe two projectors “live” before buying, and most who buy on the internet buy sight unseen. With that in mind, I take my reviewing seriously. I get to watch each projector extensively and play with each at length. From that, I draw my conclusions. Because there is subjectivity, my opinion isn’t fact, but I do get very positive feedback from almost everyone that emails me. Those who bought based on the information I provide, tell me I’m hitting the mark, as it should be. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Note, of course, unless you are on your 2nd or 3rd projector, you will almost certainly find your first purchase of a home theater projector, to exceed your expectations

As I like to say when people ask me what I do: “I pay myself a bunch of money to sit home and watch movies and football games (HDTV)”. Well, it’s obviously not quite that easy, and I’m sure not getting rich, but on the bright side – I’ve got a job I like!

Take your time. Consider your room, your expected viewing habits, and your budget, a few other questions, and it should all come together. We truly hope (and expect) that this year’s report will be useful to those that read it.

What's In This Report

This is as good a place to start, as any.

Organization: This report considers 27 1080p home theater projectors.

These 27 projectors consist of:

  • 26 have full reviews, 1 “mini” review: Epson Pro Cinema 6010
  • 10 of these projectors were shipping a year ago, most of those repeats are entry level projectors, in fact 4 are under $1000, 3 more under $2000.

Projectors are organized into three tiers, or as we call them Classes:

Entry Level Projectors: Under $2000
Mid-Priced Projectors: $2000 – $3500
Premium Priced Projectors: $3500 – $10,000

Note, we reviewed 2 projectors over $10,000 in the last year – A Runco projector (LS5) and a SIM2 Nero 3D2. Those will not be considered for our normal Best In Class Awards, but are eligible for Special Interest, or other awards, not specific to this report, such as Outstanding Product of 2011.

In placing projectors in our different price classes, pricing is based on estimated “street price” from authorized dealers. We say authorized, because once in a while you may see what seems to be a price ridiculously lower than everywhere else, from a non-authorized dealer. Remember – “let the buyer beware”. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  In one case we made an exception. The Epson Pro Cinema 6010 officially sells for $3999, so that would be in the top tier.  Upon consideration though, the Pro 6010 comes with so many accessories, that to consider it an over $3500 projector makes no sense.  (The PC6010 comes with a ceiling mount, a spare lamp, 2 pair of 3D glasses, plus an extended warranty and service plan.)

Home Page of the 1080p Projector Comparison Report:

This page provides additional guidance, and offers information in three topics:

  • Overview: General information to get everyone started (including some basics from this page). Also in this section:
    Projectors listed by price Class, with direct links to the individual reviews, and to each projector’s Specs page in our database
  • Highlights: A paragraph highlighting key aspects and features of each projector, organized by Class, and listed alpabetically
  • Special Features: Discusses a number of special features found on different projectors, such as dynamic irises, creative frame interpolation.