Posted on March 14, 2008 By Art Feierman
Last year, I felt general image noise was more than acceptable on all the projectors. Not necessarily perfect, of course. This year, that’s not the case. Sporting definitely more image noise than any of the others is the new BenQ W5000, in fact, that is its single biggest flaw, and a major reason it didn’t beat out the Sony VW40 in the awards.
In terms of the processing, most companies use 3rd party solutions, so for example, Optoma and JVC use Gennum processing, while Silicon Optix and Faroudja are found in others. It’s hard to keep them all straight, as some manufacturers don’t actually promote who they use.
In considering how to summarize, I quickly realized that ranking them doesn’t really accomplish much. For example the Optoma would score rather low due to lens shift and zoom lens, as well as remote, etc. But for those ceiling mounting, lens shift and zoom lens issues may not be important – either it will work in your room or not. Or consider the Sharp and the Sanyo, the least bright projectors, an issue for many, but probably not an issue for those looking at screen sizes of 100″ diagonal or less (larger with a high gain screen).
For this reason, I’ve made no attempt to rank general performance. Instead, I leave it to you, to intelligently figure out which of these performance items are deal breakers. For example, if you want to shelf mount in the back of your room, with a large screen (110″ or more), you can quickly eliminate about half of these projectors – all six without lens shift, and the least bright remaining projectors which includes the Sanyo and Sharp projectors. If you are sensitive to the Rainbow Effect, then also scratch the BenQ projectors and the IN82 from your list.
Then, of course there is price. So for most of you, it becomes a process of elimination. Figure out which projectors just won’t work for you, and then choose from what’s left.
That’s it. Now, I strongly recommend you visit the Warranty page (by far the least read, of the five pages in each review). Warranties vary widely, and repairs can be very expensive. I think it’s worth a few minutes of your time. You know what they say: Let the Buyer beware!
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