1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report – Image Quality15

$3500 - $10,000 Home Theater Projectors

All eight projectors in the class this year, are considered ultra high contrast projectors. That’s right, all have at least extremely good blacks, light years ahead of the entry level projectors. It may not matter much at all on a typical well lit scene, but when scenes get dark, some projectors look far better than others.

 

InFocus SP8602

InFocus is back, and their IN83 replacement, the SP8602 sports a dynamic iris, and better blacks than its predecessor. Black levels are just decent relative to the other UHC projectors. That said, we’re still talking pretty black blacks. Even with its dynamic iris the SP8602 comes up a little short of the JVC RS15, a direct competitor. Shadow detail is excellent!

JVC DLA-RS15

The least of the JVC projectors, the RS15 can be thought of – when it comes to black level performance – a standard, that so far, perhaps only one other non JVC projector has bested. No dynamic iris needed, it can still do better – darker, blacks, than the Epson UB projectors at their best. Only the Sony VW85, and JVC’s own more expensive projectors can do a blacker black. Shadow detail is good, not the very best.

JVC DLA-RS25

Magnificently dark blacks, the RS25 does the best job I’ve ever seen. The RS25 seems to be just a smidgeon, or maybe even a bit better at blacks than my own RS20, its predecessor. And I do love the blacks of the RS20. Not only are the blacks really dark, they are very neutral, not visible slight presence of blue or red in the very darkest areas. Shadow detail is very good, although the darkest shadow detail is awefully hard to see because its so much darker than with most other projectors.

JVC DLA-RS35

Exactly what I said about the RS25, except that the RS35 would seem to be even better. Although I didn’t have the RS25 and RS35 here at the same time, I ran them both against my RS20. No question, the RS35 has blacker blacks than my RS20, and by a bit more than the RS25.

Optoma HD8600

The HD8600 is no slouch when it comes to black level performance, but also, not a star. It qualifies as a UHC projector although its down at the bottom of the range. It can’t quite match the blacks of the less expensive PT-AE4000. Shadow detail is very good. I would say typical for a projector with its black level performance

Planar PD8150

I said last year that the PD8150 had the best blacks of any of the DLP projectors in the report. The Planar was impressive when I reviewed it. Compared to this years crop of projector, it should work out to being about equal to the InFocus SP8602. It relies on a dynamic iris, but still comes up short of the JVC RS15. Shadow detail is very good.

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