Projector Reviews

1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report – Image Quality21

Epson Pro Cinema 9100

The Pro Cinema 9100 is the Pro version of the 8100 found in the entry level class. For your extra money, you get only the extra warranty and black finish. The 9100 comes from Epson authorized local installing dealers. If you are doing you place and letting a quality dealer handle the work, you end up with the 9100 not the 8100. That’s fair, you will always pay a bit more from a local installing dealer, than an internet dealer. If you weren’t concerned about local installation, then go buy the 8500UB instead of the 9100, for about the same money.


This new LG definitely loves HDTV and sports. With the LG CF181D projector’s “brightnest” mode being the second highest meausured in this class at 1380 lumens, it’s got the power. And it has the best color of the brightest. It’s color performance at 1380 lumens at least as good as the Epson’s LivingRoom mode, and the BenQ’s second best mode (1250 lumens). It’s got CFI for your sports viewing pleasure. It looks great on sports, and even better on Discovery HD type content.

If you are choosing between the BenQ and the LG, here’s a clue: Other than lumens, the key trade-offs:

The LG has CFI and great color. The BenQ has no CFI for motion smoothing, but has an advantage in sharpness.

Geez, tough call, so before you start killing off brain cells figuring this out, keep in mind that, these two really are different but about equal for HDTV and sports. Two awesome projectors.

I should point out that if I had all the projectors in house at Superbowl time, this would have been one of my top three choices: LG CF181D or the InFocus SP8602, or the BenQ W6000. The InFocus would have gotten the nod for maximum brightness, with great color and excellent sharpness.

The thing is, in my high ceiling room (21 feet at the top), I’ve gone to rear shelf mounting. As it turns out, not only the Epson (best placement flexibility around) will work on my shelf, but so will these other two (just make it), despite the less range on the zoom. But, the odd/interesting way Infocus handles their optics, would reduce the InFocus’s brightness more than the other two, when being mounted at full telephoto on the zoom. That would have me using the LG for Superbowl (what a long way to get to my point – sorry)! Why, because it would have the most lumens of the three, and better color than the second brightest (on my shelf), the Epson. All three have CFI.

The BenQ W6000 would also do, but without CFI, and only about 1250 base lumens in brightest mode with very good color, I’d have to take the color/brightness, over the sharpness. Folks that’s my 2 cents!

Mitsubishi HC6800

A perfectly fine projector, it’s one of the sharper LCD projectors. That said, it’s average in lumens, lacks CFI, etc. Sure it’s fine for HDTV and sports, but hardly a top choice in this field of competition.

Mitsubishi HC7000

Might be an excellent choice for sports on an 82″ screen, but hey, even in brightest mode, at the mid-point of the zoom (where we measure all of these), it’s the dimmest projector in the entire report. Not a thing wrong with the picture (ok no CFI for sports), but it comes down to “where’s the beef! Sorry, not enough under this hood. It’s just not the projector with the horsepower to do sports well, unless your screen size is down there with the LCDTVs and Plasmas.

Optoma HD8200

Not quite as underpowered as the Mitsubishi HC7000, the HD8200, is still one of the dim bulbs, when it comes to sports. Our brightest measurement of the HD8200 was 660 lumens. That’s a mere 64 lumens brighter than the Mitsubishi HC7000. The picture is nice and sharp, but if you want enough lumens to be able to see your friends easily while watching football…

Sanyo PLV-Z3000

The Z3000 does have some spare lumens. It’s another projector that’s average in brightness, so I can’t beat on it too much, since it measured a good 150 lumens more than my own RS20. So, it has adequate brightness for sports. While the Z3000 we calibrated, never had quite as good color as we expected (strange color management abilities?), it still looks good on sports and Discovery HD, etc. The skin tones weren’t as good as most, but then, considering lamp variations, etc., another unit might have done better. (Still we have to blame a little on the less capable color controls.) Sharpness is better than average for an LCD projector, but not a match for a good DLP. The Z3000 is more a well rounded, average brightness projector that just makes the UHC cut, rather than a projector particularly good for sports and HDTV.