Home Projector Comparison Report – Performance8

$2100 and under 1080p Home Theater Projectors

Average sharpnessEpson Home Cinema 8100, Panasonic PT-AE4000, Sanyo PLV-Z700, Sharp XV-Z15000, Viewsonic Pro8100
Sharper stillBenQ W1000, Mitsubishi HC3800, Optoma HD20, Samsung SP-A600, Vivitek H1080FD

$2100 - $3500 1080p Home Theater Projectors

Average sharpnessCinetron HD700, All Epson projectors, LG CF181D, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Sony VPL-HW15
Sharper stillBenQ W6000, Optoma HD8200, Mitsubishi HC6800, Mitsubishi HC7000

$3500 - $10,000 Home Theater Projectors

Average sharpnessJVC DLA-RS15, JVC DLA-RS25, Sony VPL-VW85, Vivitek H9080FD
Sharper stillInFocus SP8602, JVC DLA-RS35, Optoma HD8600, Planar PD8150

Audible Noise

This is another topic that is pretty straightforward. The deciding factors when considering audible noise are four-fold:

First, how much audible noise each projector makes.

Second, where your projector is placed, relative to your seat. Obviously audible noise will be more of a factor if you’ve ceiling mounted your projector 4.5 feet directly above your head, as compared to, say, on a shelf in the back of your room, 6 feet up from your head and 6 feet behind you.

Third, whether you are running on a projector’s low, or high lamp modes. Low lamp mode is normally dramatically quieter. Many of the noisiest projectors are still quieter in low lamp mode, than many of the quieter ones are, in high lamp mode. I should mention high altitude settings. If you are living in Vail Colorado, or even in Denver, and maybe Albuquerque, you may have to run your projector in high altitude mode to properly cool it. High altitude modes tend to be very noisy. I can’t help you there, however, as I do not observe projectors in that mode. Sorry, if you are up high, you’ll have to sort that one out for yourselves.

Fourth, and finally, your tolerance for even the slightest fan noise. This is perhaps the biggest factor. There are those who are unhappy with any noise that can be heard during a quiet scene, no matter how low. Nevermind that their hot air heating (or air conditioning) may be several times louder when it kicks on, they hate noise. Most of us are just not going to have a problem with projectors that claim 30db or less, as most do, today. (The loudest tend to claim 33 – 34 db). The vast majority of us are more than willing to live with a 30 db sound level (claims, not measured), and would be thrilled with 25 db or less.

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