Projector Reviews

Guide to the 2011 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 2011 edition of our 1080p Projector Comparison report, now renamed the Home Theater Projector Comparison Report – 2011.

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 23 1080p home theater projectors.

These 23 projectors consist of:

  • 22 have full reviews, 1 a partial (JVC DLA-RS60)
  • This year we have not included slightly different models that were not reviewed (such as Epson’s 9700UB which is almost identical to the reviewed Epson 8700UB)
  • 7 of these projectors were also in last year’s report, as they are still current. Interestingly, of those,

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 3 projectors over $10,000 this year – Two Runco projectors an the JVC RS60. 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.


Best In Class, Best In Class – Runner-up, and Special Interest.

In placing projectors in our different price class, 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.

There are NINE sections to the review, excluding this guide: