Posted on September 22, 2016 By Art Feierman
Best In Class – Performance: BenQ HT3050
Best In Class – Value: Epson Home Cinema 2040 / 2045
Best In Class – Value – Runner-Up: ViewSonic PJD-7822HDL (note, still the lowest cost 1080p projector around)
Best In Class – Bright Room: Tie: Viewsonic PJD7835HDL Epson Home Cinema 1040
Winner – Best In Class: Sony VPL-HW45ES
Runner-Up – Best In Class: Optoma HD161X / HD50
Best In Class: Special Award*: LG PF1000U
Best In Class: Bright Room Epson Home Cinema 1440
*Epson announced at CEDIA 2016 improved replacements – the HC3700, HC3800), which look to be logical replacements for their HC3500/HC3600e last year’s runner’s up award winner. Will the new ones be better than the Optoma (or even the Sony)? Check out our forthcoming review of one of new Epsons in the Oct/Nov timeframe.
*Special Award? The LG is truly an intriguing projector. It’s picture quality isn’t up to some of the others, but it should have a lot of appeal, for other reasons. It needed an award, but really isn’t the great “value,” nor the tops in “performance.”
Winner – Best In Class – Performance : JVC DLA-RS400U
Winner – Best In Class – Best Value Proposition: Epson Home Cinema 5040UB, Pro Cinema 6040UB
Winner Best In Class: Performance JVC DLA-RS600U
Runner-Up Best In Class Epson Pro Cinema LS10000*
Epson announced the LS10500, a replacement for the LS10000 adding additional support for 4K protocols, including HDR. Would the LS10500 beat out the RS600U, if we had it and already reviewed it? That’s a good question, to find out, check out our upcoming review before year end 2016.
Sony announced the VPL-VW675ES at CEDIA, not only 4K, but more advanced than the competition (and even other Sony 4K projectors) with Hybrid Log-Gamma (that’s a mouthful), which is the new standard put forth for broadcast and streaming 4K content.
A qualifying note:
This category considers three types of home theater projectors:
A. Those that are native 4K, with the manufacturer stating that their projectors support the new Blu-ray UHD standard.
B. Those that are native 1080p, but will accept 4K content including manufacturer support for the new Blu-ray UHD standard. Most will support HDR, but whether projectors (or LCDTVs) are really bright enough to take full advantage of High Dynamic Range remains unclear. Certainly HDR is different, more eye popping.
C. Those that use a DLP 4 megapixel chip. (true resolution half way between A and B. None shipping yet, but a number of companies will be launching commercial and home projectors in the upcoming months starting before end of 2016. This chip also does pixel shifting. The size of the pixels is half of that of 1080p pixel shifters, but still twice the size of true 4K. Since none are yet shipping, none were eligible for awards this year. But, look out next year.
4K Capable: Winner: – Best Performance: Sony VPL-VW665ES (true 4K). You will be buying the newer VW675ES, which starts shipping this fall. This is one sweet projector to watch 4K on!
4K Capable: Winner – Best Value: Epson Home Cinema 5040UB/Pro Cinema 6040UB (pixel shifting 1080p projectors). Yes, it will cost you less than $3000 to own a 4K capable projector with impressive performance.
Best of the Best: Sony VPL-VW5000ES (Viewed, but not reviewed – yet).
5000 lumens, true 4K, Stunning picture, $60,000
Sony long ago promised they’d give me a chance to review it, but it hasn’t happened yet. From our meeting at CEDIA, looks good for my getting a crack at it in late October or November.
I can’t wait!
The following are still other noteworthy projectors, that were seriously considered for but didn’t make the final cut for the Best In Class awards. All won awards.
Listed by price, lowest to highest:
Optoma HD-141X (now the 142X)
Epson Pro Cinema 1985WU High brightness with CFI
Sony VPL-VW65ES – A beautiful picture, but lacks the 4K capability of it’s closest competitors
Epson Pro Cinema LS9600 basic 1080p projector with a dual laser design, impressive performance
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