Projector Reviews

Home Theater Projectors $10,000 and Above

The $10,000 and above projectors are where you get to see the best of the best for those who demand performance, reliability, and outstanding picture quality. Of course, these projectors would be considered luxury items by most people, but, if you can afford one, you certainly can’t beat their performance.

JVC NX9 / RS3000

JVC-NX9-RS3000

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $17,999
Technology DILA, 3Chip
Native Resolution 4096×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2200 Lumens
Contrast 100,000:1 (Dynamic: 1,000,000:1)
Throw Ratio 1.35:1 - 2.70:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.00:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 4,500 hours (Low Mode)
Weight 48 lbs
Warranty 3 years

Award Winner

The NX9/RS3000 is one of only 2 projectors getting our “Premium Home Theater Award” because it utilizes JVC’s 3rd generation 0.69-inch 4K D-ILA devices to offer not only 4K resolution but higher native contrast than most projectors on the market.

It delivers rich vibrant colors and is equipped with a 100 mm diameter lens which adopts an all-glass design with 18 elements in 16 groups to deliver a high-resolution image with sharp focus across the entire screen.

No other single chip consumer 4K DLP projector comes anywhere close to the color fidelity, contrast, and black level of the projector — it is in a whole other league.

Projector Overview

JVC offers two different series of 4K D-ILA Projector, which differ mainly in their cosmetic appearance. Both series are designed for home theater customers and production facilities but sell through different sales channels.  We reviewed the JVC DLA-RS3000, which is nearly identical to the DLA-NX9.

The JVC DLA-RS3000 is an HDR projector with a native resolution of 4K(4096 x 2160). JVC’s proprietary 8K e-shift technology shifts pixels diagonally 0.5 pixels, quadrupling the picture perceived resolution to 8192 x 4320. While the RS3000 cannot accept an 8K signal and is not equipped with HDMI 2.1(HDCP 2.3) inputs, the unit can upscale 4K content to 8K before it is displayed.

To improve its HDR performance, the RS3000 is equipped with Frame Adapt HDR which is scene-by scene and frame-by frame HDR analysis and dynamic tone mapping. JVC added this functionality to most of their native 4K and 8K e-shift Home Theater models in the fall of 2019. This year, JVC introduced their new Theater Optimizer, which combines information provided by the user with the unit’s current status to provide a more accurate baseline on which to apply their dynamic tone mapping

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • Frame Adapt HDR with Theater Optimizer – The Theater Optimizer feature combines information provided by the user with the projector’s current status information to provide a more accurate baseline for applying Dynamic Tone Mapping. Theater Optimizer and Frame Adapt HDR result in great-looking HDR10 content while eliminating the hassle of constantly making manual Brightness and Contrast adjustments from bright to dark scenes or from movie to movie.
  • 8K E-Shift Technology – JVC’s proprietary 8K e-shift, which shifts pixels diagonally 0.5 pixel to quadruple the projected resolution to 8192 x 4320. While the projector does not accept an 8K signal and doesn’t include HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.3) inputs, it can accept HDR signals up to 4K@60P, which the unit can upscale 8K.
  • 100MM All-Glass Lens Assembly – Good optics have a major impact on picture quality, and the better lens assembly in this projector produces some of the best optics found on a projector anywhere near its price range.
  • Native 4K D-ILA LCoS Panels – This projector uses JVC’s new 3rd generation 0.69-inch native 4K D-ILA devices. These new panels offer a noticeable native contrast improvement over the previous generation 4K panels and further enhance black level performance by using a dynamic iris.

Compared to the competition, I have yet to find a single chip consumer 4K DLP projector that could come anywhere close to the color fidelity, contrast, and black level of a JVC LCoS projector DLA-RS3000. If you have the budget to step up from a 4K DLP projector to a 4K JVC D-ILA, you should absolutely do it.

Sony VW915ES

Sony-VW915ES

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $19,999
Technology 3 SXRD (LCoS) panels
Native Resolution 4096×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2000
Contrast Infinite (Dynamic)
Throw Ratio 1.38:1 - 2.83:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.06:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000 Hours
Weight 44.0
Warranty 3 Years Parts and Labor

Award Winner

We are giving this projector a “Premium Home Theater Award” because, as expected, when it comes to HD and 4K SDR content, the Sony VW915ES was outstanding. It delivered an accurate, natural-looking picture right out-of-the-box.

It’s exceptional HDP performance utilizing its new X1 processor (which the VW995ES does not have), combines signal HDR analysis with a dynamic iris to produce exceptional HDR picture.

Its native 4K resolution SXRD panels delivered a sharp picture and did an excellent job upscaling HD content. The exceptional black level of the VW915ES are among the very best in the industry.

Projector Overview

The VW915ES is one of three new 4K SXRD projector models that offer frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping and supports both the HDR10 standard as well as HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).

Sony was the first company to introduce a 4K projector and they still have the widest product selection. Like all Sony 4K HDR home theater projectors, the VW915ES utilizes three SXRD panels to deliver true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160).

The biggest upgrade to the VW915ES is the unit’s video processing is now powered by a version of Sony’s powerful X1 processor that has been optimized specially for projector applications. This processor is what gives the projector the ability to do frame-by-frame HDR tone mapping.

A new feature called Dynamic HDR Enhancer powered by the X1 processor combines frame by frame HDR tone mapping with a dynamic iris and precisely modulated laser light source to deliver a massive improvement in HDR reproduction.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • Laser Light Engine – The Z-Phosphor light engine has a 20,000-hour lamp life that ensures several years of maintenance-free viewing.
  • Native 4K Resolution – Sony VW915ES uses Sony’s 4K SXRD (4096 x 2160) panels. Since this is a native 4K unit, unlike a 2K pixel shifting projector, it can faithfully reproduce all 8.8 million pixels found in 4K cinema content. The VW915ES uses the same type of 3 chip 4K SXRD imaging system used in Sony 4K cinema projectors found in the world’s best movie theaters. It increases contrast, color depth and minimizes the “screen door effect” (blocky image distortions) compared to most 3LCD projectors.
  • Advanced Video Processing – Superior processing elevates Sony’s video displays from the competition. VW915ES are equipped with a version of that X1 processor, optimized for projectors. The projector’s Reality Creation feature analyzes HD, 4K, and HDR content frame-by-frame to enhance detail, colors, and black level. The X1 processor ensures that Full HD is upscaled close to 4K quality.
  • Scene-by-Scene Dynamic HDR Tone Mapping – By utilizing a version of Sony’s X1 processor optimized for projection, called Dynamic HDR Enhancer, the VW915ES is one the first Sony projectors that can analyze HDR content scene-by-scene for precise dynamic tone mapping of HDR10 content.
  • Motorized Lens With Memories – The VW915ES has motorized horizontal/vertical lens shift and zoom. Picture Positioning memories allows the ability to save different motorized lens settings, like one for HDTV and one for widescreen movies. This is a useful feature for someone who opts for a 2.35:1 screen because they want to take advantage of the entire screen area when watching a widescreen movie.

The VW915ES excels at just about everything picture wise, and for that matter, feature-wise as well. Its best modes are very close to calibrated color, without any adjustment at all. Sharpness is very natural looking. The Reality Creation (detail enhancement feature) provided great sharpness with virtually no visible artifacts.

When it comes to HD and 4K SDR content, as expected, the Sony VW915ES was outstanding. Add to that excellent black level performance. Once the projector is calibrated, its laser light engine combined with the unit’s Auto Calibrate feature ensures that the VW915ES will deliver “calibrated” color accuracy for several years.

Sony VW995ES

Sony-VW995ES

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $34,999
Technology LCoS
Native Resolution 4096×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2200
Contrast
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.10:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000 hours
Weight 49.0
Warranty 3 years

Award Winner

The VW995ES excels at just about everything — excellent black level performance, outstanding sharpness (which is still very natural looking), one of the quietest projectors on the market, and excellent optics — to touch on only a few of the reason’s this projector won this award.

The ARC-F (All Range Crisp Focus) lens is Sony’s premium projector lens and it is used in Sony’s more expensive models like the VW995ES and the VW5000ES. One of the reasons why the VW995ES is $15,000 more than the VW915ES is that ultra-high-quality optics are very expensive, but they do make images sharper.

Projector Overview

The VW995ES excels at just about everything picture wise and is full of great features. Its best modes are very close to calibrated color, without any adjustment at all, assuring viewers great color. Add to that excellent black level performance and sharpness that is very natural looking.

ARC-F lens is a significant upgrade in optical quality compared to the otherwise very good lenses used on Sony’s other, less expensive native 4K projectors. Without getting too far ahead of myself in this review, let’s say that in this case, the lens not only brings extra sharpness to a native 4K design but, offers additional clarity.

The VW995ES has 18Gbps speed HDMI inputs, which is fast enough to support 4K HDR content.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • Laser Light Engine and Dynamic Iris – One of the four Sony laser projectors that has both the dynamic laser function and a mechanical dynamic iris. This combination results in one of the best overall black level performances of any projector.
  • ARC-F Lens – The ARC-F lens is Sony’s premium projector lens which produces clearer, more “transparent” pictures. The ARC-F ensures outstanding focus was excellent across the entire screen and significantly reduce chromatic aberration (color fringing).  If you are projecting onto a massive screen, it is worth the premium to be able to extract every ounce of detail for the 4K SXRD panels.
  • Native 4K Resolution – Sony VW915ES uses Sony’s 4K SXRD (4096 x 2160) panels. Since this is a native 4K unit, unlike a 2K pixel shifting projector, it can faithfully reproduce all 8.8 million pixels found in 4K cinema content. The VW915ES uses the same type of 3 chip 4K SXRD imaging system used in Sony 4K cinema projectors found in the world’s best movie theaters. It increases contrast, color depth and minimizes the “screen door effect” (blocky image distortions) compared to most 3LCD projectors.
  • Motorized Lens With Memories – The VW915ES has motorized horizontal/vertical lens shift and zoom. Picture Positioning memories allows the ability to save different motorized lens settings, like one for HDTV and one for widescreen movies. This is a useful feature for someone who opts for a 2.35:1 screen because they want to take advantage of the entire screen area when watching a widescreen movie.

If you are looking for one of the best pictures available on the market, this projector might just be for you. The projector’s ARC-F lens delivers an unparalleled level of clarity, and it provides an image that just looks clearer than other projectors – not necessarily sharper, just more real, more there, more looking through a window, than looking at a display.

It’s loaded with features, including several mentioned above as well as it was one of the first projectors to be IMAX enhanced. Right out-of-the-box you will be delighted by the super sharp image and outstanding color. Add to that excellent black level performance. Consider that, only the top of the line JVC or the new Sony VW915ES might rival or beat this Sony, but it’s likely that nothing else even comes close.