Projector Reviews

Home Theater Projectors $5,000 to $10,000

When considering buying a new projector, this price point is where you really start to see a difference in performance, picture, quality, noise level, and clarity. If this is your price point, you will be able to get an outstanding projector that will allow for many years of high-quality entertainment.

Sony VPL-VW295ES

Sony-VPL-VW295ES

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $4999.99
Technology SXRD (3)
Native Resolution 4096×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1500
Contrast
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.06:1
Throw Ratio 1.36 -2.79:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 6000 hours eco-mode
Weight 31.0
Warranty 3 years

Award Winner

The Sony VPL-VW295ES treats you to a great looking, very sharp picture and it is the only native 5K projector just under $5,000.

Some projectors are rough around the edges, not this Sony.  It even looks great when not turned on – clean, dark, minimalistic, with one impressive looking lens assembly!

This Sony delivers good value, great picture, a sleek design and should serve brilliantly for any home theater system for years to come.

Projector Overview

With the VW295ES, once again, Sony delivers a display with superior color and picture even “right out of the box” – without adjustment.

The Sony VPL-VW295ES is the least expensive, true, native 4K home theater projector, with a list price of $4999.99. Replacing the older VW285ES, the VW295ES is now the only native 4K projector available under $5000.

It has an outstanding, sharp picture, and it’s not just about 4K sharpness, it’s even more about HDR and doing it well, the ability to do a good job on P3 color, and, of course, an impressive and capable feature set, including great placement flexibility.

The VPL-VW295ES also has a motorized zoom lens, although it lacks one button lens memory, and also lacks a dynamic iris.  By comparison the step up 695ES (in our $10,000+ section of this report) has Lens Memory and dynamic iris. It relies mostly on its pair of HDMI inputs (with 18Gbps), but also has wired networking.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • Native 4K Resolution – Sony VW295ES 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 VW295ES 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.
  • Reality Creation – Reality creation is Sony’s detail enhancement control. Most modes default to a setting of 20 out of 100, you can push that up further gaining a slight amount of perceived sharpness without significant image noise.
  • HDR and BT.2020/P3 – Generally HDR and the wide color gamut/space known as BT.2020 (or more practically – DCI-P3), is something one would expect on all 4K capable projectors, but that’s not the case.
  • IMAX Support – This Sony VW295ES is one of a handful of Sony projectors to receive IMAX certification.
  • Motorized Lens  – lens has motorized zoom along with optical horizontal and vertical lens shift adjustment. This makes it easy to adjust the image’s position compared to the installed location. Making this adjustment optically rather than using digital keystone or other digital geometry correction offers the best possible image.horizontal/vertical lens shift and zoom.

Bottom line is that the Sony VPL-VW295ES is a serious 4K projector suitable for a dedicated home theater.  It has the brightness to do a very respectable job on 4K HDR content. That’s enough to also make this projector a very good choice in other, brighter, room environments, as long as they have some respectable lighting control (and pairing it with the right type of screen for the room).

BenQ HT9050

BenQ-HT9050

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $5999
Technology DLP with LED light source
Native Resolution 3840×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2200
Contrast 50,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.5:1
Throw Ratio 1.36:1 - 2.03:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000 Hours
HDR No
Weight 40.8 lbs
Warranty 3 Years Parts and Labor

Projector Overview

The BenQ HT9050 is part of BenQ’s flagship lineup of Pro Cinema series projectors. It has the ability to reproduce up to 98% of the DCI-P3 color space.  The HT9050 uses a Philips HLD ColorSpark LED light engine that can deliver up to 2200 lumens and has a rated lifespan of 20,000 hours. The projector’s premium 6-group, 14-element glass lens with 1.5x manual zoom delivers a sharp image.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • LED Light Engine – The LED light engine produces richer, more intense colors than many lamp-based projectors can deliver. The HT9050’s design also eliminates the need for a color wheel, lower audible noise, and greatly reduces the potential for, and intensity of, rainbow effects.
  • Premium Lens – the high-quality, 14-element, 1.5X zoom lens i includes several low-dispersion glass elements that minimize lens distortions.
  • Dynamic Iris – This may be the most significant feature of the HT9050 because it noticeably improves black levels.
  • 4K UHD Capable – While the HT9050s DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip isn’t native 4K, rapid pixel shifting gives the DLP chip the ability to deliver a perceived resolution of 8.3 million pixels. This system works so well that it would be difficult for any viewer to notice a difference in resolution from a native 4K UHD (8.3 megapixels) imager.
  • Cinema Filter – When the filter is slid into the projector’s light path, the unit can reproduce a claimed 95% of P3 color. Note when engaged, like other projectors with this feature, there is a noticeable reduction in brightness.
  • Six Segment Color Wheel – BenQ’s CinematicColor™ technology combines an RGBRGB color wheel with light source management to more accurately reproduce the Rec. 709 color gamut. The 5X color wheel eliminates virtually all RBE (Rainbow Effects)
  • Factory Color Calibrated – Each HT9050 is tested and adjusted to ensure accurate white balance and color reproduction. Included in the box is a factory calibration report guaranteeing accurate playback of Rec.709 content right out of the box.
  • Optical Lens Shift – The HT9050 includes optical horizontal and vertical lens shift adjustment, making it easy to adjust the image’s position compared to the installed location. Making this adjustment optically rather than using digital keystone or other digital geometry correction offers the best possible image.

This projector produces a razor-sharp image – sharpest of any 4K UHD DLP projector we’ve seen, some awe-inspiring color, a healthy set of inputs, extremely quiet operation. The main shortcoming of the HT9050 does not support HDR while its big brother the HT9060 does.

JVC NX7 / RS2000

JVC-NX7-RS2000

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $8,999
Technology DILA, 3Chip
Native Resolution 4096×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1900
Contrast 80000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2:00:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 4,500 hours
Weight 43.6lbs
Warranty 3 Years

Projector Overview

The JVC DLA-NX7 is an HDR home theater projector that can deliver true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) and its high native contrast, combined with 4K resolution, results in a great amount of performance at a reasonable price. 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 content.

All JVC NX series projectors utilize JVC’s new 3rd generation 0.69-inch native 4K D-ILA devices. These new panels offer a noticeable contrast improvement over previous-generation 4K panels found in their flagship RS4500 laser projector.

JVC claims the NX7 can produce 1,900 lumens with a high contrast ratio of 800,000:1. It can also deliver rich, vibrant colors. JVC also claims that with the Cinema Filter engaged, the NX-7 can reproduce to 100% of the DCI-P3 color space.

The NX7’s high contrast ratio combined with 4K resolution and JVC’s industry-leading best black levels results in exceptional picture quality.

JVC offers both Consumer and Professional versions of their projectors. The main difference between the two lines is mostly cosmetic. I reviewed the JVC DLA-NX7 from their consumer lineup. The nearly identical Reference Series (professional) version is the DLA RS2000.

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.
  • Multi-Element All-Glass Lens Assembly – The DLA-NX7 is equipped with a 65 mm diameter lens, which adopts an all-glass design with 17 elements in 15 groups to deliver a high-resolution image with a sharp focus across the entire screen.
  • 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.
  • Motorized Lens With Memories – The NX7 has motorized horizontal/vertical lens shift and zoom. Lens memories allow the ability to save different motorized lens settings, use 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.

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 the DLA-NX7. Due to its Dynamic Tone Mapping capabilities, the HDR picture quality is outstanding as well. If you are looking for a projector at this price point, the NX7 so be at the top of your list.

Sony VPL-VW715ES

Sony-VPL-VW715ES-Pic-6

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $9,999
Technology 3 Chip SXRD (LCoS)
Native Resolution 4096×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1800
Contrast 350,000:1 (Dynamic)
Zoom Lens Ratio 2:10:1
Throw Ratio 1.38:1- 2.83:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 6000 hours
Weight 31 lbs
Warranty 3 Years

Projector Overview

Sony was the first company to introduce a 4K projector, and they still have the widest model assortment. Like all Sony 4K HDR home theater projectors, the VW715ES utilizes three SXRD panels to deliver true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160). Sony claims the VW715ES can produce 1,800 lumens of brightness and the unit’s lamp has a rated life of 6,000 hours in low power mode.

The VW715ES is the successor of the highly-rated VW695ES. The most significant VW715ES upgrade is new video processing powered by a version of Sony’s X1 processor that has been optimized specifically 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 analysis and tone mapping with the VW7I5ES’s dynamic iris to deliver a big improvement in HDR reproduction.

Due to a projector’s limited brightness capabilities, I believe that dynamic tone mapping helps maximize the image quality of HDR10 content. The VW715ES supports both the HDR10 standard as well as HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma).

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • Native 4K Resolution – Sony VW715ES 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 VW715ES 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. VW715ES 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 VW715ES 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 VW715ES 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.

As expected, when it comes to HD and 4K SDR content, the Sony VW715ES was outstanding. It delivered an accurate, natural-looking picture right out-of-the-box. Once the projector is calibrated, the unit’s Auto Calibrate feature ensures that the VW915ES will deliver “calibrated” color accuracy for years, even as the lamp ages.

Its native 4K resolution SXRD panels delivered a sharp picture, and it did an excellent job upscaling HD content, with excellent black levels. One of the most notable things about this projector is its great HDR performance. Its new optimized X1 processor combines signal HDR analysis with a dynamic iris to produce a great looking HDR picture.

BenQ HT9060

BenQ-HT9060

Projector Specs

Specification Description
Price $8999
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 3840×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2200
Contrast 50000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.50:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000 hours
Weight 40.8 lbs
Warranty 3 years

Award Winner

The BenQ HT9060 has been awarded a Projector Reviews Special Interest award because it offers 4K UHD resolution using the “higher res” 2716 x 1528×2 pixel shifting DLP chip. It also has a solid state LED light engine which offers many advantages over lamps. It has excellent optics, a wide color gamut, and is very bright. It even supports 3D glasses, if that is something you are interested in.

Black Panther challenge

Projector Overview

The HT9060 is a serious home theater projector from BenQ.  It is part of BenQ’s flagship lineup of Pro Cinema series projectors. It has the ability to reproduce up to 98% of the DCI-P3 color space.  The HT9060 uses a Philips HLD ColorSpark LED light engine that can deliver up to 2200 lumens and has a rated lifespan of 20,000 hours. The projector’s premium 6-group, 14-element glass lens with 1.5x manual zoom delivers a sharp image.

The main upgrade over the HT9050 ($5999 SRP) is that the HT9060 ($9999 SRP) supports HDR while the less expensive HT9050 does not. The HT9060 supports both HDR10 and HLG, using auto HDR tone mapping to maximize the projector’s brightness.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • LED Light Engine – The LED light engine produces richer, more intense colors than many lamp-based projectors can deliver. The HT9060’s design also eliminates the need for a color wheel, lower audible noise, and greatly reduces the potential for, and intensity of, rainbow effects.
  • Premium Lens – the high-quality, 14-element, 1.5X zoom lens i includes several low-dispersion glass elements that minimize lens distortions.
  • Dynamic Iris – This may be the most significant feature of the HT9060 because it noticeably improves black levels.
  • 4K UHD Capable – While the HT9050s DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip isn’t native 4K, rapid pixel shifting gives the DLP chip the ability to deliver a perceived resolution of 8.3 million pixels. This system works so well that it would be difficult for any viewer to notice a difference in resolution from a native 4K UHD (8.3 megapixels) imager.
  • Cinema Filter – When the filter is slid into the projector’s light path, the unit can reproduce a claimed 95% of P3 color. Note when engaged, like other projectors with this feature, there is a noticeable reduction in brightness.
  • Six Segment Color Wheel – BenQ’s CinematicColor™ technology combines an RGBRGB color wheel with light source management to more accurately reproduce the Rec. 709 color gamut. The 5X color wheel eliminates virtually all RBE (Rainbow Effects)
  • Factory Color Calibrated – Each HT9060 is tested and adjusted to ensure accurate white balance and color reproduction. Included in the box is a factory calibration report guaranteeing accurate playback of Rec.709 content right out of the box.
  • Optical Lens Shift – The HT9060 includes optical horizontal and vertical lens shift adjustment, making it easy to adjust the image’s position compared to the installed location. Making this adjustment optically rather than using digital keystone or other digital geometry correction offers the best possible image.

This BenQ HT9060 has that great “DLP look and feel,” which handles very dark scenes with very dark colors a bit more naturally than other technologies (3LCD, LCoS).

This projector has a long-life LED light engine that delivers excellent color reproduction and sharp pictures through a superb lens. It’s an excellent choice for a serious home theater enthusiast who wants close to a theater-quality picture at home.