Posted on January 1, 2021 By Phil Jones
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.
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.
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:
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).
READ THE REVIEW
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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