Projector Reviews

1080p Comparison Report – Image Quality16

Optoma HD8200 projector

Panasonic PT-AE3000 projector

The PT-AE3000 has the best frame interpolation for those who find motion blur on sports to be an issue. If you consider that important, that gives the Panasonic an extra edge. On the downside, its performance in terms of brightness is strictly average – it just can’t put up a really bright, punchy image when dealing with the same amounts of ambient light that the Epson’s handle easily. (The Panasonic is about the same as the Mitsubishi HC6500, but a touch brighter.) Colors are good, with the Panasonic’s brightest mode (Dynamic) definitely being better than the Epson’s, but the Epson still has a lot more muscle (about 40%) even with Livingroom mode, where the color playing field is pretty much leveled.

Sharpness of the Panasonic is about average, so you won’t get the crispness of the image found on some others in this group. I find its sharpness to be just a tad less than the Epson, but not enough difference between those two, to matter.

Bottom line: the Panasonic PT-AE3000 has enough lumens for sports and other viewing with some intentional ambient light present, but nothing to spare, unless you are on a particularly small screen.

Sanyo PLV-Z3000 projector

Sanyo has not been known for bright home theater projectors, but we were to some degree pleasantly surprised here. The PLV-Z3000 can actually push out quite a few lumens, in fact it is brighter in brightest mode, than most of the competition.

The thing is, you won’t find those lumens unless you know where to look. The default settings even for brightest mode, don’t come close to what this Sanyo projector is capable of. We don’t understand why Sanyo so limited the brightness of the PLV-Z3000 in its Dynamic mode, but we quickly figured out where they were hiding. Check out the Brightness section in the review, and you’ll see we found about 30% more lumens available, with no real penalty for this kind of viewing, by changing a few settings. Even doing that the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 still trails the Epson’s but none of the others in this group has an advantage.

The Sanyo also produces a slightly sharper than average image compared to the others in this group. Not the sharpest, but for sports and HD content, every little bit is nice to have.

In our opinion the PLV-Z3000 is one of the best in this group for sports and TV/HDTV viewing!

Sony VPL-HW10 projector

The sharp image, combined with good color makes the Sony HW10 a good choice for sports and HDTV/TV viewing, but brightness remains a concern. Color accuracy was very good, but if you want that intentional ambient light, I believe only the Mitsubishi HC7000 has less lumens in its brightest mode. All that said, if you aren’t going with a large screen, or too much ambient light, the Sony, performs very well.

Sony VPL-HW10 projector

Viewsonic Pro8100 projector

This type of viewing is one of the strengths of the Pro8100. Though no match for the Epsons in brightness, it fits into the next tier, similar to the BenQ, Mitsubishi HC6500 and the Sanyo PLV-Z3000. The image has a lot of “pop and wow” for sports and HD digital content. If sports and TV are your thing, and movies are purely secondary, that’s a good reason to move the Pro8100 on to your short list.