Projector Reviews

1080p Comparison Report – Image Quality18

Planar PD8150 projector

While the picture quality will be just fine, the PD8150’s below average brightness in brightest mode is its weakness for sports and general HDTV/TV viewing. It’s got a mode – Adaptive Contrast – that really helps cut through the ambient, but any way you slice it, it’s not a bright projector, still significantly dimmer than the JVC’s and they are strictly average.

Sharp XV-Z20000 projector

The Sharp XV-Z2000 plays out pretty much like the Planar, in its lack of lumens. Since the Sharp though, is also not very bright in its best mode, you would typically be using a smaller screen, probably 100 inch diagonal at most, so, if the XV-Z20000 is the right projector for you for movies, you’ll probably be just fine for HDTV and sports.

Sony VPL-VW70 projector

I guess we’re on a roll here, with the Sony VPL-VW70 expected to be another of the lumen challenged when it comes to sports and TV/HDTV viewing. Of course, that’s a guess. After all, JVC’s RS20 is dramatically brighter than the older RS2. Could Sony pull off the same trick? Well, for this type of viewing it sure would be nice if they can. I liked the older VW60 for its great picture quality for this type of viewing, but lumens were a big problem. I’m figuring that if the VW70 is only about the same as the VW60, then the JVCs are probably a good 50% brighter, and that makes a difference.

Above, HDTV, with a healthy amount of ambient light – InFocus IN83 (also, the nature of my Firehawk screen is such that there would be less washing out sitting in the center or to the left of the screen. It was a great looking image from my captain’s chair.

Bottom Line for HDTV/TV and Sports Viewing in this projector class

Every one of the tested projectors has impressive picture quality in their brightest modes. Color accuracy is very good, all considered. Only the untested HD8000-LV is an unknown in that regard. The dynamic look of the different projectors does vary, but the overriding factor, is lumens, if you want some lights on. Forgetting everything else, if this is the only type of watching you plan on, the InFocus projectors are probably the best. After that, don’t forget the BenQ W20000, I’ve spent many years owning older BenQ’s, and the newer ones have the same general characteristics, so you can count on the W20000 to do a good job. The JVC pair has to be next, and then the less bright projectors. Finally, if you need every last lumen, that Optoma may be the ticket.

Another IN83 image – modest ambient room light.

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