Projector Reviews

1080p Comparison Report – Image Quality3

Sony VPL-HW10 projector

The VPL-HW10 is another of those “pretty good” out of the box performers. Cinema mode is a bit to warm (too much red, relative to blues), and interestingly, their brightest mode, Dynamic, is the opposite, with a shift to blue. The Sony is a really good performer, but must be adjusted to get it to approach its full potential.

Mitsubishi HC6500, HC7000 projectors

The HC6500 is another “watchable” projector (actually “definitely watchable”), but we warn that the picture can be improved significantly. That’s a warning to do something, if you really want to get your money’s worth.

The Mitsubishi HC7000 is their flagship projector, but they didn’t get any closer to ideal, right out of the box, than they did with the HC6500. We said this: “Picture quality is respectable, but hardly great”. Their “warm” color temp setting (the default for movie watching) is a bit warm – a bit heavy on the reds, the opposite of the other color temp settings, but it is the closest to ideal as a starting point.

Viewsonic Pro8100 projector

A couple of comments from the Pro8100 review, about the out of the box color: “Although colors were off a bit, it was no worse than most projectors.”, and more to the point: “To not have this projector calibrated to some degree, would be the waste of a good projector. Even your basic end user calibration disc will make a real improvement.”

From Space Cowboys, with the Panasonic PT-AE3000. Below, from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Epson Home Cinema 6500UB


$3500 - $10,000 Home Theater Projectors

BenQ W20000 projector

The W20000 out of the box, is better than most. “Actually, right out of the box, if you select Cinema color preset, and Normal Color Temp, you get a well balanced image in terms of color.” That combination is a touch cool (blue), but very slightly so, although I do actually favor that small shift for viewing sports. The bright modes are another story, way, way too blue, but if you turn on Brilliant Color (for bright modes only), it tames them right down. The W20000 is one of the best projectors we’ve tested, in terms of out of the box performance.

InFocus IN82 projector

InFocus is getting a lot of miles out of the IN82, we reviewed it originally in October of 2007, before we were regularly reporting on out of the box color. In the calibration section, though we said this: “Color performance out of the box was very good, better than the majority of 1080p projectors.” In fact, the IN82 tracked grayscale incredibly consistently, just a touch warm (but averaging about 6180K, which is very close). Only minor adjustments were needed. The contrast setting was a bit high, as well, but not by any significant amount.

The IN82 is one of those that can be improved, with calibration, but it’s still very impressive without.

InFocus IN83 projector

Click to enlarge. So close. Newer than the IN82, the IN83 has the Darkchip4. One would expect even better color accuracy out of the box than the IN82, but that was not to be the case. Here was my comment at the time of the review: “Pretty darn good, but still not as good as it could be. Nonetheless, most would be impressed with even the default Cinema settings.” That’s still pretty high praise. BTW, the slight color shift with the IN83 is to the cool side, leaving skin tones a bit pale. The really good news, is that, once calibrated, the IN83 has produced the best overall color of any projector reviewed to date, and that includes my brand new JVC RS20. If you are buying an IN83, you have a shot at stellar color, go for it.

From the JVC DLA-RS10, Lord of the Rings (the only movie images in this review that are not from Blu-ray disc).


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