Projector Reviews

1080p Comparison Report – Image Quality4

JVC DLA-RS10 projector

The RS10 was one of the best projectors in terms of out of the box performance. True, the image was oversaturated, an easy fix, and Brightness needs to be taken from default 0, to +1. The color temp before adjustment was only very slightly shifted to red (averaging about 6300K), and that is truly, very slight. Cinema 1, is the “best mode” for the JVC DLA-RS10.

JVC DLA-RS20 projector

Interestingly, the “best mode” for the RS20 is Cinema 2 (Cinema 1 is warmer, best for watching black and white movies). Much to my surprise, the out of the box performance was disappointing for a projector in this price range, and doubly surprising in that JVC’s tend to be very good, out of the box. As our top rated projector in this comparison, don’t even think about not having it calibrated, or at least trying our settings. Both will yield dazzling improvement. That’s not to say that the RS20 is terrible, just that leaving it untouched, is a waste of money.

Optoma HD8000-LV projector

We never worked with the HD8000-LV, although it is the successor to the old HD81-LV, in that it’s very bright. On the other hand, it’s part of the HD80/HD803/ HD806/HD8000 collection. Tough to guess on this one, other than to say, that, with the exception of the most recent Optoma we reviewed, (the HD806 “provides a pretty good image, though not a truly great one”), I’ve been generally disappointed with Optoma’s out of the box performance.

Planar PD8150 projector

This is easy. This is a premium projector, at a premium price, so we expect great things. Our opening comment in the PD8150 review says it all: “The PD8150 is one of the best home theater projectors we’ve seen in the last couple of years when it comes to out of the box performance. Color accuracy is very good, but a touch on the warm (red) side, still it’s very close to ideal, and very watchable.”

Sharp XV-Z20000 projector

Another one of the premium projectors, the Sharp XV-Z20000 has been around for a while, and quite possibly the oldest review of any projector in this comparison. Old, however is not a bad thing, and when it comes to out of the box performance: “Although the XV-Z20000 needs some minor adjusting out of the box, it is a pleasure to watch.” Skin tones, in fact “appeared very natural, although before adjustment they were just a touch “cool”. In other words, one of the best, without adjustment.

Sony VPL-VW70 projector

Click to enlarge. So close. I tried so hard to get in the VPL-VW70 in time for this review, but Sony it seems is fixated on getting their limited review units out to the print publications first, and those guys tend to sit on them for months. So, we’re still waiting. The best indications of its performance out of the box, would be to compare what we said about the Sony HW10 in the recent review, and the older VW60 that the VW70 replaces. Hopefully they give us good guidance to the VPL-VW70’s out of the box performance:

The Sony VLP-HW10 was “pretty good” with a shift to warm, while the older VW60, at one point in the review, was mentioned as “Weak out of the box performance, requiring a good grayscale calibration, as the default for Cinema, is way too cool (blue)”.

Click Image to Enlarge

1080p Home Theater Projectors: Natural Skin Tones

$2100 and under 1080p Home Theater Projectors

Sanyo PLV-Z700 projector

I was generally very pleased with the PLV-Z700’s skin tones. In the review, I commented: “Skin tones turned out to be extremely good overall, although in low lit scenes, it seemed they shifted just a little bit too much to red.”

Mitsubishi HC5500 projector

In several places in the original review of the HC5500, the skin tones were described consistently as “very good”, with no specific notations or issue.

Optoma HD806 projector

I think my comments in the review cover it all: “The HD806 serves up very good skin tones after calibration. This is a projector that grows on you. My initial impressions when watching it were that it is “so-so” on movies, but really skin tone handling is better than that. For watching HDTV and sports, on the other hand, it’s very impressive immediately.”