Projector Reviews

1080p Comparison Report – Image Quality7

Optoma HD8000-LV projector

Planar PD8150 projector

Remember, we found the PD8150 to be one of the very best in terms of accuracy, out of the box. Relating to skin tones, my comment in the review: “After calibration, the image was even better, removing almost all of the slight shift towards red. The end result was excellent handling of skin tones, as the images below show…”

Sharp XV-Z20000 projector

The sharp did very well on skin tones, after calibration. They were very good before calibration, but with a slightly cool (blue shift) look. Post calibration, that shift was eliminated, and “very natural” got even better.

Sony VPL-VW70 projector

Click to Enlarge. So close. Guess work time again, since I still haven’t received the VW70. Consider though, that the VW70’s lower cost sibling was described as “excellent” in this regard. The older VW60 that the VPL-VW70 replaces, was described as: “Overall performance on skin tones is excellent. To further improve on what I saw on the screen – which rivals any under $10K projector I have worked with, you’ll need a professional calibrator with more skills than I possess. On the other hand, I seriously doubt if any but the most hard core crazed, will be disappointed.” Keep in mind that review pre-dates the IN83, which I don’t believe the VW60 could match. Still, I expect excellent skin tones from the VPL-VW70.

Men In Black – Mitsubishi HC7000

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Black Levels & Shadow Detail

Click to enlarge. So close. In this section, I’ll discuss the combination of black level performance and shadow detail as one. Overall, some of these projectors do a little better (after normal adjustment), than others, in terms of shadow detail. That said, I consider those differences to be rather minor. Of far greater concern, is the black level performance. Often, after calibration, it is the black level performance that really separates these projectors from each other, far more so than other attributes. Thus – to a large degree, great black levels continues to be the quest for the “holy grail” of projector performance. Note, for those of you not familiar, the old CRT home theater projectors (from years ago), due to CRT technology, do essentially perfect black levels. All these fixed display projectors (3LCD, DLP, LCoS), by comparison, cannot produce a true black, so the quest to get as close as possible, still dominates home theater projector design.

I’ll be referring to what I call “ultra-high-contrast” projectors quite a bit in this section, so a quick warning: I’ll start referring to those as UHC projectors from time to time, to save keystrokes.

The DVE-HD test disc, projector: Sanyo PLV-Z700

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$2100 and under 1080p Home Theater Projectors

None of the projectors in this group qualify as what I refer to as “ultra-high-contrast” projectors. These all do a respectable job, about as good or better than almost any under $10,000 projector could produce 3 or 4 years ago.

Sanyo PLV-Z700 projector

While shadow detail was very good, I was, in the review, slightly disappointed with the black level performance of the Sanyo Z700. Not bad mind you, and better than the most entry level projectors in last year’s report, such as the Mitsubishi HC4900. Considering this is the lowest priced 1080p projector, and that none of the others in this group are dramatically better, not bad, overall.

Mitsubishi HC5500 projector

Black levels are a touch better than the Sanyo, and typical of this group. Shadow detail was particularly good.