Projector Reviews

1080p Comparison Report – Image Quality8

Optoma HD806 projector

Black levels are not the strength of the HD806. In fact, they were a big disappointment and the weakest of the group, with, for example, the HD806 in its best mode, not even able to match the black level performance of the Epson Home Cinema 6100 in its brightest mode. On the other hand, shadow detail was very good. That combination tends to give you lots of detail but a somewhat washed out look on very dark scenes, without any pop.

Epson Home Cinema 6100 projector

I have no doubt that the Epson Home Cinema 6100’s black level performance is the best of the five in this group. Oh, it’s not a huge difference, but enough to give it a critical edge, and a key factor in it taking the Best In Class award for this category. I was initially very impressed, and immediately wondered if its black levels could compete with the least of the ultra-high-contrast projectors, the Sanyo PLV-Z3000. The answer turned out to be no, it couldn’t. While better than the direct competition, the Home Cinema 6100 still fell more short of the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 than the difference between it, and the weakest of this group. All considered, its black level performance is as good as any of the other non-ultra-high-contrast projectors.


Shadow detail was classic Epson: not the best, but very respectable. The combination, though, of black level performance and shadow detail is excellently balanced, and the blacks are good enough to deliver some extra “pop and wow” compared to the others in this group.

InFocus X10 projector

Sanyo PLV-Z700
Sanyo PLV-Z700
Sanyo PLV-Z700

As InFocus’s entry level of 4 1080p projectors, one wouldn’t expect great black levels, and, that turned out to be quite true. If anything, its black levels are its achilles heel. No, nothing terrible about them, I’d say comparable to the Sanyo PLV-Z700, and still better than the Optoma. Black levels are not why you would choose this projector (remember – skin tones?). Shadow detail is really very good.