Projector Reviews

1080p Projectors – Physical Tour2

We recommend you double check the numbers with the manufacturer’s tech support, for accurate lens shift numbers. (At least two of these manufacturers have different information in their brochures, than in their manuals on occaision).

For your convenience, below, the home theater projectors are organized first by price class, then by amount of placement flexibility. The four categories are:

Greatest Placement Flexibility (excellent zoom range, lens shift)
Good Placement Flexibility (moderately good zoom range, lens shift)
Fair Placement Flexibility (typically limited zoom range, lens shift, there are exceptions)
Poor Placement Flexibility (limited zoom range, no lens shift)

None of the projectors listed as Poor can be shelf mounted. Those rated Fair can be shelf mounted, but have very limited range and may not work out in most rooms.

Keep in mind that if you plan to ceiling mount, there isn’t that much difference between the four groups, unless ceiling height is an issue, in which case Poor Placement Flexibility projectors may still be a problem as they lack any lens shift.

The key benefit of ceiling mounting is that you can place the projector closer to the screen which often means a brighter image.

Key benefits of shelf mounting include usually easier to get power to the projector (installation time and cost), less audible noise, easier access, generally simpler to install and align.

Entry Level 1080p Projectors - Under $2100

Greatest Placement Flexibility Epson Home Cinema 6100
Sanyo PLV-Z3000 -Both have at least 2:1 zoom lenses and extensive lens shift
Fair Placement Flexibility Mitsubishi HC5500 (limited zoom 1.2:1, moderate lens shift)
Poor Placement Flexibility InFocus X10
Optoma HD806 (limited zoom 1.2:1, no lens shift)

Mid-Priced 1080p Projectors - $2100 - $3500

Greatest Placement Flexibility All Epson projectors
Panasonic PT-AE3000
Sanyo PLV-Z3000 (all with at least 2:1 zoom, lens shift)
Good Placement Flexibility Mitsubishi HC6500
Optoma HD8200
Sony VPL-HW10
Viewsonic Pro8100
Fair Placement Flexibility BenQ W5000 (lens shift, 1.2:1 zoom)BenQ W5000 (lens shift, 1.2:1 zoom), can be shelf mounted if distances work out. Optoma HD8200 (lens shift, 1.5:1 zoom, but not practical for shelf mounting)

Premium Priced 1080p Projectors - $3500 - $10,000

Greatest Placement Flexibility JVC DLA-RS10
Good Placement Flexibility Planar PD8150
Sharp XV-Z20000,
Sony VPL-HW10
Fair Placement Flexibility BenQ W20000
Poor Placement Flexibility InFocus IN82
Optoma HD8000-LV