Projector Reviews

$5000 – $10,000 1080p Home Theater Projectors 2

The JVC, at $6295 is about the most expensive, since it is normally sold through local dealers so don’t expect serious discounting. The BenQ W10000 should typically sell for less and the Optoma HD81 probably a bit more, both are actively sold online.

Earlier, I mentioned that the sharpness was not an issue, even for one as critical as I am. The bottom line, is, I am ordering an RS1 for my own home theater (to replace my BenQ PE8720, and hope to take delivery in the next couple of weeks. I guess that says it all. Well almost:

Two very excellent single chip DLP projectors, sharing very similar overall image quality. Both are very sharp (that tiny bit sharper than the RS1), have rich saturated colors and overall excellent black levels (not quite as good as the Sony, and definitely a step below the JVC). From the Optoma HD81, from “Aeon Flux” (HD-DVD): Review continues below this advertisement. After that, they have different strengths. The BenQ is about typical in inputs, but has lens shift for easy placement. The Optoma, by comparison, lacks the lens shift, but has an incredible selection of inputs compared to any of the other projectors, thanks to its outboard processing box (which also means less wiring to run). Of note, the procesor box is built by Gennum, one of the most highly respected image processing outfits. Gennum processing is also used by the JVC RS1 and Marantz’s far more expensive projectors.

Neither projector offers much range in their zoom lens. The BenQ, though, will work in some rooms in a rear shelf situation, if the room/screen match up for the right distance. The Optoma needs to be ceiling mounted (or table top), as it lacks lens shift.

Both of these projectors really do produce a really excellent image, and, important to many, they are the two brightest. For those fighting a little ambient light, they have an nice advantage. I should point out that the JVC easily matches their brightness in best mode, but when you need lumens for ambient light, the JVC can barely reach 900 lumens in Dynamic mode, while these two projectors can be 20 – 30% brighter, and that means a screen size or two larger. I could certainly live happily with either of these two projectors, if I hadn’t seen the RS1.