Annual Home Theater Report is Posted!

Greetings all,  Well, I’ve finally come up for air.  Most of the 1080p Home Theater Projector Comparison Report is up, and proofed, at this point.

JVC Home Theater Projector

Still will add a few things, and will try to get about 5-7 more direct comparisons added, mostly so far, it’s just two new ones, and a bunch of carry-fowards from previous years.

The Best In Class awards are up, so for those who haven’t been there yet, the short version:

Down in the under $2K range, carved out a special Best In Class award, 2D only, which went to the Panasonic PT-AR100 projector – PT-AR100U, here in the US.

For 2D and 3D capability, a tie.  The Epson has the muscle with their Home Cinema 3010, and bright 3D, and great warranty and support.  The Acer H9500BD, though, while not quite as bright, truly had impressive black level performance, and that DLP look and feel.  Also, the Acer offers variable lens shift.

Two great projectors for the bucks.  If you are shopping under $2K, and want the 3D option, one of these two is almost certainly right for you.

Epson Pro Cinema 6010 Projector THX Certified

I had to go with the Epson Home Cinema 5010 and Pro Cinema 6010 for Best In Class in the $2000 – $3500 range.  Normally, with a Home Cinema and a similar Pro Cinema projector from Epson we only give out the single award, but this year, there’s enough difference to consider them two separate products, if very similar.  Great brightness, great blacks, great support, and th rest is pretty good too!

We did come up with a pair of runner-ups, and they might surprise you.  Hey, they surprised me.  Not that either of them picked up the Runner-up award, but that one projector didn’t.

The Best In Class Runner-up projector award in the $2000-$3500 price Class, go to the Panasonic PT-AE7000, and the BenQ W7000.  These two are pretty different products, but both are excellent choices.

And that brings us to the one that didn’t make it.  That would be the JVC DLA-RS45 – also sold as the DLA-X30.  It too is one fine projector with great blacks for the price, and an overall,  classy projector.  It just came up well short of all the award winners when it comes to 3D.  I considered a 2D only award, but then, the JVC is a 2D and 3D capable projector.  Didn’t seem fair.  So, my point is, it’s a really impressive 2D projector, also worthy of consideration, despite the lack of one of the report awards.

Moving to the top tier, I kept it very simple, all LCoS.  Didn’t review much in DLP projectors in the past year, and none of them in this range, that were reviewed, offer 3D at all (ok, the $20K SIM2 has 3D).

Bottom line, then, The Sony VPL-VW95ES and the JVC DLA-X70R (also sold as the RS55), tied for the Best In Class award.  I believe I demoted last year’s BIC winner, the Mitsubishi HC9000D, to Runner-up status this year.

OK, big report, a little better organized and written, I think, than in previous years.  Great year for new projectors, best in years!  Perhaps, the best year since the year Epson introduced the 1080UB, and JVC, the RS1.  Let’s say that changed equation.  This year may not be that dazzling a jump if you are strictly a 2D person, but if 3D’s on your radar, one fine year it has been!  Enjoy… -art

News and Comments

  • Adam

    Art,

    Your listing of lens shift on the Epsons is misleading, showing that they have less than the Panasonic PT-AR100 when in fact they have considerably more. The 22.7 inches that you listed is only from the lens center to the closest edge of a 100″ screen (shown in the Epson manuals as Offset A), while you need to add half of the screen height to that in order to show how much the image can be adjusted. The Epson 8350, 5010, and 6010 can be placed almost 50% of screen height above the top of the image, while the Panasonic PT-AR100 can only be placed 15% above the top of the image. (The Panasonic PT-AE7000 is more flexible, slightly exceeding the flexibility of the Epsons–provided that you don’t use any horizontal lens shift. If you have to use both horizontal and vertical lens shift, the Epsons beat the Panasonic for flexibility because using the horizontal shift on the Epsons doesn’t eat into your vertical lens shift range the way that it does on the Pansonics.)

    • Adam, I will double check but can you tell me where exactly in the report, or the review you saw that. It will save me massive time.

      Just from reading your comment… the problem is probably the phrase “22.7 inches that you listed is only from the lens center” If I wrote that, it is wrong, it should be 22.7 inches above the screen top, (or below the screen bottom). That 22.7 inches is almost 50%.

      With a 100″ 16:9 diagonal screen (my standard for these numbers), screen height is just over 49 inches, so 50% would be a touch over 24.5 inches. So the issue is where we’re measuring from. Some manufacturers look at the screen position relative to the projector, others the projector relative to the screen. Confuses the hell out of me from time to time.
      Well, do let me know. And I’ll make sure things are straight! -art

  • Last I heard (and passed on to several folks discussing on the AVSforum… Acer had the firmware fix around mid June (two weeks late) but then said it also required a board change, and those were due before month end. I haven’t checked back with anyone with an H9500 or the guys on AVS, or Acer, so I don’t know if Acer is yet upgrading units. Anyone? -art

  • Chris

    Art, since I normally rely on your calibration settings to get me pointed in the right direction can you give me any advice on how to setup my 6010. Should I just throw it on THX mode and use a calibration discount for brightness and contrast?

    • Chris, try plugging our settings from the 5010 in, and compare. Essentially the 6010 has those two rather good extra modes – THX and 3D THX. Remember even slight lamp variation has an effect, as does the lamp shift color slightly over time. Use whichever you enjoy more. -art

  • InCali

    Hi Art,

    Someone on the forum is reporting that he believes the Acer H9500BD does indeed have full CMS. As soon as this is confirmed (or not), I will get back to you.

    FYI, on the HDMI blurring issue, it has definitively been fixed and the HDMI output is now sharper than the VGA output. Prior to the firmware update, the VGA output had the better resolution.

    As far as the SBS tearing issue, that has also been thoroughly tested and there is no evidence of 3D tearing. Needless to say, EVERYONE is stoked.

    It still appears to only have one user setting and the 3D adjustments appear to be confined to the service menu, but for a projector that sells for $1600 to $1700, these changes, IMO, make this projector a steal. It also has a vertical – horizontal shift which, while not a robust as my LCD projector, allows for a fair amount of flexibility in its placement.

    More sooner rather than later.