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More CEDIA - Epson, Panasonic, SIM2, Runco, etc.

Greetings home theater projector fans, Couple of busy days, and much partying, I had hoped to do more blogging late last night, but the fates had it otherwise. This will be my last blog before a final walk through of the show (only an hour of time to spare). Projectors, Let's start with the Epson 6010 - and therefore 5010 and 5010e - demo, and, of course, the once expected last year, 61000 Epson with reflective panels. First the Epson Pro Cinema 61000. This long awaited projector (very long), looked great. Just a guess, (and remember I don't care about claimed contrast specs - including this one's 1,000,000:1), but I'd say the Epson can probably take out the JVC RS40 that I reviewed last year, when it comes to blacks, and do so without much trouble. Whether it can equal or beat the RS55 and RS65, I'll just have to get one in to make an accurate judgement, based on my RS20, but then blacks have not improved of any note as JVC has gone to the RS20 to the RS25. From my look at the RS60 last year, same is true. JVC may finally have some major league competition for the black level champ, although Epson's using panels and iris. At any rate the demo of the 61000 was stunning in terms of blacks. The Pro Cinema 61000 is 2D, and not as bright as the others by virtue of not needing the extra horsepower for 3D. We will of course measure and see how it comes out lumen wise, as soon as we get one in. Ship date is November (with manufacturers when they name a month, it's usually towards the end...) Pricing of Epson's Pro Cinema 61000, Epson says will be "under $5000". Epson often doesn't finalize pricing until right before shipping (like many) because they all like to see what the competition's priced at. Next - the Pro Cinema 6010, the Home Cinema 5010 and 5010e projectors: All of these have essentially the same performance, with only some feature differences. Last time I saw the Pro Cinema 6010 was at Epson 2 weeks ago yesterday. What a difference. Then I pointed out the 3D still needed a good bit of work. I am pleased to report, that while 3D still isn't as clean as we would like to see, I would say that the improvement was rather dramatic in terms of getting things right. Still a bit more work to do, but they have plenty of time yet to work on all that firmware. The Panasonic, and the new Mitsubishi HC7800D both looked very clean, and the Epson isn't there yet. The Mits has the advantage of being a DLP, which I'm led to understand, inherently has virtually no crosstalk at all when done well. Back to the 6010. These new (including the 5010 and 5010e) projectors are all scheduled to ship in November as well. Price wise, the Epson formula is: Home Cinema 5010 Projector: Under $3000 Home Cinema 5010e Projector: Under $3500 Pro Cinema 61000 Projector: Under $4000 Since you already know that the lower cost 3010 and 3010e are $1599 and $1799, you are wondering why the price spread is potentially larger for the 5010 vs 5010e, both 5xxx models come with 2 pair of glasses while the 3010e does not come with the glasses. The 6010 looked really good color wise. But then, there isn't much to do. So far I've never reviewed a projector with THX mode, that didn't have great color out of the box. Sure you can tweak and calibrate for your lamp, contrast, etc, but never even "pretty good color" whether Epson, JVC, Runco, or other projectors sporting that THX logo. I know you are all going to ask me which to buy, the Panny, the 5010/5010e/6010, the Sony, HW30ES, the Mits HC7800D, etc. for those who want 3D. Here's the answer: Not a clue! I can take some decent guesses, but, here's the GOOD NEWS: I'll likely have almost all of them reviewed, and have several in house, before most ship in "November". Next: Panasonic - I liked it the first time I saw it, and that hasn't changed. What has is Panasonic has now said: Very soon, which I take to mean before end of the month, or very close to it. SIM2. They have launched so many new projectors, and they are coming down to the $7000 price point. They need their own blog, but let's just say they've got a host of single chip DLP's with 3D capability coming out (soon or out), as well as, of course rather expensive 3 chippers (also with 2D and 2D/3D models). I expect to review a couple later this year or first quarter of next. Runco - I let's just say, 11,000+ lumens Even doing 3D, Even doing a massive 213" diagonal screen, was brighter than probably any 2D home theater I've ever reviewed! Amazing, truly bright - the way you want your sports, in 3D, truly amazing. Hey even their $60,000 3D projector is bright but this one defines "light cannon" more in blogs during the week where I can get into individual model information. Just remember Runco, like SIM2 is now playing in the under $10,000 space, so let's not take them for granted as out of the question when looking at Sony's and JVC's etc. Sorry, wanted to write more, but you'll all be happier if I spend the next 90 minutes on the show floor. adios for now! -art

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