Value Electronics, a Westchester County, N.Y. based specialty electronics and custom electronics integrator, has been hosting their annual TV Shoot Outs for more than a decade. During these events, video experts and enthusiasts are given the opportunity to compare flagship TVs from leading manufacturers.
In 2021, Robert Zohn, owner of Value Electronics, decided to kick off a new projection-focused Shoot Out event focused on ultra-short throw projectors. This year the event has been expanded to include long-throw projectors as well.
When I worked for Sony, I had the opportunity to attend several TV shootouts as a company representative. This year, Robert asked me to be the Master of Ceremonies for the 2022 Projector Shoot Out, a role I was absolutely excited to take on!
This year’s Projector Shoot Out was held at The Company Building, 335 Madison Ave., New York City. Due to the number of projectors being evaluated, the event was divided into two days. The ultra-short throw (UST) projectors were compared on Saturday, December 10th, and the judges evaluated the long-throw projectors on Sunday, December 11th.
Before the event, Jason Dustal, Murideo’s technical product expert and ISF Instructor, measured each projector to choose its best out-of-the-box picture mode. He also chose the demo content used throughout the event and handled all of the behind-the-scenes operations.
Brent McCall from Metra, provided all the 48Gbps HDMI cables needed to connect the projectors and assisted Jason in ensuring the event went smoothly. In the past, these Shootouts were done in front of a live audience but, due to COVID, the people in the room were limited to the judges, a few media, and manufacturer representatives.
Shane Lee webcast both days live on YouTube to reach the largest possible audience of A/V enthusiasts. He also moderated with YouTube live stream chat and shared selected questions and comments with the presenters. If you did not get the opportunity to watch the event live, highlights are posted on Shane’s YouTube channel. You can view the entire long throw projector session here.
A panel of professional video colorists, film finishers, TV reviewers, and video experts were on hand to judge, evaluate, and vote on all picture quality attributes to determine which projector would be crowned this year’s “King of UST Projectors,” and “King of Long Throw Projectors.”
A combination of test patterns and real content was used to compare picture quality elements, including contrast, color accuracy /skin tone, motion resolution, and sharpness/detail. We also had the opportunity to utilize some great test videos from a soon-to-be-released version of the Spears & Munsil Test Blu-rays.
While Jason did not perform a full ISF calibration on the projectors, he did make some picture setting adjustments (color temperature, gamma, contrast, brightness, and sharpness) to ensure that each projector was as close as possible to our targeted D65 color temperature and a gamma of 2.4.
While all the projectors would have benefited from a complete detailed calibration, the goal was to limit the number of adjustments to those that could be quickly done by anyone. Any projector enthusiast could easily make all these picture adjustments utilizing free test patterns available on Murideo’s YouTube channel and website.
Jason and I shot a YouTube video on how to utilize several of these test patterns called Optimize The Image of a Projector or TV Using Free Murideo Test Patterns. Murideo also has written instructions located under the resource section of its website.
Most ultra-short-throw projectors are not professionally calibrated, but many long-throw home theater projectors are. While additional adjustments, like grayscale balance and CMS, could have improved color accuracy /skin tones, most of the categories evaluated during the UST and long-throw Shootouts would not have been impacted.
Several projector manufacturers had representatives on hand to assist with projector setup and answering the judge’s and attendees’ questions.
On the first day, we evaluated five ultra-short throw projectors. The projectors chosen were notable, highly rated projector models from several premium manufacturers currently available in the U.S. Many of the projectors in this year’s Value Electronics Projector Shootout Event have already been evaluated by Projector Reviews, and we were impressed with every unit.
The Projectors in this year’s Shootout were:
While at the shootout, we focused solely on picture quality. Many ultra short-throw projectors are designed to be flat panel TV replacements, therefore, other factors should be considered when purchasing an ultra-short throw projector including sound quality and smart features.
Due to much buzz and preliminary reviews, Robert Zohn (Value Electronics) wanted to include the Formovie UST in this year’s shootout, but unfortunately, he could not get a production version of the projector in time. He has committed to conducting another comparison in the Spring between the Formovie and upcoming Hisense L9H and the 2022 UST Shootout Winner, the LG HU915QB.
After evaluating the five competing UST projectors based on multiple criteria, the overall winner of the Ultra Short-Throw Projector Shootout was the LG HU915QB. It excelled in several of the categories, including Black level/ Shadow detail, and it delivered the most accurate color reproduction and skin tones.
While I have done individual reviews of many of the projectors being highlighted. This event gave the judges and me the rare opportunity to see some of the best projectors on the market side-by-side. Due to many long-throw projectors being compared, they were divided into three categories based on price point.
$4,000-$7000 Category Long Throw Projectors
$11,000 to $16,000 Category Long Throw Projectors
$25,000-$30,000 Category Long Throw Projectors
The JVC projectors won all three categories. They sweep this year’s shoutout due to their class-leading native contrast and black levels, along with their outstanding detail/sharpness. In addition, due to their Dynamic HDR tone mapping capabilities, the JVC model delivered the best HDR picture reproduction.
Projector Reviews reviewed the JVC DLA-NZ9 (RS4100) and the JVC DLA-RS1100 (DLA-NP5), and we were impressed with their performance. However, the latest firmware appeared to make a noticeable improvement to the unit’s picture quality. In most categories, the Sony models came in a close second.
While JVC projectors won all the long throw categories, there are still scenarios where one of the other models may be a better option for your needs. For example, if you're looking for a bright laser projector for under $5,000 and you desire motorized lenses and lens position memory to use with a 2.35:1 screen, the Epson LS12000 may be the best choice.
Overall, the 2022 Value Electronic Projector Shootout was a great success. In addition to the judges and me, the manufacturers also learned a lot.
Hopefully, based on what they saw, each company will work to correct any notable issues to improve the performance of their projectors further.
I believe next year’s event will be amazing, and I look forward to participating again.
To learn more about Value Electronics and this event, please visit: