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Projector News

Bulletins about upcoming product reviews and releases, tradeshows, new technology and advanced product features as well as our thoughts and observations on all things related to projectors.

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Off to CES

It is hard to believe I am writing the last Projector News update for the year 2004. We hope you are enjoying the holidays, and wish you a happy and safe New Year's celebration tomorrow night.more
Topics: BenQ PB6200, CEDIA, CES

4DLP Facing Competition

For those looking for a great hybrid solution for data presentation, video games, and high quality video in a native 4:3 format, the Mitsubishi XD450U is an excellent solution. The review is now posted.more

Donate Used Projectors to Schools

We are in the midst of several reviews at the moment that we plan to post over the next two weeks. But two issues warrant some focus. First, projector prices have dropped considerably, but the cost of replacement lamps has not. Many first time projector users are getting blind-sided by the cost of lamps. I hope this article on lamps will help to make buyers aware of the issue and put the cost into perspective. If you know of someone who is shopping for a projector, you may do them a big favor by alerting them to the costs associated with replacement lamps.more

Deciding Between Projectors

By far the most common email request we receive is for help to decide between Projector A and Projector B. With all of the new 1280x720 LCD products out lately, these questions are completely understandable. I have compiled a lot of our notes and just posted comments on the newest high contrast LCD projectors. I am sure this won't answer all of the questions, but I hope it will help with a lot of them.

We will be taking next week off for the Thanksgiving break. During the first week back we will fire up the BenQ 7800 and the Mitsubishi HC900 and shoot them out against the Panny AE700, in order to add more comparative comments to today's posting.more

ANSI Lumen Rating Changed on Sony HS51

Thanks for all of the email feedback on the Sony HS51 review. As far as the lumen rating on this projector goes, the initial rating reported to us was 800 ANSI lumens. Sony just informed us that the official lumen rating as per ANSI standard has been changed to 1200. So we have updated our records on this accordingly. This change does not affect the measurements we took in the lab for the review.more

Invisible Pixelation-Should Have Said It

Thanks for all of the email feedback on the Sony HS51 review. Many of you have asked for comments on screendoor effect and vertical banding, which I had not touched on. The reason that I didn't was because neither one was a problem, so they weren't on the radar screen of problems to discuss. There was no evidence of any vertical banding on the HS51, and pixelation was entirely invisible at 1.4 times the screen width or more. But I should have said so explicitly. Thus the review has been updated to include these observations. Also, as one astute reader pointed out, I misstated the range of lens shift in the initial posting. So that paragraph has been reworded more accurately. (Thanks,...more

Lots of Buzz about the Sony HS51

The Sony HS51 has gotten a lot of buzz since its announcement with the astounding contrast rating of 6000:1. We have just posted the HS51 review to put it all into perspective. It is a great projector, but it needs some help with standard definition video processing. We find the DVDO iScan HD+ to be the perfect front end for this unit, and the combination is a great home theater solution. (See review for more details.)more

Panasonic AE700/ Sanyo Z3 Comparison

Las night we posted an update to the recent reviews of the Panny AE700 andSanyo Z3 which includes a comparative evaluation of their relative strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully this will answer many of the questions on the minds of our readers regarding these two units. However, since they are getting a lot of attention these days, further questions will no doubt crop up.more

Sanyo Z3 Review Posted

We have just posted the review of the Sanyo PLV-Z3. These are exciting times in the home theater projector business, with all of these hot new models showing up. The Sanyo Z3 is an improvement in many ways over the Z2, and it is being offered at a more aggressive $2,495 MSRP to boot ($500 less than the Z2). I was hoping also to post a companion article with this latest review comparing the Sanyo Z3 with the Panasonic AE700, but we've still got some final side by side evaluation to do. So that piece will be done and posted by this coming Tuesday at the latest. But reading the two reviews, you can get a lot of what that article will cover.more

New Low Cost HT Projectors

At this juncture we are seeing several new low-cost home theater projectors in various stages of release, all of which feature 1280x720 resolution LCD panels. These include the Sony VPL-HS51, the Sanyo PLV-Z3, the InFocus Screenplay 5000, as well as the Panasonic AE700 already reviewed. Each of these products has a configuration of features, capabilities, and price points that represent attractive value propositions for the consumer. Ideally, we would have review samples in place on all units and perform a comparative evaluation in shoot-out type format. Unfortunately, review units do not come available from all manufacturers at the same time.more

Get on the List

As you know, we just posted the Panasonic AE700 review yesterday. Usually when we post new reviews or commentaries we email everyone on our list that the new posting has just occurred. If you want to be included on our list, please enter your email address in the Free NewsAlert box on the home page. We never sell or trade our email list. It is used just to notify regular readers of new postings. There is no cost, just your time to enter your email address and press the button.more

Practical Installation Advice Coming

We are currently updating several of the commentary articles on the home page to reflect changes and advances in technology and the marketplace since they were written. Two of them were completed and posted last week, The Technology War: LCD vs. DLP, and HDTV in Plain English. Several others will be updated in the next few weeks as well.

In terms of reviews, we currently have the Panasonic AE700 in the lab, and we expect to post the review by mid-next week. We are also working on the BenQ PE7800, which will follow shortly after the AE700.more

Anticipate Great Deals

Well, it has been a hectic week. We flew out to Indianapolis for the CEDIA show on Thursday and got back home on Sunday night. This show is always fun since it focuses on home theater technologies. But this one was particularly exciting due to announcements from Panasonic and Sony regarding high contrast, low cost LCD products. I won't rehash it again here, because you can read all about it in the show review just posted.

We are busy lining up reviews of the new products just announced. We should have a better idea by next week when we can get access to each of the products noted in the CEDIA round-up.more
Topics: CEDIA

Back to Full Operation

Following the posting of the InFocus 4805 review last Friday, we have now added a look at the InFocus X2. The predecessors to these two units, the X1 and the 4800, were basically the same projector packaged for two different markets. The X2 and 4805 are completely different products. The X2 review discusses the differences.more

LCD Positioned to Make a Competitive Advance

On the eve of the CEDIA convention which happens this weekend, we have already seen two significant announcements from LCD makers that will undoubtedly gain a lot of attention. First, the Panasonic AE900 was announced today, representing another step forward in price performance for 1280x720 resolution widescreen LCD technology. At 1100 ANSI lumens, it is 10% brighter than the popular AE700 released last fall. But the AE900's contrast rating of 5500:1 is what will really cause the buzz. This unit features a dynamic iris that is capable of reconfiguring itself on a frame by frame basis every 1/60 of a second. In addition, gamma is similarly reconfigured frame by frame. The result is a projector with markedly...more

Back from Conferences

We have just posted the InFocus 4805 review. This is a surprising projector and a terrific value for the money that we will add to the Highly Recommended list.

We are planning to post reviews of the InFocus X2 and the Mitsubishi HC2000 by next Wednesday. Other units we have on hand including the Sanyo PLC-XU60 and the BenQ 7800 will unfortunately have to wait until after the CEDIA trade show, which happens at the end of next week.more

Attractive Street Prices

We've just been informed that we will receive the InFocus 4805 next week. If that happens the review that everyone is asking for on this unit will be completed by the following Friday. We are also currently working on the InFocus X2, the Mitsubishi HC2000, and the Sanyo PLC-XU60. The Mits is a dedicated HT unit. The InFocus X2 is of interest to many because it is an InFocus product, and because it is below $1,000. The Sanyo deserves some attention because is a beautiful and powerful machine for both data and video applications.more

Wrapping Up Some Reviews

To update you on the review schedule....we are wrapping up the review of the Epson Cinema 500, but are still awaiting feedback from Epson on a couple of issues. We have added the Epson Cinema 200 to the review as well, so both products will be covered. I will post this tandem review as soon as we clarify a few details.more

Yamaha 1px510 Added to highly Recommended List

We have just posted the review of the Yamaha LPX-510, and are pleased to be adding it to our Highly Recommended list. This is a great solution for those buying a fully installed home theater system from a professional installer. For the do it yourself'er, it is a bit high in price, and the Sony HS20 or BenQ 8700 are better choices in terms of pure image quality for the money. But read the review for more comments on this.

We had hoped to finish the Epson Cinema 500 today as well, but it will be up early next week. I will update this page with more upcoming review info at that time.more

Great Results with the DVDO iScan

This week we completed reviews of three of the HD2+ DLP projectors, include the Toshiba MT-800, the BenQ 8700 (updated edition), and the Optoma H77. We will defer comments on some of the other HD2+ machines until next month after we've had a chance to do some more research.

The reviews of the Epson Cinema 500 and the Yamaha LPX-510 are proceeding, and we should have those posted within two weeks from today.more

NEC Bundle Pricing

What is the next review in the schedule? We are currently working on two sets of reviews. First is the higher end HD2+ DLP projectors. The review will include the Toshiba MT800, (a.k.a. InFocus Screenplay 7205), the BenQ 8700 (updated edition), and the Optoma H77. We will also have some comments on other HD2+ machines such as the SharpVision Z12000 and the Marantz VP-12S3. Among the questions to be addressed is that of value--can some HD2+ machines really be worth double the price of others as current street...more

Setting Up Summer Review Schedule

Thanks for all the email requesting reviews of the projectors you are most interested in. We are setting up our summer review schedule, and our intent is to get to as many of the units you have asked for as possible. These would include several of the HD2+ machines, including the InFocus Screenplay 7205 (a.k.a. the Toshiba MT800), the BenQ 8700 (updated edition), and the Optoma H77. We have also called in for review the Epson Cinema 500 and Epson Cinema...more

Prioritzing Our Review Schedule

Among the portable projectors that are getting a lot of attention these days are the very smallest and lightest--those weighing under three pounds. We are finishing up a comparative review of three popular products in this category, the InFocus LP70+, the NEC LT10, and the PLUS V3-131. This review will be posted by end of day Monday.more

Personal Assistance with Screen Selection

We get a lot of email asking for personal assistance with equipment selection. Due to the volume we cannot respond to everyone's needs on an individual basis. However we will start an experimental service here at ProjectorCentral, which is private consulting via telephone. If you want personal assistance in selecting your home theater projectors and screens, I will offer consulting in the format of a 15-minute personal telephone conversation with you. The fee is $75. If you are interested in signing up, please click here to request assistance.

Long Awaited Screen Review Now Posted

We have just posted the long awaited screen review. This took quite a bit longer to compile that we had anticipated, and we very much appreciate your patience. We hope you will feel it was worth the wait.more

New Consulting Service

Just to give you and update on our activities, we are working full time on the screen review at the moment. Included in the review are a total of twelve screen products from six vendors. The vendors are Stewart Filmscreen, Draper, Da-lite, Vutec, Carada, and Goo Systems. We have a sample of a white and a high contrast gray product from each of them.more

Taken by Surprise by the Optoma H30

It is not often that a projector takes me by complete surprise. It is rarer still when a projector under $1500 makes me sit back in awe. But I will say that the Optoma H30 delivers much more than I was expecting it would. This is a phenomenal little product, and definitely one we will use as a permanent reference unit. For novice videophiles on a budget who want a truly elegant image and who can keep their viewing room dark, the Optoma H30 is a terrific entry level projector. After a bit of tweaking it delivered a great deal more than I imagined it would. (see H30 review). It has been added to the Highly Recommended list with great enthusiasm.more
Topics: Optoma H30

Changes to the Top 10 List

As you may have already noticed, we have completed an overhaul of the Top 10 list to make it more relevant to all of our readers. As it was, the popularity of relatively few very inexpensive home theater projectors was causing the list to be dominated by these units. Thus nobody could tell what the most popular high performance home theater machines might be, or which models are currently hot for portable presentation use, school classrooms, etc.more

Paint Solutions vs Screen Products

In response to many emails on the subject, we are indeed planning reviews of both the Optoma H30 and the upgraded BenQ PE8700. These are the next home theater projectors in the review schedule.more

Inviting Suggestions

Since the BenQ PB6100 and PB6200 are both on the Top Ten list, we've received a lot of email asking for review of these units. Thanks to your prompting, we accelerated the process and the review of both of these units is now posted. They are truly great values for the money, and we have added them to our Highly Recommended list.more

Sanyo WF10 Coming in May or June

We are in the midst of a major screen review at the moment that will include both white and gray screens from various manufacturers. We hope this will answer a lot of the questions we get regarding which screens are right for which applications. The review won't be done for a while yet--these things take time, and I don't have a publication date.more
Topics: Sanyo WF10

The Brightest Widescreen Projector Yet

The brightest widescreen projector yet is the 4000 ANSI lumen Sanyo PLV-WF10, which just started shipping a few weeks ago. The review has just been posted. This unit was particularly fun to review as it delivers a brilliant image that is thoroughly engaging. However, the WF10 is a big machine, weighing almost 50 lbs. It is a large venue machine that is not intended for the home theater market. But it does deliver a gorgeous video image, and there will undoubtedly be some consumers with an extra big theater space who will want it precisely for its industrial strength lumen output. Put it behind a false wall to kill the fan noise, and you will end up with a killer image on a 15-foot...more
Topics: Sanyo WF10

Major Screen Review Planned

Updating the issue pertaining to the color correcting filter on the HS20...... Sony does offer an optional light magenta filter for the HS20. The part number is 4-091-845-01, and it can be ordered domestically from Sony at 1-800-488-7669. The review of the Sony HS20 has been updated to reflect this data. We attempted to call the Sony Parts and Service center for a price on the filter, but that facility is closed today due to winter storm activity.more
Topics: Sony VPL-HS20

Puzzling Anomalies with the Sony Test Unit

Many of you have been asking when the review of the Sony HS20 will be posted. I was hoping to have it done by now. But we've got some puzzling anomalies with our test unit that prevent us from posting a formal review at this time. So I will informally share with you what we are seeing.more

CES Heavy on TV's

Well, another Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has come and gone, having just wrapped up in Las Vegas this weekend. The show itself was huge. Traffic on the exhibit hall floors exceeded everyone's expectations. Frankly this is the first show in quite a while where it was tough to get from A to B without having to elbow your way through the crowd.

As far as video systems go, this year's show was primarily oriented toward plasma TVs, LCD TVs, and rear projection TVs. Having just seen a roll-out of a number of new projectors at CEDIA in September, there wasn't a lot of new projector release activity at this show. However, there is some news to tell you about.more

Gearing Up for CES

Welcome to 2004! We hope you all had a great holiday season. And now that it is behind us we are looking forward to a lot of fascinating new developments in the world of home theater projectors this year.

Starting off the new year as always is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which gears up in Las Vegas later this week. Sometimes we see quite a few new projector product announcements, and sometimes we don't. But all the manufacturers are in town, so it is a good opportunity to get the latest scoop on what they're up to. We will report what we find by early next week.more