Most of the sub-$2000 projectors I review require a full calibration to look their best. BenQ's HT1085ST can ace my benchmark tests by simply switching to its Cinema picture mode. Coupled with a sharp bright picture, this is one impressive display.
It wasn't long ago that a projector with lens shift would cost you at least $2,500. Epson's new Home Cinema 3500 3LCD Projector breaks that barrier with an MSRP of $1,600. In addition you get a full set of calibration controls, 3D and plenty of light output.
When 4K televisions first hit the market a year ago they were priced at the extreme high-end; but second-generation sets are becoming more affordable. In this review, I'm checking out Sony's XBR-65X900B, a 65" (diagonal) Ultra HD set with great picture quality, solid connectivity, and a little more down-to-earth price-tag.
Epson continues is tradition of high-performance at a low price with the THX-certified Home Cinema 5030UBe. With plenty of light output and killer 3D, it should be on your short list if you're shopping for a new projector.
The DLA-X500R brings JVC's world-beating contrast and black levels to a more affordable price point. Featuring third-generation e-shift technology, you can now put a 4K projector in your theater for only $5,000. It also has 3D capabilities.
The BenQ GP20 LED projector houses a single DLP chip in a small lightweight chassis barely larger than a hardcover book. Its light engine is rated for 20,000 hours and will never change in brightness or color. It comes with a WiFi dongle to stream content wirelessly and a convenient carry bag so you can quickly set it up for an impromptu movie night. A complete set of inputs are provided including HDMI with MHL for easy connection to smart phones or tablets. It's compatible with a wide variety of still image and video formats so content can come from a laptop as easily as it does from a Blu-ray player. Today I installed it in my reference theater and put it through my benchmark suite as I have done for our prior BenQ projector reviews.
Here's what you get with the Cinema 2030: 2,000 lumens of brightness, 3D, HDMI with MHL, USB with networking capability, and a built-in speaker. Here's what you'll have to move up in price for: lens shift, higher quality optics, lower black levels, THX certification, and wireless HDMI. If you're looking for a portable projector that works in a variety of environments, and can connect to any conceivable video source, I don't believe you'll have to look any further! Let's check it out.
For years JVC has produced the best contrast ratios of any home projector thanks to their D-ILA technology. They have been able to manage these stellar black levels despite being the only major company to not utilize any sort of dynamic iris system in their projectors. This year they have added a dynamic iris system to their projectors that promises to provide even deeper blacks than ever before. The JVC X700 also features their updated e-Shift3 that now accepts a 4K signal and offers more control than before. As everyone seems to be clamoring for UltraHD, can the JVC X700 deliver the goods while still using a regular 1080p panel?
At home, acoustically transparent projection screens have been around for years, but have always had flaws. The size of the holes required for allowing sound to pass through are often visible from normal seating distances in the home. Also, much of the light passes through the screen, and this reduces the brightness of the image you will see. A projector you can buy for $3,000 now has more than enough brightness to allow some loss through the perforations. We have also seen the introduction of woven screens that allow sound to pass through, but also have a fine texture that is invisible from a normal distance. One such screen material is the Enlightor 4K from Seymour Screen Excellence. Boasting ISF certification for image quality and said to be acoustically transparent from 100 Hz to 20 kHz, it looks to be a screen material that can give you that movie theater immersion at home.