Chris Eberle

Axiom LFR1100 Omnidirectional Speakers and ADA-1500 Power Amplifier

About a year ago, Ian Colquhoun, founder of Axiom Audio, contacted me to talk about an exciting new design he was working on. It was the LFR1100 omnidirectional tower speaker and it represented a radical departure from not only their other products, but from traditional speaker construction. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to review them, but tremendous customer demand prevented me from getting a pair right away. When a surprise phone call came recently asking where I'd like the speakers delivered, I couldn't help but get excited!

Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL 3D DLP Projector

Whenever I attend the CEDIA Expo, I visit all the projector manufacturers, both large and small. While Mitsubishi is a large company, their projectors are not as well-known as other brands. At the 2012 Expo, I had a chance to check out their all-new DLP models. In this review, we test the Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL single-chip DLP 3D projector.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e LCD Projector

For several years now, Epson has been the undisputed leader in the LCD projector market. They took a technology that seemed forever destined for boardrooms and churches and improved it gradually, until it became hard to tell apart from high-end LCoS and DLP designs. Enthusiasts who would have never considered an LCD are now taking a serious look at Epson's offerings. One of them might be the 5010e, reviewed here.

NAD T 187 7.1 A/V Processor & T 975 Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

NAD, which stands for New Acoustic Dimension, was founded in 1972 with one simple goal: to reproduce sound as faithfully as possible. Eschewing bells and whistles, NAD products are all about simplicity, value and performance. From their earliest components, like the legendary 3020 integrated amplifier, to today's multi-channel amps and preamps, they have never wavered from this mantra. Here, we review separates: the NAD T 187 7.1 A/V SSP and the T 975 seven-channel power amplifier.

Optoma HD8300 3D DLP Projector

Now that 3D has become commonplace in HDTVs, projectors are following suit. Most of the new models introduced at CEDIA 2011 incorporate 3D into their feature set. While 3D has not lured me into upgrading my reference equipment just yet, I can't help but wonder when I might really want to watch Avatar in 3D. So, I managed to obtain the new Optoma HD8300 DLP projector which just happens to have 3D capability.

BenQ W1200 1080p Single-Chip DLP Projector

With a steady flow of new models hitting the market since the CEDIA Expo, I've had plenty of projectors passing through my theater of late. When I got the opportunity to review the BenQ W1200, I realized it was my first time evaluating a product from this company. The W1200 is a full 1080p single-chip DLP projector.

Sony VPL-HW30AES 1080p Three-Chip LCoS 3D Projector

Since so many displays, both flat panel and projector, are now adding 3D to their feature lists, it's getting harder and harder to write a witty intro for these products. Suffice it to say that 3D is here and we're going to have it in our next TV or projector whether we like it or not. The new Sony VPL-HW30AES projector uses three LCoS chips, has full 1920x1080 resolution, and is up to speed with 3D capability.

Screen Innovations Black Diamond Zero Edge Projection Screen

When designing a home theater, the screen is often the last consideration in the plan. After all, it's much more interesting to research electronics and their associated specs than to look through screen material samples and frame designs. Other than size, few of us think much about our choice of screen. Screen Innovations markets projection screens in all sizes, aspect ratios, and gain (screen brightness). In this review, we take a look at their Black Diamond Zero Edge projection screen.

BenQ W1200 DLP Projector

With a steady flow of new models hitting the market since the CEDIA Expo, I've had plenty of projectors passing through my theater of late. When I got the opportunity to review the BenQ W1200, I realized it was my first time evaluating a product from this company. The W1200 is a full 1080p single-chip DLP projector.

Optoma HD33 3D DLP Projector

In the two years since 3D displays first became commonplace, I've seen many demos; and only a few of them really impressed me. When you watch for a few minutes and you get that "gotta have it" feeling, you know you've seen something special. So far I've seen exactly zero flat panels that affected me that way. They just don't immerse the viewer the way a projector does. I've found for the 3D effect to be truly convincing, the edges of the screen have to be outside my peripheral vision. Front projection is, of course, the answer; but 3D capable models are only just now trickling down to the affordable level. The Optoma HD33 is a DLP projector with 3D capabilities and has full 1920x1080p native resolution. All for less than $1,500.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8700 UB LCD Projector

Commenting on value in a review is always risky. The worth of a product is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. In the case of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8700 UB, I have every confidence that you will agree when I say, this projector is one of the best values on the market today. For less than the price of many big-screen TVs, you can have the front projection experience with plenty of light, accurate color, high-end video processing, and all at full 1920x1080p.

Toshiba 55SL417U 55″ Edge Lit LED LCD HDTV

With all the hoopla surrounding 3D, the other big innovation in HDTVs has been largely forgotten – LED backlighting. For an image-quality geek like me though, this is a far more significant advance in technology. LCD panels can now play in the same black-level arena as plasma TVs. In some cases, they even exceed. As anyone schooled in imaging science will tell you, dynamic range is the single most important factor in perceived image quality. Let's take a look at this Toshiba 55" HDTV with edge lit LED backlighting.

Runco LS-10i 3-Chip DLP Projector

I am often asked when recommending projectors why some models cost upwards of $20,000. The simple answer is – light output. You can get a state-of-the-art projector for $8000 and have a superb image, as well as excellent build quality. But you won't be able to fill a 180-inch screen from 25 feet away and achieve 20 foot-Lamberts. For this you need a high output model, preferably a 3-chip DLP like Runco's new LS-10i. But, you will need that $20,000.