Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

Home Projectors

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JVC DLA-X700R Three-Chip D-ILA Projector

JVC DLA-X700R ProjectorFor 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?

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BenQ W7500 Single-Chip DLP Projector

BenQ W7500 Projector

Looking over Secrets' last few years of projector reviews, it quickly becomes evident that the pricing sweet spot has settled around the $3000 mark. This makes sense since it's only a little more or less than you'd pay for a top-quality 65-inch flat panel. A few years ago, any TV over 50 inches carried a big price premium. When I bought my Pioneer Kuro in 2009 for example, I paid $2,900 for a 50-inch screen. I really wanted the 60-inch model but it was almost double the price at $5,600!

The REALLY BIG screen experience is still only available from front projection. Last year, I got to check out Mitsubishi's DLP, the HC8000D. This time, BenQ sent me their new W7500. For $2,799, it offers some great features and very high performance coupled with tremendous light output. Let's take a look.

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Mitsubishi HC8000D-BL 3D DLP Projector

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.

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SIM2 SUPER LUMIS Three-Chip DLP Projector

SIM2 SUPER LUMIS ProjectorProjectors are often described as having a "film-like" image. We are all trying to replicate that movie theater experience at home and so it seems that achieving that look is what we would strive for. The SIM2 SUPER LUMIS has shown me that in a modern projector; film-like is no longer what we want. All our sources now are pixel-perfect digital sources. Ideal projectors are razor-sharp and incredibly bright. We can focus down to a single pixel on the screen. Very little we see in the theater today is film sourced or projected from film, and nothing we watch at home is stored on film. So "film-like" is not what I'm after in a projector. What I'm after is something that shows me every last detail and imperfection in what I'm watching. A projector as true to the source as possible. With that in mind, the SIM2 SUPER LUMIS projector is a machine that is capable of doing just that. Powerful, precise, and utter revealing of everything it projects onto the screen.

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BenQ W1070 Projector

BenQ W1070 ProjectorI'll be blunt: I don't like 3D. I've never been able to justify paying extra to see it in the theater, and at home it has always left me cold. Most implementations give me a headache almost instantly with their crosstalk-filled images and ghosting the drives me crazy... Fast forward to CES 2013 and BenQ is in the South Hall showing off a pair of projectors that are very similar to the W7000, but scaled down: the W1070 and W1080ST.

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Sony VPL-HW55ES Three-Chip SXRD (LCoS) Projector

Sony VPL-HW55ES ProjectorIn 2012, Sony produced my favorite projector of the year, the VPL-HW50ES. While many other projectors did certain things a little better, none has the combination of attributes that the HW50ES has. From movies to sports, bright rooms to dark, it managed to excel at everything I asked it to do. In 2013, we some improvements with the VPL-HW55ES, including longer lamp life, contrast ratio, and brightness.

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e LCD Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e LCD Projector

Each year at the CEDIA Expo, I look forward to seeing the latest projectors from all the major manufacturers. While some do not update their products annually, Epson always has something new to offer. This past September, I got an in-depth...

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JVC X55 Three-Chip D-ILA Projector

JVC X55 ProjectorWith their updated e-shift technology, a full-featured CMS, and black levels that are untouched by other projector manufacturers, the new JVC X55 projector is capable of some truly stunning images. The kind of images that will likely have you painting that room, covering the carpet up with a dark rug, and putting electrical tape over the LEDs on your system components to prevent any little thing from entering the room to distract from its performance.

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Sony VPL-HW50ES Projector

Sony VPL-HW50ES Projector

At a CEDIA that was big on 4K and sound bars, the introduction of the VPL-HW50ES went under the radar a bit. Slotting into their lineup above the HW30 and below the HW95, the HW50 comes with a few features from each of those, but also has its own unique features to set...

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBE 3D LCD Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UBE 3D LCD Projector

Recently I reviewed Epson's new Home Cinema 3020e projector and found it to be a tremendous value in the under $2000 class. It offers killer 3D, wireless HDMI, and superb image for less than the price of a 60-inch TV. It was only natural that I should also check out its big brother, the Home Cinema 5020UBE.

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JVC X70 Three-Chip D-ILA Projector

JVC X70 Projector

Just two years ago, 3D was the all the rage at the CEDIA Expo. Now 3D is in almost every display you buy and is not the hot, new thing. It has been supplanted by 4K, promising to offer so many pixels that we will never see them again, and out-HD our current High Definition. JVC took a half step onto the 4K platform with their e-Shift projectors, which use a slight pixel shift to potentially produce an effective resolution of 4K, though with only 1920 x 1080 panels and no 4K input capability. The JVC X70 is one such projector, and is reviewed here.

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