Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

Home Projectors

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BenQ W7000 Single-Chip DLP 3D Projector

BenQ W7000 Projector

Many people are eager to experience 3D in their home, but often disappointed when they get their projector setup. The wonderful demos we see at trade shows or in stores are commonly using custom screens that add a lot of light to 3D, but most of us don't have these. The end result is often a dark, dull picture that doesn't resemble what they were hoping to see. The BenQ W7000, reviewed here, is a single-chip DLP 3D projector that has plenty of light, even in 3D, and also scored well in our Benchmark tests.

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e LCD Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e LCD Projector Review

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.

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BenQ W1200 1080p Single-Chip DLP Projector

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.

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Runco LightStyle LS-100d DLP LED Projector

Runco LightStyle LS-100d DLP LED Projector

For a truly immersive home theater experience, nothing compares to a large image that fills your field of view.  Unfortunately many of us don't have a room that will work for a projector due to space and throw limitations and are forced to make do with a far smaller plasma or LCD display.  Runco has a solution for those challenging situations with their LS-100d, a short throw, LED-based projector capable of producing a 100" image while being placed right up against the wall.

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

Sony VPL-HW30AES 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.

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Optoma HD8300 3D DLP Projector

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.

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BenQ W1200 DLP Projector

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.

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Sony VPL-VW95ES 3D Projector

Sony VPL-VW95ES ProjectorWith the shift from CRTs to flat panel and projection displays, Sony has had to find something to replace the veritable Trinitron that was a symbol of excellence for so many years. Their proprietary version of Liquid Crystal on Silicon, SXRD, has been their high-end technology, appearing in products their Qualia reference line, to the first home 4K projector this year, and in the VPL-VW95ES reviewed here.

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Optoma HD33 3D 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.

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JVC X30 1080p Three-Chip D-ILA 3D Projector

JVC X30 Projector

After moving last fall, I finally had space for a projection setup and ordered a screen for my basement. When I started to look for a projector for my new home theater, the first recommendation from people was almost always JVC. The JVC X30 is a three-chip D-ILA projector that has 4K resolution for the future, but for now, it is considered a full 1920x1080p projector. I has an incredible contrast ratio for gorgeous blacks, and is 3D capable. It's $1,000 less than it was last year, and they have added memory for lens settings (zoom) so you can have the image at the appropriate size if you are viewing 2.35:1 vs. 2:1, etc.

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8700 UB LCD Projector

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.

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