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Optoma HD20 Single-chip 1080p DLP Projector

Optoma HD20 One of the difficulties in writing a series about affordable front projectors is deciding what constitutes “affordable.” A few years ago, that would have meant anything under $5,000 for a 1080p projector. But advances in technology, manufacturing efficiency and market demand have caused the prices of entry-level front projectors to plummet. Soon a 1080p front projector could be had for $3,000; only a year later there were $2,000 (street price) projectors that put out a surprisingly good picture. Surely $2,000 was the floor for a 1080p projector?

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Optoma HD8200 Single-chip 1080p DLP Projector

Optoma HD8200 DLP Projector It seems every year projector prices fall a little more. The $4999 Optoma HD8200 single-chip DLP 1080p projector offers features and image quality that would have cost you over $10,000 just a few years ago. Though it has some stiff competition from JVC and Sony in this price category, Optoma has met this challenge with some unique motion processing and image enhancement features.

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Affordable Projectors for Non-Dedicated Home Theater Rooms - Mitsubishi HC5500 & Elite Cinema Screen

Mitsubishi HC5500 I am continuing my journey into the world of affordable front projector systems, with a special emphasis on systems that are suitable for multi-use rooms.  My first foray, the Sanyo PLV-Z2000, was a success. But I didn’t have anything to compare it to, at least in my own home environment. Now comes the first challenger, the Mitsubishi HC5500, another affordable 1080p projector. These projectors use the same basic display technology (LCD panels), so provide a pretty good apples-to-apples comparison. We also review the Elite Screens ezCinema Plus Pull-up Projection Screen.

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Samsung SP-A900B Single-Chip 1080p DLP Projector

Samsung SP-A900B DLP Projector What if a videophile were given total control over the design, production and distribution of a projector? You would expect a high degree of color accuracy, great optics, easy calibration for different screens and environments, no unnecessary features, consistent quality and of course a stunning image. Samsung has answered this question with the help of Joe Kane. The result of this collaboration has been a series of DLP projectors, the latest example being the SP-A900B.

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Affordable Projectors for Non-Dedicated Home Theater Rooms - Sanyo PLV-Z2000 1080p Projector

Sanyo PLV-Z2000 ProjectorFront projectors have been the gold standard in home theater for many years. But until recently, front projection meant a CRT-unit the size of a coffee table mounted to the ceiling. It only looked good if you turned your room into a bat-cave, was very finicky about set-up, needed regular calibration, and probably cost more than the family sedan. Well, now front projectors are very affordable and are small and easy to set up. Perfect for that family room that has other uses than just home theater. Secrets takes a look at the Sanyo PLV-Z2000 as the first in our series on affordable projectors that you can use in just about any room of your home.

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Sony VPL-HW10 LCoS Projector

Sony VPL-HW10 front projectorThis is the third in a semi-regular series looking at affordable front projector systems, particularly projectors that don’t require a dedicated theater space. So far, we’ve looked at Sanyo and Mitsubishi projectors. Until recently, I had not considered Sony’s SXRD front projectors as candidates, for a couple of reasons. First, Sony projectors were not what I would classify as “affordable,” with MSRP’s typically starting at $5,000. Plus, the Ruby and Pearl models were really designed for dedicated rooms; they have limited lens adjustments and are not known for exceptionally bright output.

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Marantz VP-11S2 Single-Chip DLP 1080p Projector

marantz-vp-11s2-projector-teaser.jpgRemember back a few years when projectors were 720p resolution, had modest brightness, not so great contrast, and you could spend $15,000 to get one? Well, you can still spend that kind of money and a lot more, but it gets you a lot more too. The buzzword now of course is 1080p and HDMI all the way. Marantz' latest donation to this category is called the VP-11S2. It has two HDMI inputs, will accept and project native 1080p, has Deep Color capability, and is built like a tank.

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Flagship Home Theater - Part 1: Anthem LTX-500 LCoS Projector and SI Black Diamond II Screen

anthem-beauty-small-fig1Flagship Home Theater.  The very words evoke the highest quality in audio and video reproduction.  Anthem, a well-established maker of high end audio products has just released their first display, the THX-certified LTX-500 LCoS Projector.  Like their audio gear, Anthem is marketing this unit as a reference quality piece.  In their own words, “A full HD 1920x1080 ‘Reference’ point of view… brings the scale and excitement of the Cinema experience home.”  Have they achieved their goal?  Boy did I ever have fun finding out! In this review, which we call Flagship Home Theater - Part 1, I take a look at Anthem's top of the line projector, and also an SI Black Diamond II projection screen.

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Marantz VP-15S1 1080p Single-Chip DLP Projector

marantz-vp-15s1-projector-figure-1.jpgThe Marantz VP11S1 is one of the best projectors I’ve had the opportunity to review. It recently won our Secrets Best of 2007 award in the projector category, and in my opinion is still one of the best reference projectors on the market today. But the 11S1 does come with a steep price tag compared to a lot of the 1080p projectors on the market. Well, Marantz decided to trim the design down just a touch and bring most of what made the 11S1 such a great design into a more affordable package, the VP15S1. I think you will be very interested to see what I found . . .

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DreamVision Dream'E 1080p LCoS Projector

DreamVision Dream’E LCoS ProjectorIt has been my privilege recently to sample DreamVision’s latest addition to the 1080p LCoS front-projector market, the Dream’E. With attractive Euro-styling, a choice of case colors, excellent performance, and suitability for medium to large theaters, the Dream’E deserves a serious look by those wanting to satisfy their big-screen desires without breaking the bank.

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Panasonic PT-AX200U 720p LCD Projector

panasonic-pt-ax200u-projector-front-main.jpg The Panasonic PT-AX200U is a three-panel LCD projector with 720p resolution, priced at $1,999, and you can get it for a lot less at ProjectorPeople.com. Although 720p is not as high a resolution as 1080i (converts to 1080p by the projector), the difference is minimal depending on how large your screen is and how far away you sit. So, if you can't afford to go all the way to a native 1920x1080 projector, this is a good choice.

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