Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

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Video Display Reviews

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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Panasonic 65PY700 65" 1080p Plasma HDTV

Panasonic-65PY700-HDTV-figa-thumb.jpgA typical display will go quite easily into my house. When I call up the local importer, they are usually quite inclined to lend me their displays. The 65PY700 was no exception, but it did require quite a bit of work to verify that it would fit into my test lab area. The hallway and staircase leading up to the second floor are quite tight, and I’ve never actually tried a display larger than 55” in height . . .

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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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Toshiba Regza 46RV53OU 46" 1080p LCD HDTV

toshiba-46rv53ou-hdtv-teaser.jpgIf an HDTV like this had been available three years ago, it would have been spectacular. However, this is mid-2008, and there are lots of excellent 1080p units out there. In short, although the contrast ratio on the Toshiba 46RV53OU was exceptional, the overall performance was disappointing.

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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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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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JVC HD-1 Three-Chip 1080p LCoS Projector

jvcThere was a lot of buzz after CEDIA and CES this past January. The projector market has been going through a huge change over the last year and the evolution of this market segment has been amazing to say the least.

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Sony Bravia KDL-46X3500 46" 1920x1080p LCD HDTV

sony-46x3500-tv-teaser.jpgWhen the local Sony dealer asked me which model I wanted to check out, I wasn’t sure if I should get the smaller 40” or the larger 46” model. On the one hand, statistics say that the 40” model will be a lot more popular, but they also suggest that the 44-50” segment, particularly in the US, is growing at an amazing rate.

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BenQ W10000 1080p Single-Chip DLP Projector

BenQ projectorBenQ has been one of the more elusive projector manufacturers for the home theater market. They are huge in the world of professional projectors for business use, but have only dabbled a bit in home theater.

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Panasonic TH-50PZ77U 50" 1080p Plasma HDTV

panasonic-th-50pz77u-plasma-tv-figure-1-front-main-teaser.jpgChristmas shopping is over, and this could be just the right time to walk into a store and say, "I want to buy a flat panel TV." Here is one that could end up on your shopping list. Plasma, 50", 1080p. Nice, very nice.

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VIZIO VP50 50" Plasma HDTV

Plasma TV To say that VIZIO owns the flat panel display market right now would be an understatement. And, the reason is simple: the price.  Only a couple of years ago, to get a 50" plasma HDTV, you would have had to shell out about $5,000, even at Costco.

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