Well, here are my impressions of the new projectors I saw at CEDIA. For the record, while I like good on / off contrast as much as the next person, I think there is much more to a great picture that just that . And I personally take the numbers given us by the manufacturers for contrast and lumens with a grain of salt. Wait until real reviews done by qualified reviewers you trust come out for real world contrast and lumens. I’m more interested in what I actually see on the screen.
Digital Projection – I liked the picture I saw with the M Vision Cine LED projector. For screens 8’ wide and smaller, it threw a bright enough picture that looked good compared to the I Vision 30 single chip projecting right below it ( which also threw a really nice picture for such a tiny projector ). Of course the Highlite Cine 3 chip DLP projector threw an outstanding ( and bright ) picture that was my favorite at this booth. Perfect for BIG screens. I’ve owned my dVision 1080p for a couple of years and have found Digital Projections products to be built very well.
Samsung / Da-lite – I spent some time watching Joe Kane’s Samsung SPA 900B projector on a 8’ wide Da-lite JKP .9 gain Affinity screen. This combination had really good depth of field, and a sharp, natural looking picture. Not a bright projector, but it does have a refined look to the picture. I’d like to see more varied demo material on this combination.
Sony – boy, does the new VW 85 look good! On my first viewing I wasn’t very impressed as all they showed was animation clips. A second viewing with more real world material left me more impressed with it’s blacks and overall colors and sharpness. It was being projected on a Stewart Firehawk 112” diagonal screen. I thought it looked outstanding, and in the same class as the JVC RS25.
Epson 8500 – this replacement machine for the 6500 looked very good. It was being projected onto a 100” diagonal matt white screen, and looked bright enough on that screen. Blacks looked very good on the test clips of The Dark Knight. The new “ Super Resolution “ mode was an interesting new feature that you may or may not want to use. Fine frame motion feature has apparently been improved over the one found in the 6500. Overall, I thought it threw a very nice picture on a smaller screen. 9500 – this machine also looked pretty good, although the dynamic iris was not engaged during the demo, so it was not possible to judge the black levels fairly. It was being projected on a Da-lite JKP Affinity .9 gain screen which was 101.5” wide. I’d like to see it with the DI operating before making a final opinion on it’s picture.
Cineramax Superkontrast modded Barco projector – Holy Mother Of God, this projector was very bright ( good for big screens ) and had incredible depth of field. A really nice picture. I’d love to see more demo material on this machine. It was being shown on a SMX acoustically transparent screen – a great screen !!
SIM2 – watched the Lumis Host on a JKP Affinity screen – a great combo. The Lumis throws an outstanding picture, as I should know since I own one. I liked the SIM2 Mico 50 LED projector. It was being shown on a JKP .9 gain Affinity screen that was 8’ wide. I thought it looked very good, pretty much like any other good single chip DLP projector, but without the color wheel. None of the LED projectors I saw are super bright though – I’d stick to 8’ wide screens max personally. The Krell Audio components in the SIM demo sounded great too.
JVC has a great line up of new projectors. I can’t honestly say how they compare to last years RS10 & 20, since one would really need to do a side by side comparison. I can say the RS15 threw a really nice picture on a 10’ wide 1.3 gain screen. And the addition of the “ Clear Motion “ feature is nice, if you like it. The RS25 looked outstanding on a 120” wide 1.3 gain screen – as anyone around here would expect. The RS35 was also had an excellent looking picture – they had it projecting on a 12’ wide 1.3 gain screen. I’d have to say that these three projectors are pretty hard to beat for the money.
The JVC RS 4000 4K projector has to be one of the most amazing projectors I have ever seen. Using upconverted Blu Ray’s as a source, the picture was super bright on an enormous screen. I forgot to ask how big the image was ( I was busy picking my jaw up off the floor ) – perhaps 18’ – 20’ wide? I’d need a bigger house for this screen / projector combo. I could barely see any pixels with my face at the screen. If you have 175K for a projector, give this one a look !!!
Optoma – the new 8600 projector looked pretty good on a 106” diagonal Black Diamond .8 gain screen. Too bad they could not have had a dark room for a more critical assessment of it’s picture. Some of you might want to explore this projector more under better viewing conditions.
Projection Design – the new Avielo Kroma LED projector was my favorite of the new LED projectors I saw. It too was being shown on an 8’ wide Da-lite JKP .9 gain Affinity screen. On that screen, it was plenty bright, had very natural looking colors, and threw a very nice picture. For smaller screens, it would be perfect. I thought it looked great with the material I saw. The Helios 3 chip DLP unit was absolutely stunning looking on a 11’ wide Da-lite JKP .9 gain Affinity screen. Talk about a bright, sharp picture!! 3 chip DLP is still hard to beat for big screens .
Mitsubishi – the HC 7000 LCD projector was being shown on a Draper Onyx 106” diagonal screen. It had a nice picture with good color. If you’re an LCD fan, I’d check it out. The HC 6800 LCD projector was being shown on a 96” diagonal Draper Onyx screen. It threw a decent picture on that sized screen. Brighter and punchier picture wise was the HC 3800 DLP projector. On the same sized 96” diagonal Draper Onyx screen it looked really good and bright.
Other stuff –
Blue Ocean rear projection screens – if you have an application to use this with a projector for a “ giant plasma “ like screen, it would be killer !! Ambient light is no problem with this screen. Great stuff !!
Panamorph – the UH480 they had at the show in combination with the new RS25 threw a killer picture. It’s a great combination. I could not see any distortion or picture problems. Nice !!
That’s about it. In my opinion, the LED projectors all looked really good. Whether they measure up performance wise to projectors like the RS25 picture wise, or are worth the money, that's a different question I can't answer without more demo time with these machines. They sure looked as good to me as many other single chip DLP projectors have looked in the past. It will be interesting to see what comes next regarding LED illumination !!