Best 2D/3D Projector for $3,500? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Just moved into a new house with a small (11 X 16) dedicated media room. Plan on using an 106" Elite Cinegray screen (good choice?).

For a projector, I'd like a solid 2D/3D unit for $3,500 or less....primarily for movies and sporting events. The two I'm drawn to is the Sony HW30AES (which I've seen) and the Epson 6010 (which I haven't seen).

Can anyone give me an idea which is the better choice bewen the two, or suggest something else.

Thanks
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark01 View Post

Just moved into a new house with a small (11 X 16) dedicated media room. Plan on using an 106" Elite Cinegray screen (good choice?).

For a projector, I'd like a solid 2D/3D unit for $3,500 or less....primarily for movies and sporting events. The two I'm drawn to is the Sony HW30AES (which I've seen) and the Epson 6010 (which I haven't seen).

Can anyone give me an idea which is the better choice bewen the two, or suggest something else.

Thanks

As for the "best" projector it depends if your priority is the projector with the best 2D for viewing movies vs. the best 3D performance vs. the best balance of 2D and 3D performance (but perhaps Not the best for either individually). The JVC DLA-RS45 or virtually identical DLA-X30 will generally offer the best 2D performance for movie viewing with a fairly bright image and the deepest blacks of any projector in this price range. These projectors use LCoS technology as does the Sony projectors. However, the JVC projectors while not terrible at showing 3D, do have more 3D crosstalk/ghosting than other projectors in this price range. Also this entry-level model does not have a color management system (CMS), so you can calibrate gray scale and gamma but not the saturation and hue of the individual primary and secondary colors (doesn't make a difference unless you are going to have the projector calibrated). However, the standard color setting is fairly accurate out of the box and an outboard video processor could be added in the future if you feel you really want a complete CMS capability.


The best 3D performance in this price range is probably provided by the Epson 5010 and 6010 (very similar projectors with similar performance). These LCD based Epson models have the brightest usable 3D image and also do a very good job overall at 2D, but a knotch below the JVC. These Epsons have had a few issues and it appears most are addressed by the recently released firmware update. However, some reviewers have reported color uniformity issues. I saw a little of this in the pre-production 5010 unit I evaluated.

The BenQ W7000 is another contender for best 3D performance and descent 2D performance. This is a DLP projector and as long as you are not sensitive to the "rainbow effect" then you may want to put this model on your list to be considered. It does require a longer screen-to-projector throw distance, for a given screen size, as compared to most other projectors in this price range. This model has also had a few issues and it appears most have been addressed with firmware updates.

The Sony VPL-HW30 is a projector that's not the best at either 2D or 3D, but is fairly good at both. Unlike most 3D projectors in this price range, it does support frame interpolation (for smooth motion) in 3D mode that many, perhaps most, viewers believe improves 3D overall (even though many do not like to use it with most 2D material).

I suggest a good starting point is to go over to the projectorreviews.com web site and read the reviews for these projectors and also the recently posted shootout. Also read the threads here on AVS forum for the owner's reports on these models.

As for a projection screen, I'm not a fan of using a gray screen with high contrast projector that has good blacks levels espcially when the home theater room has good light control. 3D images will be much dimmer than 2D as most active 3D systems have only 15% to 25% as much light reaching the viewer's eyes in 3D mode as compared to watching in 2D mode. Therefore using a screen with some gain can be useful in increasing the image brightness to improve 3D viewing. Elite rates their CineGray material as having a gain of 1.0 and in reality it may be a little less. I suggest you look for a white screen with a gain in the range of 1.3 to 1.5. Also if you select a screen that does retain some significant amount of polarized light this can give an effective 3D gain boost as long as the 3D glasses you use have the same polarization as the projector (should be true if you use the glasses from the projector manufacturer). This does not apply to DLP projectors since they do not output polarized light, but it can increase 3D light levels that reach the viewer's eyes with the JVC and Epson projectors. See the thread on Screens for 3D Projection for more info on this subject.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Ron,

yes, I'm looking for the best combination of 2D/3D in this price range.

And I do have good light control in the room.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 06:40 PM
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Try this thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1391476

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post #5 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark01 View Post

Just moved into a new house with a small (11 X 16) dedicated media room. Plan on using an 106" Elite Cinegray screen (good choice?).

For a projector, I'd like a solid 2D/3D unit for $3,500 or less....primarily for movies and sporting events. The two I'm drawn to is the Sony HW30AES (which I've seen) and the Epson 6010 (which I haven't seen).

Can anyone give me an idea which is the better choice bewen the two, or suggest something else.

Thanks

click on the link in my signature if you'd like to see some first hand comparisons of the HW30 and Epson 5010. We did a mini-shootout with the benQ W7000, Epson 5010, Sony HW30 and JVC RS45.

The 5010/6010 is currently the brightest 3D projector in this price range. The Sony and Epson have similar quality 3D - both very good, but not 'perfect' like the Benq W7000 which is this projectors specialty.

For 2D movies and sports, each projector has it's own unique qualities. The Epson has the 'Living room mode' which is great for watching sports with some ambient light in the room. I'd lean towards the HW30 for movies though - the Sony looks a bit less digital than the Epson for 2D blurays and the FI is the best of the current models. I use it in 3D all the time and sometimes in 2D even though I generally don't like FI - it's subtle on the Sony and looks excellent with sporting events.

Also consider than the Sony has the lowest price lamp right now. We can't post street prices in the forum, but it's hard to believe how inexpensive it is, so you might not feel as guilty for burning up the hours on the projector.

I would avoid the gray screen, there is no need for it with either of these projectors.

I've had both projectors side by side for months and it's a tough decision if I had to pick one. You can't really go wrong with either model, they are both great overall 2D / 3D projectors.


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post #6 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 07:42 PM
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I would take the Sony over the Epson and pair it with a Da-Lite High Power screen (or Black Diamond if ambient light but BD is too expensive). Then you get the equivalent brightness of the Epson with the better pixel fill of the Sony. I agree with Zombie, forget the gray screen, a positive gain gray screen could work ok (but the good ones are too expensive).

See my screen recommendation here instead of me re-posting it.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post21920823

Also, the pixel fill of the Epson might not bother some, and even I could get used to it again, but over time with projectors you will get pickier and then it might. The Sony keeps you in the movie more, the Epson is an edgier projector.



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post #7 of 17 Old 04-18-2012, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I have reviewed all the links, and most would prefer the Sony in my light controlled room, by a slim margin.

Coming into this information request, I had the Sony on top simply because I am a long-time Sony TV snob, and associated Epson with printers.

Nice to see Epson can build nice projectors...

Thank you everyone for your contributions, now if I can only get my wife fixated OFF of her obsssion with HT furniture

Do I really want butt-kickers anyway? That sounds like a lame country bar
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-19-2012, 12:51 PM
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I am highly satisfied with my Panasonic AE7000. I can turn the lights on in my HT/den on a bright sunny day and can still watch the picture. And 3D rocks with this baby, along with the option of lens memory. All in all a very good machine.

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-19-2012, 06:44 PM
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Keep in mind that last year the Sony HW30 hit stores around late August last year I believe which means their new model could potentially be only 4 months away. I know, I know, but just sayin'.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-19-2012, 08:04 PM
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The Mits HC9000D can be had for under $3200, its strengths would lean more to the 2d side, but still an option.
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-20-2012, 01:13 PM
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I don't think you can make a decision without seeing these.

On paper, the Epson looked perfect for me.. I got to see 4 models (a rarity) 3010, 5010 and 2 6010s. These had the most un-impressive pictures of any PJ I have ever seen and I don't think they handled motion very well. If I won one of these in a contest, I am not even sure I would keep it. LCDs are very very different than DLP or LCOS/SXRD and just 'didn't cut it' for me.

No one technology is better, but they are so different I feel you really have to see them to know which image you prefer. The epson experience truly surprised me and now I won't buy anything until I see it in person.

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post #12 of 17 Old 04-20-2012, 01:43 PM
 
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If you want to discuss these in detail, please give us a call. We are pretty familiar with all of them having much hands on experience and I even spent a few days at zombies at the start of his comparison process.[ anybody on our sales team can help you here.
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-22-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally saw the Epson 6010 yesterday. Picture was plenty bright on a 1.78 gain screen, but the 3D was jumpy (Shrek I).

Looks like I want the Sony.
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-22-2012, 08:59 AM
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yeah, I REALLY wished I liked the Epson image. It would solve so many problems for me. And I know many people are very happy with the PQ... Maybe it's something inherent in LCD technology...dunno..

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post #15 of 17 Old 04-22-2012, 09:03 AM
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Even seeing them in person doesn't tell you all that much (it helps a little) unless you know what you are doing and can play around with it and watch content you are familiar with on it. The problem is projectors drift over time color-wise and brightness and other stuff, and the ones you see at stores or in showrooms are often not setup correctly. I have seen a lot from many different places, I'd say 75% of the time something is wrong with the calibration or setup.



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post #16 of 17 Old 04-23-2012, 02:36 PM
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The Epson's have also had a new firmware release that's been reported to help with issues including panning. You need to know if that was installed on any demo PJ.

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post #17 of 17 Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 AM
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I would not use the Elite Cinegrey FYI. Especially if you want 3D. In general I would skip gray screens altogether unless it is a must for your room. My 2 cents.

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