Originally Posted by PF
They are, in alphabetical but otherwise no particular order:
Digital Projection HIGHlite 330-3D-HC MSRP $29,995
Digital Projection M-Vision Cine 320-HB MSRP $9,995
JVC DLA-RS6710 (Emabassy Suites) MSRP $12,499
Runco LS-12HBd MSRP $29,995
Sony VPL-VW600ES MSRP $14,999
In my book, each was excellent for different reasons. I would buy any of them. I’ll run through the DLPs first, then JVC and Sony:
DP HIGHlite and M-Vision
As a convert a couple of years ago to the look of DLP, I thought the DP 330 HC was simply superb on a very large screen. I returned again and again to look at this immensely enjoyable projector. I've never seen "Art of Flight" look better except on systems costing many multiples more. The purity of the all-white snow fields was beyond criticism. When the content switched to darker material, there was no letdown. Contrast was excellent. Maybe not JVC excellent, but close. The high contrast "HC" moniker is deserved. Given how bright DP projectors are, and how important a large screen is too creating sufficiently large viewing angles to achieve a properly immersive experience, the small trade-off in contrast, which most civilians wouldn't even notice, was well worth it.
Equally good once you factor in the far lower price tag, was the M-Vision Cine 320-HB. Again, great whites, and lots and lots of brightness. Noticeably less than the HIGHlite 330 when you compared them back-to-back, but seeing the 320 first, I had no complaints. It was only when we switched over to the 330 that the 320 fell short. But then, the 320 is the lowest priced projector of the five on my list here by $2500.
It's also single chip. If that doesn't matter to you, this is an obvious, high value choice for DLP fans.
One more thing: Color accuracy and realism, previously a DP glaring weakness in my judgment, was superb on both projectors. Skin tones, red reds, non-limey greens - all the difficult tests were aced. DP has achieved what was necessary to compete with all the finest projectors from other manufacturers. I can finally say, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend, or buy, a DP projector. Given the vast array of lens and other options, and resultant installation flexibility, I can see why DP is a brand being carried by more and more dealers.
Excellent brightness. This thing will light up a truly enormous screen. Like DP, it doesn't have the contrast ratio of a JVC projector, but most viewers won't notice because it's far better than merely acceptable. Throw in Runco's focus on, and decades-long proselytizing for, color accuracy, tremendous lens flexibility, warranty options, interesting chassis industrial design, and this is an obvious and excellent projector choice.
To see the RS6710 at it's best, it was necessary to visit the JVC Pro booth at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Its consumer equivalent simply did not look nearly as good at the Convention Center JVC Booth. Consequently, I wouldn't put the consumer unit in this top five list and I would buy the "proven" to my eyes Pro Division RS6710 if I was buying a JVC.
If ever there was a turn-key solution for home theater enthusiasts who just want to write a check and sit back and watch movies and forget all the fussiness, this was it. At $12,500 for a hand-trimmed, ready-to-go, set-it-and-forget-it projector, this is a relative steal. Superb contrast, vivid colors, engrossing, rich images. Yes, psychologically, I was having a hard time getting past the fact that this was 4K from 1080P chips, but the images didn't belie this "trickery" in any way (don't hesitate to call me on that if that's an unfair characterization).
Simply superb. Perhaps once some here have had this unit for extended periods, reports of long term viewer fatigue may emerge from the brain doing the work of assembling the 4K image, just as some viewers experience fatigue from the brain assembling the colors derived from single chip color wheels. But until then, this is a great, easy choice. Write the check for your hand-trimmed RS6710, connect it to a source and start watching. Nothing more to do. Plus, the extraordinary five(!) year warranty, the free extra lamp, free 3-D glasses...
The only caveats are:
1. You can't do as big a screen as you can with a DP or Runco.
2. The image isn't quite as cinematic as a DLP projector, in my opinion
3. Hockey fans, ski bum movie fans, should consider more carefully. As always with D-ILA technology, the white field uniformity was poor. White screens were mottled with discolored dark splotches throughout. Hockey rinks don't have crystal clear white ice. Alaskan snow that was pristine and bright on the DP projectors, had patches of dull gray. It wouldn't stop me from buying because most of the time, this weakness was not a major distraction when viewing content, but it is a consideration.
What can you say? Sony has done it again at a remarkable price point: 4K for $15K. 4K that's true 4K (4096 x 2160). HDMI 2.0. Included 4K Media Player (FMP-X1 4K). Xperia Tablet Z (with cover art) to control everything - a mini version of Kaleidescape. Better brightness than JVC, excellent contrast, tons of resolution, access to Sony's 70-title library of 4K content.
Suddenly, the leap from $12.5K for the RS6710 to $15K for the VPL-VW600ES doesn't seem so large. I loved the RS6710, but if I'm being honest, the 600ES is a better value.
P.S. Now I know some of you are going to ask me, because there are so many JVC cheapskate fans here, and rightly so, how much better was the RS6710 than it's lower cost brethren? Is it really worth so much extra money?
To me, once you've seen the RS6710, you can never go back. Yes, it's that much better, that much more of a pleasure, that much more satisfying. Everyone wants a Mercedes S Class (especially the new one) for the price of a Toyota, but it doesn't exist. The RS6710 is a flagship projector that can hold its own on moderate sized screens with the best projectors in the world. The optics, the chip alignment, the calibration, just can't be matched at the lower JVC price points. If you have any path enabling you to stretch to the RS6710, do it. Put the extra cost on credit card, save up longer, buy used (but not too used). Do what you have to do. It's worth every penny.