AVS Forum is planning a series of buying guides for the holiday shopping season, and we need your help. Each guide will include the top picks of AVS members based on reviews, threads, and—most importantly—your response to queries such as this one.
So, what are your favorite projectors? Since this is for an upcoming buying guide, we're only looking for currently available models. Simply post a comment with the make(s) and model number(s) and any elaboration you care to add; we might even use your comments in the final buying guide. Perhaps you love the one(s) you own or those you've seen at friends' places. Either way, feel free to include more than one, but please limit your response to the best you've seen among currently available models. You can also consider price and value in your choices—a particular product might not be the absolute best performer, but if it's very good and its price is relatively low, that makes it an outstanding value and worthy of inclusion.
Thanks for helping us help others find the best AV products available today!
Editor, AVS Forum
4K, very bright, excellent image quality, sweet price point for higher end. IMO, next best thing would take you to the $60k range.
Edit: To keep it on topic - I don't own a projector. I do want one and a HT room one day...
Former 35mm and Digital Projectionist @ Regal Cinemas
Currently watching on: BenQ W1070, 106" 0.8 Gain Screen, Darbee, PS4, w/ Marantz SR6011, NAD C370 (for Front L/R), Outlaw Model 5000, SVS PB-2000, SVS PC-2000, a Def Tech CS-8080HD, 2 SM65 for L/R, 2 SM55 for sides, 2 PM1000 for rears, and 4 AW5500 for Atmos.
2) Bright, even with some ambient light
3) Good bulb life, backed by Epson Warranty
4) Placement flexibility due to lens zoom and lens shift
5) Epson warranty is very good; Canadians can get a great deal in the US, bring it home and still have a valid warranty
6) Better contrast ratio than the lower end 3D projectors
7) Excellent for gaming - no discernible lag
This is a very good entry level projector for anyone buying their first one.
Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1130K, 7.1/5.1.2 audio
Sources: HTPC(Enby), PS3, XBOX360, Wii
Control: Harmony One
My general recommendations for the more budget projectors:
Benqw7000 (for people wanting amazing 3d, the blacks do let this unit down and the dynamic iris is best left off as its transitions are very obvious [though with brilliant color on it is near on invisible], the 1070 is another option that I can't recommend as I have not seen it but apparently performance is similar at an even lower price. Excluding dark scenes nothing can come close to this projector in terms of it's picture quality that is near it in price.)
Panasonic ae8000 (very solid performance but the real standout is the amazing feature set)
JVC x35 (amazing performance and excellent blacks but sadly lacking a CMS)
Personally I am very interested in dlp's that people would be recommending in the under $5000 price range as I really can't see myself buying anything not a dlp (thought I would be more then happy with the panny and the jvc has tempted me, I just fear buyers remorse with them as I know that I am odd in many ways).
Lastly I think any projector guide should make mention of the Darbee Dablet. It will not be for everyone but everyone with a front projector should go out of their way to try one out.
The picture extremely clear and even the 3-d is masterful. For the price, I think it is one of the best projectors around. The only down side is that the glasses are expensive.
Runs an average of 10~12 hours daily for the past two years without any noticeable loss of brightness, LED colors that are a sight to behold often providing an almost 3-D effect, excellent black level and low-level detail, exhaust fan feels very cool to the touch + pretty quiet and a feature that afaik only Runco LED projectors offer : Tri-stimulus sensors for each R/G/B LED that continuously calibrate for optimum 6.500 Kelvins white color "point" before light reachs the DMD chip.
It is humongous and very heavy but built like a tank...
JVC RS500 - Stewart Firehawk - Lumagen Radiance Pro - Anthem D2V - Revel Salon speakers - SV Sound SB13 Ultra sub - Various sources
I have no projector at all but I am considering next time around having a hidden motorized screen and projector for every day and movie use.
Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.
That would be very complex unless done very basically as every room and projector/screen combo is different.
Got the urge to upgrade to 3d!
1> Great price
2> Super bright with lots of ambient lighting
3> 3d is awesome to behold
4> Dual inputs: Computer surfing and watching football
5> Highly recommend it!
But after reading all the positive reviews for The House of Wax and the 3D conversion of The Wizard of Oz, I have ordered the Epson Pro Cinema 6030UB. I can't wait until they start shipping.
My JVS-RS35 works very nicely on my 100" screen in a very dark room. Apart from the limits of the technology (still love CRT's absolute blacks) and display of motion artifacts for some source material, it's more than acceptable. Will take a significant projector at about the same price point for me to move. Have had DLP's in the past (fans are too loud) in addition to CRT (years ago a DWIN). Seems the LCOS type gives me the best balance of quality, features, and with a Lumagen XS and CalMAN license, the best mix to deliver what I need. There's always room for improvement, but it comes at a price. So, watching and waiting to seem something better that's financially approachable.
Hey, I had a Dwin too! Great bang for the buck back at the dawn of time. After that I also went the DLP route, but couldn't stand the rainbows (!) everywhere and the loud color-wheel whine, so for my current projector I went with a JVC RS15 (from AVS naturally ).
I'm planning on going with an Epson 5030 or 6030 for my next projector, so I can do 3D, at least until 4K comes down in price (and has actual media available) in 2-3 years.
IMO you need to break this down along your forum ;
-PJ below $3k; I guess 70% buy here
-PK above $3k; I guess 30% buy here
and I'll add a 3rd category:
-PJ above $10k; I guess 5% from the 30% above $3k buy here
It's so much budget driven, so 1 paintbrush for all PJ's leaves too big
Would be nice to see industry breakout vs my swag
- Long manufacture's claimed bulb life.
- Plenty bright in a light controlled room using "Eco" mode
- Quiet when not in "High Altitude" mode.
- Good picture quality using preset "Reference" mode.
Epson 5040UB, 110" Elite Screen, Marantz 7702 MKII, Emotiva XPA-2, 3x Emotiva XPA-1, Emotiva UPA-5, Rotel RB-1050, Paradigm Studio 100's V3 (Towers), Paradigm CC-570 V3 (Center), Niles HDFX (Surround), Niles HD8 (Surround Back), 4x Speakercraft AIM7 THREE Series 2 (Atmos/DTSX), 2x Epik Conquest 18" 1000 watt (Subwoofers), (Xbox One/Wii U/PS4 Pro)-------Next on the list: Two rows of three Octane Seating - Turbo XL700 & Bass Shakers.
The new 2014 line of JVCs seem to have increased performance yet again, so those are what I recommend to friends.
and +1 on the recommendations for the the Darbee.
After seeing countless pj in different showrooms, home theaters, and reading all the reviews possible, in the realm of "possible and affordable" for the common man, DLP when done right is hard to beat. even now after a good 10 years of solid technology improvements, JVC for best black levels, but there is definitely an image quality superiority to DLP when calibrated well, imo. InFocus was the king of DLP until they bowed out.
What is it that give DLP "image quality superiority" over JVC LCoS?
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