Originally Posted by Neil Schneider
I am kinda new to the idea of dig projector. I currently own and use an nec xg135 that is nearing the end of it's life and have preordered a jvs rs20. I have read this site extensively and Art does a nice review.
That said, he seems to like a lot of the proj he reviews and sometimes it is hard to compare one to another. Being that it is just about impossible to see them all ( without flying all over the country ) we have to rely on others suggestions and reviews.
How do you guys see it?
About 4 years ago I began to upgrade all of my 25 year old audio/video setup. At that time most reviews came out in print magazines (some of which have since folded, others like ultimate a/v are now online). A friend said to me "you have to learn to read between the lines, because almost all reviews are positive." Indeed they are, both for audio and video equipment. Maybe that's because most products are good to great these days, or that "almost every product has some good features or would be pleasing to a certain type of audience," or one could take a more cynical view and say that reviewers don't want to bite the hand that feeds them. Depends on your view of human nature I suppose. In any event, I eventually learned to read between the lines a bit. You have too look as much as what reviewers "don't say" about product X almost as much as what they do say (relative to their other reviews.)
Two other problems with reviews. One is that a reviewer may legitimately say "this is the best pj I've seen in this price range to date," but then a week or month later, in a subsequent review of a pj in the same price range, the reviewer can still honestly say "this is the best pj I've seen in this price range to date," and so on. Problem 2, more of an issue with A/V mags in which multiple people review pjs or loudspeakers, processors, and so forth, is that one reviewer may say "It's the best pj I've every seen for under 10K". Then another reviewer get's assigned to review another pj, and concludes "It's the leading pj in the under $10K class." And of course, both can be honest conclusions because they come from different people.
All that aside, I can only speak for myself when I say that I do pay a lot of attention to reviews, particularly when different reviewers reach a consensus. Not only are the reviewers a lot more A/V savy than I am, they've also seen more pjs than I can every hope to. Even though I live in mid-sized city that has several good A/V stores where you can see pj's set up in showrooms, it's still really difficult to make direct pj comparisons for oneself. Only a few manufacturer's pjs are set up for viewing, different viewing rooms have different viewing conditions, and so forth. Some dealers would be able to order a demo pj for a personal viewing at their office or showroom, others maybe not. Art's reviews on projectorreviews.com are among those I like the best, both for all the issues that he covers and because...for those projectors that I have seen personally...his conclusions seem to match my perceptions pretty well on factors that I consider most important. There is another reviewer who is well regarded by many members of the AVS forum, Greg Rogers, who posts his reviews online but you need to subscribe to that online magazine: Widescreen Review
I'm not a subscriber, but perhaps some other members can tell you how to subscribe if you're interested.