Originally Posted by Shark01
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.
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.