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What is the best $5000 +/- projector - right now?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
My Panasonic AE900 has served me well, but its time for an upgrade. My budget is "around $5000", but obviously the less I spend on the projector, the more $ I have for movies! I've done a lot of reading and there seems to be a lot of picks for the Epson 5010. My concern is that it is too bright (maybe that sounds stupid)...but I'll admit - I'm a real novice at this stuff.

I really wanted the Sony HW30AES (mainly because I'm a Sony guy and all my TV's are Sony's), but the fact that I would have to run the 3D transmitter through the room of my HT, is almost a deal killer. I have about a one foot gap between the top of my HT room and the bottom of the roof of my house. I could do it - but man....what a PITA.

The Panasonic 7000 seems like a solid performer....but some people loved the 3D performance, some did not.

I've read mixed reviews on the JVC as well.

The Sony VPL-VW95ES has mixed reviews....and the lumens of 1000 seems low. As someone told me about the 95, "you're just paying more....and not necessarily getting more." Not sure this is true or not.

My screen is a 92 inch Stewart Screen (I know that's small by today's standards, but my goofy peaked roof in my HT room limits what I can do). My projector mount is 14.5 feet away from the screen. My HT room is 15 feet wide x 24 feet long. I have ONE window (which is 80-90% blocked out by shutters). The window is at the FRONT of the room, behind the motorized Stewart screen. I know, not ideal...but it is what it is....

I use my projector for 80% movies, 20% sporting events.

I would love to hear from the "experts" on the forum....I'm open to any of the above (or something else I haven't thought of)....

Thanks!
post #2 of 42
biggrin.gif
post #3 of 42
For 80% Movies, the JVC RS-55 is favored with E-shift as long as you are not too worried about 3d.

If you want 3D, then a 2-projector setup is better, because the projectors that are best at 3D are not the best at 2D. The RS-45 + Benq w7000 or + Optoma hd33 is your best bet in the case of two projectors. This still comes in around 5k or under and you get two projectors. Two projectors is really fun and better than one IMO, but it doesn't work for everyone, although it's not nearly as hard as some think it is to install two projectors. With a 92" screen, the lumens debate just doesn't matter much.

If you are serious about 3D and still want good 2D, the Epson 5010 is a good idea. The Epson 5010 is a good projector, but the JVC is better at 2D over the Epson 5010 (most people think so anyways including most experts).
Edited by coderguy - 7/28/12 at 4:39am
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks Coderguy. It was nice to get a serious response! smile.gif I would say I will likely watch the occasional 3D movie. I can't really do a dual projector setup.
post #5 of 42
The RS-55 with e-shift is the way to go then, it is awesome at blurays and good sources, the RS-45 would be a good alternative less-costly choice. The better black levels do matter for movies with dark scenes.
The Sony vw95es would be a decent choice as well, but I think it is a bit more expensive than an RS-55, but I am not sure.
Edited by coderguy - 7/28/12 at 4:40am
post #6 of 42
For a single projector setup and keeping the price below $5K then the JVC DLA-RS45 if perhaps the best for 2D but its not that great for 3D (OK for some movies but some objecgtional 3D crosstalk visible on others). The Epson 5010 (or 6010) offers a good trade-off between 2D and 3D. It's 2D performance is just a knotch below the JVC and its 3D performance is a knotch below the BenQ W7000 (but better than the BenQ for 2D with much better contrast ratio and black levels). The typical street price of the JVC DLA-RS55 is over $5K and the Sony VPL-VW95 is now supposed to only be sold at the full list price of over $6K. The lower priced Sony VPL-HW30 can compete performance wise again the Epson models, but you indicate you need a built-in 3D emitter. FYI - Sony is bringing out the HW50, or whatever Sony decides to call it when it ships in the 4th quarter, that is supposed to similar to the HW30 but with a built-in 3D emitter.

You may want to take a look at the "2012 Home Theater Projector Comparison Report" at projectorreviews.com
Edited by Ron Jones - 7/25/12 at 5:18pm
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post

For a single projector setup and keeping the price below $5K then the JVC DLA-RS45 if perhaps the best for 2D but its not that great for 3D (OK for some movies but some objecgtional 3D crosstalk visible on others). The Epson 5010 (or 6010) offers a good trade-off between 2D and 3D. It's 2D performance is just a knotch below the JVC and its 3D performance is a knotch below the BenQ W7000 (but better than the BenQ for 2D with much better contrast ratio and black levels). The typical street price of the JVC DLA-RS55 is over $5K and the Sony VPL-VW95 is now supposed to only be sold at the full list price of over $6K. The lower priced Sony VPL-HW30 can compete performance wise again the Epson models, but you indicate you need a built-in 3D emitter. FYI - Sony is bringing out the HW50, or whatever Sony decides to call it when it ships in the 4th quarter, that is supposed to similar to the HW30 but with a built-in 3D emitter.
You may want to take a look at the "2012 Home Theater Projector Comparison Report" at projectorreviews.com

Good points, but if he is not interested in 3D that much, he might want to consider one of the B-stock JVC's. He would save enough money to just about pay for his next projector upgrade. smile.gif
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post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbovaird View Post

I really wanted the Sony HW30AES (mainly because I'm a Sony guy and all my TV's are Sony's), but the fact that I would have to run the 3D transmitter through the room of my HT, is almost a deal killer. I have about a one foot gap between the top of my HT room and the bottom of the roof of my house. I could do it - but man....what a PITA.

I've installed 2 HW30's that aimed the transmitter at the screen and it worked fine, it depends on the room setup and screen.

The alternative is to use the Monster Vision 3D glasses with the RF transmitter. These work excellent with the Sony and there is no chance of losing the 3D signal with these glasses.

here's a comparison I did a while back with the factory Sony glasses vs. the MV3D's.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1353988/official-sony-vpl-hw30-a-es-owners-thread/750#post_20909285
post #9 of 42
Because of politics re brands and prices, you need to give one of our sales team a call. We just can't discuss prices for many things in a public forum and focusing on strengths and weaknesses in a public forum of competing brands also causes us problems.

We have a whole variety of projectors which would fit your price bill and many that would be under that .

At your price level I would carefully consider such things as the JVC RS55 and the Sony VPL-vw95ES. Dropping down in price level we get to the Sony HW30AES , the JVC RS45, and the Mits HC9000. Mits recently drastically lowered the price to dealers of the HC9000 which used to sell for prices at your title target level. Also the Epson 5010 and then there are even more. With your set up, it would be hard to go really wrong with any of these.though I might have my favorite or favorites. I do have personal hands on experience in my HT with all of these.

In all fairness, units have sample to sample variation as well and a hard firm conclusion based on a sample of one is subject to false generic conclusions. Ask any one giving you hard advice about a particular projector how do they know. And be careful of BS answers. Everyone one tries to defend an opinion and fortunately its pretty easy to see through the BS worded to sound impressive.And never take the advice of a salesperson because we are all whore mongers with not a shred of integrity. Well maybe that's not really true. Some salespeople live by a win win philosophy and always put what's doing right for the customer first. That's the basis for repeat business and getting referals which so many of you do for the AV Science sales team. Me and my sales team live by Do what's best for the customer. And if you don't know an answer, say you don't know and then try and find out. Give us a call. We are here to help.
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
It's interesting that not many people are mentioning the Panasonic AE7000. Has it fallen out of favor for some reason?
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbovaird View Post

It's interesting that not many people are mentioning the Panasonic AE7000. Has it fallen out of favor for some reason?

The reports of the average 3D and a number of folks with flicker issues on their lamps likely scared some folks away from the 7000. If you don't need the lens memory for zooming, the 5010 is a more solid choice with better 3D.

The relatively small 92" gives you a lot of options from any of the current models. The HW30 and 5010 are the 'middle' ground projectors - meaning they both do 2D and 3D well. It's hard to beat the 2D quality of the JVC RS45, but the 3D does suffer from some ghosting that may or may not bother you. Lamp life on the JVC's have been a struggle for some owners, hopefully this is resolved with the latest update on their lamps which just occurred a few months ago.

2 questions. how important is 3D and how often do you plan on using the projector? The Sony's have the least expensive lamps (by a fair amount) and have a good track record for longevity.
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
3D is somewhat important. I would envision watching a movie or two a month in 3D. Do you know how the 3D on the Sony 95 compares to the Sony 30?

The other thought is just to hang on to my 900 for another few months until after all the new projectors come out...

Mike
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbovaird View Post

3D is somewhat important. I would envision watching a movie or two a month in 3D. Do you know how the 3D on the Sony 95 compares to the Sony 30?

The other thought is just to hang on to my 900 for another few months until after all the new projectors come out...

Mike

The 3D on the 95 has a bit more ghosting than the HW30, but it's slight and you'd need to see them side by side to see the difference. Both have very good 3D for a non-DLP projector.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the lumen output, ~900 D65 lumens should light up that 92" screen with no problems. Any of the current models should provide a noticeably increase in PQ compared to the older 900.
post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks - if you had to pick between the Panasonic 7000, Epson 5010 or the Sony HW30.....which would it be?

Mike
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbovaird View Post

Thanks - if you had to pick between the Panasonic 7000, Epson 5010 or the Sony HW30.....which would it be?

Mike

I'd pick the HW30 or the 5010. I've compared both side by side for several months.

these are both good choices for 2D and 3D, you can't really go wrong for picking either projector. there's plenty of happy owners for both models.
post #16 of 42
If you don't need 3D, you might want to consider a Runco LS-3 DLP projector. I recently installed one in my 2:35 HT with 100" wide screen and it's contrast range is amazing compared to the Optoma HD81-LV I had been watching for 5 years. I looked at the newest JVC and it just doesn't have the DLP magic for me--the pop, natural sharpness. The LS-3 is calibrated out of the box, so its color points are very accurate. I occasionally saw rainbow artifacts with the Optoma, haven't seen any yet in 150 hours with the Runco. I believe it's the best DLP projector for the money currently.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post

If you don't need 3D, you might want to consider a Runco LS-3 DLP projector. I recently installed one in my 2:35 HT with 100" wide screen and it's contrast range is amazing compared to the Optoma HD81-LV I had been watching for 5 years. I looked at the newest JVC and it just doesn't have the DLP magic for me--the pop, natural sharpness. The LS-3 is calibrated out of the box, so its color points are very accurate. I occasionally saw rainbow artifacts with the Optoma, haven't seen any yet in 150 hours with the Runco. I believe it's the best DLP projector for the money currently.

Isn't this a rebadge of Planar 8130 from 4 years ago ? It is still competitve as of now ? I was actually considering the LS-3 yesterday for the .95" DMD.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger View Post

Isn't this a rebadge of Planar 8130 from 4 years ago ? It is still competitve as of now ? I was actually considering the LS-3 yesterday.

Yes, Runco updated the video processor, changed some menu item names, but it's the same projector as the 8130. I had to order the short throw lens for my LS-3 so it would work in my 12'x13' HT room.

I think the LS-3 compares favorably to the other DLP projectors at the $5k price point, as long as 3D isn't wanted. The image is much more refined than the Optoma HD81-LV I had. The newer Optoma's and some other DLP projectors use the .65 DMD instead of the larger .95 DMD of the LS-3. The former looks a bit softer to me, assuming similar lens quality--more like an LCOS look sharpness wise.

The LS-3 is pretty quiet for a DLP in economy bulb mode, I see less image noise, less banding than the Optoma. The black levels are amazing to me and the DLP intrascene contrast still seduces me. I think the LS-3 and LS-5 digital iris is pretty effective without compressing whites and blacks noticeably. I watched "Michael Clayton" on Blu Ray last night, a movie I have seen a few times on my previous projector and the difference in contrast ratio was startling--an absolutely gorgeous, film like image with great, natural detail, color and motion. I was just blown away, even with the slight softening and contrast reduction of my Panamorph M380 anamorphic lens. Worth getting a demo, IMO.
post #19 of 42
Funny! I am also looking to upgrade from my PT-AE900U smile.gif

I must say, I had flicker issues with the lamp on my PT-AE900U quite a bit throughout its lifetime. It seems random. Sometimes it flickers, sometimes it doesn't. Though the problem started well into its lifespan. Still, the intermittent quality of the flickering is strange. It makes me question buying another Panasonic projector, especially in light of the positive posts re: Sony lamps on these forums.
Quote:
The LS-3 is pretty quiet for a DLP in economy bulb mode, I see less image noise, less banding than the Optoma.
About image noise & banding -- I saw both noise & banding evident in just the PS3 home screens when using the BenQ W7000 (DLP). Is this inherent to DLP b/c of dithering? Don't see the noise or banding on any of my LCD projectors. Re: banding, it's possible the W7000 was just calibrated poorly, of course.
Quote:
I'd pick the HW30 or the 5010. I've compared both side by side for several months.
Only reason I wouldn't pick the 5010 is b/c of input lag... which makes it poor for gaming (though I haven't experimented myself).

I'm also thinking of just waiting a month for CEDIA, though I'm not convinced the HW50 would be a considerable upgrade to the HW30...

One thing I should mention:
The PT-AE900U has pretty good motion resolution (not much motion blur) in my tests using the moving pattern (response time test- ghosting) from this site:
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/response_time.php

I shot some 24fps video using 1/800s shutter speed to monitor ghosting. Epson 8350 & 3010 ('480Hz panels' supposedly) showed a lag of up to 3 bars (you could see 3 bars forming ahead & 3 bars disappearing behind the moving pattern) at some point in the video (you don't always see it since the 1/800s sample could occur when the pattern isn't moving, since I have 60Hz output from my HTPC... meaning the screen content is only updated every 1/60s... which is why it's important to shoot a video, or shoot many stills, as opposed to just taking one still image). The PT-AE900U at worst showed only a lag of 1 bar. The W7000 showed no lag, being DLP.

Would love for someone to do this test with the 5010 & the Sony HW30. Actually, there should just be a review site that measures motion blur quantitatively...

Cheers.
post #20 of 42
What I find REALLY weird is this.

DLA-RS45/X30:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/jvc-dla-x30-3d-lcos-projector

DLA-RS55/X70:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/jvc-procision-dla-x70r-d-ila-3d-projector

How come 2D performance was worse?!
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius2 View Post

What I find REALLY weird is this.
DLA-RS45/X30:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/jvc-dla-x30-3d-lcos-projector
DLA-RS55/X70:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/jvc-procision-dla-x70r-d-ila-3d-projector
How come 2D performance was worse?!

That is an error on the website. On the magazine the rs55 has 5 stars for 2d and 3 and 1/2 for 3d. It seems like they switched it by mistake.
post #22 of 42
Mike,

My best advice to you is to talk to Mark Haflich or anyone at AVS Sales. I'd also suggest not spending a lot on a PJ. Keep it under $3K street since that's money saved that can be used elsewhere. The suggestion of a JVC B-stock is a very good one. Zombie also knows what he's talking about so his suggestion of a JVC RSxx, Epson 5010, or Sony HW30 is right on. There is no perfect projector, but you'll likely be happy with any one of those three and save money too. I have an RS40 and Epson 6010 and use the later solely because the 2D isn't a big drop-off from the JVC, but the 3D is better and it's brighter. I have a larger screen, so that is very important for me, especially with 3D. You should be fine with a 92" screen. Pick one, enjoy it, put the savings in gold and use it later to buy a 4K 3D Laser PJ in a few years. Good luck.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SED <--- Rules View Post

That is an error on the website. On the magazine the rs55 has 5 stars for 2d and 3 and 1/2 for 3d. It seems like they switched it by mistake.

That was my guess, but I wanted to be sure. smile.gif
post #24 of 42
Fight nice boys! biggrin.gif

Seriously.... For the record, I respect both of your opinions. I also think that Mark may have been able to freely express his opinions in the past, but after joining AVS, now has to watch what is said in a public forum for the good of the business. I totally understand this. I think his suggestion to call is a good one since it probably allows him and the other AVS Sales team to be more candid over the phone.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post

Yes, Runco updated the video processor, changed some menu item names, but it's the same projector as the 8130. I had to order the short throw lens for my LS-3 so it would work in my 12'x13' HT room.
I think the LS-3 compares favorably to the other DLP projectors at the $5k price point, as long as 3D isn't wanted. The image is much more refined than the Optoma HD81-LV I had. The newer Optoma's and some other DLP projectors use the .65 DMD instead of the larger .95 DMD of the LS-3. The former looks a bit softer to me, assuming similar lens quality--more like an LCOS look sharpness wise.
The LS-3 is pretty quiet for a DLP in economy bulb mode, I see less image noise, less banding than the Optoma. The black levels are amazing to me and the DLP intrascene contrast still seduces me. I think the LS-3 and LS-5 digital iris is pretty effective without compressing whites and blacks noticeably. I watched "Michael Clayton" on Blu Ray last night, a movie I have seen a few times on my previous projector and the difference in contrast ratio was startling--an absolutely gorgeous, film like image with great, natural detail, color and motion. I was just blown away, even with the slight softening and contrast reduction of my Panamorph M380 anamorphic lens. Worth getting a demo, IMO.

I would like to second this vote. I have a Planar PD8150 (Runco LS-5). If you want something that looks amazing out of the box the LS-3 is the way to go. The pre-calibration at the factory is a huge plus if you don't have any calibration skills. The hard part about explaining the differences between projectors is that it's completely visual so it's hard to put into words what you're going to see. With the Runco not only are you getting superior sharpness due to the larger DMD chip and a very good lens, but you're also going to get a dynamic iris that is one of the best in the business. It's silent and very well implemented (you aren't going to notice it). Black levels will compete with the Sony 30es and the Epson 5010. Motion handling is also going to be vastly superior compared to LCD or LCOS. That was one of my major complaints with the JVCs.

I always say this when recommending a projector to people. You need to go out and audition. While Jeff and I are DLP people you may not be. You can get as many recommendations as you want but in the end all that matters is what looks best to you.
post #26 of 42
DLPs are nice and the runco ls-5/planar 8150 is probably one of the best dlps out there. However, IMO the image that the DLPs put out is a bit too digital and unnatural looking to me. The colors are great, as is the sharpness and motion, but the overall picture looks harsh. Compare that image to the JVC RS55 for example, and you can see that the JVC puts out a more natural, analog, and film-like image which IMO is the way to go for movies. Not to mention the superior black levels that the JVC can produce. As for motion, the JVC RS55 has been improved in this aspect due to the e-shift technology and most likely will be improved even more on their next line of projectors. Motion is no longer a problem for the JVCs IMO.
post #27 of 42
I used to have a 35mm projector and collection. I would show it on a rather small screen (20' or under). To me, DLP mimics this better than anything else. 35mm is really sharp on screens that small and has lots of pop. JVC can't match a .95 DLP chip in sharpness.
Edited by Lonely Surfer - 7/28/12 at 11:58am
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 4 View Post

Because of politics re brands and prices, you need to give one of our sales team a call. We just can't discuss prices for many things in a public forum and focusing on strengths and weaknesses in a public forum of competing brands also causes us problems.
We have a whole variety of projectors which would fit your price bill and many that would be under that .
At your price level I would carefully consider such things as the JVC RS55 and the Sony VPL-vw95ES. Dropping down in price level we get to the Sony HW30AES , the JVC RS45, and the Mits HC9000. Mits recently drastically lowered the price to dealers of the HC9000 which used to sell for prices at your title target level. Also the Epson 5010 and then there are even more. With your set up, it would be hard to go really wrong with any of these.though I might have my favorite or favorites. I do have personal hands on experience in my HT with all of these.
In all fairness, units have sample to sample variation as well and a hard firm conclusion based on a sample of one is subject to false generic conclusions. Ask any one giving you hard advice about a particular projector how do they know. And be careful of BS answers. Everyone one tries to defend an opinion and fortunately its pretty easy to see through the BS worded to sound impressive.And never take the advice of a salesperson because we are all whore mongers with not a shred of integrity. Well maybe that's not really true. Some salespeople live by a win win philosophy and always put what's doing right for the customer first. That's the basis for repeat business and getting referals which so many of you do for the AV Science sales team. Me and my sales team live by Do what's best for the customer. And if you don't know an answer, say you don't know and then try and find out. Give us a call. We are here to help.

A big +1 to that.

Back in December , I did gave them a call and I ask wish projector would fit my situation for the best.
After 5 minutes we start talking about price to be ship in Canada. I was inform they could not ship to Canada due to brand policy.
So I said sorry for wasting his time.
He said not to worry and spend another 20 minutes with me to help me with my decision.

Proof of great service even if they knew that they were not making a sell.
So at the end I called a Canadian retailer and after spending some time on the phone came to the same conclusion as AV Science.
I could not be more happy with JVC X30 aka RS45.

Ray
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post

A big +1 to that.
Back in December , I did gave them a call and I ask wish projector would fit my situation for the best.
After 5 minutes we start talking about price to be ship in Canada. I was inform they could not ship to Canada due to brand policy.
So I said sorry for wasting his time.
He said not to worry and spend another 20 minutes with me to help me with my decision.
Proof of great service even if they knew that they were not making a sell.
So at the end I called a Canadian retailer and after spending some time on the phone came to the same conclusion as AV Science.
I could not be more happy with JVC X30 aka RS45.
Ray

Hi Ray, I remember talking to you. Glad you are enjoying your projector. smile.gif I am enjoying my RS45 myself. Watching the Olympics tonight.
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post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Surfer View Post

I used to have a 35mm projector and collection. I would show it on a rather small screen (20' or under). To me, DLP mimics this better than anything else. 35mm is really sharp on screens that small and has lots of pop. JVC can't match a .95 DLP chip in sharpness.

I agree. I'm a director of photography for video and I've spent 30 years trying to get "the film look" out of video cameras. It's a lot easier now with large sensor cameras and not having to rely on detail circuits in lieu of real resolution. I had a Sony 1251Q CRT projector for 13 years and thought my first digital would be a Sony Ruby, but once I saw DLP, I was hooked. The JVC's still look a bit soft and lifeless to me, although they get better and better, but DLP still gives me more of a theatrical 35mm experience to my eye. It's important to leave sharpness turned down on DLP's, but this could be said about LCD flat panel displays as well. I love the look of OLED flat panel monitors that are becoming more common on production sets, but DLP is still my projection technology choice, although I've seen some Sony 4K projectors that I've liked as well!

The fact that many theaters use DLP projectors tells me that this technology can look close to 35mm film.
Edited by Jeff Regan - 7/28/12 at 4:52pm
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