We're moving to a new house in December and I'll finally have a dedicated home theater. The room is in the basement and closed-off with light control (no windows!). I've been researching the "latest" in projectors, as I only bother to catch-up every few years when I buy a new one. My last projector was a Sanyo PLV-Z5, so you can tell it's been a while...
Price range: $2500 or less - New, b-stock or refurb. Not used.
From what I can tell, the Epson 5010/5020 and some of the lower-end JVCs seem to fit the bill. Are there others?
I like the image from DLP projectors, but the lens shift requirement basically eliminates all of them at this price point. Thanks for all the help!
JVC RS46, which may be a tad over budget, but will deliver the best image IMO.
The BenQ W7000 has lens shift and is DLP and is pretty solid with performance and build quality.
The Epson 5030 is a very solid performer, and well reviewed, but won't be as smooth with motion as the W7000 and won't deliver the contrast level of the JVC.
The JVC just has the best black levels of anything I've seen and better motion handling than the LCD models. DLP wins with the smoothness in motion, but doesn't match up to what the LCoS models offer in terms of black level performance.
The RS46 looks very nice, and I've seen it new for just a hair over my budget. I'll have to consider whether I can stretch this (or steal some funds from another part of the room).
It looks to be about a year old, so I'll also look around for B-stock or Refurbs on that model.
My only concern with the W7000 is the black level. I'm a horror fanatic, and most of these take place at...well...night. Most of the reviews were done prior to the firmware update(s), so I know this has been improved, but it got dinged quite a bit in this area. Otherwise, the DLP colors and sharpness greatly appeal to me. The fact that it's ~$1000 less (new) than some of the others on my list is also a huge plus. I'll keep reading through the official owner's thread on that one as well.
Likewise, the black level on the 5010 is supposedly much better, though refurbs have been hit-or-miss and a lot of units seem to have convergence issues. I was also a little peeved to learn that Epson doesn't provide a way to blow off the LCD panels in the event of a dust blob. I got these frequently with my old Sanyo, but it was a 2 minute fix with the access holes and their "tool". I'm not really interested in RMAing a potentially out-of-warranty PJ because of a dust blob.
The Optoma HD8300 is a DLP with lens shift, Iris and DC3. Its not mentioned in this thread because its MSRP is $5000 but there are refurbs on EBay for under $2500. From the reviews I read its a very impressive projector but not to sure of its reliability. It would be my projector of choice but I am also a big 3D fan and these projectors are as good or better than an IMAX theater for 3D. The JVC would be the best 2D performer.
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