We need to start this article with a caveat. Typically we don’t do head-to-head video comparisons like we are doing here, for multiple reasons. For example, the camera used to shoot the demo may impact the image in a way that that does not match our experience in person. If the recording camera locks in on one image, it can make a brighter projector look dimmer than a dimmer projector, or it can give the appearance of improved contrast when it does not appear that way in person.
That said, we still wanted to provide video that would help users determine if the new 1080p true HD $999 projectors or the current best selling projectors are a better fit for their needs. So, below is an atypical video head-to-head comparison of the new Optoma HD20 projector and the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB projector which is meant to provide a broader overview of the two categories of home theater projection – new entry level DLP, and high end LCD.
Please Note : You will see some artifacts from the compression of the video that are not caused by either projector. Particularly when our narrator passes in front of the screen, or when the image is moving quickly. These artifcats were not present before compression. If you are interested in a higher quality version of this video, leave a comment below.
Quick Video Log
Product manager Rodney Laney goes over the basics, from lumens and contrast to features of these two units.
Note the more visible gray on the ‘black bars’ and in the space scene in the projector on the left. This is to be expected since the projector on the right has a significantly higher contrast ratio. The difference was a bit more obvious in person.
No surprise here, there is very little zoom on the Optoma, and a nice 2x zoom on the Epson. Most of our high end projectors feature either manual, or power 2x zoom.
No surprise here either, there is no lens shift on the new entry level DLP projectors. This helps keep the chassis smaller and the cost down, but it also makes installation more challenging. If you plan to use your projector in multiple locations, lens shift and zoom can save a lot of frustration.
The most dramatic difference between the two images was due to the video processing capabilities. The 120hz Epson simply out performs for video quality (as does the Panasonic PT-AE3000U and Sanyo PLV-Z3000). The video, upon close inspection, can pick up the difference in clarity. But in person it is dramatic. It is as if the actors are being filmed on stage. They appear to be live in front of you. It’s almost holideck-ish! Some also describe it as a 3-D quality.
So What’s the Word?
If you are looking to step up to 1080p home theater projector but have a limited budget, $999 will get you a true HD 1080p 300-inch image, with very good black levels, more portability, and a somewhat minimal feature set. If you are looking to upgrade to true HD with a crisp – almost stage like – image, more installation flexibility with 2x zoom and lens shift, then the high end LCD home theater projectors will be the way to go.
High End LCD Home Theater Projectors
* Prices may change, please click through for current pricing and rebates.
- Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB ($2599 after current $400 rebate with free lamp)
- Panasonic PT-AE3000U ($2599 plus free 2-year warranty rebate)
- Sanyo PLV-Z3000($2395 after $200 rebate)
New Entry Level DLP Projectors
If you have more questions about the differences between these products, pricing questions, or any other projector related needs, leave a comment, send an email to webmaster(at)projectorpeople.com, or gives us a call at 1-888-248-0675. Thanks for reading!