New $999 Projectors vs. Today’s Best Sellers

[ This is a repost of our August 2009 Projector People Post Home Theater Newsletter ] Optoma HD20 Projector in action

Newly announced $999 True HD 1080p projectors are the latest buzz in the projection world. These cheaper entry level 1080p projectors are stirring up questions. Most commonly, questions about their level of performance versus the current best selling 1080p projectors. We will do a more thorough investigation later, once we have all three models in stock to compare. We should have inventory on $999 models from BenQ, Optoma, and Vivitek in stock and ready to ship by the end of September. But here is a quick look at the new products to help answer a few questions we’ve heard floating about.

[ Photo : Image from the Optoma HD20 in action. More photos here. ]

Head to Head : Entry Level 1080p versus High End 1080p

Our current best sellers – the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, Panasonic PT-AE3000U, and the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 – all come with advanced features the new $999 projectors don’t have (lens shift and zoom lensing to name two). There are also some serious spec advantages like significantly higher contrast ratio and 120hz frame rates in particular. So, here is a quick look at what we currently have to go on for our head-to-head comparison based on the published manufacturer specifications. To make things easier, let’s use the (first to ship) Optoma HD20 and the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB. You can compare more specs and up to three projectors using our projector comparison tool.

Basic Specs Compared
Projector Epson HC 6500 UB
($2599*)
Optoma HD20
($999)
Vivitek H1080FD
($999)
Contrast 75000:1 4000:1 5000:1
Technology 3LCD DLP single chip DLP single chip
Brightness 1600 lumens 1700 lumens 1800 lumens
Connectivity 2 HDMI, 1 component video, (S-video) 2 HDMI, 1 component video, (no S-video) 2 HDMI, 1 component video, (S-video)
Weight 22 lbs. 6.4 lbs. 5.7 lbs.


Advanced Features Compared
Projector Epson HC 6500 UB
($2599*)
Optoma HD20
($999)
Vivitek H1080FD
($999)
Lens shift Yes No No
Zoom lens 2x zoom 1.2x n/a
Frame Rate 120 Hz 60 Hz 60 Hz
Warranty 2 year and 90 day lamp 1 year and 90 day lamp 1 year and 90 day lamp
Lamp replacement cost $299 (subject to change) $249 (subject to change) n/a
12v screen trigger Yes Yes Yes

* The Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB is currently $2599 and includes a free replacement lamp with purchase.

So, while there are distinct advantages to the higher end home cinema projectors, the new $999 units are a new breed of 1080p product that opens up true HD to a new level of affordability. All you need to do is determine which product fits your budget and will give you all you want for your investment.

Expected Ship Dates for New $999 Projectors

The dates may change, but here’s a the latest on when we expect to receive our first/next shipment* of three new sub-$1000 1080ps.

* Dates subject to change, but this is our best currently available information on the new projectors.

The Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, Panasonic PT-AE3000U, and Sanyo PLV-Z3000 are all currently in stock and ready to ship. Click to see all our HDTV 1080p projectors. Call for details!

Shipping Updates on New $999 1080p Projectors

BenQ W1000 is $999

We’ve been getting lots of questions about when the new $999 projectors will be in stock here at ProjectorPeople.com. Here’s a very quick review of when we expect to receive our first/next shipment* of three new sub-$1000 1080ps from BenQ, Optoma, and Vivitek. (Updated October 5th, 2009)

* Dates subject to change, but this is our best currently available information on the new projectors.

You can check out our complete selection of 1080p Projectors here.

More $999 1080p Projectors on the Home Theater Horizon

Last week we posted about the new Vivitek H1080FD sub-grand home theater projector. Since that press release hit the streets, we have also seen two additional $999 1080p home theater projectors announced – the BenQ W1000 and the Optoma HD20.

Since naturally potential buyers will want to compare all three projectors, we are putting together this quick chart for you. We have yet to see them all in action, but we can compare the specs published by the three manufacturers. Since these seem to be very similarly designed projectors, the actual performance differences will probably be minimal – but we look forward to putting them through the paces here at Projector People.

Three New $999 1080p Home Theater Projectors

BenQ W1000 Projector ($999)

BenQ W1000 Projector
  • Resolution: HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Display Type: DLP Single Chip
  • Brightness: 1800 lumens
  • Contrast: 2700:1
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Lamp Life: 3000 hours
  • Also has 2 HDMI (1.3) connections, keystone correction, 3D color management
  • View complete BenQ W1000 specs here »

Optoma HD20 Projector ($999)

Optoma HD20 Projector
  • Resolution: HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Display Type: DLP Single Chip
  • Brightness: 1700 lumens
  • Contrast: 4000:1
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Lamp Life: 3000 hours
  • Also has 2 HDMI connections, S-video, and 12v screen trigger
  • View complete Optoma HD20 specs here »

Vivitek H1080FD Projector ($999)

Vivitek H1080FD Projector
  • Resolution: HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Display Type: DLP Single Chip
  • Brightness: 1800 lumens
  • Contrast: 5000:1
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs.
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Lamp Life: not published
  • Also has 2 HDMI connections, S-video, and 12v screen trigger
  • View complete Vivitek H1080FD specs here »

Quick Tip : Use our Projector Comparison tool to compare these new projectors head to head, or to match them up against current best selling home theater projectors.

What are these new low-priced 1080p projectors missing? For starters, the new projectors don’t specify the 120hz frame rate that really set the Sanyo PLV3000, Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB and Panasonic PT-AE3000U apart from the entry level home theater projectors. There is also no lens shift or power zoom, which could arguably be considered a necessary feature for the DIY projector installer. But for $999, you might be willing to get creative in the way you mount your projector. We will be doing more comparison as the new units roll in. Stay tuned!