Projector Companies Offer a Range of Price Points, Image Options


By Jeremy J. Glowacki June 5,2014


Not that long ago, video projector options consisted of either really expensive high-end home theater units or inexpensive but relatively inadequate road warrior office products that are not really suited for home cinema. These days, high-end options still abound as CI-oriented brands look to emulate the performance of the megaplex 4K experience in the home, but now, even the most respected brands have down-market options available to appeal to a broader range of customers.

 
 Epson’s PowerLite Pro Cinema G6900WU features up to 6,000 lumens of color brightness and 6,000 lumens of white brightness.
SIM2, for instance, offers CRYSTAL CUBE with a design fit for inclusion in any home décor at a price comparable to an inexpensive large flat panel ($5,000). On the other hand, the Italian manufacturer offers the Lumis UNO 3D E, a 3-chip projector powerful enough to create a real movie theater experience in someone’s home at $26,000 retail and the SUPERLUMIS PRO, which was designed based on the needs of the professional market for easy serviceability and extended product lifetime backed up by reliability and high performance, at $65,000.

Features of the LUMIS UNO E include a 280- watt dimmable lamp and lamp driver that delivers up to 3,500 ANSI lumens on screen; increased detail, thanks to a native high contrast ratio greater than 10,000:1 (in 2D mode); a new color management software; and SIM2 Professional Customer Care.

Thanks to its wired connections, SUPERLUMIS PRO makes it easier for customers to future-proof their investment through full firmware and software upgrades, as well as real-time adjustments and monitoring regardless of geographic location. Integrators no longer have to be in their client’s theater to know that the projector is running well. SUPERLUMIS PRO monitors its own internal parameters and health status and securely shares that data with the outside world of SIM2 service centers, thereby providing customers with more control over assets and time.

Digital Projection is calling its HIGHLite LASER WUXGA 3D the world’s first production, high-brightness laser projector.
Thanks to its wired connections, SUPERLUMIS PRO makes it easier for customers to future-proof their investment through full firmware and software upgrades.
Prominent features include a 350-watt dimmable lamp and lamp driver that delivers up to 5,000 ANSI lumens on screen; increased detail, thanks to a contrast ratio of >30,000:1 (in 2D mode); a new color management software; and SIM2 Professional Customer Care.

Shipping this month, Digital Projection is calling its HIGHLite LASER WUXGA 3D the world’s first production, high-brightness laser projector. The Atlanta-based company designed this $44,995 model to deliver 10,000 lumens from a solid-state light source, and to offer more than 20,000 hours of illumination in WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution.

Developed with a “set it and forget it” directive, the HIGHlite LASER delivers an imaging solution that installers and system integrators can deploy with minimal maintenance throughout the lifetime of the display. Equally compelling is the lack of lamp replacements due to the solid-state illumination system. By bypassing regular lamp replacement cycles, almost all costs related to the HIGHlite Laser are incurred at time of purchase. This key characteristic allows the HIGHlite Laser to have a much lower cost of ownership over the lifespan of the display.

Image Edge Blending is included as standard, along with advanced geometric warp correction. Additionally, active 3D functionality with frame rates up to 144 Hz is included. Dual HDMI 1.4, DVI and 3G-SDI inputs enable the latest high speed video delivery. HDBaseT connectivity further augments the HIGHlite LASER’s input options, allowing for the transmission of uncompressed high definition video over a Cat- 5e/6 LAN cable. A diverse selection of both fixed and zoom lenses, with throw ratios ranging from 0.77:1 to 6.76:1 and extensive lens shift, ensure that integrators installing the HIGHlite LASER have complete flexibility with respect to projector placement.

With its newest projector line, JVC improved its native contrast performance with a new D-ILA device and a new wire grid polarizer. JVC has also added a user-selectable intelligent lens aperture that can dial in even deeper blacks. And projectors equipped with 4K e-shift3, the latest iteration of the company’s e-shift technology, feature a 4K signal input (60P) so that now both 4K and 2K sources can be displayed as 3840 x 2160 images.

Priced from $12,499 to $4,999 JVC’s 2014 projectors are the Procision Series DLA-X900R, DLA-X700R, and DLA-X500R, marketed by JVC’s Consumer AV Group, and the Reference Series DLA-RS6710, DLA-RS67, DLA-RS57, DLA-RS4910, and DLA-RS49, available through JVC Professional Products Company. All are 3D-enabled and offer 4K e-shift3.

Native contrast ratio for JVC’S DLA-X900R projector is 150,000:1
All of the projectors use three sixth-generation JVC D-ILA imaging devices. This new device features a pixel gap that’s 40 percent narrower than the previous chip for a smoother picture, a 10 percent improvement in light efficiency for a light output of 1,300 lumens, and improved native contrast, which is also enhanced by a new, third generation wire grid optical engine. As a result, native contrast ratios for the new projectors are 150,000:1 for the DLA-X900R, RS67, and RS6710; 120,000:1 for the DLA-X700R and RS57; and 60,000:1 for the DLA-X500R, RS49, and RS4910.

JVC’s 4K e-shift technology was first developed to upconvert and scale 2D HD content to a 4K signal. With 4K inputs, the new JVC projectors can now process 4K signals, according to the company. Picture performance is further optimized by a new Multiple Pixel Control (MPC) processor with eight-band detection. The MPC processor offers four presets plus an auto setting that automatically selects the best upconversion process by detecting the frequency of each pixel.

Picture quality is also enhanced through a new clear black feature that provides local area contrast enhancement, and improved Clear Motion Drive (CMD 3). CMD 3 uses a new LSI and new algorithm to deliver a significant improvement in motion artifacts on diagonal lines on 4K and 2K 2D content and 2K 3D content.

The latest projector offering from Sony Electronics is the VPL-HW40ES, which looks to brings a big screen experience to a wider audience.
The latest projector offering from Sony Electronics is the VPLHW40ES, which looks to brings a big screen experience to a wider audience at a sub-$2,500 price point, and the same SXRD panel technology featured in the company’s high-end digital cinema projectors.

An updated optical engine features a 1,700-lumen color brightness and additional features such as Sony’s Bright Cinema and Bright TV mode, with SXRD panels, enhances the 3D image. A feature called contrast enhancer analyzes scenes in real time, continuously optimizing dynamic range in each area of the image for rich, deep blacks and sparkling highlights. Sport and action scenes also benefit from Motionflow technology, which inserts extra images between the original frames, to provide smoother, sharper and more fluid on-screen motion with less blur.

The VPL-HW40ES has a built-in IR 3D transmitter, automatically recognizes 2D or 3D content and offers a choice of picture modes to suit any content. Noise-shaping ensures that fan sounds are at a lower frequency, emitting only 21dB, so sound is unobtrusive.

Display Development has developed Digital Film 10, to provide “true digital cinema performance for discerning home theater clients.” Each Display Development video projection system is custom designed per the performance and installation requirements of each professionally designed and installed home theater. Through its architectural system approach, Display Development can offer many more mounting and optical options, as well as adaptive light output allowing for extreme flexibility in a variety of room environments. Its included integration enclosure houses a smart cooling system and all necessary components for easier installation, and efficient, quiet operation.

At $175,000, the Digital Film 10 boasts up to 22,000 ANSI lumens and 1.4-inch enhanced 4K 3-chip DMD DLP Cinema chip. While capable of processing 3D from DCI servers when applicable, Display Development innovation allows for 3D from consumer Blu-ray disc today without the need for special screen material.

Display Development’s DF10 System is custom designed per the performance and installation requirements of each professionally designed and installed home theater.
Epson offers the modestly priced ($7,499) PowerLite Pro Cinema G6900WU with up to 6,000 lumens of color brightness and 6,000 lumens of white brightness. Other features include premium video processing, full HD 1080p 2D, center-lens design with vertical and horizontal lens shift, point and arc image correction, and frame interpolation. For added flexibility, the Pro Cinema G6900WU adds HDBaseT connectivity that integrates full HD video, audio, network and control commands into a single Cat- 5/6 cable that can be extended up to 328 feet.

At CES, BenQ America unveiled its W7500 home cinema projector, featuring 2D to 3D content conversion, Panamorph lens compatibility, complete connectivity options, 1080p resolution, and 60,000:1 contrast ratio.

The professional-grade device uses BenQ’s Colorific image quality that is compliant to the native Rec. 709 color gamut. The projector is also equipped with frame interpolation to reduce motion blur and make animation more fluid, and is certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF).

To support the device’s cinematic capabilities, the W7500 provides a range of setup and connectivity options. These include dual HDMI connectivity to link external components, horizontal and vertical lens shifting for easy calibration, and a large 1.5 zoom ratio to make installation easy in any room configuration. The projector also comes ready with customizable presets and is equipped with a filter-free optical system, which further reduces the projector’s total cost of ownership.

Jeremy Glowacki is editorial director of Residential Systems.

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