Our Favorite HD Projectors for Big Screen Action

Our Favorite HD Projectors for Big Screen Action

Joel Pirela
Mar 30, 2011

Even if you go for the biggest plasma or LCD available now, you won't really be experiencing the cinema experience you'd enjoy with a HD digital projector. Besides the big picture, an additional benefit when you add a projector to your home theater system is you have the ability to hide the screen when not in use, making it a decor-friendly solution; no big black rectangle hanging on the wall on your living room. Here are a selection of HD projectors we've been considering...

Sony VPL-HW20
With fast response times and ultra fine pixel spacing, this projector has a lot of material to impress us. A new, re-designed chip, a new optics system and a 80,000:1 contrast ratio, takes the HW20 to a new level. Dual HDMI (and we love HDMIs!) ports and even a PC input, makes it a very versatile one, while the 1.6X optical zoom and vertical image shifting scores very high on our "To Have" list. The level of contrast, brightness and the punchy colors, provides the best image quality for this all rounder.

Panasonic PT-AE4000
This LCD projector provides hi-end picture calibration, including color management system and multiple iris settings, vertical image shifting and a 2X optical zoom. 3 HDMI inputs are always welcome and 100,000:1 contrast ratio leaves the competition in the dust. The incorporation of the new Red-Rich Lamp increases the luminance efficiency of the projector, to achieve 150% brighter Cinema Picture modes compared to its predecessor, the PT-AE3000. Prior to the development of the Red-Rich Lamp, much brightness was lost to attain the desired color and balance, for the rich color reproduction of the image. The newly engineered lamp successfully adds red luminance, and enables the projector to produce brighter images with excellent colors.

Epson EH-TW3600
We like the 2000 lumens of brightness and the 50,000:1 contrast ratio. You can watch any movie in broad daylight or total darkness with no problem. As you would expect with a budget LCD projector, the 50,000:1 contrast figure depends on an auto iris system built into the TW3600's optics. This is switchable between normal and high speed modes, or it can be deactivated if you're not comfortable with its automatic adjustment of the amount of light emerging from the lens. More brightness flexibility comes from the option to run the projector's lamp in normal or low-power modes, while other picture adjustments are strikingly numerous considering how affordable the TW3600 is.

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