Review Types Archives: Displays/Projectors

Flat panel displays, projectors, and other display technologies.

Epson 5040UB Review

For years Epson and Sony have battled it out in the $2,000 projector space. This year Epson moved up to a higher price point with the $2,999.00 5040UB. In doing so they’ve added an impressive amount of value to their offering. Compared to the prior 5030UB the new model has motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift with memory positions, optical shift for enhanced resolution with 4K sources, support for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, the ability to display HDR and WCG content, and LAN control. All these updates put the Epson 5040UB into a value proposition that no other projector currently occupies. After proper setup and a calibration, the Epson 5040UB puts out a fantastic image and offers a great value. (more…)

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Vizio P65-C1 Review

Over the past decade, Vizio has managed to transition from a TV company that makes a great value TV to one that makes a great TV. This year that transition is finally complete with the updated P65-C1, which is the best looking LCD set I’ve used this year. To get a picture that beats the Vizio, you’ll have to spend way more than $2,000 to do so and even then it still might not be as good. The P65-C1 is so good for the price, and overall, that I bought one for my new AV room to serve as my reference UltraHD display.

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LG E6 OLED Review

The LG E6 is the best looking TV I’ve ever reviewed. It’s not perfect, but it comes closer than anything else I’ve used to date. There’s no reason to bore you with a long introduction or exciting story: if you can afford it and you want the best TV out there today, the LG E6 OLED is it. It’s compatible with both HDR formats on the market today, covers almost the entire color gamut current content uses, and looks better in action than anything you’ve ever seen.

The only thing keeping me from replacing my Panasonic VT60 plasma with the LG E6 OLED is price. $4,000 for a 55” and $6,000 for a 65” is a lot of money for a TV. What makes the LG E6 worth that is a package that other TVs can’t compete with: absolute blacks, wide viewing angles, cutting edge styling, HDR and WCG support, and even 3D that looks better than the competition. The LG E6 TV is a cut above the competition.

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JVC X550R Projector Review

Sometimes I wish I were an engineer. Being able to understand how products are different at the lowest level would help me see why some companies can do things that other ones cannot. Whenever I get in a projector from JVC I wonder how they can produce such deep, dark blacks that no other projector company can. The JVC X550R is no different, producing some of the best contrast ratios I have ever seen on a projector with images that are stunning. (more…)

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Epson 1440 Projector Review

The Epson PowerLight Home Cinema 1440 is an LCD based projector that offers exceptionally high light output in a convenient and approachable package. If your set-up requires lots of light, or if you enjoy watching your projector with the lights partially or even fully on – then the Epson 1440 is an excellent option. The footprint is such that it can easily be put away between uses, and it measures well out of the box. The Epson 1440 does come with compromises to achieve this high light output: It is a bit loud, the blacks are lacking, and no lens shift means that installation can be a challenge. Those caveats aside, for the right user, this is an attractive option. (more…)

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BenQ HT2050 Projector Review

We reviewed two of BenQ’s new projectors for 2015, the HT3050 and HT4050, recently at Reference Home Theater. We found that they offered some improvements over the prior models while keeping the price close to the same. What we didn’t know is that the real star of the new lineup was the BenQ HT2050. For only $800 BenQ has made a 1080p DLP projector with improved contrast and color accuracy that is a no-brainer pick in the price range.

I would pick the HT2050 over the HT3050 and the HT4050 myself. It offers the same level of performance and you get to save enough money to buy yourself a nice projection screen to go with it. Unless you have an issue with DLP rainbows, in which case the Epson 2040 is for you, the BenQ HT2050 is the best value going in projectors today. (more…)

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Epson 2040 LCD Projector Review

We’ve reviewed a number of sub-$1,000 projectors here but they’re all had one thing in common: they are DLP-based. For many people, this is just fine, but all DLP projectors have one drawback in rainbows. If you don’t see rainbows, then this isn’t a problem for you and you may not even know what they are. For those that do see them, they can cause a DLP projector to be almost unusable.

The Epson 2040 is a $800 projector that uses 1080p LCD panels instead of a DLP light engine. It is very bright, with good color and all the controls needed to calibrate it accurately. It even includes features like motion interpolation that videophiles will scoff at but can really help for watching sports on a projector. If you don’t have a problem with rainbows, a DLP like the BenQ HT3050 or HT2050 is a better bet, but the Epson 2040 is a very good alternative that produces a nice, bright image. (more…)

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BenQ HT3050 and HT4050 Projector Reviews

BenQ has been making the best $1,000 projectors for a number of years now. Their HT1070 and HT1075 projectors offer a lot of value for your money, with high lumen output and a sharp, accurate image. The new HT3050 is the successor to the HT1075 and improves upon it in many ways. Also new this year is the step-up HT4050 model that offers more install flexibility. Both are very good projectors and unless you have an issue with rainbows out perform the LCD brethren at this price range.

Both the HT3050 and HT4050 offer a number of improvements over the HT1075. Most importantly the image is more accurate that before. Both colors and the grayscale have improved, and the calibration controls work better than on the HT1075. The lenses are very sharp and the intra-scene contrast ratios are very good. For a projector in the $1,000 price range you still can’t beat the options from BenQ. (more…)

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LG 55EG9100 OLED Review

The 55” LG 55EG9100 OLED display is the entry-level LG OLED for 2015. For plasma fans, OLED has been billed as the great savior. Not only would an OLED be thinner than our plasma sets, but it could be brighter and have pure blacks. We wouldn’t have to live with the LCD compromises of worse off-axis viewing and backlights that can’t deliver the darkest blacks. OLED promises the potential to make us forget about plasma once and for all.

Having spent time with the LG 55EG9100, I can say it is the first display I might give up my Panasonic VT60 for. The blacks are pure and provide you contrast ratios no LCD can touch. The colors are vibrant and accurate while still looking great off-axis. Even the curve, which I typically dislike, is not as much of an issue. There are a couple quirks that hold the LG back, no set is perfect, but for those that miss plasma you might finally have the replacement TV you are after. (more…)

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Vizio M43-C1 UltraHD TV Review

The Vizio M43-C1 offers UltraHD resolution, superior contrast ratios, and full array local dimming in an affordable package. The integrated streaming supports UltraHD from both Amazon and Netflix, the two main sources of UltraHD material today, and it has an HDMI input with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 support for the future. Finding another TV with all these features from another manufacturer costs hundreds more today making the Vizio M-series a true bargain.

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