Review Types Archives: Displays/Projectors

Flat panel displays, projectors, and other display technologies.

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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Epson LS10000 Projector Review

The Epson LS10000 brings laser projection to the mainstream. At $8,000 it isn’t cheap but it offers great performance. The contrast ratios are better than all non-JVC projectors I’ve used while offering more lumens than the JVC models. Colors are accurate and it offers almost the entire DCI/P3 color gamut for UltraHD Blu-ray. It runs dead quiet while producing more than enough light for almost any home theater screen and has lens memory for a Cinemascope setup. It won’t noticeably dim for over 20,000 hours and should not need a recalibration while you own it. It lacks native 4K resolution, and is expensive, but is a great projector for daily use. (more…)

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Optoma HD37 Projector Review

The Optoma HD37 is a DLP based 1080p multimedia projector featuring a single 0.65” DC3 DMD chip. It features a rated 20,000:1 contrast, high light output with an advertised 2,600 lumens, and sharp, quality optics. It isn’t the quietest unit, especially when not in Eco mode, and it puts out quite a bit of heat, but it does feature some vertical lens shift for increased installation flexibility. For those looking to calibrate, the Optoma HD37 features ISF day and night modes.

At a street price of $999, the Optoma HD37 is a bit more expensive than our recommended pick, the BenQ HT1075. Even in Cinema mode the Optoma HD37 pumps out enough light to combat some ambient light, plus you wont miss out on much shadow detail since this DLP projector does not have the best black level. The Optoma HD37 makes a great budget gaming projector with low input lag and a built in speaker for portable gaming sessions. (more…)

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Samsung UN65JS9000 SUHD TV Review

The introduction of 4K was only the first step to improving the home viewing experience. Now this year we see the introduction of TVs that are going to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and expanded color gamuts. These TVs produce brighter highlights while still offering great shadow detail. We also will get to see movies at home that offer the same wider range of colors that movie theaters offer today. These offer big improvements in picture quality that are visible from any distance and screen size.

One of the first displays to support both of these is the Samsung JS9000 SUHD. It is a curved, edge-lit LED screen that uses Quantum Dots to support the P3 color gamut and can produce HDR highlights. It offers 4K streaming content from Netflix and Amazon, accurate grayscale and color images, and a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. The curved screen still seems to offer no real benefits to me, and in this case makes a flaw in the edge lighting more apparent. That flaw aside, the JS9000 is a nice, though expensive, TV that is as future-proof as you can buy today. (more…)

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Panasonic 65″ AX900U 4K LCD TV Review

For years Panasonic owned videophile display market. If you asked almost any reviewer what TV they should buy, it would invariably be a Panasonic plasma. Most of the reviewers I know, including myself, own a Panasonic plasma as our personal reference displays. When they left the plasma market we knew it was going to be hard to find a display that compared to what they had been making. Panasonic’s attempt to move onto LCD and make us forget about plasma is the AX900U. A 65”, 4K, full array LCD TV, it has the specs to match up with almost anything but it probably won’t make you forget about your plasma quite yet.

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Sharp LC-32LE653U LCD TV Review

I’ve taken a lot of grief over the past couple of years for saying you’ll be fine by only getting a 720p display for your 32” set. Even comparing 720p and 1080p sets side-by-side I can only see a difference when within 3-4’ of the screen. Since no one sits that close, the extra money spend on 1080p over 720p was not worth it. Well now we don’t even have to worry about this because people should just buy the Sharp LC-32LE653U which is a 1080p set but at the price of a 720p one.

The $280 Sharp LC-32LE653U is a 32”, 1080p display that packs a pair of HDMI inputs, integrated Netflix with WiFi, and a very accurate Movie preset out of the box. The load times are good for Netflix, better than sub-$300 TVs I looked at last year, and the image looks very good. If you want a 32” HDTV now, you probably should buy the Sharp LC-32LE653U. (more…)

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector Review

Projection setups are no longer only limited to the dedicated home theater. More and more I get asked by people what projector or screen they should buy to use in a living room. Rooms where you’ll have the lights off at night for watching a movie, but also want to be able to watch a game during the day, or be able to have some lights on in the room so it is more like a home and not a cavern. Two things help a projector out in a situation like this: install flexibility and light output.

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Samsung UN55H8000 Curved TV Review

In 2009 it was 3D. In 2012 it was 4K. The past year the big movement for TVs are curved screens. First arriving in OLED displays, now most manufacturers put a curve into their highest-end displays. The biggest question has always been: why? Movie theaters have used curved screens but often that is to compensate for pincushioning in projection lenses. With TVs it has to be something else, and there have been many suggestions about the benefits and drawbacks.

After spending three weeks watching the Samsung UN55H8000 I can say that I am neutral on the curve. I usually don’t notice it when watching. With some reflections it makes them better, while others it can make worse. Take the curve out of the equation and the UN55H8000 is a fantastic set. It has accurate colors, a good local dimming system and contrast ratios, and useful SmartTV features. It offers an image that will make anyone happy no matter what they think of the curve.

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