Projection Screen

Screen Projectors: Some Purchase Recommendations

With all the hype and publicity surrounding TV screen projectors, you might think it would be hard to make an informed decision when purchasing one. It goes without saying that when buying a major piece of technology like a screen projector, you will need to do enough research to make sure you get the right TV for both your needs and budget. Screen projectors can pricey. This article contains a brief discussion of what you can expect to get from screen projectors at specific price levels.

As with any in-demand technology, screen projectors' prices tend to be high. Even so, it's possible to find some models that sell for $1000 or less. The Toshiba 65HM167 65-inch is a great example. For a price right around $1000 to $1100, this TV stands out in a category where most of the choices have a lower resolution. Toshiba's 65-inch rear projector TV is full of features including 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, enhanced black levels for vibrant colors, digital video processing and dynamic contrast control. A nice feature not often found on screen projectors at this price level are 5 built-in picture modes for various viewing conditions: standard, sports, movie, game and preference (custom) modes. There are 6 widescreen theater modes, including 4:3 HD. For home theater buffs, the TV has twin 10-watt speakers that support Dolby Digital AC3 surround sound. A good range of audio settings allows for plenty of customization.

In a category where comparable screen projectors can cost well over $2000, this Toshiba's 65-inch screen and wealth of features makes it a huge bargain.

Even in the $2000 price range for screen projectors, which is the most popular price category, it's possible to find standouts like the Panasonic PT-AE900U LCD projector TV. This model has enough adjustments for even the geekiest screen projector owner. One comprehensive set of adjustments allows you to customize the TV to the room. The other set is equally comprehensive and allows you to tailor the display for your individual viewing preferences. Among screen projectors, this one has a unique manual joystick-style adjuster for the lens. It's easy to set up and has seven picture modes, each with its own color, tint, sharpness, brightness and contrast adjustments. The AE900U features Panasonic's proprietary "Smooth Screen" technology that helps reduce pixelation and the screen-door effect. The screen-door effect is when visible fine lines appear in the projected image. The effect is that of viewing the image through a fine-mesh screen.

Above $2000, there are plenty of great choices for screen projectors, but a real standout is the Optoma HD7100 at about $2800. The HD7100 features proprietary DarkChip technology that comes from Texas Instruments and allows the delivery of rich and vibrant images that are both crisp and vivid. Priced at about $1000 lower than competitors with similar features, the HD7100 uses 729p high-definition imaging that enhances even the most subtle details. With a resolution of 1280 x 720 and a 1000-lumen brightness level, this screen projector performs well right out of the box and requires very little tweaking.

The Mitsubishi HC5500 Projector is another good buy at about $2500. Featuring 1080p high-definition imaging, this is a great choice when considering screen projectors. This projector features Mitsubishi's Emmy award-winning video processor for high performance. The Reon-VX video-processing chip in this entry-level machine is usually found in screen processors with a much higher price. Other features include improved noise reduction and up-sampling for performance you'd expect from higher-end screen projectors.

One final contender at the popular $2000 price point is the Samsung HL-T5689S. Among 1080p screen projectors, everyone should look at this one. It's high-tech design features red, green and blue LEDs in a "light engine" that builds upon and supercedes traditional DLP color wheel technology. Utilizing Samsung's DNIe image engine and Cinema Smooth light engine, the HL-T5689S offers a significant reduction in visible pixel structure when compared to other screen projectors. Significantly improved is fine picture detail. This product is easy to set up and has enough adjustments to please even the pickiest videophile. Also included are six aspect ration choices with a unique "Just Scan" mode for viewing 1080i/1080p images.

For a lot of people, shopping the stores (both virtual and bricks-and-mortar) for screen projectors is almost as much fun as watching one. Just be sure to do some basic research price and features. Finally, search the Internet for reviews from people who have already purchased the make and model you're considering, If you take all these factors into consideration, you're highly likely to find a screen projector you'll enjoy for years to come.