Which company makes the best projector? It's a question that any home theater enthusiast planning to switch from a flat screen television to the much larger screen viewing experience that a projector provides will regularly ask themselves.
The answer, at least based on the results of Projector Shootout 2022, an event held in New York last weekend by regional AV retailer Value Electronics, is JVC.
The Shootout pitted several of the best 4K projectors against each other, with all the major brands represented. In particular, the contest focused on long-throw projectors, although a separate event was used to judge ultra-short-throw models in a similar fashion to the Laser TV Showdown, where I judged earlier this year.
For the past two decades, Value Electronics has held a similar event for flat panel televisions. This particular Shootout brings together the best 4K TVs and lines them up to be evaluated side by side by a panel of expert judges. (This year's winner: Sony's XR-A95K QD-OLED, a stylish TV on every level.)
The projector evaluation procedure is basically the same as for TVs, with each model tuned to its most accurate picture mode and then optimized for standard and high dynamic range viewing. To ensure a level playing field, all screens receive the same test patterns and movie scenes via a video distribution network, and each projector is paired with an identical projection screen.
The 2022 Projector Shootout has grouped the long-throw models into three price categories:
Tabla de contenido
€ 4000- € 7000
- JVC DLA-NP5 D-ILA (€6999 / €6999) [Winner]
- Sony VPL-XW5000ES SXRD (€ 5999 / € 5999)
- Epson ProCinema LS12000 LCD (€4,999/ €4,399)
- LG AU810PB DLP (€ 3,999 / € 3,999)
€ 11,000 to € 16,000
- JVC DLA-NZ8 D-ILA (€15,999 / €15,795) [Winner]
- Sony VPL-XW6000ES SXRD (€11,999)
- JVC DLA-NZ7 D-ILA (€10,999 / €10,999)
€ 25,000 - € 30,000
- JVC DLA-NZ9 D-ILA (€26,000 / €25,400) [Winner]
- Sony VPL-XW7000ES SXRD (€28,000 / €28,000)
JVC's DLA-NZ8, winner of the Value Electronics 2022 Projector Shootout. (Image credit: JVC)
Analysis: Which JVC projector is the best option?
A clean sweep for JVC, though it seems Sony did well, with its projectors in the budget and mid-range categories trailing JVC slightly in the overall score. Considering that the XW6000ES in the mid-range category and the XW6000ES in the budget are priced lower than the JVC models (by €4,000 in the case of the XW6000ES), there's a strong value proposition for either model.
The JVC DLA-NZ8 that won the mid-range category tops our list of the best 4K projectors, so we're not surprised that it takes home an award. Is its big brother DLA-NZ9, the top scorer in the Shootout, really worth a €10,000 cost increase?
Both laser light models use native 4K D-ILA (JVC's term for liquid crystal on silicon) display chips along with the company's 8K/e-shiftX technology to efficiently display images at 8K resolution. (The HDMI 2.1 ports on both projectors can accept 8K resolution video input.) They support 120Hz, making them a great choice for gaming with a PS5 or Xbox Series X console. Both projectors also support HDR10 and HDR10+ high dynamic range sources, and are equipped with the wide range of HDR-specific features from JVC, including Dynamic HDR Frame Adaptive Tone Mapping and Cinema Optimizer, a feature that takes into account the size and gain of the specific image. projection screen used to further refine the HDR presentation.
The main difference between the two is peak brightness, with the NZ9 specified for 3000 lumens and the NZ8 for 2500 lumens. The two models also have slightly different native contrast ratio specs, with the NZ9 rated at 100:000 and the NZ1 at 8:80.
You will see the real images of 8K projected by the DLA-NZ9 in a pantalla of 124 pulgadas in a demonstration that JVC mostró in CES 2022, and the quality of the imagen fue dark. If the NZ8 can achieve even 75% of that level of performance – and from the stories I've read about the Shootout I feel like it can – this would be the projector I would want for my cinema in casa.
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