Movie Theater Video for the Masses

The Bottom Line

The time when high-performance video projectors were reserved for the fortunate few is behind us. After testing five models priced between $1300 for the Toshiba TDP MT 200 and $2000 for the Sanyo PLVZ2, we can tell you that quality is now good enough for you to start thinking seriously about making the move. Once you make the decision, you'll need to decide what amount you can invest and what installation configuration you can set up given the constraints of your home. Furthermore, you'll have to choose between DLP and LCD technologies.

If you're sensitive to the so-called "rainbow effect," you should lean towards the Sanyo PLVZ2, which becomes the only valid alternative we tested. Its smart functionalities and obvious quality make it the reference in this price range. As for the Sony, it's already at the end of its career and will give way to new, more competitive models.

If, on the other hand, the DLP technology poses no problems for your eyes, the best choice among the units we tested is the Toshiba MT200, which delivers an image up to 79" (two meters) with very good quality for less than $1,300. The competing InFocus model is a little less expensive and produces very good results as far as image quality is concerned, but leaves a little to be desired in terms of noise and overall build quality. Finally, the most expensive model in our selection (the Toshiba TDP MT500) delivers the best image of all the projectors we tested, and should be your choice if you plan to invest significantly in your home cinema setup, which might involve converting a large room into our own personal movie theater.

In conclusion, don't forget that technological strides continue to be made in the field of home video projection, each one more surprising than the ones before. This means that prices are dropping fast and new models are replacing the old ones every six months. Under those conditions, anyone who's set on getting the best possible value for money will find it hard to make the leap. The only solution we can propose is first of all to set your budget, then look for the best video projector available at a given time - which after all is what we try to do for you here in these comparative articles. Once you do that, you should be able to get the most out of your projector.