STATE OF THE ART

Get the big-screen movie ex­pe­ri­ence with th­ese 4K HdR pro­jec­tors

T3 - - Issue 273 / Oct 2017 - Words: Steve May Pho­tog­ra­phy: Joe Branston/Olly Cur­tis

Up­grade your man cave (or your lounge) to cin­ema-stan­dard with th­ese eye-pop­ping 4K HDR pro­jec­tors.

To take your home cin­ema ex­pe­ri­ence to the next level, you need a pro­jec­tor. Noth­ing brings home the bigscreen ex­pe­ri­ence bet­ter than a wall of Won­der Woman.

But since the TV mar­ket shifted to UHD a while back, home pro­jec­tor mak­ers have been left play­ing catch-up. The first Ul­tra HD pro­jec­tors were ru­inously ex­pen­sive (not to men­tion huge). Thank­fully, there’s new hope for 4K film fa­nat­ics. The first af­ford­able HDR (High Dy­namic Range) ca­pa­ble DLP pro­jec­tors have fi­nally landed.

But what should you look for in a 4K pro­jec­tor and how do com­pet­ing tech­nolo­gies com­pare? We’ve been tak­ing a closer look at 4K DLP mod­els from Acer and Op­toma, and an HDR up­grade to Ep­son’s 4K LCD flag­ship.

Big-screen pro­jec­tion and 4K is a marriage made in heaven. While it’s dif­fi­cult to per­ceive dif­fer­ences in clar­ity be­tween 1080p im­ages and 2160p on small TVs, that four-fold jump in res­o­lu­tion be­comes far more ob­vi­ous on a screen 100+ inches across. Fine de­tail and tex­ture un­seen on a 43-inch UHD flatscreen be­comes crisp and dra­matic.

But there’s a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence be­tween TVs and pro­jec­tors when it comes to HDR. While tele­vi­sions can boost spe­cific spec­tral high­lights (sunshine, lights, Hol­ly­wood teeth), pro­jec­tor lamps can’t do the same thing. To do so would re­quire enor­mous bright­ness and gen­er­ate mas­sive amounts of heat. Such light canons can be ac­com­mo­dated at your mul­ti­plex, but not in your liv­ing room.

So how does our trio per­form? Let’s dim the lights and find out…

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