Can't find out how to compare new projectors to ones 10 years old

tom yorkshire

Novice Member
Hi, I'm new here - if this topic has been covered elsewhere please feel free to just reply with the link and close this thread.

I'm looking to buy my first projector but I'm struggling to find a decent way of comparing brand new projectors with ones from say 10 years ago.

There are a bunch of specs that are available to compare - but in reviews they often talk about loads of other stuff that there don't seem to be stats for such as colour accuracy, motion blur, sharpness, and load of others.

And another thing is that as I don't have any experience of projectors, when a reviewer in 2007 says the colours look great (or equivalent statement), then if a reviewer says a similar thing in 2017 then would the colours look equally as great on both projectors, or would the reviewer in 2007 be saying they're great but only in relation to what's available generally in the projector world - and maybe by 2017 there have been loads of advances in this field, so the 2017 one would be much better in this regard. This goes for any of the factors mentioned above too.

Have there been any really key steps forward in technology in terms of any of these things - either in terms of new technology, or just that the technology may have previously only been seen in really top end gear, but is now available in medium range projectors.

I've read a load already and know all the theory behind the basics - in terms of advice - but any advice specifically on this would be great.

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
You need to be able to find reputable reviews that have graphs of gamut and greyscale as well so you can compare for accuracy, but the biggest differences are usually with resolution and contrast. 720 to 1080 was common then, with 1080, fauK and 4k being more common now and greater contrast capability.

Are you thinking along the lines of buying an older high end model cheap instead of a cheaper modern model with an advertised similar performance?

I think it's fair to say that DLP has pretty much stagnated in that time, with just a recent increase in resolution to get it closer to UHD (using eshift), but not much else, whereas JVC, Sony and Epson have all moved forward, with JVC being the leader in contrast, and Sony being the only true native 4k device available at an affordable price. Epsons LCDs are fauK and UHD compatible and it's R-LCD is the only affordable laser projector (fauK UHD compatible). Sony will have a native 4k laser pj out next month for around £15,000.

If things like motion are important, DLP is usually the better tech for that (some question over the current fauK models though), with Sony next. You will have to get some demos to see for yourself.

What's your budget?

Barcoing Mad

Active Member
Worth considering that the recent editions of the better overlapping pixel shifters/genuine 4k PJ's can accept just about any signal that's thrown at them as things shift towards HDR, 4k, and higher refresh rates.


Well-known Member
I can only speak from my experience, but I recently bought a second hand Sanyo PLV-Z2000 of ebay for £200. This was one of the first generation of affordable full HD projectors back in 2008. Like you I read loads of contemporary reviews, some good, some not so good, before deciding to bid on it. The main things some reviews seem to pick up on were colour accuracy and motion handling. My experience has been that I can see that the motion handling is not perfect, but it is good enough not to be a problem, and certainly not much worse than my TV. The same with the colour accuracy, especially after a bit of tweaking. When it comes to sharpness of HD material, I don't think that a reviewers eyes in 2008 are any different from a reviewers eyes in 2017. The Sanyo was considered at the time as having a really sharp image, and this has certainly been my experience.

I suppose the key thing is, this machine was being reviewed at a price approaching 2K, but I was not going to pay any more than £200 for one, so I figured that any compromises compared to a new machine would be worth it. I'm sure if I spent 2K on a new projector in 2017 it would be much better than my Sanyo in some respects, but as this was never an option, I don't know what I am missing anyway!

tom yorkshire

Novice Member
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm looking at spending no more than about £150, so not 4k etc area at all. I was going to just try and get a 1080p projector.

I've seen a few of the older Epson projectors come and go on eBay - EMP-TW and EH-TW ones. I was thinking of going for one of those that got good initial reviews. Does anyone have any experience of any of these?

My thoughts were that if I buy from an eBay seller with very good feedback that says it's working well and the picture looks good, then if I get it and there's clearly a problem I can just return it and I won't have lost anything. I'm aware that if it arrives working it will probably then be more likely to develop a problem than a new projector, and also the lamp will need replacing much sooner, but other than that can anyone see any obvious flaws in that plan?

Thanks again


Distinguished Member
The only flaw is that you've already mentioned: A used projector could suddenly fail and the cost of repair would likely be more than you've paid for it (same with the lamp in some cases). Obviously there are no guarantees either way, but if it happened within a few weeks you still wouldn't have much, if any come back.

Provided you are OK with the notion that you may lose the £150 then it sounds like a good plan. You could be lucky and still be using it for years to come of course; but just be aware that it is a gamble.


Distinguished Member
Well, at £150 you don't need to be trying to compare new to old projectors because there aren't any that are worth buying at the £150 mark - they're all silly specced units from no-name makers that just don't perform.

With 2nd hand projectors I've always concentrated on finding something that sounds like it fits the bill and spending a little time travelling to see it. They don't travel great and many couriers won't insure them due to glass content, plus who needs the hassle of dealing with returns. I'd take a test disk or computer with test images so you can check the pixel convergence and colour / white uniformity, plus lens focus.

At £150 I'd be very tempted by the Sanyo units. The Z3000 and Z4000 have the best contrast and colour of the lot. I had a Z800 as my first PJ and was very pleased with it (cost me £160). 2 Years later and a new lamp, my little brother is still getting great use out of it.

Old projectors (especially LCD units) do get dust on their panels, and returning one for this isn't really game because it is a fact of life. Sanyo are the only manufacturer who ever build a mechanism for dealing with this - a special rocket blower with a nozzle that you inserted into the base of the projector to blow dust off the panels. Genius, and worked really well. With anyone else's units you'll be cracking the case open to sort.

I really admire Sanyo for that and it is a shame they exited the market. Unlike a lot of manufacturers seem to do, pretending it isn't an issue; they provided a pro-active way to deal with it.

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