This one sounds great -- almost too good to believe. The folks at Optoma just announced a high definition projector, the HD72, that they say will sell for under $2000. And it's not just any old projector -- it's equipped with a new technology from Texas Instruments that might actually produce better color.
Some people mistakenly get excited about projectors as a cheap way to get HDTV. That isn't really true. Yes, a good projector can cast an image of around 100 inches diagonal (bigger than any flat panel on the market). But it isn't necessarily cheap. The really low-cost projectors (between $1000 and $2000) are usually not high-def. They have instead the resolution of DVDs -- with 480 picture lines of detail. (And they usually don't produce enough light for those 100-inch images. More like 60-80 inches.) Until recently, stepping up to high-def (starting at 720 lines) usually required jumping up to at least $3000 - and that was for the bad projectors. The good ones cost at least $5000.
Now, Optoma happens to make pretty good projectors -- at least the ones I've seen. So I'm cautiously optimistic about their ability to pull off a good HD model for $2,000.
And I'm really curious to see the colors from it. The new projection technology, called BrilliantColor - - forms images by combining six hues: red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow. (Most TVs just use red, green, and blue.) According to TI, the extra colors will help in producing some shades that traditional TVS don't capture so well -- like the sky at sunset.
By my reckoning, this is only the second TV to sue BrilliantColor. The first was the Mitsubishi HC300U that I wrote about on December 2. For more about that projector -- and a lot more about the six-color technology -- see my old post.