The $500 Projector

No, it’s not capable of HDTV, but with an SVGA resolution (800 by 600 pixels), it is capable of showing widescreen EDTV (Enhanced Definition TV, 848 by 480 pixels) with just minimal scaling. Wide format DVDs should look great on this. And because it’s a front projector, you can make the image as large as you want; fill a whole wall. Now, there are lots of SVGA projectors out there, but the new MP510 from BenQ is the first to have a retail price of just $499.

I haven’t seen the projector first hand — it is scheduled to ship this month — but this DLP projector will weigh 5.9 pounds, and is priced low enough to make front projection a viable option for home entertainment budgets. I expect that this will add to the downward pressure on home projector prices in general, and will likely entice more consumers to consider a front projector.