Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080$2,999
What’s bright: If you’re an HT weenie, this 1080p unit will get you to the full HD promised land and make you king of the Best Buy break room. Con Air has never looked so magisterial.
What bites: With this setup you probably won’t ever leave the basement.
InFocus Play Big IN1 $549
What’s bright: This low-end screener has a mirror that puts the picture on the ceiling, allowing you to get horizontal with Keira Knightley at last.
What bites: The IN1’s 480i resolution means you’re basically going to be the towel boy of the home theater set.
Sony Bravia VPL-AW15 $1,300
What’s bright: You need HD? The Bravia will get you there with a 720p picture. Pour soda on the floor and make your cinemaplex obselete.
What bites: At a slightly dim 1,100 lumens, the Sony isn’t great for sports, unless you and the bros are OK watching with the lights off.
ViewSonic PJ258D $1,399
What’s bright: A video iPod dock can liberate South Park from the iPod’s slight screen and put Cart-man’s fat ass on the wall where it belongs. A 2,000-lumen lamp lets you enjoy his good-natured racism during the daytime.
What bites: Its fan whirs at a hippie- drum-circle-like 37 dB.