Originally Posted by conan48
Ktak. Other the the colours being more natural on the Epson, how else did the picture compare between it and the 350? Which one had better black levels? which one had more depth to the image? Which one had less motion blur? Ive narrowed it down to the JVC HD350 or the Epson 6500 (4000) Accurate colours are not a deal breaker for me and I wouldn't base my purchase on that factor. Please let me know as this will be very helpful in my decision.
I know it sounds like the color quality on the Epson was my main consideration, but I was also very impressed by the other aspects of the Epson's picture. Being able to see all the projectors side-by-side being fed the same program material was very enlightening. The reason why I mention the colors so prominently is because the differences in performance between the Epson and the other PJs in other areas were more subtle to my eyes than the differences in color reproduction. Again, it comes down to individual priorities.
It's been a few days since the shootout, so everything I'm saying is based on my memory of the event. With that in mind, here are my impressions.
Black Level - The side-by-side comparison made it quite easy to see difference in black level between the different projectors in this regard. Through several different types of program material, I consistently considered the Epson to be second only to the JVC. When a program was paused on a full frame black background, the Sony HW-10 screen almost always "appeared" to be darker. But it was also during these moments that the uniformity issues with the Sony reared its ugly head. Once visible program material was shown, the perceived black level of the Epson was noticeably better in my opinion.
Contrast - One demo scene that was used was the "Jupiter and Beyond" chapter of 2001: A Space Odyssey where we see the monolith floating above Jupiter. This scene is challenging because there are localized bright objects (the sun, Jupiter, stars, moons) but at the same time the monolith is slowly turning. The view of the monolith ranges from visible highlights passing across its surface to pitch black as it almost disappears into the background , In this scene, the background stars looked brighter on the Epson while the blackness of space was comparable or slightly deeper compared to the Sony, Sanyo, Mitsubishi or Panasonic. One interesting thing I noticed is that in one part of the scene, the monolith completely disappeared on the Panasonic 3000 while it was still visible on all of the other PJs. Hopefully, this was just a setup issue.
Image depth - This is where I think the exaggerated colors of some projectors can actually help by giving the "illusion" of more image depth, especially when presented against a very bright or very dark background. That said, I never thought the Epson took a back seat to any of the projectors on display. The impression of realism provided by the accurate colors more than compensated for any lack of "pop" that it may have had when compared to the other projectors. Others may feel differently depending on their priorities. The JVC has an advantage in this regard because it is the brightest of the projectors by a considerable degree.
Sharpness - What can I say, the Mitsubishi is the one to beat in this regard. Because of my distance from the screen (due to the design of the demonstration, the closest any of us could get to the screen was around 12 feet) I couldn't compare the sharpness as well as I would have liked. But the Epson seemed at least as sharp as the Panasonic and Sony. The JVC "may" have been a bit sharper, but it's possible that the greater brightness just made certain details more visible at the distance we were standing. When I visited the Epson room later in the day and saw it on it's own, it certainly looked amazing. My friend who has the JVC HD1 said he thought the Epson was a bit sharper than his PJ, but without a side-by-side comparison his comment should be taken with a grain of salt.
I hope these observations help a little. I wish I could comment on motion blur, but I was more concerned about color, contrast, sharpness and black level performance.