My 6500 arrived from AVS this morning at 10 am. I just finished the first round of testing. The 6500 is ceiling mounted at the minimum throw distance for a 106" Da-Lite HCCV 16:9 screen. Here are my observations so far.
Out of the box, fan noise was very loud. I was extremely disappointed. Then I noticed it was in Dynamic mode with High Brightness. As soon as I moved to Theater Black 1 and low brightness, it purred like a kitten. It is so quiet, that now I can hear my BD-35 Blu-ray player that I did not notice with my old projector. My basement is exteremly quiet, so the smallest noise can be heard. I can hear the projector during quiet segments of viewing, but it is acceptable. It is a much different frequency than my old projector.
Picture is stunning compared to my old AE-700, but I knew it would be. There are no convergence issues in the center of the screen, but off 1 pixel on red at both sides of the screen. This may be because I am at the minimum throw distance. I used the fine cross hatch test patterns on my DVDO Edge to test. No stuck or dead pixels. Zoom and focus knobs work smoothly so far, but I only used them once. Offset knobs also seem to work without issue.
HDMI handshaking is longer with more screen flashes than with my old projector. The video chain : Source -->DVDO Edge --> Onkyo 805 --> 6500. Some of the handshaking may be due to the fact that I have the Edge set to 1:1 mapping, so it may need more time to change from one output format to the next. It takes a long while to synch, but everything is fine after that. It will not be an issue with blu-ray or HD DVD discs, but it is annoying for FIOS TV. I need to try some other settings to see if this improves.
FI is interesting, as it my first experience with it. It is terrible for 1080p24, but seems to work halfway decent with 1080i60 on low. The first time I turned it on it was "WOW" what just happened. It is hard to describe the "look" of the picture. I would say it has more "depth?" and the smoothness is like a video camera or something. I still haven't found a good way to describe it. I tried it on my HD DVD version of "Planet Earth" 1080i60 low setting, and it actually looked pretty good. I tried it on the BD version of "Kill Bill 1" 1080p24 and it jerked all over the place. I tried it on FIOS HD channels 1080i60 low setting and it looked ok. Cartoon channels looked good even on medium. High setting didn't work for anything. Sports looked very good on low. The image takes on a pseudo 3-D look. I doubt I will use the FI except perhaps on animated stuff or perhaps sports.
The 4:4 setting on 1080p24 worked as expected. I did not see any jerkiness, when watching "Dark Knight". The strange thing is that the image is so crisp compared to my old projector that I notice why many have complained about the transfer. I see a lot of video noise in parts of this transfer that I did not see before. I do not think it is the projector, because the noise is not there in other BD discs like "Kill Bill". I did have the noise reduction set to 0 (the default is 1). I saw many specks of dirt in the transfer that I never saw before. This projector definitely shows any flaws in the source.
I stopped viewing and shut the projector down for the evening. Parties to go to, but tomorrow will be a full day of more enjoyment.
I did notice that the remote is not very responsive at times. I am not sure what the cause of this may be. When entering the Menu, sometimes I have the push the arrow buttons several times to move through the menu options. Then the cursor will jump several items in a row. It is quite annoying especially when trying to make changes and selections. I am not sure if I have a bad remote, or something else is making it sluggish. I have tried aiming in front, behind, underneath, doesn't seem to make a difference. It will enter the Menu quickly, but then be very slow to respond once in. I also noticed the same sluggishness when trying to move between picture modes. Anyone else notice this?