I found some older threads on this but no real conclusions in a couple of areas that I'm worried about.
I have an HD65 currently (with a few days left to decide on return), see: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=14661766#post14661766
The areas I'm trying to nail down are the following:
- lens zoom/shift: I am not sure I"m going to perma-mount this, and may be using it in different situations or rooms. I'm not 100% sure, but let's say I want the flexibility. I'm not sure it's a deal killer, as you can always stack/angle/lift in a temporary situation if you need to. "Honey, why do we have to move the couch back?" (In this regard, it seems like the AX200U is the clear winner.)
- color "vibrancy": this may be sacrilegious, but I love the almost-not-real colors produced by my Samsung DLP RPTV. The Optoma seems to have this kind of trend, but not sure the AX200 would. Said another way, do the LCD's have the same type of "pop" in color that a DLP would... (No known winner here....HD65 by default?)
- brightness: Well, the AX200 is numerically ahead here, with 400 extra lumens rating. Not sure how much this plays out in real life. People say the 65 is bright (already a light cannon at 1600), I don't have a lot to compare to. I do have ambient light in many rooms, none will likely be completely bl acked out. (Numerical winner with AX200)
- Sharpness and shadow detail: I'm a pixel peeper, having played with video compression for many years. I like my 720p to look 720p ;-) I've read a common thread that people think the AX200U is a bit soft, and I've seen Peter_'s shots from the HD65 that seem to indicate it has amazing sharpness capabilities. (Winner HD65 by default, having not seen 200U in person?)
- Gaming: I may well game on the projector at some point, but not sure. The HD65 looked just fine when hooked to my Macbook, so I assume it would be ok for gaming. Lag adjustments are baked into the latest games anyway (like Rock Band).
- Portability: The Optoma is like 1/4 the size, so it wins here. I don't mean to travel with it on planes or anything though, so not sure this should be a huge deciding factor.
- Noise: The Optoma is loud, haven't heard the AX200U but varying reviews say "whisper quiet" to "loud".
So, hopefully someone has some real world experience to help me attack some of these questions. I called a few AVS vendors (and AVS themselves) and the answers trended toward the AX200U in each case. The only [potentially] negatives I heard are "LCD and DLP have a 'different' picture, that comes down to personal preference". SInce I can't see one locally, I'm hoping to help understand the differences via my question above. I'm also forum-spelunking trying to find user pictures from the AX200U to compare to Peter_'s excellent HD65 pictures.
Thanks in advance for any help. I hope I can take comfort in the fact that hopefully people on here have as much OCD and pre/post buyer's remorse that you take sympathy on my "plight"