The couple of 'less that glowing' comments I have seen about brightness come from those of you with a 2.35:1 screen. When you zoom out, to as in your case, Jamis, a 129" 2.35:1 wide screen, that is the equivalent of showing on an approx. 145" diagonal 16x9 screen.
Lets assume the measurements from a popular projector review site are corrrect, and lets use the Cinema 3 mode, as it is the highest output "cinema" mode, at 566 lumens.
In this mode watching 2.35:1 movies at 1.16 gain (Sheerweave, perhaps?), you are watching an image of right at 10 foot-lamberts, which is too dim, IMO. You would need to be in a higher output mode for acceptable brightness. Of course, in the other cinema modes, the results would be even worse.
When zooming in to watch 16x9 material centered on your screen, those numbers in the same mode will improve dramatically, though. You will see almost 18 foot-lamberts in this case, a dramatic improvement in brightness. Quite bright actually.
Also, note that these numbers will decline even further as the bulb ages. Forcing you to either use a different output mode, or live with the dimmer image.
The numbers posted on that "popular projector review" site by no means make the Panny out to be a dim projector. Actually, it measures out quite favorably.
What this really underscores is the importance of pre-planning your screen size in accordance with your projector's brightness.
Originally Posted by jamis
I'm using a 129" wide 2.37:1 screen... 1.16 gain.
I also found the Cinema modes a little dim and I liked the colors in Normal mode the best out of the box. That could change with some tweaking. Black levels seemed very good, though I have nothing to compare it to.
Brightness was also noticeably dimmer when switching between 16:9 and a zoomed out 2.35:1.. though after watching for a few minutes you get used to it.I also noticed that out of the box, the sharpness is turned all the way down.
I have not tried turning it up yet.
I haven't noticed any color uniformity or convergence issues... though in the case of the latter, I have no idea what I'd be looking for.
I had to do quite a bit of tweaking to get rockband2 to play smooth and in sync. I'm still trying to decide which frame creation setting (1, 2, off) and which frame processing (fast, normal) combination I like best.
More impressions to come later.