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post #1 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I've finally decided to get my first projector, and hope someone can give me some feedback on the final choice. Also, I have no idea what screen to get, so if you have suggestions for that I would appreciate it--it will be a fixed, wall-mounted screen.

Criteria:
I do not have full control of ambient light and, even if I did, I would still want to be able to watch TV--sports, news, etc.--on the weekend without having to black out the room, so I want a projector that will have great quality for nighttime movie watching but also be bright enough for natural light. I will sacrifice ultimate picture quality for extra brightness.
I'm torn between spending the least I can to get a decent projector now (maybe 720p for under $1000), knowing that I will upgrade in the next couple of years; or spending more ($2000-$3000) to get a 1080p/24 that I will have for several years.
I'm sensitive to picture and sound quality (worked in film business for years), but I also understand that I am not spending enough to get the ultimate theatre this time around. I tend to go for quality over marketing hype when I buy techie stuff.

Room:
It is a family room/TV room with attached kitchen and view to backyard pool, which is why I do not want a blackout theatre.
Dimensions:
Width: 18' (screen on 18' wide wall, limited a few feet by corner insets)
Length: 23', with kitchen extending another 12'
Height: 8.5'
Projector placement: hang from ceiling about 12.5' from screen wall.
Main seating: about 14'-15' from screen wall.
Screen: planning 110" or 123" diagonal 16:9

From my own research, the finalists are:
Panasonic PT-AE3000: for brightness, 1080p, and positive reviews.
Epson PowerLite 6100: for brightness, 1080p, good reviews, and price.
Sony VPL-AW15 (or 10): for price, but will it be bright enough?
Sony VPL-HW10: I've always been a Sony TV fan, but it's a little bit expensive and will it be bright enough?
Epson Pro 1080 or 1080 UB: ???

Any other suggestions are welcome for projector or screen...

Thanks, in advance, for your help.
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

I've finally decided to get my first projector, and hope someone can give me some feedback on the final choice. Also, I have no idea what screen to get, so if you have suggestions for that I would appreciate it--it will be a fixed, wall-mounted screen.

Criteria:
I do not have full control of ambient light and, even if I did, I would still want to be able to watch TV--sports, news, etc.--on the weekend without having to black out the room, so I want a projector that will have great quality for nighttime movie watching but also be bright enough for natural light. I will sacrifice ultimate picture quality for extra brightness.
I'm torn between spending the least I can to get a decent projector now (maybe 720p for under $1000), knowing that I will upgrade in the next couple of years; or spending more ($2000-$3000) to get a 1080p/24 that I will have for several years.
I'm sensitive to picture and sound quality (worked in film business for years), but I also understand that I am not spending enough to get the ultimate theatre this time around. I tend to go for quality over marketing hype when I buy techie stuff.

Room:
It is a family room/TV room with attached kitchen and view to backyard pool, which is why I do not want a blackout theatre.
Dimensions:
Width: 18' (screen on 18' wide wall, limited a few feet by corner insets)
Length: 23', with kitchen extending another 12'
Height: 8.5'
Projector placement: hang from ceiling about 12.5' from screen wall.
Main seating: about 14'-15' from screen wall.
Screen: planning 110" or 123" diagonal 16:9

From my own research, the finalists are:
Panasonic PT-AE3000: for brightness, 1080p, and positive reviews.
Epson PowerLite 6100: for brightness, 1080p, good reviews, and price.
Sony VPL-AW15 (or 10): for price, but will it be bright enough?
Sony VPL-HW10: I've always been a Sony TV fan, but it's a little bit expensive and will it be bright enough?
Epson Pro 1080 or 1080 UB: ???

Any other suggestions are welcome for projector or screen...

Thanks, in advance, for your help.

Good thread, and you are definitely on the right track. The 1080UB is pretty well out of production now, so if it were me (the guy that only buys new w/ warranty) Id go with the AE3000U if my budget allowed for it. If not, the 6100 has been getting really good reviews. Even people saying that its brighter than the AX200u in actual application.
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post #3 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 02:16 PM
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I would either go 720p or go high end. You do not want to spend $2000 and not be happy. If you can find a 1080UB with a full warranty on closeout, it would be a good choice though.

For 1080p I would look at the new Epson 6500Ub (1080UB replacement). $2800 after rebate ($100 more until 12/30 for AVS members). Exceptional picture and can be extremely bright in dynamic mode. The ae300 is not a bad choice at all, but not as bright. Nor does it have as good black level.s


If you want to go with 720p. I would look at the Optoma HD71. About $800 (+10% off at circuit city for AAA members). 110" screen with 12.5 feet to lens and a extremely bright.

The Sonys aren't going to be bright enough.
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post #4 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Good replies already, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post

You do not want to spend $2000 and not be happy.

Excellent point, and a hard one to find out without a good return policy and a big time investment. But it's exactly why I'm considering a 720p. Do you have personal experience with the Optoma? And what about the HD65--better reviews, but not as bright, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by reikoshea View Post

Id go with the AE3000U if my budget allowed for it. If not, the 6100 has been getting really good reviews.

I wonder if the Panasonic is worth the $500 more (and lower lumens) than the 6100.

The Epson 6500UB, as well as the 6100 do not list 1080p/24 rates, while the AE3000 and the inexpensive Sonys do. Do we know if that's true, or if it's marketing semantics?
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

Good replies already, thanks!



Excellent point, and a hard one to find out without a good return policy and a big time investment. But it's exactly why I'm considering a 720p. Do you have personal experience with the Optoma? And what about the HD65--better reviews, but not as bright, right?




I wonder if the Panasonic is worth the $500 more (and lower lumens) than the 6100.

The Epson 6500UB, as well as the 6100 do not list 1080p/24 rates, while the AE3000 and the inexpensive Sonys do. Do we know if that's true, or if it's marketing semantics?

Both the 6100 and 6500UB do 1080p/24fps. Owners have checked and reported this fact. Also 1080p/24fps is over rated. See this article from Projector Central: www.projectorcentral.com/judder_24p.htm
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 05:53 PM
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I do a lot of PJ watching in daytime - you don't need pitch black to achieve a good and watchable image - but a lot of light and specially daylight will just take a lot of the fun out of a projection sized image.

Same thing with watching sports and other tv programming when you want a lot of room light - more light equals more washing out and degradation of the image.

There will be times when you want most all light blocked out. this is why we have both a big HD TV and the projector and screen when we want Theater in the Home.

Since you haven't made your buying decision I suggest you include in your criteria a 3D ready projector cause all the industry info says 2009 will be a year of most new tvs/displays and many projectors hitting the market with added 3D capability and movie and tv producers are committed to cranking a lot of 3D content to watch.

Research will show you that commercial theaters by the thousands will be converted to digital systems with 3D capability and special 3D screens and the consumer visual industry is already on that band wagon.

Just a suggestion of something new that without question will be the next big home entertainment step that you might want to research as I have.

Regardless of the PJ you choose you will be SO GLAD you took the step.
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post #7 of 21 Old 12-30-2008, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

Both the 6100 and 6500UB do 1080p/24fps. Owners have checked and reported this fact. Also 1080p/24fps is over rated.

Thanks for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay View Post

I do a lot of PJ watching in daytime...

What projector do you use for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay View Post

Since you haven't made your buying decision I suggest you include in your criteria a 3D ready projector...

3D... Aaaaaahhh, not another variable in the equation! What 3D projectors are you looking at? I searched a bit, but only found a few DepthQ choices which are expensive and not 1080p...
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post #8 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post

I would either go 720p or go high end.

What about the Panasonic PT-AX200U for a 720p? 2000 ANSI lumens, great reviews, great price. So now I'm thinking this one, or go up to the Epson 6100 (love the 4000 hour bulb life and good price for a 1080p), or the AE3000.

Comments anyone?
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 01:23 AM
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6500ub will give you the best picture quality under $3k (or at least this has been my impression after reading about it), and the most lumens as well. Apart from being much brighter than any other 3lcd projector in Dynamic mode, it also has a special Living Room mode that doesn't degrade the picture nearly as much but still provides more lumens than most other pj's in dynamic mode. Imho, it is worth the price difference between it and ae3000, but if you wanna save you could try to find mitsubishi hc6500, which has great PQ (which some prefered over ae3000) and nearly 700 lumens in best mode after calibration. It can be found under $2k at some online sites and at bestbuy (black friday special).
Going for a $1k pj will save money but will also not really pay with much. Imo it will be less cost effective, if you wanna hold out now don't buy anything.
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

The Epson 6500UB, as well as the 6100 do not list 1080p/24 rates, while the AE3000 and the inexpensive Sonys do. Do we know if that's true, or if it's marketing semantics?

According to the article linked above, the Epson does a 4:4.
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

What about the Panasonic PT-AX200U for a 720p? 2000 ANSI lumens, great reviews, great price. So now I'm thinking this one, or go up to the Epson 6100 (love the 4000 hour bulb life and good price for a 1080p), or the AE3000.

Comments anyone?

U can get the AX200, screen and a BR player and still be under the price of AE3000. The smoothscreen technology on the AX is what makes it known as the 'poor mans 1080p PJ'. Though there are better discounted older higher end 720p PJ's out there but finding them in stock is not easy.

Since this will be your first PJ, u'll be more than happy with the AX200.

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post #12 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 10:16 AM
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Quote:


view to backyard pool

Do you have drapes? Cuz even with a bright projector, image quality will suck if there is significant daytime sun in the room.

However, if you already have a TV in the room, then use that for daytime viewing.
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuGsArEtAsTy View Post

Do you have drapes? Cuz even with a bright projector, image quality will suck if there is significant daytime sun in the room.

Yes, but I don't want to have to black out the room every time time, to watch football or even just display some impressive HD content...


Quote:
Originally Posted by CADOBHuK View Post

6500ub will give you the best picture quality under $3k (or at least this has been my impression after reading about it), and the most lumens as well.

The Epson 6100 is rated at higher ANSI lumens--do you think the 6500 is brighter in practice? I haven't seen any thorough reviews of the 6500, have you? Also, I wonder if the PQ of the 6500 is worth the extra $1k over the 6100, since these are all mid-price projectors.
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post #14 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

Yes, but I don't want to have to black out the room every time time, to watch football or even just display some impressive HD content...




The Epson 6100 is rated at higher ANSI lumens--do you think the 6500 is brighter in practice? I haven't seen any thorough reviews of the 6500, have you? Also, I wonder if the PQ of the 6500 is worth the extra $1k over the 6100, since these are all mid-price projectors.

A lot more to image quality than lumens. The price difference should be more like $500 not $1,000. If I was picking between 6100 and 6500UB at $500 more I would get the 6500UB. Keep in mind that i do not want to run a projector in standard mode until I have too. In other words, not until the lamp is just about worn out. I want the image on the bright side when using economy and base my screen selection (size and gain) on that.
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Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

A lot more to image quality than lumens. The price difference should be more like $500 not $1,000.

I'm seeing the price difference being right around $1k online, so it's significant to me. I agree that lumens is not important to PQ, per se, but I'm looking for good PQ with enough lumens to watch with windows open or some room light on because, unfortunately, I will not have a dedicated HT room for the foreseeable future. It will, however, be plenty dark for serious movie-watching.

One more thing... I'm a Sony-TV guy at heart; they consistently deliver my favorite picture. I would definitely be getting a VPL-HW10 if it were at least 1600 ANSI lumens, but at 1000 it is too risky that it won't be bright enough for my application, and the reviews (which are mostly glowing) confirm this. So I'm trying to determine whether an AE3000, a 6100, or a 6500ub will better fit my needs, or if I should just get an AX200 or an Epson 720 and hope that Sony produces an SXRD with higher output in my price range in the next couple of years...
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post #16 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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How much glass do you have in your room? If it is a lot (like mine) then none of the listed projectors would provide me with an acceptable image on a sunny day. I have zero light control and huge windows. http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/f...o/P1000506.jpg I have two of those windows, two 2'x6' windows, four 3'x3'-6' windows and one 8'x16' glass French door. Almost forgot I also have a 9'x5' French door with divided lites and transom. Room is large 17' ceiling and light gray walls. I use a DaLite High Power screen (2.8 gain and a Marantz VP-12S4) (720p). Throw is 14'-4" and screen size is 106". I do not use this projector during the day because there is just too much ambient light so you do not have much contrast. No amount of lumens will help this problem. I use the projector in this room only at night. Don't get me wrong the HP screen is great and the best bang for the buck screen for rooms with ambient light, but you have to have something to work with and a room full of light leaves you nothing to work with.

The Marantz puts out about 350 lumens calibrated in economy mode. with the 2.8 gain of the high power it is like having a projector with actual (not manufacturer BS spec) 980 lumens. In standard mode I have equivalent to 1,260 lumens. All of this does not matter if the room is full of light. 2,000 lumens would not help.

I also have a small dedicated room. This room has black, floor, walls and ceiling. In this room I have a Planar PD7130 (720p). I use a 106" 1.2 gain screen. I have very good light control in this room. The front wall is mostly covered with black fabric and I do not get much light reflected back onto the screen. In this room the black level is better than my 50" SXRD TV. The image is rich in color, pop and it has the 3D look. This is the room that I use 80 to 90 percent of the time.

Added:
I guess what I am trying to say is; If your room has a lot of uncontrolled ambient light and you want to use the projector only at night then you can have a very good image, but forget it during the day. if you install some shades, blinds or curtains then you can use your projector during the day. This does not mean that every window needs to be covered. It just means that the black level will only be as good as the room will allow it. It was much cheaper for me to convert another room into a dedicated room and buy the equipment than it would have cost to cover the windows in my other room.
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-31-2008, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

How much glass do you have in your room? If it is a lot (like mine) then none of the listed projectors would provide me with an acceptable image on a sunny day. I have zero light control and huge windows.

I also have a small dedicated room. This room has black, floor, walls and ceiling. In this room I have a Planar PD7130 (720p). I use a 106" 1.2 gain screen.

Thanks for the input. My room is somewhere between your two rooms--my main light problem is ~6'x6' glass in a pocket door, which can be covered, and a small kitchen window, which has no window treatment, but is on the farthest wall and never gets direct sun. The pocket door is somewhat protected by a 6' overhang on the house (small covered patio), and is only hit by direct sun for an hour or two in the late afternoon, depending on the season. But when that happens, not even a picture tube image can be seen, so it has to be covered to watch anything at that time. And (important) I have no option. I just don't want to get a projector and go through all the effort and $$$ to find out that I just needed ~50% more lumens (i.e. 1600 or so, rather than 1000 or so) to be able to watch during the day without blackout drapes.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-01-2009, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you all enjoying the Bowl Games on your HD projectors? (I'm jealous!)
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-01-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

Thanks for the input. My room is somewhere between your two rooms--my main light problem is ~6'x6' glass in a pocket door, which can be covered, and a small kitchen window, which has no window treatment, but is on the farthest wall and never gets direct sun. The pocket door is somewhat protected by a 6' overhang on the house (small covered patio), and is only hit by direct sun for an hour or two in the late afternoon, depending on the season. But when that happens, not even a picture tube image can be seen, so it has to be covered to watch anything at that time. And (important) I have no option. I just don't want to get a projector and go through all the effort and $$$ to find out that I just needed ~50% more lumens (i.e. 1600 or so, rather than 1000 or so) to be able to watch during the day without blackout drapes.

The contrast is created by the lack of ambient light hitting the screen. Increasing the lumens does not solve this problem. The blacks can't be black if the screen is lit up before the projector is even turned on. It does not sound like you have very much glass area to worry about. The window that I linked to is 6'-0" wide and 12'-6" tall. Cover up as much as you can and you should be fine. If your room was a black hole (dark non reflective surfaces) then 16 foot lamberts with a new bulb (when using economy) would be fine. Since your room has light colored walls and ambient light, you want a lot more foot lamberts. Around the mid 20's or a little higher would be good (new bulb on economy). To figure foot lamberts. Take the tested output of the projector (use economy if you can) and multiple by the gain of the screen. Take this number and divide by the square footage of the screen.

To give you an example, in my non-light controlled room I have the Marantz VP-12S4 that produces 350 lumens calibrated in economy mode. The projector is listed as 700 lumens. My screen is a 106" high power (2.8 gain) screen.

350lumens x 2.8 gain = 980 lumens
Screen, 52" x 92" = 4,784/144=33.22 SF.
980 lumens/33.22 SF = 29.5 foot lamberts

Go to Projector Reviews and read a review on the projectors that you are interested in. www.projectorreviews.com/reviews.php
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-01-2009, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mjg100 View Post

The contrast is created by the lack of ambient light hitting the screen...

I've been relying on projectorcentral.com reviews. Looking at projectorreviews.com now, but they don't have reviews of the newer Epsons.

Thanks for all the light info, I will do the calcs. How well does your Marantz hold up with room light or daytime window light? You like your HP screen?
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post #21 of 21 Old 01-01-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukequazar View Post

I've been relying on projectorcentral.com reviews. Looking at projectorreviews.com now, but they don't have reviews of the newer Epsons.

Thanks for all the light info, I will do the calcs. How well does your Marantz hold up with room light or daytime window light? You like your HP screen?

I very much like the HP screen. It is the only roll up non-tensioned screen that I would ever use. There is not a projector made that would work in my uncontrolled room during the day using a normal screen. To give you a better idea of the glass area I have in this room. If it was all combined on one eight foot high wall the glass area would be 8' x 38'. The Marantz might work if I used a Planar Xscreen or a Black Diamond by Screen Innovation. Even then I might need a projector with more lumens than my Marantz.
www.xscreen.com/Library/UK_June_Xscreen80_WHC806%20(4).pdf
www.siscreens.com/screens/black_diamond_projector_screen.php

I checked, for the Black Diamond I would need a projector with more lumens than the Marantz puts out since the Black Diamond is 0.8 gain.
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