Thanks all again for your great feedback.
There really is not much of an option for re-engineering the room. I think I will just compromise on a less complicated solution. I am just now learning about the Vivtek... are they good units? never heard of them before.
I think at this point I have convinced myself that if I am replacing the projector, I will do an upgrade to one of the HD solutions which are not 4:3... but thanks for the vote of confidence!
I hear ya!!! BIG=BETTER!! but unfortunately, there is no way to re-engineer the room or speaker placement. I have the screen dropping down in front of a large window (dual purpose... save space and block light) and due to the wall studs, there is no other positioning of the in-wall Niles speakers. Furthermore, when the screen is rolled up, the area immediately in front is a high traffic walking area from the entrance to the room then passing through to the kitchen, so I cannot put anything on the floor or _on_ the walls that will stick out. Going higher on the walls, is a curtain that would also block the speakers... So I am really kind of stuck.
I am planning to simply change the roller and screen material in my existing 80" wide unit and drop down a few inches to 94 or 92 inches. Now I just need to decide if 16:9 or 16:10.
I did some research and spoke to someone at DaLite regarding replacing the roller and surface area of my 100" 4:3 cosmopolitan Electrol... and it looks like for just under $200 the part can be ordered, and the install should not be too complicated. It could be a better solution to get the correct screen masking for you than creating some other masking solution to the old screen.
Regarding the unit placement, it is ceiling mounted, however, I have some felixbility in the positioning. The beams in the ceiling run parallel to the direction to where the screen is, so in theory I could mount the projector almost anywhere along the way... just pop another hole in the ceiling and fill the other one in. I already have the cabling in place with a lot of slack.
What does the lens shifting get you?
I have not yet looked at the AX200... are you happy with it?
Now that i have figured out what I am doing with the screen... I need to make some decisions on the replacement unit.
I have removed some from my review list and added some.
I am interested to: [MY GOALS]
- stay at around the same brightness level (or increase) my old M20x ~1900 lumen;
- improve on the contrast to get that high impact image (looks like most are much better anyway);
- reduce the noise of the fan (37db);
- Prevent visible rainbows (one of the selection criteria in my M20x was its 3x color wheel which was better than most of the 2x which were available at the time)
- Prevent visible convergence issue. Are the 3 panel LCDs subject to alignment problems?
- Stay under $2000 ... I can do a little bit more if it really worth it, but that's my budget.
~$ 700 - Epson PL Home Cinema 705HD (1280x800 WXGA 16:10 3LCD 2500 Lumens 3000:1 CR) - will it be too noisy? How will I like LCD after appreciating DLP all these years?
~$1000 - Optoma HD20 (1080HD 16:9 1700 DLP Lumens 4000:1 CR) - will it be too noisy? Rainbows?
~$1000 - Vivitek H1080FD (1080HD 16:9) - Seems quiet at 26db. Sounds like a good option.. but I have never heard of these guys before... Vivtek any good?
~$1000 - Panasonic PT-AX200U (1280x720 2000 lumen; 6000:1 CR)- I understand its been on the market for ~3 years now, wouldnt I be better off with something newer technology? Specs look very good though..
~$1500 - Epson PL Home Cinema 8100 (1080HD 16:9 3LCD 1800 Lumens 36K:1 CR) - do they really achieve that contrast level??
~$2000 - Panasonic AE4000 (1080HD 16:9 3LCD 1600 Lumens 100K:1 CR) - heard that dust is a problem here..true? Wish it came in a white case
Will I be disappointed with the drop in brightness?
~$2300 - Epson PL Home Cinema 8500UB (1080HD 16:9 3LCD 1600 Lumens 200K:1 CR) - Is it worth the upgrade over 8100? Will I be disappointed with the drop in brightness?
I really appreciate your input.