I need some help figuring out what I should do. I was playing Xbox 360 last night on my Panasonic AE700U and right before I finished the game I heard a lovely 'pop' sound. I haven't opened her up yet, but obviously the lamp went bye-bye (hopefully not too much of a mess). I have been thinking about upgrading projectors, but wasn't quite ready to do so as I thought I'd get some more life out of this one...although I've had it over 5 years now and bought it second hand with low hours so I can't complain. This was the original bulb.
Anyway, my first question is about replacement bulbs. Where is the best place to buy one? I see the OEM bulbs seem to sell for around $250, and then there are the other bulbs for about half that. I love the idea of getting a new bulb for around $125, but are any of these ok, or are they all china crap? For this old projector I don't really care if I don't get another 5 years out of the bulb, but I aslo don't want it to die in 3 months, nor do I want to degrade the picture quality. If there are some OEM-like bulbs that people have had good experience with that I can get for $100 or so I'll do that for sure. If I get a new projector I can still make use of the old one in my garage for my golf sim.
Ok, now on to the upgrade. I've been reading reviews once and a while the past year just trying to stay somewhat current on things, but I'm far from an expert. My home theatre is primarily used for casual gaming (Xbox 360) and watching movies. It is not a dedicated theatre room, but it is in our finished basement so we can control the light very well. I believe we sit about 16-18 ft from the 100" screen and the current projector is located directly above our head (about 18' from the screen). The panasonic was our first projector and I liked the flexibilty the LCD offered in terms of placement.
Before coming here today I had heard lots of positive reviews on the Epson 8350 and figured that is what I'd get if I had to buy something now. However, while that still appears to be a good unit, after doing some readin here today I see a lot of people going with the 6500UB refurb from VA. Is that the way to go?
To throw one more option in the pile, what about buying a used JVC D-ILA projector like the HD350. I don't know anything about these, but it sounds like they are a step up in terms of quality from the typical DLP/LCD projectors we buy for under $3000.
$1000-1200 new 8350 vs $1000 refurb 6500UB vs $1500-$2000 used JVC. Opinions???
From the bit of reading I've done I'd saying I'm leaning towards the 6500UB, mainly because it sounds like a better projector then the 8350, would be a good upgrade from my current panny, and is at a good price point.
I'll stop typing for now, but please let me know if you need more information from me. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my post!