Help me decide: Epson 8350 or Panny AR100U - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-17-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all, I'm a long-time Panasonic PT-AE700U (720p) owner and recently tested out an Epson 3010. I'm pretty sure that I've decided that I can do without 3D, but missed my AE700U's lens shift, so that then led to me testing out an Epson 8350. But I'm also eyeing the Panasonic AR100U, since it can go a good bit brighter. I've been fortunate in that I bought the 3010 from Amazon, so I can return that (and just have to pay $30 or so to ship it back), and I got the 8350 from Best Buy, so I can return that, too. The AR100U would be purchased from Visual Apex, and I'm not sure what their return policy is.

Some background...My room currently has very poor light control, white walls, and a 92" Da-Lite Model B 16:9 High Power screen. With the 3010, I found that it looked quite amazing during the day with punchy colorful bright content like the movie Cars or a football game but, of course, a dark movie like one of the Harry Potter's was pretty bad. At night, even in Cinema Eco mode, I found that the whites could be a bit too bright.

My intention, though, is to darken up my walls, improve light control as best as I can, and bump up my screen size. In fact, I'm almost sold on the idea of going with a 2.35:1 screen (and, yes, I know that I'll need to manually zoom in/out the lens on the 8350 or AR100U, but I'm willing to do that, and would prefer HDTV content to reside in the smaller window and more cinematic content to fill a larger 2.35:1 screen). So I'm thinking of going with something in the neighborhood of a 120-130" diagonal 2.35:1 screen. I've also thought about going with a gray screen, which should theoretically improve things during the day.

I'm sort of thinking at this point that an Epson 8350 paired with a white screen or a Panny AR100U paired with a gray screen, might be the two options, and am curious what others here might think. I'd be especially interested in hearing from people with first-hand experience with both the 8350 and AR100U.

Scott R
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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-17-2012, 05:32 PM
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The 8350 is better in a light controlled room. The ar100 is the light cannon of all light cannons for a relatively accurate mode that can do 2000 lumens, but other than that it's made for ambient light or large screens, not for maximizing HT quality. I doubt you will find anyone with first hand experience with both, the ar100 is a specialty projector for the most part, but who knows you might get lucky.

If you have never checked out a DLP projector, you may consider a Benq w1200 or a Mits hc4000 as another alternative. The Mits hc4000 can handle a 2.35 screen.


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post #3 of 5 Old 01-17-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm finding myself leaning away from the AR100U, simply because I've found the 8350 (in Dynamic mode, certainly) to produce a perfectly fine 92" diagonal 16:9 image during the day when feeding it a punchy source (e.g., football), even with zero light control. With improved light control and dark walls (which is where I intend to get to), it will be even better, and probably get me to where I can watch more movies (even with some dark scenes) during the day. As I mentioned, I'm leaning towards going the 2.35:1 CIH route, so I don't anticipate making my 16:9 "window" much bigger than the 92" diagonal I've got now (maybe 100-110").

I've also considered the Acer H9500BD, but that's disappeared from my preferred buying sources. That, and all of the other DLP projectors, seem to give me no more than 1.5:1 zoom. I believe that would still allow me to do 16:9 CIH on a 2.35:1 screen, but doesn't give me as much leeway as the 8350, so I might have to reposition my current mount (not a deal killer, but an added hassle).

As for the Mitsubishi hc4000, yes that offers built-in 2.35:1/16:9 support, but I believe it's doing it digitally and dropping pixels when shrinking it down, so the 16:9 image won't be as detailed as with my ghetto approach of manually zooming in/out the Epson 8350. Plus, I think that projector lacks zoom or lens shift (or both) so it, again, makes for a bit of a hassle in repositioning my existing mount.

Scott R
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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-20-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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No replies. I guess no one has compared the two? One concern I have with the 8350 is all of the posts where I read about possible bulb issues with Epson. Also, while the 8350 looks great on my 92" 16:9 screen, it doesn't look too bright, and I want to bump up my screen size (to possibly a 119" diagonal screen), and I'm worried that the brightness I'm seeing now will drop off once the bulb breaks in, and then might not be bright enough.

Scott R
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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-20-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

No replies. I guess no one has compared the two? One concern I have with the 8350 is all of the posts where I read about possible bulb issues with Epson. Also, while the 8350 looks great on my 92" 16:9 screen, it doesn't look too bright, and I want to bump up my screen size (to possibly a 119" diagonal screen), and I'm worried that the brightness I'm seeing now will drop off once the bulb breaks in, and then might not be bright enough.

Doesn't look too bright? What mode are you using the 8350 in? It should set a 92 inch screen on fire!

If you go too bright you'll lose some black level. The Panasonic looks like overkill for such a small screen. Really ..you can only conclude what is bright enough for you.

I've seen the 8350 on a 120 and a 130 inch screen. It had no problems lighting up either. These were both none calibrated cinema modes. The 120 was visibly brighter as it should be.
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