AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: W Simsbury, CT, USA
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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.
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.