I am just about ready to pull the trigger on a projector. We finally have our media area set up, just bought a new couch, and we are ready to go.
I have narrowed down the list to the Epson 8350 and the Panasonic PT-AE7000U. I realize these seem like very different choices, and they are, which is why I am having so much trouble deciding
My arguments for the Epson 8350:
- Roughly $1700 cheaper
- 2 year warranty vs 1 year for Panny
- Available from Amazon, so I can get it in 2 days and get 3% cash back
- The wife would probably let me upgrade faster
Arguments for the Panasonic PT-AE-7000U:
Picture quality is my main question.
- Better contrast ratio
- Frame interpolation
- Calibration assistance tools
- Lens memory
Does anyone have experience with both of these projectors who could speak to the picture quality difference? The Panny has much better contrast ratio, but I'm wondering if overall picture quality would make a $1700 difference.
The 480hz frame interpolation on the Panasonic seems really fun too. Couple of my friends have LCDs with it, and I'm not even sure I like it, but I'd love to play around with it and see how it affects different sources. If the Epson had it I'd probably already have bought it.
FYI, 3D is not a huge deal to me. I have a HDMI 1.3 receiver so I'd probably have to upgrade that anyway to get 3D. It seems fun but I'd then have to buy 4 pairs of glasses and all new Blu-rays, so I'm not too psyched about it.
Some more details about my setup: I'll be getting a Monoprice fixed-frame white screen (1.0 gain), probably 120". The throw distance is about 14' and we'll be sitting about 13' from the screen. The projector will be in a basement which is light controlled but I want the ability to watch with ambient light for parties and if we want to eat down there.
If the picture quality difference is not worth the extra money, I'll just go with the Epson, then the wife would probably let me upgrade to something with 3D that would presumably be better than both of these choices in a few years
Also, are there any other projectors I should be considering? I had trouble finding good choices between these two price points.
Let me know what you guys think!