Epson 8350 vs Panasonic PT-AE7000U? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-25-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

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:
  • Better contrast ratio
  • 3D
  • Frame interpolation
  • Calibration assistance tools
  • Lens memory

Picture quality is my main question. 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!

Anthony
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hate to bump, but I'm hoping to place the order before the weekend!

Can anyone comment on the 2D picture quality difference between these two projectors? Is the AE7000U worth the upgrade on picture quality alone?

Anthony
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 06:05 AM
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I would be interested in what others have to say about this comparison. With the 7000 being well over double the price, I would expect quite an upgrade, but who knows.

I'm interested because a very good friend just got his AE7000 and is using a Seymour Center Stage screen. I'm planning on the same screen, but my budget has Epson 8350 written all over it. I have not had the chance to see the 7000 in action yet. Waiting for the invite.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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I own the AE7000 and it is very well designed projector. I have never seen the epson but i will say the panasonic looks wonderful, has great black levels and the 3D has hardly no ghosting.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 10:04 AM
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I don't have extensive experience but compared the 8350 to the 7000 (and to the JVC X30) at the showroom. There was a substantial improvement in picture quality with the Panny. Whether it is worth it is a very subjective and personal opinion. I only watched a few short minutes of the 8350, which was on my short list too, because the difference was so apparent to me. Within 3 minutes I could clearly state about the 8350 "Well, it won't be the Epson". This was mostly due to black levels and contrast ratio. The 8350 looked considerably washed out. Granted, if you are doing a lot of watching in ambient light, the Epson may be better for your particular viewing. Just don't expect it to be that great when the lights are off.

Of course...if you don't know what you're missing...

The Epson may be just fine.

BTW - I went home with the JVC.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, interesting, Projector Central's review was not quite as harsh on the black level. I wonder if the Auto Iris was turned off? It is apparently disabled by default. Thanks for the info.

Anyone else have in-home experience? I never trust showrooms to be properly calibrated.

Anthony
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 04:31 PM
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The 8350 is a great entry projector; you get what you paid for. For most folks, it's a great starter w/ little risk, until you get the upgrade itch like most of us fanatics.

Once you bought it, do not come back again until at least 4 years from now (just kidding).

GL
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I was hoping for some more posts in this thread, but I just couldn't wait any longer so I ordered the 8350

This is my first projector purchase and I don't have much to compare it to, so I'm hoping it'll work out. I might come back with some questions, but perhaps I'll direct them to the official 8350 thread. I plan to play around with it, just projecting on the wall for a few days and then I'm thinking I'll do a DIY Wilsonart Designer White screen.

Anthony
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 02:03 PM
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The only issue with the 8350 is that the lamp may go out during the first 700 hrs or so. Epson will replace it promptly no question asked. The Epson 8350 is more inline with the AE-4000.

You will love it for your first projector. It's a well balanced entry level projector.
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