Upgrade from Sony Ruby (VPL-VW100) or just a new lamp for it? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-25-2012, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,
Long time lurker. My Sony Ruby has reached 2500 hours. I use a 116" DaLite High Power screen in a light controlled room. Its been great. The picture has always been great and sharp and true to my eyes BUT not bright enough unless every little bit of light in the room is off. That has always been my biggest beef for this projector. We watch blu ray movies, tv and play games.

So the question (and I know this has been asked before) is whether to upgrade to a new projector OR buy a crazy expensive 900$ replacement lamp. There really is nowhere I know of to go and check out new projectors. So I may be forced rely on reviews that I've read on this forum and on other forums. I am willing to spend more than the cost of the lamp on a new projector. So my annoying question is will a $2,000 - $3,000 be much better than the Sony? That is probably an obvious question (yes I imagine). But buying something without getting to try/see it first is a tough part of buying a new projector. I suppose i should get a new projector because I have never been happy with the brightness even when it was new and I have the light cannon settings enabled too?

Any advice? Optoma? JVC? Panasonic? A newer Sony? Argh! What is the best $2,500 projector right now? You know, the 'sweet' spot...?

Epson 6020UB Projector
Dalite Contour HighPower Manual Pull Down
Denon AVR3311CI
Sony PS3
B&W CDM-7NT Speakers
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 12:07 AM
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contrast is only 15,000:1 yikes. I'm sure the optics and it being lcos throw a beautiful be it dim by today's dlp light cannon standards picture.

do you know if you see rainbows with dlp? $900 is pretty expensive for a new bulb.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I have not had the chance to review many other projectors. My original was a Panny AE900. That wasn't bad for a first projector. I did not see any rainbows. The Sony was a very, nice upgrade. The picture really is great. We sit at 12' away. The HiPower screen makes a difference. I am critical of A/V but not overly so and my only real problem is that it is so dim! There just doesn't seem to be alot of ways to really shop for a projector in person. Thats the problem. And even if I could see more projectors in person, they would have different room setups, screens, hours on the lamp, etc. I did see a Sim2 and some other high end projector in person and they were stunning. They should be since I could buy a Porsche for what they cost.

So it is a leap of faith. So i read reviews as much as possible. I suppose I just need a good return policy! Do any dealers rent projectors for testing? Are some more reasonable about returns for similar priced models? How do i go from a 5 year old Sony to a new projector without being able to test them! Help me. Its winter-time movie watching season!

Epson 6020UB Projector
Dalite Contour HighPower Manual Pull Down
Denon AVR3311CI
Sony PS3
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uuddlrlrbass View Post

$900 is pretty expensive for a new bulb.

The Sony projector uses a Xenon bulb that's why it's so expensive and yes, $900 is the going price at most dealers.

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windrockwater View Post

So it is a leap of faith. So i read reviews as much as possible. I suppose I just need a good return policy! Do any dealers rent projectors for testing? Are some more reasonable about returns for similar priced models? How do i go from a 5 year old Sony to a new projector without being able to test them! Help me. Its winter-time movie watching season!

Renting? No one I know of. However, Projector People (a AVS Forum sponsor) has a generous 30 day return, with caveats, policy. Go here to read:

http://www.projectorpeople.com/customer-service/purchase.asp

Projectors have really progressed nicely since you bought your Sony and the picture quality is amazing for the dollar spent. I also upgraded from AE900U to the AR100U and have been very pleased but you have a light controlled home theater while my projector is located in a family room.

The Sony VPL-VW100 had a $9000 MSRP when it debuted and it can still be found selling new for $4000. The 800 lumens this projector puts out can certainly be bested by almost any of the new LCOS, DLP or LCD projectors.

I certainly understand your predicament - spend another $900 on a bulb or tack on additional money and get a newer model - a question only you can answer.

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Good advice. I see that you can return to them if you are very good about testing the lamp under 4 hours. At least that is something. This sure is a baffling predicament. Frankly, I do not care about 3d and that seems to muddy the water with regards to choosing also. I cannot help but think a brighter, punchier (technical term) picture will be more important to me than any technically 'better' color, etc. Right now, off-axis viewing isnt that good either. It gets dark pretty quick off axis. That stinks for party time viewing.

Sigh, this is the only item i can think of buying that is so expensive, difficult to return (15% restocking fee plus shipping can add up to serious dough).

Epson 6020UB Projector
Dalite Contour HighPower Manual Pull Down
Denon AVR3311CI
Sony PS3
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windrockwater View Post

Good advice. I see that you can return to them if you are very good about testing the lamp under 4 hours. At least that is something. This sure is a baffling predicament. Frankly, I do not care about 3d and that seems to muddy the water with regards to choosing also. I cannot help but think a brighter, punchier (technical term) picture will be more important to me than any technically 'better' color, etc. Right now, off-axis viewing isnt that good either. It gets dark pretty quick off axis. That stinks for party time viewing.
Sigh, this is the only item i can think of buying that is so expensive, difficult to return (15% restocking fee plus shipping can add up to serious dough).

4 hours is basically firing up the projector one time so make sure it is set-up for optimal viewing, a second start-up will likely put it over the 4 hour limit. Just the way some projector lamp counters work.

Best Buy is another option if you're interested in something like the Epson 8350. Check their return policy but I think you can take it back if you're not happy with it.

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post #8 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windrockwater View Post

I cannot help but think a brighter, punchier (technical term) picture will be more important to me than any technically 'better' color, etc. Right now, off-axis viewing isnt that good either. It gets dark pretty quick off axis. That stinks for party time viewing.

As an aside I should mention I just installed a AR100U in my niece's home theater and if sports and movie parties are important you may want to read my comments. There is no off-axis drop-off but the screen is white 1.1 gain material.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1440566/panasonic-pt-ar100u-vs-my-old-epsom-pro-cinema-810-advice#post_22614080

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