I currently own a Sony VPL-AW15 and need to replace it due to a lightening strike/power surge. I have also picked up a Denon X4000 receiver and will need a new Blueray player as well. I have a 100" screen which is about 15 feet from the projector. The room does have two windows which are covered with blinds, but they do bleed some light. We have been more or less happy with the current Sony, but would like a brighter image when the room is used during the daytime. I would also like a bit crisper picture, if possible.
I have been out of the loop for the last few years and am not sure what to look for as a replacement. My budget (from the insurance company) is about $1600, but I don't mind spending up to perhaps $2000, if needed. I am not particularly interested in 3D, but would probably spend a bit more to get it just in case we decide we want to use it in the future. The projector is located directly above the couch and hanging from the ceiling. It appears the newer projectors all produce more noise, I guess for the fan. I would prefer for it to not be any louder.
Some that I have looked at (online):
Thoughts or comments?
Some projectors on your list are 1-2 year old models, so were you looking at refurb or used units for those (I assume to keep within your $2K max. budget)? More specific the Epson 5010 was replaced by the model 5020UB late last year. However a new Epson 5020UB sells new for about $1K more than a refurb Epson 5010. The Sony HW30 is also on older model that Sony kept around as a entry-level alternative, but where the current mainstream model is the HW50es (scheduled to be preplaced by the HW55es later this year), but it sells for close to $4K. For a comparison of the current models check out the Projector Reviews "2013 Home Theater Projector Comparison Report" - HERE. Also you will find detailed reviews of the models in your list (i.e., including the older models) as well as the newer models by following the links from the Projector Reviews main web page - HERE.
Any one of those projectors would be better than the old Sony. The HD25 or HD25lv for brighter picture would be the least expensive but unless you move the projector up a few feet or get a bigger screen they won't work. The Sony VPL30ES would be the best of everything but you'll need to kick in another grand over your $1600. Decide if you want the DLP or LCD tech for choices in the other projectors as they will all look good with their inherent flaws in each.
Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I have read through it all and have ordered an Epson 5020ub. I decided that I would rather pay a bit more now than wish I had six months to a year from now. Hope it is not too loud...
In Eco mode (low lamp) its very quiet and in Normal mode (high lamp) you can certainly hear the fan, but it quieter than most DLP projectors. The 5020UB is capable of putting up very good 2D as well as 3D images. I just watched "Life of Pi" Blu-ray last weekend on a 5020UB in 3D and there was no noticeable 3D crosstalk (at least nothing obvious enough to draw the attention of the viewers). By the way for accommodating a group to watch a 3D movie, there are some low cost 3D glasses (mentioned the 5020UB owners thread) that work very well with the 5020ub. Samsung SSG-5100GB are available for $19 per pair and the ValueView 3D Glasses for about $25. Both work as well as the much more expensive Epson 3D glasses.
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