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post #1 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Input lag and gaming... need help with model selection

Greetings!

Been doing a LOT of research over the past few weeks. I am currently deployed to the Middle East and have decided I want to build a multipurpose theater/game area in my basement upon my return. It shall round out my ideal setup for a man cave and keep me busy.

Anyways. I am stuck at a decision upon models. The primary purpose will be for gaming. Movie watching is a very close second as gaming is an outlet for me and it allows me to stay connected with a few of my friends since we are now stationed away from one another. I want (NEED) a projector that can keep up both visually and input wise. I would like to maintain image quality as much as possible but it seems there might be a trade off. Here are my current options I have liked and have researched extensively. Models are in order of precedence:

1) Panasonic PT-AE8000
2) Epson HC5030
3) Panasonic PT-AR100U

I have read reviews, both professional and consumer, and they are all positive. I cant find anything negative about them. Also, it seems that I cannot find a lot of information about gaming and these projectors. All I know is that the 8000 is +/-32ms input lag, the 100U is +/-25ms input lag, and the 5030 is +/-35ms input lag.

I read a single review stating gaming on the Espon is slightly bearable but the tradeoff is better image quality. The 100U is the most ideal for gaming but comes as the cost of contrast. I still want my movies to be breathtaking. The AE8000 is my ideal choice since it compromises both worlds with decent lag times and maintains satisfactory contrast.

Am I being nitpicky here? Is there a real "apples and oranges" difference between input lag and these models? What am I not looking into that I should be? Lumens are great on all models (although the 100U is extremely bright). What should I consider before making a purchase?

Screen will be 120" homemade screen or I may just get a cheap bundled screen going in a low light/no light basement. Will be ceiling mounted.

Thanks for the help guys

Corey
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post #2 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 01:13 PM
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Sony 40ES - Sub 25ms response time, comparable to gaming monitors. Better contrast than the AE8000, better overall image than the 5030. Extremely quiet, similarly priced.

The better you treat the room it's going into, the better the results you have will be.

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post #3 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 01:44 PM
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Have you looked at the Sony VPL-HW40ES at all? It's newer than your other options and has very low input lag.

Also, when are you coming back? You can usually expect some new home theater projectors around September because of the CEDIA show, so if you won't be home until after that you may want to hold off to see what pops up (or get a discount on the existing stuff).

edit: I really should have refreshed the page first.

Last edited by PJC Bill; 06-26-2014 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Someone beat me to it.
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post #4 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll be home first week of August I think.

I have looked at the Sony. I have considered between the Sony and the Epson but for some reason I wasnt drawn to the Sony. After doing more research I realized the Epson was not for me.

Here are some things that draw me to the Sony:

3 year warranty (WIN!)
Natural colors
Decreased input lag
Newer tech
Similar adjustability
bulb price

Here are some of the things that draw me to the PT-8000U over the Sony:

Dynamic iris
Higher contrast
larger vertical/horizontal adjustment
automatic zoom/2.35:1 auto adjust
lummens
bulb life
rebate

I do feel this is more nitpicking than anything. I am sure both units will excel in performance. But ease of gaming is my #1 priority.


I could wait till September. I'll be home from leave and will have the house pretty much squared away. But with new tech comes introductory pricing... it may be out of my budget to get something newly released. But lik you said there may be some rebates or deals on the models I am interested in. Bottom line seems to be that Panasonic owners love their 8000 and Sony users love their 40ES. I am sure the Epson owners love their 5030s also.

When it comes right down to it; are there any huge differences between the 40ES and the AE8000? I think I would enjoy the features on the 8000 and ive read it is very easy to setup but kind of a pain to calibrate.
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post #5 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 06:25 PM
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The Sony has higher native contrast, but the iris on the ae8000 (if you have it engaged) can make it get overall darker for certain scenes.
The automatic lens memory functions are only helpful if you plan on using them for a constant hight system or something very similar, and it's of questionable value if you aren't.
The Sony already has a huge offset range and it's very unlikely you'll require more.
The Sony has much smaller (basically invisible) pixel gaps where the Panasonic will look like a screendoor if you're sitting fairly close.
The Sony has very good color out of the box.
They are both very bright projectors, with the Sony likely having an advantage here.
Even after the rebate for the panny I think the Sony is only $200 more.

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post #6 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapp_badbloodz View Post
Dynamic iris
Higher contrast
larger vertical/horizontal adjustment
automatic zoom/2.35:1 auto adjust
lummens
bulb life
rebate
Here's the thing though, most of this list isn't really accurate. The Sony is about as bright as the 5030, and the 5030 is brighter than the Panasonic. It's not about advertising, it's what you end up with after installation and calibration, and in that regard, the Sony is a real winner.

The DI is certainly on the Panasonic, so any advertised (once again - advertised) contrast ratio advantage, basically goes away when used in the real world. Plus, if you find that you don't like the DI, then the Sony has a huge advantage, because it achieves it's great contrast ratio without needing some artificial enhancement.

As said, automatic zoom only matters if you intend to use a 2.35 screen, which most people shouldn't be doing because their room isn't right for it. It's a great, extremely limited use, feature.

Lamp life remains a crap shoot. Period. Anyone who has 1,000 hours on their lamp should have money in the bank to buy a new lamp. Until manufacturers warranty lamps for the 2,000, or 5,000 hours they rate the lamp to, you really are on your own with this, and it's established that lamps can fail at almost any point. Still, it could be a plus for Panasonic. Just not much of one.

Rebate (or more accurately price) is obviously always worth consideration. But, any projector within a couple hundred bucks or so of another projector is certainly in the same price range I would say. But, it does save you a couple hundred at this time. Maybe not so much the case when you are ready to buy.

I really like both Epson and Panasonic, but if I were to buy right now, there is no way in the world I would buy either of those two brands over the Sony.

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post #7 of 34 Old 06-26-2014, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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great feedback in this thread. I read several more articles on the Sony, watched a couple youtube videos, and saw some of the still photos on projector reviews. You guys make some very valid points. If I spend this money I want to spend it right. I think the Sony, while not featuring all my desires, fits the box in more categories than others. For the added cost I get the warranty length I would want direct from factory and the low input lag as well.

I think I will start looking at 40ES packages and see what is out there. Is there a screen material that would benefit this projector? I will be in a low light environment the majority of the time and a no light environment for movies. I was thinking a 1.0 gain would be fine. Probably even a generic matte white screen will be decent.

Any recommendations for vendors? I was sad to see Visual Apex doesnt offer the 40ES
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post #8 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 08:05 AM
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For screen materials; matte/flat white has the least shifting of colors and least hotspotting while delivering the most natural, artifact-free image in a low/no light room. For a vast majority of projector owners a fixed-frame, smooth, white screen in a 1-1.3 gain range is by far the best choice.
It also happens to be one of the less expensive options.

Elite Screens has a couple series that fit this description that are usually found in the $280-350 range (depending on size and series). They can be assembled by one person but I've heard getting a second pair of hands makes the process significantly easier.

You can find cheaper rollup screens, but they often arrive with wrinkles and even a good one will end up looking wavy in a year or two. I'd suggest painting a wall or board over getting a rollup.

Checking the hw40es thread for vendors is probably the best bet. I know BestBuy has them through order and occasional sale prices are very good I believe. Otherwise there's been a ton of eBay action.

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post #9 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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EDIT: Keep in mind I want a screen between 125"-135". Maybe my maturity level will go back up and I stick with a respectable 120"... we will see when I get to evaluating the basement.

I was looking at Carl's screen material. They have three options which are all within my budget not including cheap building material (1x4 + screws + mounting hardware).

Cheapest:

http://www.carlofet.com/projector-sc...-material.html

Mid Grade (my current choice):

http://www.carlofet.com/projector-sc...-material.html

Higher grade (pretty much same pros as mid grade):

http://www.carlofet.com/projector-sc...-material.html

There are also two options I was looking at with Projector People that are exponentially more expensive. Both Da-Lite material (one matte white and the other pro cinema or something) and both are 200+ for the screen dimensions I desire.


All will serve their purpose for a screen but for 80 bucks overhead for the most expensive option puts me at under 100 for cost of a screen. Definitely a bargain



I cant paint because they are wooden mold panels with cracks in them all around the basement. I will be hanging curtain material to darken the entire basement then hanging the screen over that. Probably going with a red color material and black curtains. I rent this house so painting/renovating is a no-go without approval and then again unless im buying there is no way to ensure my investment is returned when I move out.
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post #10 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 09:11 AM
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Sounds like a plan. A nice thing about low gain white screens is even the textured ones won't show their texture as noticeably, but it's still a good idea to try to find the smoothest one within your budget..otherwise unless it's something that'll wrinkle or fade (basically impossible with fixed-frame screen) white is white, 1-1.3 is 1-1.3, and smooth is smooth. If you like how it looks and it's the size you want, why pay more?

As for maturity. You and your eyes aren't ever going to get any younger, so think of a bigger screen as security for those times you don't feel like wearing glasses. :P
Also it's more screen to share for guests, you're only being polite.
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post #11 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 09:51 AM
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Keep in mind with a DiY screen that they don't move very easily the way pre-fab screens do. So, if you are moving, you may not find it easy to take a DiY screen with you. But, on the cost from DiY screens are great if you have the time to make them right.

A decent entry level 135" screen is this jobbie...
http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-...ble+screen+135

About $372 shipped.

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post #12 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
Sounds like a plan. A nice thing about low gain white screens is even the textured ones won't show their texture as noticeably, but it's still a good idea to try to find the smoothest one within your budget..otherwise unless it's something that'll wrinkle or fade (basically impossible with fixed-frame screen) white is white, 1-1.3 is 1-1.3, and smooth is smooth. If you like how it looks and it's the size you want, why pay more?

As for maturity. You and your eyes aren't ever going to get any younger, so think of a bigger screen as security for those times you don't feel like wearing glasses. :P
Also it's more screen to share for guests, you're only being polite.
Man of wisdom right here. The basement is still sight unseen so I have to figure out what I can work with before I can pull the trigger on a screen size. However, it is definitely large enough for a man cave/theater room for sure!
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post #13 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Keep in mind with a DiY screen that they don't move very easily the way pre-fab screens do. So, if you are moving, you may not find it easy to take a DiY screen with you. But, on the cost from DiY screens are great if you have the time to make them right.

A decent entry level 135" screen is this jobbie...
http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Screens-...ble+screen+135

About $372 shipped.
For the cost I dont mind leaving it behind if it came to that. Is it a "holy **** punch in the face" difference between a homemade screen and this screen? I would have to see them both in person to make that call personally. I am, by nature, a tinkerer... so this tiny project wont be that hard to accomplish. 300+ for a professional entry level screen will put me over budget. I am already over budget anyways! I went from wanting a PT-AR100U to the PT-AE8000 and now finally deciding on the 40ES. So... any money I can scrap but still improve my viewing capabilities will be welcomed with open arms.
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post #14 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 10:26 AM
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Nope, build the screen yourself. It's just a bit of time and effort, and I encourage those who feel comfortable with DiY stuff, to really do all they can. A shame you don't own the place... my lists can be long!
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post #15 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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OH... dont get me wrong. My list is long. However, all the stuff I am contemplating is completely reversible and transferable to a new home. Stuff like Home Automation, in-wall speakers and devices, custom shelving, etc are all things I wish I could do. Alas... I can't be a homeowner for several more years. I could rent this house for a year and buy it if I like it... but I would be assuming a lot of risk since I am still in the military.

We tend to move quite a bit. But... since the ol' lady wants to stay and go to Rutgers when she separates and if the commute is not terrible for her then I may just put an offer on the house. I havent seen it yet and she LOVES it! It has a secret entrance to the third bedroom through a secret door in a closet. Spiral staircase to the furnished attic. I told her how badass it was and she threatened to shank me if I didnt let her use it for her room. Besides... the basement runs the entire length of the home, has its own bathroom (mini shower... i would consider it a .75 bath HA!), and a separated area for storage and laundry. The house is a win for sure.

I will do a build thread when I get home. I am a huge supporter of upcycling wooden pallets and I will be building a lot of stuff for the man cave out of pallets. The bar I am building to house my dual tap keezer is going to be titties. Wish I had a way to show y'all the concepts.

I'm getting off topic....

So decided on the PJ, screen, have the receiver/speakers/majority of wiring... just need a mount and a few other loose ends. This forum rocks. Thanks for all the help so far!
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post #16 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 08:31 PM
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Since you are up for DiY work, you should look at this thread.

My DIY mount for L300u $20 :)

That mount is better than anything you will find under $60 on the market. I would say it's more than 20 bucks, but it's certainly a quality product, and has room for improvement.

If you aren't in a rush, check eBay constantly for Chief RPMAU mounts, or mounts with plates you can modify.

This mount is awesome at $80.00 if you can get it:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chief-RPMAU-...item233c97f82d

This one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHIEF-RPA-EL...item46214decf2
or
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHIEF-RPMA00...item4ad5303397

Comes with a custom plate designed for another projector. I can tell you, that if you are handy, you can modify that plate to work with YOUR projector in just an hour or so and have the best mount, for a very good price.

OR... Get this, and build your own projector plate for it:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chief-RPM000...item35d8b43b18

I'm all about getting solid quality for the lowest price possible. Almost nobody can beat my pricing on the 161" motorized tab-tensioned screen I'm using.

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post #17 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
The Sony has higher native contrast, but the iris on the ae8000 (if you have it engaged) can make it get overall darker for certain scenes.
The Sony has much smaller (basically invisible) pixel gaps where the Panasonic will look like a screendoor if you're sitting fairly close.
The Auto iris on the 8000u is undetectable in use. It works well, but unlike my prior Epson 8350, I can't tell when it engages.

The screendoor comment is polar wrong. Panasonic is well noted NOT to have screen door effect compared to other projectors.

I haven't seen the Sony yet, but I've seen an awful lot of home theater projectors at avsforum enthusiasts houses all over the US, and the Panasonic is one of the absolute best.

I've read and trusted projectorcentral for a lot of years and am on my fourth highly rated/top rated projector purchase based on their reviews in about eight years. They haven't let me down yet. They rate the Panasonic 8000 better than the Sony 40es for both movies and 3d. In fact the Panasonic, though nearly 2 years old is only bested buy the 15,000$ Sony on their "our rating" score sheet which is updated often and very recently in fact. In April of this year I bought the Panasonic ae8000u for $1900 after rebate. It was the best option for my needs as far as I could determine and the reviews at projector central and my prior positive experience with Panasonic sealed the choice. It looks phenomenal on my 144" 2.35" screen. CIH screens are definitely the way to go! I'm glad I let my buddy carp convince me to go that route over 16x9. Way more immersive!

http://www.projectorcentral.com/home....htm?sort=16#1
http://www.projectorcentral.com/top-....htm?sort=16#1

You probably can't go wrong either way, but this is not even close to a lopsided choice towards the Sony as some of these guys are saying.
Ridiculous...

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post #18 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 09:35 PM
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Notice on the links I provided the score numbers are based on the default "popularity" sort option, but when you sort on "our rating", the Panasonic floats to the top.

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post #19 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 09:52 PM
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Here is what my 144" CIH 2.35:1 screen looks like in my room.
Archaea's multi-purpose Home Theater room

The Panasonic's auto zoom and lens focus based on content will just make you smile when it automatically does its thing between 16x9 and 2.35:1. No remote needed during the movie after the initial setup. Movies like Tron or Batman where the aspect ratio changes throughout the film are just auto zoomed and focused within a couple of seconds. Not many projectors offer this option. It is slick. My 144" CIH setup is a 114" 16x9 for 16x9 content or the equivalent of 152" 16x9 screen for scope content (2.35:1 movies). My room's height wouldn't accommodate bigger than about a 130" 16x9 screen so the CIH setup allows me the big 152" equivalent size screen door movies on the 114" 16x9 height. CIH is great for wide sort rooms and the Panasonic is the star player in the budget arena for such a setup.

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post #20 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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How is movie viewing at that size? Is there any compromise to picture quality? I dont suppose you play video games at all... hows the lag on that bad boy? That is a great looking setup. This is going to be a very hard choice. I was starting to pull more toward the Sony but you may have just pulled me back to a split 50/50 decision.

I'll have to find the owner threads and post up some questions in there also. People sell manufacturer products almost better than the manufacturer themselves.
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post #21 of 34 Old 06-27-2014, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.projectorpeople.com/Sony-...rojector/29971

Look at the top of the screen... green bar... I wonder what could be so great. If it is anything close to the deal the panasonic deal my fate will be sealed I think. I may just buy it and have it shipped to the girlfriends place.
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post #22 of 34 Old 06-28-2014, 06:20 AM
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The pixel gaps on the panny (though less visible than its Epson competition) are still more noticeable than the LCoS Sony. The iris working well is good news and something worth noting for those that don't mind them.
The auto-zoom is still a niche for those rare rooms where constant width doesn't fit (extra low ceilings and long walls), but it never hurts to have it.
They are both useable as gamer PJs, but I believe the panny needs to be in game mode whereas the Sony can use any as long as smooth-motion is turned off..but I could be wrong here.

They are both great choices and I think both go on sale for the same price $1900? So it's hard to go wrong. LCoS with similar native contrast should have a thinner panel with faster, better motion resolution, but that's only theoretical.
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post #23 of 34 Old 06-28-2014, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Why would smooth motion need to be turned off? All I heard is game mode needed to be engaged to drop the input lag from +/-60ms input delay to +/-24ms.

For the Panasonic, game mode engaged renders a 32ms input delay. Its much higher in other modes from what i've researched.


I read that there is a deal coming for it. However, I wonder if this has anything to do with something being released in the near future. DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO????!!!!!!

Either way I cant go wrong with either unit. I guess the deciding factor is if screen size is limited (as stated above). If I can fit a 135"+ 16:9 screen then ill probably go with the 40ES. If I can only fit a similar size 2.39:1 then I will get the Panasonic.
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post #24 of 34 Old 06-28-2014, 12:31 PM
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Nothing needs to be altered for either projectors' game mode to have low lag. But the Sony can also have very low lag in even cinema or brightest modes as long as extra motion processing (which works by delaying the input signal to process it in all projectors) is turned off.
Most users turn motion processing off to avoid the soap opera effect anyway and this simply lets you have extra options with the projector that you can also game with.
Most LCD units need a specific game mode not only to disable needless/extra motion processing but also to lower resolution and compress the input source to speed up the panel's performance. I'm not sure if LCoS needs to do the same, but it's a very common (possibly mandatory for low lag) thing for LCD.
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post #25 of 34 Old 06-28-2014, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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interesting. if this deal that i found ends up being lucrative then i may just pick up the sony. it looks a lot cleaner and natural.
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post #26 of 34 Old 06-29-2014, 06:12 AM
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I don't think gaming should be your primary decision maker for a projector purpose. I mounted a low lag 47 inch lcd on the wall that I can spin my chair around and play. It seems like a great idea playing on a 120 inch screen, till you start dying all the time.
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post #27 of 34 Old 06-29-2014, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess personal preference is different for everyone. I game more than I watch movies but I still watch Netflix and do stuff on my PlayStation that will translate to the big screen nicely. Especially since Netflix is offering more HD content.

I have a 47" Samsung but it'd on its last leg and I want something worthwhile as an upgrade.
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post #28 of 34 Old 06-29-2014, 08:37 PM
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FWIW, I spent most of Saturday sound a Sony HW55ES professionally calibrated recently for the Savoy open house in Iowa.

The Savoy

It is an excellent projector, but I didn't think my Panasonic ae8000u was any lesser. I've not yet seen the Sony 40, but the 55 should be superior to the 40 and there was no clear superiority of the 55 over my panny that I saw. Both excellent.

Both of our rooms are light controlled. Both using Seymour XD acoustic transparent scope screens of very similar size.

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post #29 of 34 Old 06-29-2014, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapp_badbloodz View Post
How is movie viewing at that size? Is there any compromise to picture quality? I dont suppose you play video games at all... hows the lag on that bad boy? That is a great looking setup. This is going to be a very hard choice. I was starting to pull more toward the Sony but you may have just pulled me back to a split 50/50 decision.

I'll have to find the owner threads and post up some questions in there also. People sell manufacturer products almost better than the manufacturer themselves.
Movie viewing is incredible! No compromises that are worrisome, I love the bigger scope screen.

I do play games, but honestly haven't done gaming on it yet. We just moved into a new to us house when I bought the projector and are still getting situated, so I've not played games yet. I plan to play both console and pc games on it.

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post #30 of 34 Old 06-29-2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verge2 View Post
I don't think gaming should be your primary decision maker for a projector purpose. I mounted a low lag 47 inch lcd on the wall that I can spin my chair around and play. It seems like a great idea playing on a 120 inch screen, till you start dying all the time.
Depends on the types of games you're playing. FPS, not so much. RPGs work fine, and racing games are arguably better.
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Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP
Gear in this thread - ae8000u by PriceGrabber.com

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