Struggling -Epson 3020 or the Optoma HD25-LV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Struggling -Epson 3020 or the Optoma HD25-LV

I have found this forum a valuable resource and often with so many opinion here - I have found it confusing on what I should pick as my sole and primary projector. I know - choices, choices and choices. I do feel fortunate that we can get some great quality pictures now and maintain a really tight budget. First and foremost, my wife doesn't know that I am putting together a home theatre setup in our basement rec room. It doesn't get used much and there isn't much light, so its perfect. I have about 13' from the back wall to where I want to install my projector screen - a fixed 92" screen. I think my sitting distance is going to be about 12' from the wall where the screen will be installed. I think I will survive a total budget at about $2,000 after using my discreet acquisition and installation tactics as per not involving my spouse in this decision.

So I have assembled the following:
Fixed Screen AccuScreen 92-in. Fixed-frame Projection Screen which I just got on sale for $210 from Costco Canada.
Ceiling Mount: Kanto P101W Universal Universal Projector Mount $41

I have been waiting for the Optoma HD25-LV to go on sale again at Costco.ca. The last price reduction brought it down to $1050, so with taxes, total price will be $1,225.

Yesterday, I saw that the Epson 3020 was on sale at NCIX for $1300 (limited supplies etc). Well, I went to my nearest Futureshop and made a case for a price match. It was not an easy but with enough approvals, I got it for $1200 with a total price of $1320 (CDN) including taxes. I liked the fact that it was a 3 LCD projector but not so convinced about the Lumen ratings. I also was shocked about the size, its the size of my carry-on baggage for travel. What, I thought these things were tiny? I feel like I'm buying an 80s model. Maybe I'm just out of touch.

So, I bought it and now it sits in a box, me afraid to open the box and play with it because I was so focused on the HD25-LV. I liked the HD25 3200 - lumen rating but was not so impress with the DLP technology. I never have liked the idea of DLP - avoided it like the plague. However, I never thought I would be able to get another bright projector in my price range.

So I am hoping to get some peoples thoughts. Should I be happy with the deals that I have secured and just remember that being under $2000 means that I won't get reference quality. So I am at $1,600 total. I'm under budget and want to feel good about the equipment but I am just the kind of guy who wants the best possible VALUE (not the ultimate quality.)

Thanks for responding to my first post.

Last edited by yyj; 07-03-2014 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Extra points
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 06:19 PM
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The HD25LV achieves a WHITE maximum brightness by using a 2x color wheel with a clear segment. It doesn't deliver those lumens when watching color content - you know... EVERYTHING! So, the lumen rating isn't real world usable. This is true of basically all Optoma models right now, and really turns me away from them. The W1070 from BenQ uses a 6x color wheel instead of a 2x color wheel and uses a RGB/RGB pattern which means that it can actually get close to the rated 2,000 lumens it delivers with color content.

The LCD projectors all use separate panels (3LCD) and they deliver on their brightness far more accurately than the HD25LV is capable of. The larger size helps muffle the sound much better. Good choice.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 06:24 PM
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$1200 is a pretty good price for the 3020 which makes it a great price for Canada. The w1070 would be a slight improvement as well as cheaper (especially over the optoma), but the 3020 should give a good bright picture.

Your screen sounds a little small for your seating distance, but it's still much bigger than a TV and you can always slide your seats forward if you feel like it in the future.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the prompt responses and now I am feeling better about the 3020 sitting in a box, in my basement awaiting delivery of the screen. I am now interested in seeing the w1070, I do notice that its about $300 less than what I paid for the 3020 - however the 3020 does have the 2 pairs of RF 3-D Goggles. Ftoast, I do wish I could fit a larger screen in my basement however the ceilings are only 6'8". When I measured out what the 106" screen would look like, I was worried I would be too close to the floor being only 30" away from the ground. That's the only reason I went with the 92". That's the problem with buying these damn 50's bungalows - everyone was short those days.

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post #5 of 12 Old 07-04-2014, 06:53 AM
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When you say 30" from the ground, do you mean in cm or inches? If you mean inches, many folks have been happy down to 18inches from floor or even a little lower if you don't have any center-room tables or speakers to worry about.

However, you might like your slightly smaller screen for another thing; paired with that bright 3020 you should be able to have some dim lamps or other near-seating lights on without killing your picture on screen

And your 3D will not lack any brightness!
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-04-2014, 12:20 PM
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The current Optoma HD 30b doesn't use the clear segment as well as the original HD25 (not e version). They are better for sure.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-04-2014, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamnperry View Post
The current Optoma HD 30b doesn't use the clear segment as well as the original HD25 (not e version). They are better for sure.
They are certainly better looking, but the hd25 is discontinued and the hd30b is around $1800 in the US and probably near/past $3000-3500 in Canada.

Considering how easy it would be for Optoma to swap an RGBRGB wheel and firmware into the 131xe it's pretty irritating to watch them choose to flounder instead. They'd only lose 500 claimed lumens which they could still claim by using a greener peak-white in testing..so they'd literally lose nothing while making a quieter, darker black-level w1070 without the lens-shift, but with a cheaper lamp.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-04-2014, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
When you say 30" from the ground, do you mean in cm or inches? If you mean inches, many folks have been happy down to 18inches from floor or even a little lower if you don't have any center-room tables or speakers to worry about.

However, you might like your slightly smaller screen for another thing; paired with that bright 3020 you should be able to have some dim lamps or other near-seating lights on without killing your picture on screen

And your 3D will not lack any brightness!
Yes, I mean 30 inches. Now I'm thinking about just going for the bigger screen. Its only about a $30 upgrade. I'm reading a ton of information and will be remeasuring this weekend. I asked my wife in the car where she likes to sit in a theatre - the conversation didn't go too well. I think she's onto me. Damn, if she gets involved in the decision making, I'd be lucky to get a screen over 80". I have everything except some 25 or 30' HDMI cables to make the connection. Low tech ceiling wiring, I'm just going to run an extension cord over the hung ceiling and the HDMI - maybe my long VGA cable too just to give me some options.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-05-2014, 03:04 AM
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If there's any chance of trying the projector on the wall before buying a screen, that'd be the way to go. It'll give you an idea of size you'll like AND how big you can go before it looks screendoor or pixely.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-05-2014, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I can definitely try that however without mounting the PJ to the ceiling. One quick question from other users, the manual says that I can off-set the project by about 30 degree from centre and then adjust the picture (I think its something like a keystone.) Every setting that I have ever seen has the projector dead centre of the screen. If I can take advantage of the off-set, I think I can get another 18" through distance to the screen wall. Any negatives with taking advantage of the 30 degree offset - like around clarity or 3d?

Thanks in advance.
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-06-2014, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yyj View Post
I can definitely try that however without mounting the PJ to the ceiling. One quick question from other users, the manual says that I can off-set the project by about 30 degree from centre and then adjust the picture (I think its something like a keystone.) Every setting that I have ever seen has the projector dead centre of the screen. If I can take advantage of the off-set, I think I can get another 18" through distance to the screen wall. Any negatives with taking advantage of the 30 degree offset - like around clarity or 3d?

Thanks in advance.
Yes to the no on that.

Do not mount a projector off center or off of where it should me mounted if at all possible. The 3020 doesn't have any lens shift and any use of keystone correction robs you of brightness, and (far more importantly) image detail. You lose the 1:1 pixel mapping of a rectangular image, and instead project a image with less detail in it. Do not do this.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the reply. I was nervous about fitting in only a 92" screen instead of a 106" so I was trying to squeeze out as much screen real estate. I did the recommendation to shine the picture on the wall before mounting the screen and address both of my concerns. The measurements with the PJ at the furthest point back (midpoint) will comfortable accommodate the 92" picture but definitely not the 106". To be honest, I am going from a 40" LCD as the primary set in the house to this little home theatre and I was blown away with detail, brightness, and the size of the approximately 92" image I will get. I can't wait to pull this all together. Thanks for all the advice.
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