Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 400 Discussion Thread, MSRP 1599 available now - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 1356 Old 12-13-2006, 04:15 PM
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Well, I received my 400 from Target.com today. It was shipped directly from the Epson distribution center in Indiana. However, I am returning it and ordering a second one, because this one was opened at some point and re-sealed. It looks like it may have been done at the distribution center or earlier, but not knowing who opened it and why it was opened makes me question what I'm getting. For all I know, it could have been returned by someone and Epson didn't notice that it was opened, or it could be a refurbished one.

I know it probably sounds paranoid, but I think like a criminal, even though I don't act like one, so I never trust seeing any electronic item re-sealed, whether it's done at the factory or elsewhere. I want something that's sealed one time and opened by me.

Thoughts? Am I fretting over nothing or would you think the same way, if not actually return the pj?

"There are only two things I can't stand in this world.........people who are intolerant of other people's cultures.........and the DUTCH."
Nigel Powers, "Goldmember"
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post #272 of 1356 Old 12-14-2006, 12:58 PM
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Hi Vikes4ever,

Agreed! It is normal. When we buy new items, regardless of what it is, we want it to be sealed not opened and re-sealed. Any re-sealed items should be sold as re-packed/refurbished items.
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post #273 of 1356 Old 01-04-2007, 11:52 PM
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Hi,

First post here. I've spent the last few months trying to read every thread on the AX100, Z5, HD1000, HD70, and this one. My friends have been laughing at me for a while, and even my wife is laughing at me now. I'll hopefully make up my mind soon, and unless something interesting is announced at CES, buy something soon.

Anyway, I'm leaning towards LCD over DLP because of placement issues in my room, and the Epson/Panny because of ambient light issues. The AX100 and Z5 threads both have recent posts where multiple owners seem to be experiencing similar issues. I was wondering how the Epson 400 was holding up in the 'long term'. The people who bought one a while ago - have you put a few hundred hours on it yet? Any haze or lines or anything else cropping up? And in general, are you still happy with your purchase?

And a question about Costco - are they an authorized reseller or not? Their website says they're not, but some posts said they are sometimes wrong about that. Will I get Epson's warranty coverage if I buy from Costco? Also, I'm not a member - I could add the $50 and buy a membership, or I could use a friend's or sister-in-law's Costco membership. Will that complicate any attempt to return it to them for any reason?

Thanks,
Saurav
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post #274 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 05:37 AM
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Well I finally decided on this projector after lurking in these forums, trying to decide which one would be the best for me. I got mine from Costco and I have over 100 hours on it since Christmas Eve.

So far I haven't had a single issue with it. I have been playing xbox 360, HDTV and an upconverting DVD player. All of them have looked better than I imagined!

I was ridiculed by my family and friends also, like others on here, but I'll tell ya they have all come around now and leap praise on me for it!! LOL

My setup is 100" Elite Vmax screen Epson 400 at 13'8" from screen.
I have decent light control now that I added blackout shades from Home Depot.

My impression is that this projector works very well in ambient light but much better in the dark. Football etc in the daylight isn't bad at all but a movie that is dark to begin with it has a tendency to make the blacks fade. It is watchable though.
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post #275 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 08:43 AM
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I also recently bought the Epson 400 (from Target/Fatwallet), and am very happy with it. Don't quite have as many hours as 7TRTCHALLENGER (100 hours in 2 weeks.. impressive!).

I went with it due to placement issues and zero light control in the room. The projector is in our main family room with cathedral ceilings, skylights and mounted above a large (10') window.

I'm using a DIY 96" screen -- painted with RS-MaxxMudd (frame blatantly stolen from this thread). All video comes through my MythTV setup.

Daylight viewing is fine at the higher settings - we rarely use the highest setting (Dynamic), and stick with the next one (Living Room) though you are better off saving dark movies til nighttime. When the room is dark, the Theater 1/2 modes look excellent.

A few pictures of the setup
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post #276 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 09:36 AM
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Thanks. That mount is interesting - where are the wires? I'll probably end up putting it at a similar height, but I was thinking of putting it on a shelf on the back wall, so I wouldn't have to mess with drilling holes at the right locations and the upside-down mount.

We usually watch movies in the evenings, but in the summer it stays light out till well past 9pm. And I'll be playing games during the day on weekends. But I can use one of the higher lumen modes for games if needed. I think this projector should fit my needs.
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post #277 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurav_ View Post

Thanks. That mount is interesting - where are the wires?

The angle of the picture kind of hides the wires.. they come out the back and go around the edge of the window. this thread was a big help for the mount..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurav_ View Post

I'll probably end up putting it at a similar height, but I was thinking of putting it on a shelf on the back wall, so I wouldn't have to mess with drilling holes at the right locations and the upside-down mount.

I just made a template with 2 sheets of 8x11 paper taped together.. pushed holes through the paper where the Epson holes were and then taped the paper to the MDF and drilled away. Of course, I didnt do that at first, so I have a couple of extra holes that no one can see
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post #278 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydonoghue View Post

The angle of the picture kind of hides the wires.. they come out the back and go around the edge of the window.

Ah, I see them now. Thanks.

I could put this on top of a shelf, right? Or is there any reason to prefer the upside down mount?
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post #279 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurav_ View Post

I could put this on top of a shelf, right? Or is there any reason to prefer the upside down mount?

Yep, this can be used on a shelf.. in fact, that'd make it easier to handle filter cleaning and bulb changes (no need to unmount).

I'm not sure if there is a lens shift difference between the two positions.. so if you require it to be substantial, this may dictate which way it has to go
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post #280 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 11:29 AM
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Thanks.
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post #281 of 1356 Old 01-05-2007, 03:42 PM
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I got an Epson 400 from Costco (online) about 3 wks ago and
I give the PJ a big thumbs up and I agree w/ almost all
7T's and jay's comments.

I have no reason to believe Costco invalidates Epson's
warranty. The PJ comes in an original Epson box w/ all the
original warranty documentation. I was able to register
the PJ online w/ Epson. Even if Epson refuses to honor the
warranty, I would certainly hold Costco's feet to the fire
to accept returns for up to 2 yrs (the Epson warranty
duration). So far, I have no plans to unload my PJ!
(Granted, not "long-term" yet, but promising so far).

I went w/ LCD over DLP b/c placement issues too. Then I
was choosing between the Panasonic, the Sanyo, and the
Epson. I wanted lots of light output so I could watch
sports in the afternoons, so I eliminated the Sanyo. Then
I chose Epson over Panasonic b/c it is $500 less plus 2yr
warranty instead of 1yr.

I had planned on buying or DIY'ing a 100" screen, but after
throwing a 120" image on my (off-white) basement wall, I am
pretty ecstatic and I think I am just going to keep using
the wall for now. (After seeing jay's DIY screen though, I
am tempted to do something like that -- his setup looks
really nice and also prob. it would brighten up my
picture!). Anyway, I am pretty happy w/ "Theater 1" color
mode for movies at night (dark) and "Living Room" for
sports in the afternoon. If it is really sunny, you can
resort to "Dynamic" (light cannon!) mode but the color is
pretty greenish (not horrible for football, but not great).

The lens shift is really great -- like jay's first photo,
I have my PJ above (or at least near) the top of my
projected image. The lens shift handles it just fine w/
no keystone necessary. I can see Screen Door Effect if I
get up within 5' or so of the image, but who the heck is
going to sit 5' from a 10' image! I view from 15' back
or so, no trace of SDE at all.

I like shelf mount (shelf hangs down from my ceiling).
This way I can tweak the PJ position a bit whenever I
want, but kids can't reach the unit Also, I have
access to the air filter and the bulb w/out un-mounting.

There's $.02 more!
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post #282 of 1356 Old 01-20-2007, 11:41 PM
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Any updates from anybody?
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post #283 of 1356 Old 01-22-2007, 12:56 PM
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I purchased the epson 400 direct from Epson. By the way there is a 10% off coupon PM if you need it. And using one of the online coupon sites you can get an additional 3% off. Thats $1400 total with low shipping. I ended up by using Doux settings in the TW 700 Settings thread. All I can say is these settings changed everything. The picture is better in every way. Perfect colors, Sharp and Vibrant. I would really like to know if there is any real world difference between these two units after calibration. I tried the Mitsubishi HD1000 but I am sensitive to Rainbows and eyestrain. I will have to stay with LCD until 3 chip DLP becomes affordable. As far as LCD this unit has great brightness like the Panasonic and much more reliable warranty and track record than the Panasonic and Sanyo. After you own a unit that puts out real Lumens it would be hard to consider a unit like the Sanyo unless you have total light control. You don't have to use it but what a nice feature to have. I would be surprised if using these settings this is not the one to beat in this range. Between poor customer service, color issues, bulb problems and more why not try the one that doesn't seem to have these issues. 2 year overnight replacement and a 30 day in home trial for $1400. Why not try it.
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post #284 of 1356 Old 01-22-2007, 07:29 PM
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Hey All,

I just bought the Epson 400 yesterday and noticed that it says Epson 400 on the the top of the PJ and emp tw-550 on the underside of the unit. Does anyone know what the deal is with this? I thought the 550 was previous gen model and the tw-XXX was strictly for Europe.

I bought mine up the street at BH Photo and ended up paying 1600 after taxes but ended having it within an hour. I may have broken the whopping 2 hours they give you to test this and overall I am pretty well convinced that I like what I see but I am kind of baffled by the model number thing. Moreover I did not know that you could buy Epson and direct and pay less plus the 30 day trial thing.

However the only downside to this point is that I am unable to change aspect ratios when running a HD-DVD. Went all out and bought an HD-A2 player and a copy of The Last Samurai. I got so tired of waiting on myself, I went impulsive and I won't regret the 200 bucks if I got the model I paid for.

Anyone else notice this?

Thanks,

Dino In NYC
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post #285 of 1356 Old 01-22-2007, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizwip View Post

I just bought the Epson 400 yesterday and noticed that it says Epson 400 on the the top of the PJ and emp tw-550 on the underside of the unit.
...
Anyone else notice this?

Yep, I noticed the same thing and hadn't given it much thought. I did just look at the manuals for the 550 and 400 units on Epson's site, and they both have a marketing name of "EMP-TW550" .. that does seem strange.

Pro Cinema 550 manual (page 72 has the marketing name)

Pro Cinema 400 manual (page 70 has the marketing name)

Could just be that its this years version of that particular model... though I do wonder why it didnt change at all.
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post #286 of 1356 Old 01-22-2007, 08:28 PM
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I did not see the tw550 listed on the Epson site although I hadn't checked the manual. It does give me a bit of relief since no one else seemed to bring it up in this thread although my searching could have been faulty. I was worried that it was a rebadged version of an earlier European model or some facsimile thereof.

Dino in NYC
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post #287 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 04:23 AM
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TW550 is the Japanese version. Refer to the Epson 810 thread, and you'll notice that many are buying the EMP-TW700, which is the Japanese version of the 810.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=755687
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post #288 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 08:32 AM
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Has anyone had a pann ax100 first and then switched to the epson 400? Of course I would like to try the 810, but the 400 is easily obtainable at half the price of the 810, at least in the states, from costco.

I have color uniformity issues with the pann, like a lot of people it seems. I don't want to deal with sending my projector in, and it seems that epson's customer service is much better (from what I've heard on this board). I am sitting 1.5x back from the screen, so I'm not too worried about screen door. Also I noticed the six axis color adjustment which is nice.

Am I in for a big dissapointment in any way with this "downgrade"? How do the black levels compare? (not contrast ratio, but actual, no auto-iris, static black level) Actually I don't consider it a downgrade, it just happens to cost less than the panny. Color purity, brightness, black level, etc.... from what i've read it seems like a comparable machine - just more reliable.
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post #289 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 08:40 AM
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I know of the tw700 as it was a definite consideration of mine. The EMP TW1000, the 1080p model, can now be had for under 3k although it was the whole Japan shipping thing that ultimately had me decide against the non-US version.

My 400 has emp tw550 written on the underside of the unit which gave me a moment's agita. I was worried that I got a rebadged unit or if this was simply the old 550 with a 400 moniker on it. I started thinking BH Photo or Epson was up to no good, which could still be true, but since I was not alone in noticing this, I feel better.

Epson has stated that there are differences between the US version and European/Japan models but that has proven to be a bunch of BS. As far as I have read, ad nauseum, they are the same.

Having paid NY tax for the luxury of walking out my door and having the PJ in my apartment in 30 minutes cost me 100+ dollars but I don't mind so long as I bought the Epson 400.

As for performance- I watched "The Last Samurai," on a Tosh A2 and was pretty well impressed, using the OOTB settings. The image was thrown on a recently skim-coated dark white wall, i.e. a triple compound white so it appears to be a very light grey.

My viewing distance and the throw are 12.5'. The projected image size was approximately 103". My only criticism would be that the picture was a bit noisy at times and appeared, at its worse, slightly out of focus.

The biggest downside for me as EQ_Shadimar mentioned back on Pg. 3 of this thread, is that you can not do any scaling to support constant image height when fed a 1080i or 720p signal. This is true whether you are running hdmi or component.

If there was one reason not to get this, a priori, it would be the lack of scaling or zoom functions in the above mentioned scenarios.

Thus far, I have only seen "The Last Samurai," so I will dutifully report my findings on standard DVD played on the Toshiba HD-A2. I have high hopes for the player with SD DVD and I will a/b today with a 2 yr. old Harmon Kardon DVD player.

I will also tweak the settings a bit and should have a 100" Firehawk, G2 material, in the next couple of days. I have no idea how much of a difference the screen will really make.

Dino in NYC
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post #290 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 09:27 AM
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Please keep up updated with your findings. And the same goes for cbaseuser - if you get the 400, I think many people would be interested in a direct comparison against the AX100.
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post #291 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 12:29 PM
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Amen Saurav. These two seem like the LCDs to choose between in the sub 2 thou range.
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post #292 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 01:43 PM
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Well I did it!! I ordered one from epson directly. No tax, 20 bucks for overnight shipping - it'll be here tommorow!!!! Time for a side by side comparison to the ax100. If I keep the 400, I'll have to sell the ax100 on e-bay because i'm already out of return land. Bought it from visual apex more than 30 days ago Oh well..
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post #293 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 02:03 PM
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cbaseuser, looking forward to your direct comparison.

I had the AX100 first, but returned it due to convergence and ghosting issues. I then got the TW700. Although I couldn't do A/B comparisons, I thought the AX100 looked better out of the box, but after some calibration the TW700 looks smoother, sharper and more 3D. I believe you can apply the calibration settings from the TW700 tweak thread as well. The AX100 was quieter in high lamp modes.

o AE100->TW100->AE300->HS10->AE500->AX100->TW700->TW3000->TW8000
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post #294 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaseuser View Post

Well I did it!! I ordered one from epson directly. No tax, 20 bucks for overnight shipping - it'll be here tommorow!!!! Time for a side by side comparison to the ax100. If I keep the 400, I'll have to sell the ax100 on e-bay because i'm already out of return land. Bought it from visual apex more than 30 days ago Oh well..

I too am looking forward to your direct comparison! I've pretty much narrowed down my choices to the AX100 and the 400. I prefer Epson due to outstanding customer service, but I am fearful of the SDE on the Epson vs. the Smoothscreen on the Panny...
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post #295 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 09:50 PM
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Don't worry about screen door on the Epson. As I posted in another thread you can order the 400 directly from Epson with a 30 day home trial. It also has a 10% off coupon PM if you need it. You can also go through Fatwallet for an additional 3% cash rebate. For anyone that gets one try these settings from the TW 700 threads. These worked wonders Perfect Colors, Bright, and Detailed. Use Theater 1. Thanks to Doux for these.

BT1

- Black point : (-1)
- White Point : 0

- Color intensity : (-7)
- Hue : 0
- sharpness : (+5)

- RGB menu :
Offset R : (-14)
Offset G : (+6)
Offset B : (-6)
Gain R : (+7)
Gain G : (-4)
Gain B : (+25)

Color temp : 6500K
Tone skin : +3

Gamma : (+1)(+7)(+10)(+9)(+10)(+7)(+6)(+5)(+8)
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post #296 of 1356 Old 01-23-2007, 10:39 PM
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Well, I did it. Ordered from Costco. Phew. I have never agonized this long over a decision before
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post #297 of 1356 Old 01-24-2007, 10:08 AM
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problem with my credit card....it'll be here thursday, not today. i want to love this projector!!!!!! I'm hoping for rock solid convergence and smooth white across the entire screen.

then it's off to avia for color filters and using the 6-axis color adjustment for perfection. i can't wait.
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post #298 of 1356 Old 01-24-2007, 02:28 PM
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Awesome, thanks for repeating those settings here, it'll make it a lot easier to find once mine comes.

I'm ready to pull the trigger on this thing. For me it was between the AX900 and the Epson, I've always been a Panny fanboy but recent quality control issues along with the savings and warrantee on the Epson have helped me make up my mind. I'm upgrading from an eight year old Sony VPL-S900 and am really looking forward to enjoying movies again.

Don't know if it'll be fair to post comparisons, the VPL was putting out 200 lumens at best when it finally went out a couple months ago, had dust globs galore, I tried to throw an ND filter on it to help with the contrast ratio (which was terrible) but it just wasn't bright enough to make it worthwhile. 800x600 (well, a little more over a custom res with powerstrip to 1:1 map) and no de-interlacing meant I was barely getting more than SD with the thing. So basically out of the box the Epson will be a dramatic difference.

I can't wait.

But I have to, needing Uncle Sam to direct-deposit my return. Hope it's fast.
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post #299 of 1356 Old 01-25-2007, 11:07 AM
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cbaseuser and quahog: we're drouling, looking forward to today's reviews and images. hopefully. Hope they're awesome!
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post #300 of 1356 Old 01-25-2007, 12:43 PM
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The 400 arrived safe and sound late this morning. I told my boss to shove it (self employed ), grunted at my wife, and hurried to the basement lair to unbox.

1) I hate when companies don't use an outer box! I'm in a pretty rural area and my fedex guy leaves everything on the front porch. Nothing says steal me like a big picture of a movie screen on a box.

2) The gentle shake test. I'm happy to report that the unit seems very solid. How many times have you ordered a piece of gear, only to hear a worrying tinkle inside?

3) Back panel -- the unit seems well put together. I've seen a lot of mid range gear where the I/O panels have some give to them; very disturbing when you plug your cables in and terrible for long term durability. This panel is nice and solid and the connections (in this case component from my Xbox 360) are snug.

4) First light -- oh my god. I can't believe I've been watching itty bitty CRTs and LCDs all this time...

5) Reality check - since I just threw the unit on an end table, I'm playing with lens shift. The dials are a bit cheesy, but very responsive. No trouble centering on the wall. Zoom and focus ring very solid feeling. No trouble reaching focus.

6) Out of the box -- the image looks really nice. Maybe a little over-saturated to my taste, but not bad. Of course, I'm projecting on a yellow wall, which isn;t going to help anything (see old yeller picture)

7) Brightness -- again, right out of the box, with some daylight and dim ceiling lighting, this looks fantastic. When I hit the lights, this is fabulous.

8) SDE -- Here's how I tested it. I walked right up the image -- yup, I can easily see the SDE. Slowly back up-- by about 5-6 feet, it is dramatically diminished, but still visible. At 8 feet it seems to be pretty well vanished. Maybe if I stare really hard at one spot on the image I can detect it, but if I just sit back and watch, I don't see it. I'll need to experiment with some more material like clouds and such... At ten feet it is completely invisible.

9) Noise level -- I'm sitting right next to the projector and while I hear the fan when I turn the sound off, it disappears as soon as there is any volume. In fact, I can hear my Xbox from six feet away more than I hear this projector. Once installed properly, either on the ceiling or shelf, I don't think fan noise will be an issue.

So far so good. I really need to get some work done, so I'll spend some more time late tonight. I've attached a few pictures. I'll be happy to give them some more context later.
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Quahog is offline  
Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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