Decision made (Epson 400) -- here's my thinking - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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This is a valuable thread. After wrestling with the range of sub $2k projectors, I settled on the Epson 400. It should arrive Thursday.

Just to help anyone else who is struggling with their decision making...I had narrowed down to the Sanyo Z5, the Mitsubishi HD1000, Panasonic AX100 and the Epson 400. My top priorities were price and flexibility.

As far as price...it would probably be more precise to say perceived value. I wanted the least compromise at the lowest price.

As far as flexibility goes...while I do have a decent light controlled setup in the family room, I wanted something that could readily move from room to room and throw an enjoyable image I also wanted it to readily adapt to any changes I might make in my theater setup.

My evaluation came down to:

Sanyo Z5 -- reasonably flexible as far as location, but my sense is that its lower light output would suffer the most in adverse locations. Sanyo's service reputation is not the best either. Epson actually worked out slightly cheaper.

Mitsubishi HD1000 -- I really struggled with this unit. The fantastic price and good light output for adverse set ups were big advantages, especially the price! But it also had the least placement flexibility. This was the one I wanted to buy, but in the end, I felt that the larger fixed offset was going to be too much of a pain. My actual theater set up is small, about 10x12 with 7'6" ceiling. The Mits would work, but really locked me into one configuration.

Panasonic AX100 -- this system fell short mainly on price, although had this unit and the Epson had the same price tag, the decision might have been tougher. The Panasonic thread has an undercurrent of concern running through it that worried me. I have a fair number of Panasonic products around the house; some have been durable, others not so. In the end, I didn't get the sense that it delivered enough for the price difference.

Epson Home Theater 400 -- this unit came in second lowest in price, but of course, it is 50% more expensive than the Mits. It has great placement flexibility and from the reading I have done, it seems to have pretty good light output; perhaps not as much as the Mits and Panasonic, but good. I trust Epson-- the few products I've had have lasted forever. This is probably a dumb apples and oranges comparison, but I fondly remember my MX-80 printer that was still working twenty years later when it moved on via a yard sale. Overall, this seemed to be the unit with the best mix of what I was looking for.

Oh, and $20 for next day delivery from Epson! I may have struggled with this decision for several weeks, but once I pull the trigger I want instant gratification. I'll post about the unboxing and first light later this week.

Now I'm off to the screen threads...
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 07:39 AM
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I'm in almost the exact same situation as you. I'm leaning towards the 400 because of service history and Costco. I wish the 810 would come down in price.

I was set on the Z5 but after spending a few weeks on these boards I've changed my mind.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The 810 looks great, but I never really considered it. Price was just way too high. That's the same reason I skipped the import Epson units people mention. I drew a line in my wallet and put an "X" on the calendar and decided to move on it.
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 09:05 AM
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i was down to the panny the epson and the mits...then i saw rainbows and ruled out dlp. now it's down to the panny and the epson, neither of which i've seen in person. I also fear the problems the panny has had for many here. it seems like a crap shoot and potential time bomb, but for those who have had no problems, they just rave about picture and brightness. the epson seems close in both areas, so I continue to mull it over. I'd love to hear about what your expeience is with the epson out of the box and would love to see pics of it in action.
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 09:23 AM
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Without getting into specific prices, is it cheaper to go through Costco or directly from Epson?
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 09:31 AM
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I've seen the 400 and 800 in a side by side comparison and the 800 blew it away in terms of color depth, crispness of the image, and brightness. The 810 supposedly improves upon the 800 rather substantially. The 800 is several hundo cheaper than the 810 but is still a fine projector. Why did you decide against the import for less than the costco 400 price?
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 09:35 AM
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from what i understand, there is a 10% discount available from epson, which will bring the price below costco's. Also, at costco, shipping is included, but takes 7-10 business days per their site. epson is like 20 bucks for next day shipping i am told. price seems to put advantage to epson direct, but with costco, you can just walk into the store if you need to bring it back...
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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The difference in price was small, but it looks like Epson is cheapest.

Killroy44 - The 800 is quite a bit more expensive than the 400, so it wasn't considered. I did consider the 700 -- actually I would have preferred. The HK dealer recommended in the 810 forum didn't answer their phone for the past two days. Gave me concern about placing an order with them.
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 10:27 AM
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Hope the 400 works for you. Epson is said to have outstanding customer service. Give us some info after you get it going etc....and of course screenshots! Have fun.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 11:43 AM
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Did you consider the TW-700 which is an 810 clone available for about $1800.
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I did consider the 700, but the dealer in HK that folks recommended in the 810 forum never answered the phone. If you've got a line on someone, please PM me.
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 12:46 PM
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Have you tried emailing them?

Superfly77 may be able to help as well.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Uh oh...resolve shaken...second guessing too powerful...I feel the pull of the 700 sucking me in...
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post

Did you consider the TW-700 which is an 810 clone available for about $1800.

Under $1,600 but what's $200...
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quahog View Post

I did consider the 700, but the dealer in HK that folks recommended in the 810 forum never answered the phone. If you've got a line on someone, please PM me.

If you're talking about Hivizone, I don't know when you tried to call them, but they had this posted on their site:

"We are on leave from 22nd January to 27th January. Any enquires will be answered after we have come back.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused."

That could be the reason they didn't answer the phone.
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post #16 of 23 Old 01-24-2007, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Ahh. I didn't see that when I grabbed their info last weekend. Never bothered to look back at their site -- just sent email and jotted down the phone #.

Anyway, like I said above, I think the 400 is a good compromise. Yes, the 700 may be better, but it still costs more. Another $200-300 total price (I'm guessing) delivered, is still another 15-20% over what I am paying now and I'm already at the high end of where I want to be.

This is going to be a nice step up from my current viewing options (a 27" Samsung HD LCD, a couple of old 30" CRTs). The 400 is scheduled for delivery tomorrow and I'm looking forward to blowing the kids away with one of their favorite animated flicks at 100" and some late night Xbox 360-ing.
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 02:15 AM
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Quahog

What about SDE with the espon 400. I'm also looking at this projector and will be sitting at 11' from the screen.

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post #18 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 05:24 AM
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jsil- I have had my 400 for about 3 months and notice no sde at 11 feet. The screen in 94" and my seating is at 11-12 feet.

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post #19 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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jwhitta -- mine is on the fedex truck for delivery today. I'll post a report as soon as I've gotten it open and put a few miles on it.
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 06:21 AM
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Quote:


What about SDE with the espon 400. I'm also looking at this projector and will be sitting at 11' from the screen.

My son sits 5ft from the screen when he plays XBOX 360 and it doesn't bother him! Really is 5ft. I measured him from the screen and I couldn't believe he could sit that close without getting motion sickness.

I can see SDE at 5ft but move to 7-8ft and it becomes hard to see. Over 8ft and I can't see it at all.
My screen is 101" image is thrown from 13'8" away on a shelf. I have seating from as close as 6ft and as far as 14ft and no one has coplained about SDE.
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post #21 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Unit arrived this morning...I guess I'm an owner now, so I'll move over to the main 400 thread to post my comments later today.
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 10:18 AM
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Does this projector have VERTICAL STRETCH need to setup CIH (2.35:1 screen) using Anamorphic lens? If the AX100 I ordered from Costco has problems, I might look at this puppy!
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post #23 of 23 Old 01-25-2007, 11:41 AM
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I have the pan ax100u and having problems with it shutting down by it's self. Call tech support and they say can you return it for a new one. I got mine at costco. I just ordered the epson 400 from costco.

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