Ive had the ae2000u for three days now and have a few comments.
My biggest reasons for changing projectors were sde, iris noise and black level. The epson 400 throws a very nice picture and can get very bright if you need it to but you have to live with a less than accurate image. The epson iris is incredibly noisy and was a big distraction for me. I spent quite a bit of money on the audio side of my home theater and kind of look at it this way. If this same noise came out of my speakers anytime I wanted to watch video and the projector was completely silent would that be acceptable? Of course not. It has a noisy iris. Sde is the other issue that made me switch. I wasnt happy until I was past the 13 ft. mark with a 110" diag screen. I wanted a 1080p projector and didnt want to see visible pixle structure and I wanted a razer sharp picture. Brightness was my #3 priority and was the factor that made me choose the 400.
Well if like me you are going from a projector in the league of the epson 400 you will be pleasantly surprised by the difference in quality of image. I cannot hear the iris. I didnt put my ear up to the projector to listen for it as I dont usually listen to media there but I did listen for it from a few feet away could not hear it or see it. Sde is gone finally and with no hit in resolution. And then there is brightness. Using the epson in theater black 1 which is where I used it 90% of the time and comparing to the ae2000u using cinema 2 the brightness seemed equal. I dont have the means to measure these things accurately so these are just my opinions. This is perfect brightness "for me" with a 12' 3" throw at a 110" diag screen with 1.3 gain. The difference in the actual image is another story. The pany smokes the epson in quality of image. From black level to sharpness, color and depth you really cant compare the two. I know it isnt a level playing field givin the price difference but they arent all that far apart in price relatively speaking.
It's Sunday afternoon and I'm going to pull the curtains closed, have some ambiant light on and watch some football on my "white" screen. The epson has no trouble lighting up the screen in it's living room mode. Watching football or any sports for that matter is a different animal and brightness really trumps some other variables at least for me when watching in these conditions. But the color was so wacked it frustrated me. Being a Packer fan I can tell you that they dont wear neon yellow and goal posts dont glow. On the ae2000u switching to high lamp and going into the normal setting gave me nearly the brightness of the epson but with much more accurate color and an image that just looked really good. When going to the pany's dynamic mode you start to creep up on really really bright but you are going to obviosly sacrifice some picture quality. But I'll tell you honestly, for watching football during the day in a less than ideal projector enviorment it's not to bad. With no perspective and showing this kind of image to freinds and family, this is what gets people into this kind of bigger than life viewing and makes you the envy of those with small screens. I was always afraid to put the epson into it's brightest mode "dynamic" because it really looked bad even to a casual observer. With the ae2000 you can almost get away with it. Once again I'm talking about less than ideal conditions on a 110" white screen. Turn the lights out at night in this dark colored room, put the ae2000 in it's accurate color modes and you will also be pleased.
For me I needed a projector that could not only perform well in the right conditions but one that could perform well in conditions that make others fall apart. So I'd say I'm impressed.
Here are some things that could be better. Convergence is a bit off. I got lucky I think with my epson and had almost dead nuts convergence. I hope in the coming years they can tighten these things up as it seems like it's a crap shoot from unit to unit (I'd like to see more comment on how throw and lens shift affects this from unit to unit). I hate the remote control. Who cares really, it's definatelly not a deal breaker but it's ugly to me. The mounting holes are located in wacky positions and since I make my own mounts it makes adjustment a bit more difficult. I dont like a motorized focus and zoom. I like to be able to put my hands on the lens and focus manually. It is so new at this point I'm sure more negatives will pop up but for the most part theres not a lot to complain about.
Using ps3 as source played 1080p/24 perfectly. Sd I have no comment on as I really dont care. I use only hdmi input and no issues. Demo'd a lot of projectors over the last year in a variety of environments and am currently addicted to high quality video.
I started in front projection in 1995 with a zenith 7" crt (pro851, I was 27 and way cool) and went through many changes over the years. This has been the best one yet. All the important things are coming together at last, and most importantly....in my budget