This is my very first projector that I purchased and have owned and I must say that I really picked an amazing one to start my "Home Theater" with. This is, by far, the best upgrade I have made to...
Amazing Picture quality, brightness, and virtually silent in Eco-mode
Manual Focus and Manual Zoom and the Dynamic Iris Lens is slightly audible and aggresive
This is my very first projector that I purchased and have owned and I must say that I really picked an amazing one to start my "Home Theater" with. This is, by far, the best upgrade I have made to make my dream of a Home Theater a reality. I have a fairly small area to work with and everything has to attain approval from the wife so it made picking things out and designing the room a bit difficult. She is an interior decorator/graphic designer so the design of the room weighs heavily with function (which is all I care about). This projector completed all requirements with flying colors (pun intended). We use this for all of our TV viewing experiences from standard TV, movies, Netflix, etc. It comes with a single bulb
We were able to upgrade from a 52" Samsung to a 125" projected image. We used the "Black Widow" open source paint project that you can find here and other places online after we gutted out the wall and replaced it with more drywall (going from a textured wall to a non-textured). We thought it would be best to just change out the wall than it would be to try and sand down such an enormous part of the wall and to do so evenly. We put the finishing touches on it by framing the work. We have it mounted to the ceiling and its horizontal and vertical lens shift does amazing work. We have it off center and putting the screen as low to the ground as possible and it has worked out great. We have 10' tall ceiling so having it off center kind of hurt us from being able to put it too far down to the ground, but we were able to move the image around to a satisfactory location. Very flexible with its image positioning. Another thing to keep in mind is that this thing is HUGE! I got it in and I know that you can find measurements everywhere online and I knew them going into it, but it never really hits you until the first time you open up that box. I don't know what I was expecting...maybe one of those business-like projectors you find in classrooms or on conference tables, but this thing is massive. Still, its design is beautiful. My wife calls it Wall-E, because how it looks very similar to Eve from Pixar's Wall-E. But I digress.
The only place in our house that we could make into a Home Theater room was the living room, which has TONS of ambient light from all angles and heights. We have the zoom maxed out as far as it can go and the projector is sitting about 12.5' to 13' back from the wall that it projects to. When you max out the zoom, you lose some brightness, but honestly, it still seemed just as bright as it did when I didn't zoom it out. It never has any direct light on it, but there is enough that can cause the image to drawn out in certain parts of the day. I would say that in any given day, with the Color Mode set to either Dynamic or Living Room, you can always see the image very well, but might have some colors washed out for about 30 minutes to an hour every day due to the light. That is more-so a limitation of projectors in general, I think. There is only so much you can do with that. If you are watching your material at night, the Dynamic and Living Room settings are, honestly, too bright for me, hurting my eyes the majority of the time. You don't want it that bright anyway because it takes away from the blacks but putting it in THX or Cinema mode have been our go to settings and it looks amazing in those low light settings. When not in Eco-Mode (like the Color Modes Dynamic and Living Room), you will find that the decibles on the thing kicks up to sound like a desktop computer, or maybe a gamer laptop running a high performance game, but when in Eco-Mode (like THX and Cinema), the thing is dead silent. I have to kind of strain to even hear anything coming from it.
It is very easy to calibrate whatever settings you would like to do and I would recommend to do so. I used the iPad's THX Calibrator App to customize the Cinema Color Mode to meet code and it looks better than ever. I will say that you might want to take a look at the pixel shift or whatever that is called. It gives the projected image a Holodeck like experience and you can shift the red and blue pixels to match each other while the green pixel line remains consistent throughout it all. I read a few reviews where some of these came from the factory with this particular problem with the pixels not being in that great of alignment, but you can usually adjust it to match how you want (and I would strongly recommend it too, to get the best possible picture you can).
The Dynamic Iris Lens option that you can enable is pretty nice and it prolongs the life of your bulb, but I have seen it work kind of aggressively. What I mean by that is I have an HTPC hooked up to it with black background on with little/no icons on the desktop. When it is showing just that, the Iris reduces the brightness down so much that sometimes you can't even see the toolbar without straining your eyes or just clicking blindly to get a window to pop up so the image will start to brighten again, but that is easily fixed by just changing the background color to something else. That is one example, but I would imagine that that could happen during a movie with scenes that have a lot of dark, then bright, then dark shots that you would be able to see the lens adjusting back and forth like a rubber band.
This has been an amazing purchase on my part and I couldn't give it any higher remarks. If you are in the market for a projector and have difficulty choosing whichever one because the variety and range of them, get this one. You will be very pleased.