For the most film like you probably want the HW15. I have occasionally used the AE3000 which should not be that much different from the AE4000. AE3000 did have a gorgeous image but not as "elegant" as the VW60. I am not sure what it is with the SXRD tech, it may have been the smooth motion or the clarity of images. But these 2 advantages may have been nullified by the enhancement to CFI and new sharpening algorithms on AE4000 and 8500.
I think if you like the 6500 you can not go wrong with the 8500. Since you have some ambient light in your viewing environment, the film like images on HW15 may not come though as well as it should be.
8500 is highly demanded so I think you shall have no problem selling with a small loss if you end up no liking it or want to trade it in for HW15.
Well, at night it will be black out conditions with dark walls and dark ceiling above the screen. 95% of movie
viewing will be under these conditions. The ambient light situation is for casual TV watching and sports during the day. Overall that would only amount to about 25% of my total viewing time on the projector. Even then, I am considering getting some blackout shades which should reduce light greatly when I need to.
It's so frustrating....One minute I think I will get the Epson, the next I am almost sure I will get the Sony. Then I go back to the Panasonic AE4000 and back again to the Epson. Problem solved if I could see these projectors for myself in dark conditions. I mean, projectors are now pretty popular items. Why isn't anyone properly demonstrating them? I guess it is too time consuming and takes up too much space.
There use to be a company in Santa Monica that had several theater rooms that would demo projectors. I can't remember their name, but I bought my Standard Def Optoma from them 4 years ago. I actually chose 2 projectors - An Optoma and Infocus - and they set them up to do a comparison. That's customer service!!! They even showed me a 3rd projector, but I don't remember what brand. I bought my whole setup from them - ceiling mount, projector, and screen. They went out of business unfortunately.
If anyone knows of a place in the Los Angeles vicinity to get demo's of mid-priced projectors please let me know.