Originally Posted by KoPJim
I just installed this projector last week. A few thoughts that would have helped me make a decision sooner:
1. I was replacing a 7 year od BenQ PE7700 whose color wheel finally shattered. So I knew whatever I bought would be a big of improvement. My biggest complaint about the BenQ was lack of brightness. And it was 720p.
2. This Epson out of box had great color. I haven't adjusted anything and I might not. It looks that good.
I have a 106" screeen in a basement that I can make pitch black, but I usually keep some ceiling lights on dim (but not the lights in the screen area). Light colored walls and white ceiling. Projector is 12.5 feet away from the screen and so is the seating. For movies, I would keep all of the lights off except for the undercabinet lighting about 20 feet away. So, with the setup explained...
4. This projector has plenty bright. I am most comfortable viewing in a dark room with ceiling lights (about 20 feet away) on dim when I am in Cinema mode and also in eco power mode. Yes, this is as dim as you can make it. This is still brighter than my old BenQ. Maybe I will make it brighter in the future, but looks great at this level. My son commented that when the XBox splash came on, it was blinding (all white screen with the xbox logo in the middle).
This projector is plenty bright for a basement setup. If I have more lights on, I can just bump up the picture mode and switch to full power.
This is important becasue I was considering the Panasonic 100u becasue of its added brightness. At worst, I think that would have been too bright for my application. At best, I don't need the added brightness. So I would rather have the better picture quality of the 8350 (or so the other reviews say, since I never saw the 100u).
5. Projector is directly overhead and I can't hear it at all. I have it in eco mode, remember.
6. I needed a gamer, so 75% of the other projectors were off my list immediately. I also do not feel like paying for 3D at this point. That would have been another $1000 and endless glasses costs thereafter. I have a lot of friends over for sports, so I wasn't about to buy 10 pair of glasses. Plus, it seems like the 3D processing time makes most (but not all) 3D projectors too slow for gaming.
End of story... this projector was the best 2D movie/gaming projector with the brightness I needed.
Now I am waiting for Epson to replace this 2-year old projector this fall with something amazing, so I kick myself. But I had to buy now, my old projector died and football season is about to start.
Interestingly, the auto-iris comes factory set to off. I haven't turned it on yet.
One final comment... the reviewers on this site and especially the pro reviewers are a little over the top with finding some difference between two or three amazing projectors. Remember, they have to find a difference, or what are they doing it for. As I said earlier, I'm sure any projector I decided to buy would have given me a great picture. So I suggest the you not worry about the minutia in the picture quality reviews and focus on the features that you want. Gaming speed, 3D, brightness, picture in picture, etc. and most importantly, price.