I too heard all the people saying it wouldn't be bright enough with a big screen, and many who said it IS bright enough. I bought my 8700 after months of research. I'm no expert but I can share my situation. I have the projector mounted, but I don't have the screen yet. I have a 130" 16:9 screen on the way in the mail with 1.2 gain.
I have my pj mounted 14" from my screen wall and I have the screen size marked on the wall. I can tell you this, from 14", a 130" image in Theater Black 2, with eco mode on (probably the dimmest mode the pj has), this thing is MORE than bright enough, and this is on a wall with a medium beige paint with bumpy texture all over it. And I have a white ceiling and light colored tile floors. I have total light control at night. Any of the brighter modes seem to bright to me unless it's daytime. Living Room mode is plenty bright in the daytime with sunlight coming in. When I get the screen it will only be that much better.
Everyone has their own opinion, but for me there is no question, this pj is plenty bright enough for my taste on a big screen. If you are going back to 17 feet, you might have a different experience, but I mounted mine very close to the shortest throw distance it could handle. I should mention that I normally don't like extremely bright images. When ever I watch my tv at night I have the brightness down lower than some people might like. I really dislike super bright screens in a dark room, it strains my eyes. If you love your screen as bright as possible, it might not work for you.
Originally Posted by basementdweller1
I bit the bullet and ordered a new 8700UB. This will be paired with either a 115" or 120" diagonal Center Stage XD acoustically transparent screen with a 1.2 gain. The PJ will be ceiling mounted dead on with the screen center. The front of the lens will be just about 17' from the screen, perhaps a few inches less. The room can always be completely light controlled any time of day and will be for movies, perhaps with very dim lighting during sports.
The other options I considered were quite the range of Epson projectors... the 8350 to the 5010/6010. I would have liked a brighter projector with 3D being a "fun" option but I passed on the 5010/6010 combo as I feel I have saved anywhere from $700-1000, perhaps more considering warrant, extra bulbs etc. The 8350 would have been a "short term" option with an upgrade to a better projector in a few years with a more developed 3D market but I wanted better blacks now.
Can you reassure me I made a good choice? My biggest fear is that from 17' back in a light controlled room at a 120" diagonal with 1.2 gain I will be "too dim" even in a light controlled room. I am crazy right?