Originally Posted by Jerry Brady
[*] digital technology has improved / matured since i put the Barco up 8-9 years ago
[*] more light output - can now watch movies or play video games with other light sources in the room
[*] reduced maintenance / fuss
[*] wife was always afraid the barco was going to fall and crush the kids
ok, so the first 2 reasons make sense.
I had a G70 for 4+ years. It was gone by the time I put the 8350 in the room - really just to test out on a lark. I knew I was probably getting a JVC, but I thought I'd test the Epson in my room and see what I though. I create my own content, photography, video, etc. and therefore I've been looking at calibrated displays for years, and have a very, very critical eye.
Here's the deal. The 8350 is a great projector. It's really great for what it is, and the level of picture quality is pretty amazing for an $1100 machine. I've heard of plenty of reliability issues also though, so perhaps it's too cheap. My buddy is on his third projector. On the plus side, Epson is really great about service and support. What about when the warrant runs out, though?
Anyway, when I say critical viewing, I mean, do you want to watch an excellent, calibrated picture, in a fully light-controlled environment, with great blacks, and a mostly artifact-free picture? If so, the 8350 is not for you.
I had it in my room for about a little over a week and probably put 20 or 25 hours on it before I returned it and ordered a JVC RS-45. I'm very happy with the RS45, but of course, it's over three times the price at retail, and more than double the price even for the B-stock I bought. The two aren't even remotely in the same league picture-quality-wise.
Let me say this: If the 8350 were all I could have afforded, I would have made the decision to stay with my CRT for another few years. The lens shift mechanism is hinky and drifts over time. The projector feels kind of cheap and plasticy, which clearly reflects the overall build quality. More importantly, I just wasn't happy with the picture quality. The blacks suck, even compared to better digitals, but especially CRT. The pixels were also much more noticeable than I liked because I sit pretty close to my screen. There's more, but I'll just stop there since, in my opinion, there's no reason to go any further. The only category in which the Epson bettered the G70 was fully-resolved 1080p.
Again, I'm talking for critical viewing in a dedicated, light-controlled HT. For a multi-purpose room, on a larger scope screen, for mostly TV, sports, and some occasional movies, I have two friends with 8350's and they love them. The one who has had three machines even loves it. The other has had no issues at all. Their families LOVE their setups - complete with 120" wide scope setups. Their systems are truly amazing for what they spent on them... They're just not what I'd consider "critical viewing" setups. So, just trying to keep this in perspective. The 8350 is a great projector if you're after a fun home movie setup, but not if you're after an excellent display.
I've been thinking about this aswell. I have one more year for the warranty and I am concerned about what is going to happen when is over. I went and talked to an epson dealer last week about all the problems I keep having with the machine. The guy was more than helpful and understanding about the situation, he said to exhange it 3 months before the warranty ends for my 7TH TIME!! ( if I dont return it again for other reasons before then) and try to make a deal to get a new one instead of a refurbished one, and then sell the new one. The down side of selling this machine is that buyers wont get any warranty because basically the serial would be under my name in warraty issues, so... warranty would be over then. There is so many problems with digital, I've never had a good experiences with one. In the last 2 years I've gone through 12 projectors all from different manufacturers. Panasonic ax2000u was the first one ( had to exchange 2) then Optoma HD20 ( had to exchange 3) epson 8100 ( had to exchange 2) and espon 8350 (so far 6 times and counting). I don't know about the expensive side of Digital and the problems there. But I am loosing faith here. So maybe It would be worth it to stick with CRT for at least a few years.
If you can, aim higher than the 8350