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Epson 5020, 5010, or Panny AE8000

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
It's time to finally replace our ageing Panasonic AE700 projector. We have a dedicated dark HT room in the basement with a 102' screen. The 5010 is now discounted so it might be a good deal, but are Epson 5020 and Panny AE8000 noticeably better?

We primarily watch HDTV sports and also some Blu-Ray (planning on upgrading to latest Oppo)

Also - we know that the 5020 has a wireless HDMI version. We have a dedicated HDMI cable going from the media cabinet to the ceiling, however the HDMI cable is not the latest 1.4 (it is circa 2006). Should the existing HDMI cable work just as well with the upgrade?

Many thanks!
post #2 of 7
I chose the panasonic 8000 and im very pleased. Im using a 130" screen the blacks cannot be any darker, the 3d is draw dropping, super bright. My room is completely black. IMO at this stage all projectors are very close givin certain models, its more about the bells and whisltes. ie comparing the panny 8000 to epson 6010. How much diff. can there really be? Maybe for critcial viewing but lets be honest after a few minutes watchig a movie your brain will fill in the colors or blanks. As long as its a clear pic your good. Do you think one LCD tv is that much better than another when your standing in front of them at Best Buy? You pay for the name, warranty and options. Most the internal parts are the same. Its no different than speakers, in some cases its as few a 3 diff parts yet we have thousands of diff. speaker manufacturers. This is my first panasoinc projector. I have owned 2 epsons in the past. Any of those projetors would work great.
As far as the cable, I read that all hdmi cables will pass 1.4 but not ethernet. I tested this theory with one 1.4 hdmi cable (brand new) and a year old 1.3 cable (monoprice) and it passed audio, video, and 3d). I cannot guarantee yours will but I would try before you buy, perhaps other members can offer their cable experiences.
post #3 of 7
I just ordered my first projector this morning from Mike at AVS. I have been going back and forth between the Epson 5020 and the Panny AE8000. I ended up going with the Epson 5020. It's been getting great reviews so far and the 5010 was a pretty stout projector to begin with. Here's one review comparing both the Panny and the Epson. There are plenty more reviews out there but this one is pretty good in my opinion.

post #4 of 7
Reviews are VERY subjective. For me, based on my experience with the Epson 5010, the 5020 was definitely a no-go. An obnoxiously loud iris (sounds like a rumbling/grumbling/grinding sound), and absolutely horrific input lag (useless for gaming) immediately ruled it out. And for watching movies, whenever the iris "did its thing" there was a lot of color shifting to go with it. Not impressed at all.

That said, the 5010 had excellent 3D (especially compared to my Panasonic PT-AE7000U).

Hopefully these things were fixed in the 5020, but since both the 5020 and the PT-AE8000 are iterative upgrades, I would imagine they weren't.

I ordered the 8000 due to extremely quiet iris (inaudible, essentially), very quiet eco modes, and EXCELLENT for gaming. Can't tell you how it stacks up against anything yet, but it's worth bearing in mind the issues with the 5010 and how they may pertain to the 5020 as well.

Of course, the 7000 (and doubtless 8000) aren't perfect either. smile.gif
post #5 of 7
I agree reviews are subjectibe. Obvioulsly you never read a bad review about anyting. Whether its a $500 or $5000 projector or pair of speakers. For obvious reasons, The person (professional) writing the review is well,, paid to write a review. How many companies would send him their equipment if POOR reviews were written? Granted their can be some bias and some fact, taken with a grain of salt. I would rather read actual owner reviews vs professional. The individual has nothing to gain by telling the truth. just my .02
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
To summarise, when it comes to picture quality (subjective) AE8000 vs. 5020 are about on par. The Panny is a little quiter in 3D mode, has been refresh for gaming, and has anamorphic lens option which is only beneficial if you have a non 16:9 screen. Market price Epson is about $300 cheaper. How loud is the Epson? I have an aging Panny AE700 which I think is pretty loud (projector mounted on the ceiling in room)?

With all said above I think Epson is a better bet for me, save the $300 and put towards a new BR player to get the 3D experience.

PS: Can I reuse the ceiling mount I have for my AE700 or do I need to order a new one?

post #7 of 7
There is no such thing as a 1.4 cable.
Your cable is either capable/made for passing Ethernet or it is not. You don't need any special cable for 3D.
1.4 is a hardware spec, not a cable spec. Cables only pass what they are given. The picture will not look any better with a $500 cable over a $5. The only time a premium cable matter is when distance is a concern. Fatter wire has less loss over the same distance. If the signal makes it, the cable works.

You can't go wrong with either projector. I would lean towards the Epson, only due to the RF glasses and the customer service. I definitely prefer the black case on the Panny though.
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