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Thinking of upgrading my Epson 8350 either now or by summer; I want 3D

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So in the $1000-1500 range, are there currently any projectors that are similar in features to my Epson, with really, the only addition being 3DÉ

I like to have zoom, H + V lens shifting, same or better throw distance, and same or better contrast ratio.

Thanks AVS!
post #2 of 16
Epson 3020
post #3 of 16
I think everybody probably knows "upgrading" from a 8350 to 3020 means loosing lens shift.

Another one that caught me by surprise was loosing 12v screen trigger! I never thought to check before buying.

Although can be easily remedied by using one of those "Monster power saver strips" that shuts off plugs when it senses your components are no longer drawing power, just plug in a 12v DC wall wart into one of the switchable outlets, and functionality restored and your screens and curtains nicely working again!

Happy with my 3020. Since it is properly mounted, I did not miss lens shift, and aside from 12V trigger am missing nothing else and enjoying the extra brightness and 3D.
post #4 of 16
If you do any gaming be sure to research the lag that any projector can have... and it seems worse in 3D.

I was trying to decide between an 8350 and a 5020UB--but even in 2D mode the 5020UB has objectionable lag for games. I'm going to get the 8350 and wait until a 3d unit with better lag and similar placement options becomes available.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveCay View Post

I think everybody probably knows "upgrading" from a 8350 to 3020 means loosing lens shift.

Another one that caught me by surprise was loosing 12v screen trigger! I never thought to check before buying.

Although can be easily remedied by using one of those "Monster power saver strips" that shuts off plugs when it senses your components are no longer drawing power, just plug in a 12v DC wall wart into one of the switchable outlets, and functionality restored and your screens and curtains nicely working again!

Happy with my 3020. Since it is properly mounted, I did not miss lens shift, and aside from 12V trigger am missing nothing else and enjoying the extra brightness and 3D.

I don't know what a "screen trigger" is, can you explain?
post #6 of 16
Configurable from the projector to provide a 12v trigger used to automate your home theater. Usually 12v while projector on, 0v when projector off.

This trigger can then be used to drop your electric screen, lift screen curtains, trigger lighting off, etc.

Much more elegant and reliable than using a bunch of clumsy remotes, or trying to program it all into a universal when half of these devices uses RF.

Of course needs to be pre-wired. And devices designed (or modified) to support 12v trigger input.
post #7 of 16
Actually I was just trying to decide between these two projectors.

Aside from 3D (which I don't care about), which of these is more desireable? I'm looking for excellent 2D and blacks, strictly for movies.

I still don't understand lens shift!
post #8 of 16
From what I understand keystone is digitally adjusting the position of the picture without physically moving the projector. Lense shift allows for this but achieves the adjustment via adjusting the lense rather than a digital adjustment. This is more desirable because keystone can effect the quality of the picture.

I think.
post #9 of 16
Yes, lense shift means optically moving your picture onto the screen, vs using digital adjustments which will reduce your picture quality/resolution, as it will map the picture onto less pixels. In order of preference for picture quality, you want to get the picture centered and aligned on you screen using:
1) move projector to correct position and angle.
2) use lense shift
3) use digital adjustment

For Fr. John, if you don't care for 3d here are the pros and cons in a nutshell (IMHO after owning both):
8350 lower price, lense shift.
3020 brighter picture, newer model.

Brighter picture is highly desirable if you have poor light control.

Neither model has "excellent blacks" .... Need to spend another grand and go for 5020 for that.

Both will give you a great 2d movie experience, and are tops in their price class. If this is your first projector, or if you currently have low end / outdated equipment: you will be blown away from the experience with either. If you are a videophile extremist, consider paying more.
Edited by steveCay - 2/16/13 at 7:45am
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveCay View Post

Yes, lense shift means optically moving your picture onto the screen, vs using digital adjustments which will reduce your picture quality/resolution, as it will map the picture onto less pixels. In order of preference for picture quality, you want to get the picture centered and aligned on you screen using:
1) move projector to correct position and angle.
2) use lense shift
3) use digital adjustment

For Fr. John, if you don't care for 3d here are the pros and cons in a nutshell (IMHO after owning both):
8350 lower price, lense shift.
3020 brighter picture, newer model.

Brighter picture is highly desirable if you have poor light control.

Neither model has "excellent blacks" .... Need to spend another grand and go for 5020 for that.

Both will give you a great 2d movie experience, and are tops in their price class. If this is your first projector, or if you currently have low end / outdated equipment: you will be blown away from the experience with either. If you are a videophile extremist, consider paying more.


Steve,

Thanks for the answers. A couple more questions:

1. We're going to be comparing this to our current 54" Panny Plasma. I realize blacks aren't going to be as good. In fact I was just thinking today that you rarely hear anyone complain about black levels, contrast and sharpness at the theater, and it's markedly worse than a home plasma. Obviously the size and experience make up for it. That said, as this will be our first projector, and we expect to use it for all our movie watching (the Plasma will be relegated to TV only), do you think we're going to be satisfied with a projector in this price range? I was initially looking in that price range you mention i.e. the 5020, but am getting cold feet spending that much on a first try. I also don't want to spend $1500 and constantly be thinking about contrast and sharpness!

2. As for position, I assume that getting the projector as close to the center of the screen from the ceiling is desirable? Seems like it would be quite low in that case.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveCay View Post

I think everybody probably knows "upgrading" from a 8350 to 3020 means loosing lens shift.
And lose some contrast/black level.
post #12 of 16
1) Watching a movie on my 50" plasma, after having a projector with a 120" screen seems ... well ... pathetic now! The sheer size, theater like experience, and imersiveness makes up for any reduced brightness and blacks. I find $1500 projector range the sweet spot in the value curve ... pay much less and you will probably missing out on the experience, pay much more $$$, and will you enjoy the difference to the same degree than other things in life that additional $1000 can get you? That is a question only you can answer, unfortunately it is not very easy to audition projectors like test driving cars!

Another consideration is whether you will have enegh light control to appreciate the better blacks if you pay more. Your plasma will look black in all light conditions, your projector will only look as black as that white screen in the ambient light conditions. Any reflected light can kill that expensive better black level.

In my case I am admiring the experience when watching a movie in my Home Theater, more than worrying if a black object should look more black.

2) The lense on the 3020 (without digital correction) is adjusted to be exactly horizontally centered, and vertically aligned with either the top or bottom of the screen. The projector will throw down instead of up, when you mount it upside down for ceiling. As for the 8350 or 5020, you can place it just about anywhere!
Edited by steveCay - 2/16/13 at 8:03pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Plasmaman View Post

And lose some contrast/black level.

Can you say a little more on that?
post #14 of 16
The 8350 will be closer to the black levels of the higher priced 5020/10 line.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
The 8350 will be closer to the black levels of the higher priced 5020/10 line.

Need to interject here:
- 8350 and 3020 similar. 3020 can put out more light that can wash out the picture a bit more if you have reflective surfaces in your room. Since 8350 is a little on the dim side in cinema mode on a big screen, blacks may look darker.
- 5020 in another galaxy of black levels.

Lets look at Epson contrast ratings:
3020: 40,000:1
8350: 50,000:1
5020: 320,000:1

Mind you, all above are greatly exaggerated round numbers. Since they rely on the dynamic-iris (especially in the 3020/8350) to dim a dark picture, they can only reach these levels in a carefully constructed test scenarios to obtain these max numbers. Since most scenes will have dark and light (and the iris will have to open up for the light portions) you will rarely enjoy these published numbers.

Now lets see what reviewers on credible sites such as projectorreviews.com say:

"While Epson's $1000 more HC5020UB has the best (blackest) blacks we've ever seen in an under $3000 projector, the Home Cinema 3020 is not remotely in its league. In reality black level performance for under $2000 projectors is just average."

"3020: As a family room projector most owners will find the black levels to be acceptable, and the shadow detail to be rather excellent. Black levels performance though, is not likely to inspire serious enthusiasts looking to put the HC3020 in a dedicated theater / cave type of room. On everything but the darkest scenes where black level performance starts making a real difference, this Epson excels in terms of picture quality"

"8350: I must confess to be a little disappointed with the black level performance of this Epson. Please understand, that's not really a criticism of the Epson, but perhaps more about their contrast claims. As most of you know, once upon a time, contrast ratio gave a good indication of black level capabilities of a projector. Then, however, along came dynamic irises, and other "dynamic" features, including dynamic contrast."
Edited by steveCay - 2/17/13 at 7:24am
post #16 of 16
Yep, the 8350 will be closer to the 5010/20 black levels vs the 3020, I didn't mean to allude that it would come close to being equal, to the higher priced Epsons. Sorry if that was how it came across.
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