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Old Panasonic AE900U vs. new Epson Home Cinema 5030UB

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion as to whether or not it's worth upgrading to get higher picture quality. The Panasonic is 720P, and of course the new Epson is 1080P

The Epson has lots of features, but for me the real decision maker is the picture quality. 3D is of no particular interest, only basic Blu-Ray quality on the screen.

We're talking $2600 to replace a Panasonic that is operating perfectly well, just older technology. Is there enough picture jump to justify $2600?

BTW, I'm projecting onto a 70" wide screen from about 12' with total darkness, so brightness is not an issue. The Epson is 2400 Lumens and the Panny is 1300 Lumens.

Opinions are welcome.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deane Johnson View Post

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion as to whether or not it's worth upgrading to get higher picture quality. The Panasonic is 720P, and of course the new Epson is 1080P

The Epson has lots of features, but for me the real decision maker is the picture quality. 3D is of no particular interest, only basic Blu-Ray quality on the screen.

We're talking $2600 to replace a Panasonic that is operating perfectly well, just older technology. Is there enough picture jump to justify $2600?

BTW, I'm projecting onto a 70" wide screen from about 12' with total darkness, so brightness is not an issue. The Epson is 2400 Lumens and the Panny is 1300 Lumens.

Opinions are welcome.

With that size screen (70") why bother with a projector, just buy a LED HDTV for $1300?

Seems like a waste of a decent projector to go that small. I upgraded from the 900U to a new 1080p projector and yes, it's worth the upgrade. But for 70" I'd say no.

Did you really mean 70" wide or diagonal? I assumed diagonal.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Mr.G you make some good points and the size thing has gone through my mind often. Size does matter.

It's 70'" wide, not diagonal. This theater grew a piece at a time. I started with a 4x3 format projector and a 70 x 70 Dalite matte white wall screen that I had years ago. That got built around step by step to what I have now. Sort of evolution. To go to a larger screen would mean ripping out and scrapping everything.

Bigger would be better, but beyond what I physically want to tackle at this time.

I'm prone to like the theater feel that I wouldn't get with Plazma or LED, but the simplicity would be nice.

http://www.deanejohnson.com/johnsonhometheater/
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deane Johnson View Post

Mr.G you make some good points and the size thing has gone through my mind often. Size does matter.

It's 70'" wide, not diagonal. This theater grew a piece at a time. I started with a 4x3 format projector and a 70 x 70 Dalite matte white wall screen that I had years ago. That got built around step by step to what I have now. Sort of evolution. To go to a larger screen would mean ripping out and scrapping everything.

Bigger would be better, but beyond what I physically want to tackle at this time.

I'm prone to like the theater feel that I wouldn't get with Plazma or LED, but the simplicity would be nice.

http://www.deanejohnson.com/johnsonhometheater/

Okay I understand. 70" wide = 80" diagonal assuming 16:9. If you're set on the Epson 5030UB it's bound to impress 2D or 3D.

You mentioned evolution - so for a true theater experience scrap that smallish screen. I know easier said then done.

Like you I've gone from a 78" curved screen in the mid 80's to 100" (4:3) screen in the 90's to 120" (16:9) in the 2000's.

Have never regretted any upgrade.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
A local dealer invited me to his house recently to see his personal theater. Heavy duty experience. JVC D-ILA projector, about $12,000. Looked like a 10' wide screen. Very sharp picture, almost like a Plazma. Behind the screen speakers, I believe B&W, I could be wrong. He had two subs behind the screen each with two 12" drivers and I believe he said about 2000 watt amps each.

The subs were very tight and clean, more so than my Velodyne 18" Servo-sub. He played a David Foster video shot in Vegas. Absolutely beautiful. Also played some scenes from the Batman movie that opens with the bank heist and has the big roll around Batmobile in it. Can't remember which one it is.

This visit caused me to review what I am doing with mine. Changing projectors is easy, changing screen size is much more challenging.as I have to scrap a lot of things and come up with a new design. Almost starting over.

I did come home and carefully re-run my Audessy which made some good improvements in the audio, and today I picked up a Sony BDP-S5t00.Blu-ray player to replace my first generation Panasonic. They are so cheap these days that thought I'd see if it improved the overall experience any. While there I saw some 4K Plazmas running. Very nice. I wonder how long it will be before 4K becomes commonplace and more reasonable.
post #6 of 12
Upgradeitis is an itch some people can't keep from scratching. Including yours truly. wink.gif
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
This afternoon I picked up a Sony S5100 to replace my first generation BD30. A definite jump in both video and audio. I had to get out my Avia test disc and re-calibrate the projector. Picture looks pretty good now, but certainly not 1080P yet.

A good upgrade for $95.
post #8 of 12
I get it... One step at a time on the upgrades.

So, no. The 5020 is not worth the upgrade because you screen size really doesn't warrant it.

The biggest improvement you can make is going to a screen size which is more in line with what home theater can be. If your space doesn't support it, then I would be looking to a 80" LCD over a front projector, or projectors in general. I say that, loving my projector, but I don't understand screens under 100".

Some good money spent investing in a 100"+ screen and simply leaving it paired with the AE900U for a couple more years makes far more sense to me than investing in any new projectors at this time.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
AV_Intergated, you sort of messed up my thinking with your post. It got me to thinking about screen size. Tearing up my existing system is not an easy thought.

While looking at the information on the just released Epson 5030, I drifted into the Panasonic AE8000, and from that to CIH.

I'd have room for about a 103" 2.35:1 screen which would be 40" height by 95" wide. Viewing distance is about 13.5 feet. My current 16:9 height is about 38", so 16:9 wouldn't be much bigger than now, but 2.35:1 certainly would be. BTW, it's used exclusively for movies.

Since the AE8000 is now a year old, I wonder if Panasonic will be coming with a replacement soon? Any educated guesses.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deane Johnson View Post

AV_Intergated, you sort of messed up my thinking with your post. It got me to thinking about screen size. Tearing up my existing system is not an easy thought.

While looking at the information on the just released Epson 5030, I drifted into the Panasonic AE8000, and from that to CIH.

I'd have room for about a 103" 2.35:1 screen which would be 40" height by 95" wide. Viewing distance is about 13.5 feet. My current 16:9 height is about 38", so 16:9 wouldn't be much bigger than now, but 2.35:1 certainly would be. BTW, it's used exclusively for movies.

Since the AE8000 is now a year old, I wonder if Panasonic will be coming with a replacement soon? Any educated guesses.
From what I've rad, they will not be coming out with a new one, but who knows, that could always change. I think you would enjoy a 2.35 screen, to me they feel more like a movie theater, after switching to this, I really hate 16x9 (1.78) movies, doesn't feel big and encompassing, 16x9 just feels like 4x3 tv to me now
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, AV_Integrated, you've really messed things up now. Based on your urging, I just purchased a Wolf Cinema SDC-12 projector and a 125" - 2.35:1 screen. Are you happy now? smile.gif

http://www.wolfcinema.com/pdf/SDC-12_Product_Bulletin_11-12.pdf
post #12 of 12
Hey, I've been directing people to do stupid things for years over at Projector Central's forums... But, I was thinking I wasn't being nearly obnoxious enough over there, so I decided to start to spread the love over here.

I don't at all suggest that any of you fools listen to me! biggrin.gif

Not really, I have confidence in my stupidity and am more than willing to share.

I would love to do a good 2.35 setup, but at this time my basement isn't finished, so I'm doing my $5,000+ setup which I paid about $1,500 for right now.

I'm envious of most of these setups I see as they all seem awesome and I'm jealous of all the LCoS owners out there, which now includes you. Enjoy!
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