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P65VT60 or Epson 5030ub?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am driving myself crazy and losing sleep over a major home theater decision. A beautiful P65VT60 Panasonic plasma or an epic 110" screen with epson 5030ub. I currently have a 720p PN51F4500 plasma. Even the picture quality on this impresses me so I know the panny with blow me away. I saw a epson 5030 in person and it certainly was a whole different experience.

Here are my concerns. I listen to music more than watch movies and want my music to be in the living room to fill the house. I would love a dedicated theater but I am getting a great sound system and don't think I want to go into the room and sit to listen to music. So I am leaning more towards trying to make it work in the living room. I only watch television at night so getting the room dark will not be an issue. I do have some concerns about having to always watch the projector in the dark. But if I get the plasma am I going to be missing out on an experience only possible with a projector?

I would love to hear from some people who have owned both a great tv and a projector. Which one do you like better? Anyone have projectors in the living room? Do you get tired of always watching television in the dark or is the experience worth it?

Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
post #2 of 3
I've owned an Epson 8500UB since late 2010 and project onto a 100" screen in my living room. I went with front projection for the theater feel and the logistics of setting up a large screen TV in that room. The only suitable location would have been above the fireplace, placed much too high. A retractable screen allows me to have the screen drop down as low as I need it. I've loved owning this projector. The THX mode looks great, and after calibration it really looks superb. Even with white walls, the projector delivers impressively deep blacks with very good shadow detail. I also find the projector very bright in its more accurate, dimmer THX modes, even with a little ambient light from nearby lamps. In its Living Room mode the image gets very bright and I find that suitable when guests are over to watch sports. As the bulb ages, however, I find that controlling ambient light becomes more necessary, especially in THX mode. Once it's time to replace the bulb, it's like getting a new projector. The brightness difference is extremely evident.

Now that we're in the process of finishing our basement, I just bought a Panasonic TC-P60VT60 plasma to put in there. I have it set up in the living room temporarily and have messed with it for a few days. Its image quality is objectively better than the projector's. In a darkened room its black levels are incredible and get much deeper and darker, and the bright areas are of the screen are capable of getting brighter. Color saturation is excellent across the board. Fast motion shows less blur. And of course the plasma combats ambient light much more effectively. Direct light sources will still cause spot glare with the plasma, but it doesn't wash out and get dull in the same way a front projection screen does. Viewing angles are basically unlimited with both.

So which screen do I like better? Man, that's really hard to say. I'm in my plasma honeymoon period right now and I'm seated a bit too close to it so it feels impressively large. When it's finally downstairs and I'm sitting farther back, then I'm not sure which way I'll lean. They're both excellent. The plasma is a more versatile display and is capable of producing a "better" image, but there's just something really cool about having a front projection system and the drama of watching on a truly wall-filling screen. One is among the finest televisions ever made, and one is a home theater screen.
post #3 of 3
I'd definitely get the projector if you've got the room for it. Given the limitations of front projection (not being able to "project" black), your room treatments really matter much more than a self-lit panel like a plasma.

I still love the picture from my old school TH-58PX600U ('06 high end model), but even my very humble LG PA70G ($400 cheap 720P LED projector) at 110" offers an entirely different experience. I find myself using the projector more often than the plasma these days just because it's hard to beat 110" vs. 58". The 58 used to look huge, but now even my 110" screen looks a little small.
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