My Epson 8350 crapped out on me and I'm in the market for a replacement. Had this happened before Black Friday I think it would have been an easy choice, but I just put a 60" Samsung in my living room and am a bit tired of spending money on TVs. This brings me to where I'm at now. I'm never giving Epson my money again, and based on all of my research I've narrowed down to the Panasonic's, the AR100 and the AE8000. A few thoughts:
- What worries me about the AR100 is those who say how "bright" it is. I am in a basement and I can make it VERY dark (especially at night) as there's only 1 window adding light and it has a blind
- What appeals to me about the AR100 is that with it's brightness I can watch sporting events and general TV without having to make things dark.
- The AE8000 has 3D (which I'm not into - but my wife and kids...). I read plenty about the AE7000 and 3D not being the greatest, how is this on the 8000 and is it bright enough?
- The AE8000 has some extra features, powered lens focus, more inputs, etc - none of which I think I will use.
I'll be shooting it from about 13' to a 120" screen (don't ask me the gain or anything on the screen, I really have no idea on that one). I need to be able to re-use the same spot as I already have my ceiling mount there, and moving that is just not something I want to fool with. It appears that the price difference right now is about 700 (Panasonic running a $350 rebate for the next few weeks). Normally I wouldn't blink at that, but like I said I'm getting a bit tired of spending on TVs right now. That said I want something that's going to last (my Epson 8350 went out with only 1300 hours ever being put on it over 2.5 year period) and keep me happy for several years. Can anyone add to or alleviate any of my concerns? Anyone see these side by side or compare them to the 8350 (which - other than reliability of the unit and a complete lack of support from Epson, I was EXTREMELY happy with the picture quality)?