Looking for some recommendations - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-23-2019, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for some recommendations

I currently have an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500UB (about 9 years old) and a Carada (RIP) 120" Brilliant White 1.4 gain screen. I've been pretty happy with these for my home theater use (streaming tv/movies + video games), but my projector is pretty old at this point, and something is starting to rattle (maybe the fan). I'm thinking it's finally time to upgrade, and am looking for some recommendations. Here is more info about my situation:
  • Budget: ~$4,000 USD
  • Primary use: streaming tv/movies + video games (with little or no ambient light)
  • Room dimensions: 19ft x 19ft
  • Throw distance: 17.5ft
  • Projector position: a few inches off horizontal center from the screen, and a few inches below the top of the screen
  • Screen size: 120in (~9ft x ~5ft)
  • Screen gain: 1.4
  • Ambient light: Almost pitch dark (with dark painted ceiling and walls)
  • Seating position: ~16ft-17ft from screen

And some additional considerations:
  • 4K/HDR - I'd like to be able to take advantage of 4K and HDR content in some way (whatever makes the image quality better, given that 4K/HDR content is getting more common and I expect to have the projector for a good 5 or so years).
  • 3D - I enjoy 3D in the theater. It would be fun to have at home, but not a deal breaker (not really sure if this is "standard" on projectors these days).

From my research so far, here are a few projectors that have caught my attention:
  • Optoma UHZ65 - some kind of 4K/HDR support. Nearly instant on/off with laser technology seems neat, not having lamp brightness relatively rapidly decrease and guess when it's time to get a new one sounds nice. Seems to be about 2 years old already, and some reviews complain about a rainbow effect. I'm not sure generally how laser technology compares to more traditional lamps from an image quality standpoint.
  • Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe (or maybe Pro Cinema 6050UB) - recently released (newer tech?), solid reviews, some kind of 4K/HDR support.
  • Sony VPL-VW295ES - probably a bit out of my price range, but seems to have more "true" 4K support.

I mostly ignored UST projectors since I don't really need one for my setup, and I've been under the assumption that UST trades some image quality for convenience (not sure if this is really true though). Not sure if there is any other "upcoming" projector tech that I should be waiting for.

I'm also not sure if my screen with 1.4 gain is too much gain for today's projectors. Does this negatively affect contrast/deep blacks/HDR? If I need to replace my screen, I'll probably be looking at <=$3K projectors to stay on budget.

So that's where I am with things. Would love to hear any recommendations given all the things above! Many thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-25-2019, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Tremblay View Post
I currently have an Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500UB (about 9 years old) and a Carada (RIP) 120" Brilliant White 1.4 gain screen. I've been pretty happy with these for my home theater use (streaming tv/movies + video games), but my projector is pretty old at this point, and something is starting to rattle (maybe the fan). I'm thinking it's finally time to upgrade, and am looking for some recommendations. Here is more info about my situation:
  • Budget: ~$4,000 USD
  • Primary use: streaming tv/movies + video games (with little or no ambient light)
  • Room dimensions: 19ft x 19ft
  • Throw distance: 17.5ft
  • Projector position: a few inches off horizontal center from the screen, and a few inches below the top of the screen
  • Screen size: 120in (~9ft x ~5ft)
  • Screen gain: 1.4
  • Ambient light: Almost pitch dark (with dark painted ceiling and walls)
  • Seating position: ~16ft-17ft from screen

And some additional considerations:
  • 4K/HDR - I'd like to be able to take advantage of 4K and HDR content in some way (whatever makes the image quality better, given that 4K/HDR content is getting more common and I expect to have the projector for a good 5 or so years).
  • 3D - I enjoy 3D in the theater. It would be fun to have at home, but not a deal breaker (not really sure if this is "standard" on projectors these days).

From my research so far, here are a few projectors that have caught my attention:
  • Optoma UHZ65 - some kind of 4K/HDR support. Nearly instant on/off with laser technology seems neat, not having lamp brightness relatively rapidly decrease and guess when it's time to get a new one sounds nice. Seems to be about 2 years old already, and some reviews complain about a rainbow effect. I'm not sure generally how laser technology compares to more traditional lamps from an image quality standpoint.
  • Epson Home Cinema 5050UBe (or maybe Pro Cinema 6050UB) - recently released (newer tech?), solid reviews, some kind of 4K/HDR support.
  • Sony VPL-VW295ES - probably a bit out of my price range, but seems to have more "true" 4K support.

I mostly ignored UST projectors since I don't really need one for my setup, and I've been under the assumption that UST trades some image quality for convenience (not sure if this is really true though). Not sure if there is any other "upcoming" projector tech that I should be waiting for.

I'm also not sure if my screen with 1.4 gain is too much gain for today's projectors. Does this negatively affect contrast/deep blacks/HDR? If I need to replace my screen, I'll probably be looking at <=$3K projectors to stay on budget.

So that's where I am with things. Would love to hear any recommendations given all the things above! Many thanks!
Along with what you have listed, I would look for B-stock Sony and JVC and mabe used Sony and JVC.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-25-2019, 08:48 PM
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I am not an expert but have been following the projector threads as my projector is 12 years old and at some point will need to be upgraded. There are various technology points that are important. In my case HDMI 1.3 was fairly new but has allowed me to keep using the projector. I would suggest that currently 4k and HDR10, and 18GB HDMI are a new level of technology that should be considered the minimum mandatory going forward.

The current consensus seems to be that the NX5 or the 295ES are probably the best bang for the buck if they have enough lumens and fit your room constraints. In your case I see no issues with the NX5 and they seem to be close to your price point if you look around and are patient. Given that you keep your projectors for a long time I would think that is an excellent choice.

From what I have read, not seen, I would hesitate about making the trade off to solid state and DLP. Before I get flamed, my projector is a DLP, my next projector will likely be a DLP. However, the current generation of XPR DLP machines with a color wheel tend to have RBE. In my opinion this is a fundamental limitation of the XPR processing. This along with the inherent black level compromise make these projectors less desirable unless the solid state technology is very important to you.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-26-2019, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike and gil393! I'll take a closer look at the Sony VPL-VW295ES and the JVC NX5.
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