Originally Posted by Hawkmarket
I've previously made the switch from an Epson 5030 (2,500 lumens) to an Epson 3700 (3,000 lumens) which is of course what the 3,800 will replace. I have a 150" white screen in my basement and the walls and ceiling are painted dark. The difference in perceived brightness is HUGE comparing these two projectors even though you are only seeing 500 on the specs. The lumen numbers you are being given are at the max level output and that's not what you will be watching. The 3700 is supposedly inferior to the 5030 and is so much more enjoyable to watch because of the punch the extra lumens give it. I would also strongly argue that the contrast difference between the two in your environment almost can't be perceived and to be honest neither packs a punch in black levels in the most perfect of environments so I'd still go with the 3800 unless you absolutely have to have the motorized lens. The only thing I would argue is that the fan noise on the 3800 will be louder but because it's so bright you'll actually be watching it in medium so it's still pretty quiet. Because I watch lots of sports with the lights on and I have a 150" screen I'm strongly considering the 3800 over the 5050 with my upgrade. Color pop over precision (assuming the pop is still pretty accurate) is an EASY tradeoff for me and probably to a lot of folks with less than perfect environments. Let me throw a quick suggestion out. The 3800 isn't quite out yet so if you need to make a quicker decision find a place that has the 3700 which is at this point deeply discounted and do a comparison. It should have almost the exact same lumens and contrast as the 3800 and see if the extra pop helps you out. Remember the 3700 is a 1080p so don't pay attention to the perceived sharpness. If you can find some place with a generous return policy I think this will solidify your decision.
While I would generally agree that the difference in lumen output will be of value and make a difference in a dark room such as you have, you're really making an apples and oranges' comparison.
The OP has indicated that he is using the projector in a living room during daylight hours without light control. In this situation, the extra ~600 lumens, in his case will be of little value. You will see a slight increase in brightness but the color is still going to be washed out all things equal in his setup.
In your case, a room with dark walls and no daylight, you still have a considerable advantage watching with some light on vs. watching in a living room with daylight.
No doubt the HC3800 is a nice unit and it should sell very well, especially as Epson tends to drop the price of new units after the first few months. I too would choose it over the HC4010. However, in my case, it would be for brightness and its size as I would use it outdoors.
Overall, in the OP's intended use, I don't think he will see that much of a difference in daylight use. At night, yes.