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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading reviews, watching this forum for months, and have been demoing an Epson 8100 and VS Pro8100. I have developed a large headache from so much research.


My room is a great room, with a nook with a fireplace and 2 windows (with good blinds). I have a plasma mounted just above the fireplace, and the electric screen will come down in front of it. Because the center lives on the mantel I'm looking at a 1.2 Gain Acoustically Transparent screen. So I'm trying to keep that in mind. I'm looking at a 11'/12' throw for a 96 screen.


From the demo I have found the 8100 lacking the sharpness I was hoping for. The Pro8100 is too big and just shy of the brightness I need.


I do not know where to go from here and what else to look at. I might be hoping for too much!


NEED:
  • Brightness (this will be going in a great room nook which has limited light control. I need brightness for those Sunday afternoon baseball games!)
  • Sharpness, I really fell in love with sharpness of the Pro8100. However it's not bright enough (close though). Also it's a BEAST and my wife would cry if I hung it on the ceiling. Compromises....
  • Lens shift, absolute requirement. I know this limits me to LCD and the DLP BenQ W6000
  • Blacks, as deep as I can get. My room gets very dark, the wall will be flat paint but not dark in color.
  • Pop, wow, awesome effect

WANT:
  • I watch sports, and get bothered by the jutter. I'd like to have some FI of sorts
  • Watch a lot of HDTV, so the best up scaling possible.
  • Sharpness, can't stress it enough
  • Short lag when I whip out a game every once and awhile.
  • Resell, I plan on this lasting 2 years. I'd like to sell it for minimal loss.


Am I asking for too much? My budget is/was ~1500 but I am thinking about pushing the ~2000 marker to squeeze the above in.


So a few projectors I have looked at lately:
  • Epson 8500UB (the new models according to Epson have the new firmware to fix the Red Line issue) . I have a small worry about the SDE and the $2300 price point makes me a little uneasy.
  • BenQ W6000 (blacks haven't got the best reviews. But sharpness is great. No FI though)
  • Panny PT-AE4000U (there has been mention of some video lag and the sharpness isn't regarded as stellar). Also the warranty is so so.


I'm leaning towards the Epson 8500UB.


Advice and comments welcome. Also, feel to tell me I'm crazy for trying to get all of the above in a $2000 projector!
 

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For a 96" screen, today's projectors have almost too much lumen power and would need an ND filter--especially for a gain screen higher than 1.0. DLPs are typically sharper than LCD--you probably know that. I've always respected projectorcentral.com reviews of black levels, so you might want to look at their reviews. Most $1k-$2k projectors are high lumen today and therefore simply lack the blacks due to the lumen push. I have a Mits HC3800, which I think you would love--accept, it has just average or better black levels. But sharpness and colors are great and the price is right. Wow, if you don't like the Panny AE4000u--the darling of many here on the forum for contrast ratio--then you might not find nirvana with your price range. A lot of manufacturers are moving production to China, so warranty can be a big consideration these days, too. Mits HC3800 is a perfect example, great projector, but wow, it's had it's startup problems as a China-made product as you can see on that forum.
 

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I would spring for the 8500 if I were you, even with the 4000 as long as you use these in the "best" mode (Cinema) the lumens are dimmer and blacks are ideal so I wouldnt worry about that, also when you have friends over for football, gaming or whatever your gonna love the ability to kick up the output during those events, plus you can likely keep it in economy mode for nest bulb life.

I dont think you can count on any Projector holding its value, the market moves fast so buy it to enjoy......its not a stock portfolio lol......you may get 50-70% return in 2 years but even then depending on what you put on it you just cant count on it.

I just bought my third unit, a $10,000 model from 3-4 yrs ago for $750. It still competes all day long with "budget" $2000-$2500 offerings of today and perhaps in some regards is still better but well........I got it for less than 10% retail.

I will add that any of these models will give you plenty of pleasure, and when they note things like sharpness that doesnt mean you will see what they see (these guys pick this stuff apart to a much higher degree than a average person), your also never going to have it side by side to another unit to compare it to.......information overload gets scary so I would not get too caught up in it all, your gonna love whatever you get!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have the ability to demo between models...hence why I fell in love with the sharpness of the Pro8100.


More and more I am thinking of spending less, so I can save some cash for the next purchase (in 2 years).


I like the Epson 8100 brightness. Is there anything close to the brightness of the Epson 8100 with the sharpness of the Pro8100?
 

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The 8500 has certainly gotten lots of rave reviews and seems to be the one to beat, though it's a little above even your extended price range.


I bought an Epson 8100 and Benq W6000 and compared them, and ended up returning both in favor of a Sony VPL-HW15. (Which is higher priced so I'm not trying to recommend it, just noting it.) I wish I'd been able to easily find an 8500 for comparison but in the time frame I had, I couldn't. If you and your wife aren't too sensitive to rainbow effect, the W6000 is a fabulous projector and Amazon has it for a great price again. The only reason I returned the W6000 was that I'm pretty sensitive to rainbows, and couldn't stop seeing them with this. (It was significantly more noticeable than a previous 1080p DLP projector I had, the Optoma HD80.) So if you're not sure about you or your wife in that respect, the Epson 8500 is probably the safer choice. But the Benq, otherwise, really has the sharpness that you're looking for and the brightness for a 96" screen will be almost too much. I have a 100" gray screen and had to do everything I could (short of buying a neutral density filter) to tone down the W6000 in the evening, it was that bright.
 

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I checked 'em all out and settled on the HC3800. Aside from its placement concerns it is simply the most bang for the buck pj out there.



The two PJ's I was debating were the HC3800 and the LG CF181D. Aside from cost (the LG is nearly 2.5x's more $$$) I found that the HC3800 gave me everything image wise that I was looking for. I also came to the conclusion that to buy a higher end PJ now when better cfi and 3d is on its way would just have me invested in a soon to be obsolute (imo) pj to what will shortly become available...and that's just unacceptable to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does the 8500 use the same lens as the 8100?


Also, what should I expect in terms of sharpness between the two? I really enjoy my 8100 but I'd like it to be a tad sharper.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidinGA /forum/post/18318994


I checked 'em all out and settled on the HC3800. Aside from its placement concerns it is simply the most bang for the buck pj out there.



The two PJ's I was debating were the HC3800 and the LG CF181D. Aside from cost (the LG is nearly 2.5x's more $$$) I found that the HC3800 gave me everything image wise that I was looking for. I also came to the conclusion that to buy a higher end PJ now when better cfi and 3d is on its way would just have me invested in a soon to be obsolute (imo) pj to what will shortly become available...and that's just unacceptable to me.

I may be using the same logic myself. I'm only moving up from the HD1000 which to me is perfectly satisfactory. I'll live with it for 2 years and then upgrade to one with an LED light source. HC3800 with spare bulb is 2.5x cheaper than the LG.
 

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I have the BenqW5000 and I really love this thing. If you are wanting the "pop" and "wow" factor, I believe that dlp is the way to go. DLP projectors are apparently also more sharp than their lcd counterparts. I haven't had first hand experience with this, but my readings on this forum have led me to conclude this!


You are wanting bright AND great black levels. I'm not sure if the two go hand-in-hand, but at least with a bright projector you can tune things to get good blacks (iris, dynamic black, etc) whereas a dim projector will always be dim. The Benq W6000 has lens shift (rare for dlp) and, although my projector has a filter, it has a sealed light path unlike a number of lcd projectors (no chance of dust blobs which I fear like the plague).


If you don't need lens shift and have flexibility with placement, I would look into the Mits. HC3800 or the Optoma HD20 - supposed to be great pjs. Best of luck with your search. You probably won't be disappointed with any of your purchases - watching movies and sports on the really big screen is just THAT good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by blastermaster /forum/post/18343549


I have the BenqW5000 and I really love this thing. If you are wanting the "pop" and "wow" factor, I believe that dlp is the way to go. DLP projectors are apparently also more sharp than their lcd counterparts. I haven't had first hand experience with this, but my readings on this forum have led me to conclude this!


You are wanting bright AND great black levels. I'm not sure if the two go hand-in-hand, but at least with a bright projector you can tune things to get good blacks (iris, dynamic black, etc) whereas a dim projector will always be dim. The Benq W6000 has lens shift (rare for dlp) and, although my projector has a filter, it has a sealed light path unlike a number of lcd projectors (no chance of dust blobs which I fear like the plague).


If you don't need lens shift and have flexibility with placement, I would look into the Mits. HC3800 or the Optoma HD20 - supposed to be great pjs. Best of luck with your search. You probably won't be disappointed with any of your purchases - watching movies and sports on the really big screen is just THAT good!


I did demo the W6000, I loved the picture and brightness. However its lens shift just wouldn't work in my room. I need the flexibility of LCD, :-/.
 
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