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#291646 - 02/10/10 01:35 PM Re: Front projector question... [Re: medic8r]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Hi rick, for me it also came down to the 4000 and the 8500, finally choosing the 4000 but based on what I’m hearing from you so far I think you’d be better served by the 8500. But I have a couple of questions.

1. How bright do you plan on having your room and how big of a screen and what screen ratio?

Depending on your planned ambient light and screen size, screen selection may be more important an issue than projector selection. If you plan on a 16x9 screen the 4000’s zoom emulation feature is meaningless.

2. How do you plan to use the projector, movies, HDTV, gaming?

Your use will play to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each machine.

3. Do you want more pop/wow which often makes a better initial impression or do you want to better be able to see what’s happening in the darker parts of the screen which IMO makes for a better overall viewing experience in the long run.

4. Is initial cost or total cost of use more important?

The 4000 wins the first but the 8500 the latter.

Something else to keep in mind about placement. While everyone seems to say always put the projector as closes as you can to the screen IMO that’s a throw back to when projectors weren’t bright enough and needed all the help they could get. Closer does give you brighter but farther give you better contrast. Also very close can cause issues with image focus and detail between the center and edges of the screen. Not likely visible watching normal video, however, it could be an issue if using the projector as a computer monitor.
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#291656 - 02/10/10 03:10 PM Re: Front projector question... [Re: RickF]
LordHits Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 18
I have an Epson 6100 and if i have to buy another projector, I would go Epson again simply because their customer service is top-notch. I had a de-focusing issue with mines and after calling them up, they shipped me a replacement and told me to just return mines in the box that the replacement came with. Fedex shipping on their dime too. I was most impressed.

I can't compare the Epson to the Panasonic as i have mines in a totally light controlled room. I have had the Epson for over a year with 500 hours on the bulb and it still looks good now.

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#291657 - 02/10/10 03:33 PM Re: Front projector question... [Re: medic8r]
Potatohead Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 670
Loc: Vancouver
FWIW, I have the 6500UB and it has been great, although I only have about 350 hours on it. Picture quality is utterly fantastic. I had some family over the other day and they were completely blown away.

With that said, I love Panasonic product as well, but the Epson in Canada is much more reasonably priced comparitive to the US market.

It does look better with lights off, of course. I do watch sports and what not sometimes with some lights on, and it looks alright if the light doesn't reflect right onto the screen which completely washes out any blacks or darker colors. When the lights are off there is enough reflection off the screen to see where you're going in the room if that concerns you.

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#291659 - 02/10/10 04:04 PM Re: Front projector question... [Re: Potatohead]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Here's an comparison review from late 2009 that compares the PT-AE4000 vs HC8500UV.

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#291675 - 02/10/10 07:18 PM Re: Front projector question... [Re: CatBrat]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Thanks for the review Brain, that pretty much mirrors just about all of the other reviews I've read so far regarding the closeness of these two projectors and how it pretty much comes down to just a few subtle difference and personal preferences.

 Originally Posted By: grunt

Something else to keep in mind about placement. While everyone seems to say always put the projector as closes as you can to the screen IMO that’s a throw back to when projectors weren’t bright enough and needed all the help they could get. Closer does give you brighter but farther give you better contrast. Also very close can cause issues with image focus and detail between the center and edges of the screen.


Dean, I plan on using a 16x9 120" screen that will pull down in front of our 73" TV and will be primarily used for movie watching and occasional TV watching, the room isn't inherently dark but can be darkened with curtains if needed but because of it being a part of the main floor plan we'd like to keep it as flexible as possible between music, movies, TV and socializing ... in other words we don't want a dedicated and always dark HT room.

Regarding your statement above and keeping in mind that I'm totally new to the front projection scene, is the recommended throw distance set in stone depending on the screen size or is there a distance variance based on where you may want to place the projector? I'm asking because whenever we built our room I did pre-wire for a projector but the pre-wired distance is 19' from the screen rather than the recommended 16 some odd feet from both Panasonic and Epson, although with a little effort I can extend the wires and cable to the recommended distance.
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Our Room

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#291744 - 02/11/10 01:31 AM Re: Front projector question... [Re: RickF]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
The throw distance isn't set in stone. Many will tell you that you
should/must put the projector as close to the screen as you can for the
increased brightness. However, with the brightness of today's projectors
that's no longer as big an issue. I have my projector 19 feet back from a
16x9 134" 1.4 gain screen. Not only does this give me better contrast it
minimizes any chance of hearing projector noise since my seating is only
about 15 feet back. One thing you don't want to do is put the projector at
either extreme of the zoom distances as it limits your ability to size it
properly to your screen.

Based on everything you've said up to now I would steer you toward the 8500
despite being a happy 4000 owner unless you already know that you prefer
better shadow detail to black levels. I've been comparing my new Samsung
LED HDTV to my AE4000. When I first turned it on the brightness and black
levels of the LED blew me away compared to the 4000. As I compared both
images I realized I actually preferred the better shadow detail of the 4000
over the LED, however if I wasn't comparing the screens I wouldn't have know
I was missing anything in the HDTV image.

While I think either of these projectors would serve you well I think the
8500's strengths play better toward your intended use than those of the
4000.

It wouldn't hurt to call "ProjectorPeople.com" and talk to one of their
reps. They usually get to see demos of the projectors and if you can talk
to a rep who's seen both they can give you a better opinion of which to get.


Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#291767 - 02/11/10 09:58 AM Re: Front projector question... [Re: grunt]
korkster Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/06
Posts: 72
Loc: northern n.j.
Hi Rick,
I have the Panny 4000 and love it, but I'm in a basement dedicated theater with total light control. One thing to keep in mind, and something that led me to the Panny instead of the Epson, is that I think the Epson only has manual focus and zoom whereas the Panny's is motorized and can be adjusted with the remote from your chair. Just some food for thought, but in the end the picture is the main thing, and I agree with everyone else that the Epson may do a little bit better in a room with some ambient light.

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#291769 - 02/11/10 10:37 AM Re: Front projector question... [Re: korkster]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4249
Loc: Up yonder
Rick,

Ambient light, as well as reflected light affects a projected image greatly. Lumen output of the projector is only one aspect to consider. If you are set on, or expect ambient light, then your choice of screen will be just as important as the projector. You’ll need to go with either a grey or silver screen. You will need to invest some money in the screen as the ‘budget’ grey screens have a negative gain, with will adversely affect the image. That means you are stuck with a positive gain grey or silver screen, and both cost more.

The bulk of internet forum type folks go directly to the Panasonic and Epson units due to their low cost. Unfortunately, you miss many other great projectors that would cost just slight more. I would not limit yourself to the two models you have mentioned. They have their warts that their relative low cost tends to mask.

Did you ever figure out if you like the DLP look or not? It’s totally different than LCD or the JVC and Sony’s.

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#291770 - 02/11/10 10:45 AM Re: Front projector question... [Re: michael_d]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Morning Mike!

Actually our 73" Mitsubishi is DLP and the only thing that I'm not particularly fond of is the 3Dish look I sometimes see from it, it gets obvious whenever an up close of a person's face is on the screen .... almost as if there's a slight border line outlining the face.

What are some of the other brands would you recommend? I know I went through this a couple of months back but I sort of put everything on the back burner until now because we'll be doing the upgrade in the near future.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#291772 - 02/11/10 11:13 AM Re: Front projector question... [Re: michael_d]
PhillipD Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 142
Loc: Grande Prairie, Alberta
 Originally Posted By: michael_d
Rick,

You’ll need to go with either a grey or silver screen. You will need to invest some money in the screen as the ‘budget’ grey screens have a negative gain, with will adversely affect the image.This means you are stuck with a positive gain grey or silver screen, and both cost more.

Not all grey screens that are in the "budget" range have a negative gain. I feel my screen is a "budget" screen and has a +1.8 gain. I do not feel it has any advers effects that I can think of. It is not a Stewart or SMX but is does the
job well I am also not reproducing any IMax quality pics either.

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