Upgrading from an Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100... - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 5 Old 11-30-12, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Richmond, Virginia
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Upgrading from an Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100...

Hi everyone. I'm looking to make a major upgrade to my projector and could use some advice from the forum. Y'all have helped in so many ways over the years that I always appreciate your advice.

To give a general background, my room has to fit several uses not only for games and events but for movies as well. My wife and I wanted out basement to stay as open as we could so the theater buildout has 3 full walls and one wall contains a half wall that opens up to the rest of the basement. This will mean that light will in some cases be an issue.

When we watch movies we believe that we will have all the lights off so it wonít be an issue but during the day and during entertainment events weíll have lights on in general throughout the basement. Iíve set my projector up and am projecting the largest screen size I can get. Its roughly 135Ē diagonal. My first row of seats is 11í away and my furthest is 16í away. My first seat is on the floor and the back seat is on two 8Ē risers (2 steps). My projector is the Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100 projector with 18000:1 contrast ratio and 1800 lumins. The projector is roughly 14 ft from the wall.

My screen is a DIY Blackwidow formula N7.5 nuetral painted screen using the Valspar Ultra Premium Flat Enamel, and the Auto Air Aluminum Fine paint as described in the DIY screen threads.

I'm looking for 3 different options of projectors to decide from:

1) A pro-level projector
2) intermediate projector
3) something similar to what I have today

I've been looking at the Panasonic PT-AE8000U for sometime now but just aren't sure what to do.

I have a 60" samsung 1080p TV in the adjacent room and man is that thing amazing. Its so crystal clear and bright that its pretty embarrassing to have the project on with its somewhat washed out viewing. I know a lot of that has to do with the light in the room, but I'm hoping a projector with more lumins and maybe even 3d options will really sell me.

Any advice or options would be greatly appreciated. I don't mind spending good money for a projector that will help make the theater a lot better I just don't to get something that either isn't worth the money OR is not much better than what I have today.
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-30-12, 04:20 PM
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Re: Upgrading from an Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100...

I bought and installed a Panasonic PT-AE8000U this week. I will be writing an owner's review in a few days when I have a few more hours of viewing.

I upgraded from a Sony VPL-HW15. The difference is striking, especially in brightness. The Panasonic is truly a light cannon. Watching X-Factor Wednesday night, when the color stage lights panned across the camera, the brightness was almost painfully high.

I just calibrated the Panasonic this afternoon using CalMan 5 and a Xrite EODIS3 i1Display Pro. This was my first time to use CalMan, but it sure looked like the projector calibrated almost perfectly.

Sharpness is a tad bit better than the old Sony, which was no slouch in that area. This is my first foray into 3D, so I have nothing to compare the Panasonic to. I can say that anything less bright would not be acceptable to me in 3D mode. One reviewer of one of the mid priced JVC projectors indicated that its 3D brightness was marginal. BTW, I am using a 102" Carada Brilliant White screen. The projector is hung from the ceiling about 12 feet from the screen.

I don't see any crosstalk on 3D, but honestly I am not sure what it looks like; ghosting, I suspect. If so, I have yet to see any. Will you like 3D? Only some time with it will tell. At times it looks almost real, but I think I may have eye fatigue from it. Not a fair comparison yet, since I have spent most of the last 3 days in front of computer screens.

The Panasonic fan noise is slightly higher than the Sony's, which was whisper quiet even in high lamp mode. I always ran the Sony in high lamp, but am certain that the Panasonic has sufficient brightness in Eco. Right now it is set at normal, high. The Panasonic's fan sounds like a rushing sound that changes speed at times - I think primarily when I switch to 3D mode the fan speeds up for some reason. I never hear it above any volume of the sound system, except on mute.

I haven't really checked for convergence on the Panasonic, but nothing is obvious upon close inspection of white text near the screen. The motorized zoom and focus are great; the Sony was all manual. It also seems that the lens shift has more adjustment than the Sony did. BTW, I bought a Peerless PRGUNV mount - very nice with easy adjustment. The Panasonic mount was $400; this one was $96 from Amazon.

Panasonic has a rebate offer worth $499 or so they say if purchased prior to 12/31. It is $100 rebate, plus 2 pairs of 3D glasses (medium size only) and a warranty extension to 3 years. I purchased mine from Visual Apex, a sponsor here at HTS and got free 2 day shipping and a slight price break.

Anyway, since you mentioned the Panny 8000 I thought I would chime in with my impressions after 2 days of viewing. Any specific questions about it?

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-03-12, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Richmond, Virginia
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Re: Upgrading from an Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100...

Thank you so much for the information. Great stuff indeed.
I guess the biggest item Iím concerned with is the possibility of a washout from the projector onto the screen / wall. Iím roughly at 14í from the projector to the screen and the Lumins will jump from currently 1800 to 2400 lumins. I just want to make sure Iím not creating a worse environment and what options I have to fix the situation.

Also, was there a reason you changed and bought a new mounts on this unit? Will an existing mount work with this unit? I have a nice universal mount that is pretty low profile to help with some elevation issues in the room.

Iíve reviewed the projection calculator pro and it appears that Iíll still be able to keep my relative 130Ē screen with the different thrown ranges of the Panasonic with a throw distance of 14í for both the 16:9 and 2:39 formats. That is good news. Plus it wonít be maxing the throw range out either but stay just above the maxís and minís of the unit.

Iím still a little confused about what the ďRecommended image brightness for low ambient lightĒ means. Maybe someone could help me with that? Does that mean its recommending me to add some ambient light? Or reduce to no ambient light?

Where did you get the CalMan 5 and Xrite EODIS3 i1Display Pro.? Was that something you purchased separately? Iíll be researching these more as well.

Iím just trying to get a crisper image from the Epson if possible. I just see the Samsung TV in the other room and its mind boggling how amazingly bright, crisp, and sharp the unit is. I know that I will never get quite the same image on a projection screen in my house since I have too many negatives with light, placement, screen, etc. But I know that my current projector is causing more issues and even after changing the bulb this latest go round it just doesnít have the sharpness that I am looking for.

Thanks again for the help. If you have any screen shots Iíd love to see them! Iím hoping to make a decision this week if possible in hopes to get it here by Christmas. Possibly even by December 15th for a Polar Express movie watching we are going to throw for the kids.

Thanks in advance!
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-03-12, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 70
Re: Upgrading from an Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100...

Couple other quicker things. I keep noticing the PT-AE8000 and then its referred to as the PT-AE8000U in other items. Is there a difference between these units? Say one is a home theater unit and another a home cinema unit that is a reduced version to keep the price down. I don't see different prices so I'm not sure why the differences. Even in the reviews they refer to the same unit as both.

Also, overall what would be the differences between units such as the Panasonic PT-AE8000 and units such as the Christie LX-605. Is there a world of difference between such units? Obviously, price is a huge factor but I've seen some amazing deep cut discounts that can bring the Christie unit into the low $3000 range and in the realm of the other units.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...is this Panasonic unit a more pro-form projector or just another residential DIY home cinema unit. I'm just trying to get a feel for what the differences are with the pro-high dollar projectors and those that are used in the DIY home theaters. I've seen some amazing home theaters with amazing results but can't quite get a grip on the projectors and how they fit into the theaters both from a viewing standpoint and a price point standpoint.

Again, thank you so much for any and all help. Without forums like this I would be truly lost.
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-03-12, 09:50 PM
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Re: Upgrading from an Epson Powerlite Cinema 6100...

If you want to see what ghosting looks like check out Happy Feet 2 or Monsters & Aliens in 3D.

Last edited by robsong; 12-05-12 at 01:58 AM.
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