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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of putting together my first projector base home theater.

I tried an Epson 8350 after reading the glowing reviews on a couple of "well know" projector review sites. But it seemed very noisy audibly (although the picture seemed pretty nice). One of the reviews claimed it was "inaudible", but the sample I had was positively annoying unless the sound track was quite loud. So the 8350 went back to BestBuy.

So now I'm hovering between the Epson 5010, Panasonic PT-AE7000U, and the Mitsubishi HD7800. I like the Panny's motorized focus and zoom, but the 3-year Epson warrantee sounds very attractive. However, I can't find any local dealers for the 5010 or 7000 and I'm concerned about audible noise levels.

I don't know about the Panny or Epson but I saw the Mits at a local installer but the spaceship sequence at the start of Avatar had a LOT of judder and jerkiness to it. Later the dealer told me the motion interpolation was set wrong and the judder was now gone but I haven't been back to check. The 8350 didn't seem to have trouble with judder.

I'm also wondering about projector reliability. Which of these units is likely to hold up the best over the years. I had a Mits diamond vision CRT rear projection set back in 2001 but it went belly up in 2008. Should I expect better or worse reliability?

My room is 12'4" x 16' with no windows. The walls are a medium greenish gray. I'd probably be using a 100" 16x9 screen (no screen actually worked remarkably well visually with the 8350). I'm running the sound through a very high quality, albeit almost 40 yr old stereo (some things seem to just last forever)! From the screen size I have I figure the low-light (ECO) mode should work for me -- save some electricity and keep the noise level down. I'm primarily a movie watcher. The 3D I've seen so far (Avatar and some under the sea stuff) has looked toy-like to me (I saw Avatar on an Epson 6010 and the under sea stuff on an Epson 3010) -- if other 3D stuff isn't any better I'd have no interest in it. I'm not a gamer.

Right now I'm leaning toward the Panny, perhaps because I'm having anamorphic dreams and because Visual Apex is selling them for $2450 (with a mail in for 2 free 3D glasses), and partly because review consensus is the AE7000U is a "quiet" project (but then these reviewers also called the 8350 "inaudible").

Help! I'm grid locked in analysis paralysis.:nerd:

Charlie
 

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I just bought that Panny from Visual Apex... hopefully will have it next week. I exchanged emails with the guys that run projector reviews and projector central. They both claim the panasonic is great.

For me, noise and black levels were important. My choice for first purchase came down to the Panasonic and the JVC DLAX30. I went Panny because it sounds like it does a lot of things really well and the JVC was pretty much pigeonholed as a movie only projector (which 80% describes what I want it to do...). The JVC was widely noted as being absolutely quite... with killer black levels (one reviewer said its black are so black that they didn't know it was on)!

My plan is to test the panasonic. If it doesn't work out, I'm going to order the JVC.

I'm pretty confident either will fit the bill... but know that the 3D quality and judder adjustments on the JVC are not as good as the panny.
 

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I think you might be able to find it around $2999. More expensive, yes. But, it might be worth it?

I'd be willing to go a little higher if it meant a great viewing experience. The big deterrent for me was the issues with judder control and the ghosting noted on 3D.

The big upside is dark inky blacks, great 2D movie pic, whisper quite. Sounds kind of nice, eh?

That projector central site is really high on the panny! X your fingers.
 

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So, where exactly did you install the 8350? I mean, it was far on the back of your room? Or, very close / above your head?

I was thinking on the same PJ, but the fan noise is a concern for me. Looking forward to hear from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I installed the 8350 on a shelf above my head. I've got a 9' ceiling and the shelf was about 24" lower than the ceiling. I was concerned that the shelf was a sounding board so I modified it making an hybrid "sandwich".

On the bottom was the home depot particle board shelf. I used a layer of (small bubble) bubble wrap on top of that, a piece of 1/2" drywall above that, and 1/8" cork on top of the drywall. This seemed to eliminate the sounding board effect, but the projector was still too noisy for me. There was some sort of whine coming out of it along with the expected fan whir.

Perhaps a ceiling mount with the projector in front of the viewers (me) might have helped. I say this because I had the opportunity to watch and listen to a Epson 6010 in a quiet high-end dealer show room. The 6010 (and 5010 and 3010) have the air exhaust AND air intake on the front. When listening from behind the projector it seemed very quiet. When I walked to a little in front of it the noise increased. In ECO it was still fairly quiet from in front but clearly audible with no soundtrack playing. There was also a whine but that turned out to be some other A/V equipment the dealer had running -- at least it persisted with the projector off and the fan not running.

Anyway, I was wondering if the 8350 would be less loud from the rear than the front. I also wonder if Epson got a batch of noisier fans. I emailed Epson support about noisy fans but never heard back from them.

If it turns out the 8350 is quieter from the rear than the front it would save me a bunch of $$ as I'd got get another 8350 (though after stupidly seeing higher end machines I notice things like color misconvergence, it not being as bright as a 3010 or 5010, and not entirely black blacks. But I could live with those to save the $$ it would cost to upgrade. FWIW the local Fry's had a 8350 sale -- they were only $988. But their showroom is so loud I couldn't tell how loud the projector was. Definitely seemed quieter than a 705, I had to lean down to really hear it. It's mounting flexibility beats the 3010 hands down but there's no 3D -- but I've not been impressed with the 3D I've seen so far.

So no, I haven't made a decision yet.

Still on pin and needles (or is that tenterhooks),

Charlie
 

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Wow, thanks Charlie for all the input received!

In my case, I'm planning to install it a bit ahead of my couch. Here take a look of my room.



So, with zero knowledge of projectors, I am thinking that the best place will be the spot between the couch and the coffee table.

What do you think? Should it be installed in a different place based on your experience?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I only sound like I know what I'm doing. I'm a lot like Bruce Springsteen (dancing in the dark) when it comes to HT projectors. Very much a neophyte looking for answers instead of dispensing sage advice.

If you have a HT installer near you with a showroom, see if they have a 6010 you can look at and listen to. Then you can judge noise for yourself.

Charlie
 

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You'll need to decide on screen size before determining optimal projector mount distance. If you plan on doing a CinemaScope format screen (2.35:1), that also needs to be taken into account.
I'm thinking something between 100" to 110" on a 16:9 format. However, I was just looking at the 2.35:1 format that you mentioned above, but I'm just wondering how does the screen work with regular TV viewing?

Could you please provide some feedback? BTW - some pics will be highly appreciated.

Cheers!
 

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I only sound like I know what I'm doing. I'm a lot like Bruce Springsteen (dancing in the dark) when it comes to HT projectors. Very much a neophyte looking for answers instead of dispensing sage advice.

If you have a HT installer near you with a showroom, see if they have a 6010 you can look at and listen to. Then you can judge noise for yourself.

Charlie
Thanks Charlie!

I'll try to do that. No cash available to buy anything soon, but looking forward to educate myself on this subject. Then hopefully next year (2013) I should be able to make a move.
 

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I'm thinking something between 100" to 110" on a 16:9 format. However, I was just looking at the 2.35:1 format that you mentioned above, but I'm just wondering how does the screen work with regular TV viewing?

Could you please provide some feedback? BTW - some pics will be highly appreciated.

Cheers!
2.35:1 screen: 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies fill the screen horizontally and vertically; regular TV / 16:9 aspect ratio movies fill the screen vertically, but will have black bars on the sides.

16:9 screen: regular TV / 16:9 aspect ratio movies fill the screen horizontally and vertically; 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies fill the screen horizontally, but will have black bars on top and bottom.

Check the video (and click the "Learn More" link) on the Panamorph website for some visuals of how cinemascope and 16:9 are displayed on a cinemascope screen. Panamorph sells anamorphic lenses, so some of what they depict is to demonstrate how their lenses work; but the image geometry issues are the same whether you use a lens or not (zoom method or shrink method).

http://www.panamorph.com/
 

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2.35:1 screen: 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies fill the screen horizontally and vertically; regular TV / 16:9 aspect ratio movies fill the screen vertically, but will have black bars on the sides.

16:9 screen: regular TV / 16:9 aspect ratio movies fill the screen horizontally and vertically; 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies fill the screen horizontally, but will have black bars on top and bottom.

Check the video (and click the "Learn More" link) on the Panamorph website for some visuals of how cinemascope and 16:9 are displayed on a cinemascope screen. Panamorph sells anamorphic lenses, so some of what they depict is to demonstrate how their lenses work; but the image geometry issues are the same whether you use a lens or not (zoom method or shrink method).

http://www.panamorph.com/
Wow, thanks for the input. In my case, my HT is mainly used to watch movies. So, I should be able to deal with the black bars on the sides while watching regular TV at 16:9 aspect ratio.

Now, as per Epson website the 3010 and 5010 PJs are capable of 2.35:1 aspect ratio. So, I guess one must have a 2.35:1 screen, then change the setup at the PJ and that will be all. Am I correct here?

However, if I'm wrong, could you please clarify it for me?
 

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There are 3 ways to do 2.35:1 with a projector:

1) use an anamorphic lens (not cheap) in front of the projector, along with either a scaler device (Lumagen for example) or projector's built in "stretch mode" (that's what the "supports 2.35:1" refers to)
2) use zoom method - you just adjust your projector's zoom to toss the top and bottom black bars outside the screen boundaries (and zoom it back when watching 16:9 content)
3) use shrink method - you adjust your projector's zoom as above, for 2.35:1 content - when watching 16:9, you don't adjust zoom, you use either a scaler device or an HTPC to shrink 16:9 content down to fit the 2.35:1 screen height

I use (2) for bluray source; and (3) for content stored on my HTPC, using XBMC software. The majority of the time, its (3).

For #2 all you need is a 2.35:1 screen, and a projector that has a zoom ratio of greater than 1.3:1 - and ideally power zoom/focus/shift, so you don't have to walk up to the projector to adjust.
 

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There are 3 ways to do 2.35:1 with a projector:

1) use an anamorphic lens (not cheap) in front of the projector, along with either a scaler device (Lumagen for example) or projector's built in "stretch mode" (that's what the "supports 2.35:1" refers to)
2) use zoom method - you just adjust your projector's zoom to toss the top and bottom black bars outside the screen boundaries (and zoom it back when watching 16:9 content)
3) use shrink method - you adjust your projector's zoom as above, for 2.35:1 content - when watching 16:9, you don't adjust zoom, you use either a scaler device or an HTPC to shrink 16:9 content down to fit the 2.35:1 screen height

I use (2) for bluray source; and (3) for content stored on my HTPC, using XBMC software. The majority of the time, its (3).

For #2 all you need is a 2.35:1 screen, and a projector that has a zoom ratio of greater than 1.3:1 - and ideally power zoom/focus/shift, so you don't have to walk up to the projector to adjust.
Thanks again for the information! Now, I just need to find out the best PJs that will fit on item #2.

While looking into this, I noticed on the specifications for Epson 3010 and 5010 that both are compatible with 2.35:1 formats with Normal, Full or Zoom Modes. So, I guess these should work fine for me (without the need of an expensive anamorphic lens.

Any experience on those Epson's PJ with 2.35:1 format?
 

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Both the Epson 3010 and 5010 have enough zoom to do zoom method - but they are manual zoom, not motorized, which to me would disqualify them - would be a hassle to have to manually adjust the zoom every time you switch aspect ratios (especially if ceiling mounted).
Really!?!?

Man, that sucks. So, any other brand/model that you might recommend for me to check it out?
 

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The ones I'm most familiar with are JVC, Panasonic, and Sony. Their newer models, in addition to having power zoom and shift, also have a lens memory feature, where it can detect movie aspect ratio and automatically adjust, or you can push one button to adjust.

I have an older JVS, the RS-20 - very nice projector, but no 3D, and just power zoom/shift/focus, no lens memory.
 

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The ones I'm most familiar with are JVC, Panasonic, and Sony. Their newer models, in addition to having power zoom and shift, also have a lens memory feature, where it can detect movie aspect ratio and automatically adjust, or you can push one button to adjust.

I have an older JVS, the RS-20 - very nice projector, but no 3D, and just power zoom/shift/focus, no lens memory.
Oh boy, the JVC 3D projector (entry level) runs for $3.5K.......ouch!
 
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