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We're buying a new house and we get to start from scratch with our finished basement - home theater; here we come! So as per usual I am doing my homework now - we move in a couple of weeks but likely won't get started on the new HT for another couple of months or more, so no better time than now to start my research.

I've done just about enough reading thus far to really mess my head up - projector specs, lens shift, focus memory, anamorphic lenses, need to clear some things up before I can move forward. So, if I wanted to go for that true theater experience, picture-wise, I'd likely go for as big a screen that makes sense in my space - maybe curved, if that makes sense - and for movies I'd surely want to be able to display that 2.35:1 aspect ratio without black bars on the top and bottom. Some viewing would be HDTV from cable, or gaming, so 16:9 would be used from time to time (I could use curtains to crop the sides of the screen when viewing 16:9) but I'd really like to have no unusual stretching or compressing (or any picture distortion for that matter) when going from one aspect ratio to the other.

How can I do this within a reasonable budget? By reasonable I mean up to $3k for the projector, and if a lens is required to get that true anamorphic thing going, then, well, I reckon I'd have to budget another $2k - $3k for that anamorphic lens, no? So maybe around $5k total for this light-throwing machine.

Not even talking about a screen yet - still need to get hard measurements on the new space and measure ambient light and such - lots to do still, but wanted to know how to go about getting the best of both aspect ratios - doing it the right way - and keeping the $$$ under control. Looked at Epson already, but still don't know enough about projectors to speak intelligently yet, so I will start with the questions above.
 

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Just get a Panasonic AE8000u as it automatically switches between the two modes (some setup required) anamorphic lenses cost a lot if you want a perfect lens and you loose light output going through the lens. Just not nessisary these days.
A curved screen is pointless unless you are getting into the super large sizes like in the theatres.
 

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That's a nice unit at a great price! Are there others like this at around the same price point, or does Panasonic make the only one like it? At only $1700, this frees up a lot of $$$ for a nice screen and maybe some room treatments!
 

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I believe JVC has one or two that do this also but I think they cost much more but you get what you pay for. Another option is the high end Epson (not sure model) I believe that you can manually set up a zoom that works. Someone else Im sure can chime in on this.
 

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The Epson 5040UB has a feature that lets you switch between those aspects I believe by using a motorized lens and memory settings.
 

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The Epson 5040UB has a feature that lets you switch between those aspects I believe by using a motorized lens and memory settings.
Correct ...I own the 5040 and it is a superior product in this price range ....The PQ in HDR mode is stunning....
 
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