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Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Old 02-01-11, 03:25 PM
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Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

I'm getting a new projector. I'm looking at Epson models PowerLite (8700UB or 8350 unless newer models are coming out) or the Panasonic PT-AE4000U. I'd appreciate any helpful feedback from anyone with any experience with these models. It's going into a small room, 11.6 x 11.6 feet so I'd be curious to hear how well the zooms work on these as well.
Old 02-01-11, 03:46 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

What do you have now?

I prefer DLP and will be looking at the new Mit in the spring...

http://www.projectorcentral.com/mits...tor_review.htm

http://www.projectorreviews.com/mitsubishi/hc4000/

My favorite review site...Art does a fantastic job. Just enough of the technical, but a lot of plain, real life talk. I "patiently" waited for his review before buy my first HD projector (my original was an Infocus X1).

http://www.projectorreviews.com/

Well I say I prefer DLP. I'm on a budget and won't spend over $1.400 or so (I have the Optima HD70 now). So for low budget I prefer the DLP over other low budget LCD. However, I have read a lot of fantastic things about the Panny and if I had that budget, would consider.

Oh and by the way, what type of set up do you have. You you set up in a living room or have a full on media room?

Last edited by Sdallnct; 02-01-11 at 03:53 PM.
Old 02-01-11, 04:15 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

I have an optima hd65 and an epson moviemate 72. I was wowed by the optima when I picked it up two years back. I then picked up the moviemate this past year for outdoor viewing as I really enjoy the drive-in experience since my favorite local drive-in was sold and closed. It works great in this regard. Testing the moviemate indoors surprised me at how much larger the picture was, though it isn't as sharp and nice as the optima. I really want to keep that bigger picture experience but with the sharpness from the optima. My room is small, like I said in the first post so I need a projector with a good zoom lens. I don't care if it's DLP (like the optima) or LCD.
Old 02-01-11, 04:29 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

You can check this out...

http://www.projectorreviews.com/advi...LP_vs_LCoS.php

Well there are a ton of variables (as I'm sure you know). I assume you want to ceiling mount. I have about a 12' long room with 8' foot ceilings. My Optima just works. The issue with low end DLP is no lens shift. But a couple extra measurements and planning and it usually can work just fine. My HD70 has a short zoom and I'm sporting a 94" screen.

Assuming you want to ceiling mount (as opposed to a high shelf behind the seating area), I wouldn't buy a projector solely for the lens shift. Again, a little planning and careful measuring (which is only done once) you can usually make it work. However things like wanting to shelf mount, low ceilings, you must (for some odd reason) mount the projector off to the side, than you might want to look a lens shift.
Old 02-01-11, 04:44 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

I'm not doing a ceiling mount. I keep the projector in the back of the room on the stereo stand.

Thanks for those links!
Old 02-01-11, 04:52 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
I'm not doing a ceiling mount. I keep the projector in the back of the room on the stereo stand.

Thanks for those links!
Ewww....yea...you need to do some careful measuring. And look up the lens offset of projectors without lens shift (and how much lens shift is available on those that have it).
Old 02-02-11, 08:54 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Ewww....yea...you need to do some careful measuring. And look up the lens offset of projectors without lens shift (and how much lens shift is available on those that have it).
It's not that bad. I placed my optima on the stand and I had to do a little adjusting on the front leg and it was good to go. I'm more worried about getting a better zoom, which the optima sucked at. I really want to fill the wall as much as possible.

Anyone got the panasonic or the epson models? I'd love to hear how well the zoom lens work on those.
Old 02-02-11, 09:06 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Did you not have any keystone issues? If you had to raise the front leg (and thus the projector was no longer level) and you had no lens shift, how did you square up the image?

YMMV of course (well it is not really YMMV, but to the degree it effects it, YMMV), but it is generally frowned upon to use the digital keystone correction. This negatively effects the image. Of course than you get into the inevitable debate about how much, what if you only needed to adjust it a "little bit", etc.

http://www.theprojectorpros.com/lear...correction.htm

How big of a screen do you want? That of course will be another issue. Most modern digital projectors today can handle 110". But if I was considering bigger, I'd really look at brightness levels of the projector, if my room had the appropriate light control, etc. I'm very pleased with my 94" screen with my seating distance. On my wall (see signature) I could go slightly bigger by building a new screen with a smaller outer frame and extending to the two doors. However, I want to leave a little space on either side of the door so if needed, I could slide the screen to perfectly center (if I missed my mount measurement by a slight amount).

Oh, you can use this calculator to figure screen size based on projector distance and zoom.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm

As for "how well the zoom lens works" I'm not sure what your asking. They all work exactly the same. Depending on the model you are interested in they have a larger or smaller range. Sure if you are going to the extreme ends of the zoom there might be a slight brightness change, but usually this is not an issue. And if that is what your worried about, you would really need to talk about specific models of projectors.

The Panny is available for $2,000 at projector people and comes with a spare bulb. That seems like a good deal.

http://www.projectorpeople.com/proje...projectors.asp

I'm a little surprised you don't seem to be concerned with which technology. This will likely have a bigger impact on overall image than if you are using the extreme end of a zoom for example.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 02-02-11 at 09:23 AM.
Old 02-02-11, 09:53 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
It's not that bad. I placed my optima on the stand and I had to do a little adjusting on the front leg and it was good to go. I'm more worried about getting a better zoom, which the optima sucked at. I really want to fill the wall as much as possible.

Anyone got the panasonic or the epson models? I'd love to hear how well the zoom lens work on those.
I have an Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 1080. It's the predecessor from a few generations back to the Epson models you're considering. The zoom and lens shift on it is fantastic. You won't get much better placement flexibility at your price point.

The advantage of the Panny is that it can save and recall zoom and lens shift settings. So, for example, if you're going to have a 2.35:1 screen, you can use the save zoom/shift settings for 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 to achieve constant image height with your screen.
Old 02-02-11, 10:03 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

For me, bigger is better, but picture quality is still important. I feel you can get a great picture from either format, LCD or DLP, each with pluses and minuses. When I mention zoom, I'm referring to the amount of scale. I need larger because I have a smaller room. Like I said, the optima has a terrific picture but little zoom range thus a smaller image. The moviemate was a cheap projector but the zoom range is much larger and I really enjoy the impact it delivers. It's not as good a picture as the optima but it's a low end projector. (And, it was bought to be used outside when the weather is better.) So, I'm willing to spend a little money and get a projector that will give me a mix of both, bigger and better picture. In reading stuff on the net, the epsons and the panasonic sound great. I saw the rebate for an extra bulb for the panasonic and find that a great deal. I looked at the info on its zoom and it wasn't clear to me how large an image I can get from that lens. I'm hoping to get a picture that's around 5'5" x 9' from a projector distance of 10 to 11 feet. I'm open to any suggestions in projectors, it's just those two sounded good out of the gate. My budget is $1,200 to $2,000. Of course, if something is amazing for a couple of hundred more, I'd still consider it. My "man cave" is a small one so I need to find a projector with a strong short throw.
As for keystone issues, no real problems. I am projecting on the wall so any minor errors don't jump out as they would on a screen with a frame.
Old 02-02-11, 10:08 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
I have an Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 1080. It's the predecessor from a few generations back to the Epson models you're considering. The zoom and lens shift on it is fantastic. You won't get much better placement flexibility at your price point.

The advantage of the Panny is that it can save and recall zoom and lens shift settings. So, for example, if you're going to have a 2.35:1 screen, you can use the save zoom/shift settings for 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 to achieve constant image height with your screen.
Thanks kefrank. I'm glad to hear the zoom and lens shift are fantastic. How large of an image do you project and from what distance projector to screen? How do you like the image from your powerlite?
I read about the save and recall zoom on the panny. If I was going with a screen, and maybe down the road I will, that would be a great feature.
Old 02-02-11, 10:27 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Same with the Panasonic. I have an earlier model, lens is very nice. 90" screen, 11-12' throw, I forget exactly. I believe the LCD module in the Pannys is made by Epson. So basically, they are very similar. Panny tends to include extra features and charge more. If you want the power zoom or are going to do CIH, get the AE4000, otherwise save some cash and get the Epson.

Put a frame on your wall, it will help with the contrast and whenever the TV signal has rough edges. Use blackout tape.
Old 02-02-11, 11:22 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
Thanks kefrank. I'm glad to hear the zoom and lens shift are fantastic. How large of an image do you project and from what distance projector to screen? How do you like the image from your powerlite?
I read about the save and recall zoom on the panny. If I was going with a screen, and maybe down the road I will, that would be a great feature.
I've used the projector in multiple rooms over the last three years. For most of its tenure, I was projecting onto an 80" diagonal 1.78:1 screen from about 9 feet away, but I've also projected onto the same screen from 14 feet. In my currently-under-construction dedicated room, it will be projecting onto a 92" diagonal 1.78:1 screen from 16 feet away.

Epson has a chart for throw distances vs. screen size in the manual. According to the chart for mine, at 9.8 feet away, you can do a 100" 16:9 image, which is just a few inches less than what you're hoping to get. I'm not sure if the current gen has wider ranges or not. Epson has some screen distance calculator software that you can use to determine your size options based on your throw distance for the models you're considering.

As for image quality, it is fantastic, save for two minor gripes. The first is that the convergence isn't perfect...and it rarely is for any 3LCD projector. On most movie/tv content, it's hardly noticeable, but you really see it if you're using it as a computer monitor too. I actually exchanged mine a few times with Epson to try and get one with the good enough convergence for my taste. The only other issue I've run into is that my original model got dust blobs at less than 100 hours of usage. LCD projectors are prone to them, since the light path can't be sealed. The way I was using it at that time had me moving it every time I used it in a carpeted room that was a dust haven. Now it never moves on a fixed shelf, with a dust cover over it when not in use, in a room with an air purifier and I have not had any dust blobs. I will add that Epson's warranty service was wonderful, which is a rarity these days, it seems.
Old 02-02-11, 12:49 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Are dust blobs permanent? Or is there a way to clean out the projector?
Old 02-02-11, 01:04 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
Are dust blobs permanent? Or is there a way to clean out the projector?
Well they are not permanent, but the projector would need to be sent back to have cleaned. Some will do under warranty, others will not. Least that is the "official" word. I seem to recall a few years back when I was reading that people would clean themselves. But maybe that is something else.

DLP is a "sealed" system (as is LCOS). No dust blobs. But my understanding is they are actually rare. Well rare in the issue if you get them and/or see them or not.

BTW, what paint are you using for your "wall" screen? I'm just curious. There are more than a couple of favorites. Yes, HIGHLY recommend making a frame for the area painted for your screen (or for the screen are if you just painted the entire wall). As Spiky says, even tape would work well. Just got to get is straight. I spent more time making sure my screen was square and level than probably anything else.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 02-02-11 at 01:09 PM.
Old 02-02-11, 01:19 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Wait...am I understanding you correctly, you want a 124" screen and your room is 11.5 feet in length? Wow! That is HUGE. Do you plan just one row of seating?

You would likely just have to go look at each projectors spec's to see the if the zoom range would work. Looks like the Epson would need to be 12.5' away...if I reading you and the chart correctly.
Old 02-02-11, 04:44 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Well they are not permanent, but the projector would need to be sent back to have cleaned. Some will do under warranty, others will not. Least that is the "official" word. I seem to recall a few years back when I was reading that people would clean themselves. But maybe that is something else.
It all depends on the specific model. Some models are designed to make cleaning the panels easy for the end user. Others are not (mine certainly is not). Epson was glad to replace mine under warranty when the dust blobs appeared, but there's no way I would have been able to clean them myself.

DLP is a "sealed" system (as is LCOS). No dust blobs. But my understanding is they are actually rare. Well rare in the issue if you get them and/or see them or not.
They should be pretty rare, particularly if the proper care is taken. Even when they happen, they are pretty hard to see. They're basically visible only when the image is almost uniformly dark and they show up as slightly colored (usually very dark greenish), out-of-focus round blobs. Honestly, I think a lot of people who have them don't even notice them.
Old 02-02-11, 04:50 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Wait...am I understanding you correctly, you want a 124" screen and your room is 11.5 feet in length? Wow! That is HUGE. Do you plan just one row of seating?
124" is definitely too big for that size room. For example, the THX recommended screen size for sitting 11 feet away is just under 100 inches diagonal, which is about 87" wide by 49" high (assuming a 16:9 aspect ratio). That seems like a more reasonable screen size for the room and is more likely to be accommodated by the projector zoom.

Also, given the room size and the fact that the projector will be shelf-mounted, I would assume just one row of seating.
Old 02-02-11, 05:22 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
It all depends on the specific model. Some models are designed to make cleaning the panels easy for the end user. Others are not (mine certainly is not). Epson was glad to replace mine under warranty when the dust blobs appeared, but there's no way I would have been able to clean them myself.


They should be pretty rare, particularly if the proper care is taken. Even when they happen, they are pretty hard to see. They're basically visible only when the image is almost uniformly dark and they show up as slightly colored (usually very dark greenish), out-of-focus round blobs. Honestly, I think a lot of people who have them don't even notice them.
Good information. I haven't kept up since I have DLP and plan to stick to it. But truth be told, at the end of the day "dust blobs" weren't a factor in my final decision. I started with an Infocus X1 and really enjoyed it. When the rumors started coming around of HD projectors at a grand I started looking. But it was only the DLP that were close to that. At the time (almost 4 years ago) you really couldn't get a HD LCD at under $1,500 if that. And than the HD70 came out with a MSRP of $999, and the reviews were good (I'm under no illusions that it is as good as projectors costing 50%-100% more). And I have been very happy with it. Especially after calibration and a little break in of the bulb.

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
124" is definitely too big for that size room. For example, the THX recommended screen size for sitting 11 feet away is just under 100 inches diagonal, which is about 87" wide by 49" high (assuming a 16:9 aspect ratio). That seems like a more reasonable screen size for the room and is more likely to be accommodated by the projector zoom.

Also, given the room size and the fact that the projector will be shelf-mounted, I would assume just one row of seating.
Well, I'm hoping I misunderstood....

I just remeasured my room. I guess I was off on my room measurements. My room is right at 16.5' long. I have seating at 11.5 and 16.5. By and large I prefer the rear row while watching. Yes, sitting at 11.5' is WOW, but it is almost to much. I actually have a love seat off to the side that is 2-3' closer than the front row (wife wouldn't let me throw out). I can't watch that close at all. My wife likes it for some reason, but I don't. Screen is 94".

Now when/if I upgrade to 1080p, maybe that front row will be better. However, it's not the resolution that bothers me. It just seems to much.
Old 02-02-11, 06:39 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

There are only two seats and usually it's just me in a comfy leather chair. The other is at a desk. When the wife wants to watch I'll sit in the desk chair. Basically this is my man cave. Well, a man, a cat and two dogs cave. The screen size I suggested is actually the size that the moviemate is pushing out right now. Currently watching Fantasia 2000. I switched over to the Optima earlier this afternoon and it just looks too small. I wasn't sure how large other projectors could blow up the picture. I can easily live with a little smaller. But, just a little bit smaller. The whole dust blob things is a bummer. I've had the Optima for 2 years and nothing but it is a DLP. The moviemate I've only had since the fall.
Old 02-02-11, 07:42 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
There are only two seats and usually it's just me in a comfy leather chair. The other is at a desk. When the wife wants to watch I'll sit in the desk chair. Basically this is my man cave. Well, a man, a cat and two dogs cave. The screen size I suggested is actually the size that the moviemate is pushing out right now. Currently watching Fantasia 2000. I switched over to the Optima earlier this afternoon and it just looks too small. I wasn't sure how large other projectors could blow up the picture. I can easily live with a little smaller. But, just a little bit smaller. The whole dust blob things is a bummer. I've had the Optima for 2 years and nothing but it is a DLP. The moviemate I've only had since the fall.
Meh...don't worry about the dust blobs. As I mentioned, that wasn't a factor in me going DLP. They are rare and often unnoticeable if you get.
Old 02-02-11, 09:17 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

I have no dust blobs. In my projector, I mean. There's TONS everywhere else. I really oughta clean this place.
Old 02-03-11, 08:23 AM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

So you never said. What paint to you use as a screen?

I was close and even was looking and about ordered the counter top material, when I was thinking about a new screen. I hate painting and am terrible at it. So thought that would be a way to go.

My screen is true screen material that I bought off ebay than built my own frame for it. Than an outer frame for the black. I'm pleased with how it came out and the image it projects. But toyed on and off about slightly bigger (maybe 104"). But now that I'm considering a new PJ I'll wait.
Old 02-03-11, 12:03 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

Normal. Benjamin Moore premium white satin finish. Looks great. No issues. No odd reflections or uneven lighting. Just a clean flat image.
Old 02-03-11, 12:40 PM
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Re: Epson vs Panasonic in projectors

I started off with an Infocus Screenplay 4805 and upgraded to an Epson something or other 720p. LOVE the Epson, and the lens shift feature is fantastic. They're also supposed to be top in customer service when it comes to projectors, so decided to go with them over Panasonic. When it times to upgrade again, I'll be leaning heavily towards Epson, but we'll see...

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