I downsized my house, and the new house comes with a wonderful home theatre, six theatre seats, ceiling mounted projector, the works. Kids are ecstatic with it.Problem, the projector is 10 years old, and some of the colors are just not there anymore. It was a top quality projector for 2002. Everything else is wonderful, I plugged in a new Blue Ray DVD to replace the old, and I have an HDMI equipped receiver that will be at least as good and probably better than the existing receiver that churns out incredible sound.All I need to do is replace the projector. I had a Geek Squad consultant come out. he recommends the Epson 3020 3D 3 LCD projector. Cost of $1,599 (I get $100 rebate) so $1,499.I know nothing about projectors. The theatre seats are about 15 to 20 feet back in the room. Set up I am sure to be optimal for the top resolution of 2002 and the screen size.I have seen projectors for $600 or so, with xvga I believe (not HD, but if seats are that far back not sure if HD makes much of a difference).Is it worth the extra $500 to $1,000 to move up to a projector like this Epson? I have no idea of what the incremental benefits are for that price difference.If anyone has any insight, I'd appreciate it. Yes, it is a top notch home theatre set up, the real deal, but I moved into the house to save some money as well. Part of my going "off the grid" in case the worse sort of economic peril imposes itself upon us, so I will spend the extra money if it is worth it, but trying to be picky about not spending money on extra luxuries that are not worth the incremental cost.Tinker
Tinker, there’s a good overview of the 3020 at http://www.projectorcentral.com/epson_3020e_home_video_proje...Projection TVs can be pricy and the upper end prices are for small increments: the 3020 has a good light throw and a good lumens level for the price. If the older projector can’t be fixed with a new lamp I’d go with the 3020.One point about projection TVs is lamp life. The 3020 is about 5,000 hours and that’s up there with other technologies such as direct LCD and plasma. So you’re not putting your dollars into something short lived. As an investment in family home enjoyment the cost is not high. Good bang for the buck.MichaelR
Thanks Michael. My first real home theatre, and even with the old projector, the difference between the real home threatre and a 55" plasma was very apparent. It was practically a different movie and certainly a different experience. It is great to have my kids be able to see Star Wars as I saw it at their age. Even if now I will probably have to suffer through Star Wars Episode VII (Disney, please get back to Episode IV and V quality).I will look into if the lamp is the problem or not. Seems plenty bright in the old projector, what is missing are reds (lips are colorless) and too much green. Making the lion in Madagacar 3 look more like the computer draft before perfected by the animators. Funny though how the other animals and colors seem just fine even as the brownish yellow lion just doesn't work. Star Wars Episode III looked almost like a black and white film. So varies by film the color issues. I will look into the lamp angle as well.Thanks Michael.Tinker
I will look into if the lamp is the problem or not. Seems plenty bright in the old projector, what is missing are reds (lips are colorless) and too much green. Making the lion in Madagacar 3 look more like the computer draft before perfected by the animators. Funny though how the other animals and colors seem just fine even as the brownish yellow lion just doesn't work. Star Wars Episode III looked almost like a black and white film. So varies by film the color issues. I will look into the lamp angle as well.Thanks Michael.Tinker If the projector has lost color balance you can’t correct then it is the LCDs and a lamp replacement won’t work. You would be better off replacing the entire projector. The major problem with projection TVs is ambient light: some need absolute darkness (especially with a screen more than 200-in.) but the Epson you’re thinking of getting will work with some ambient light – slight sacrifice of deeper blacks but not really that much you don’t have a good black-on-black level. And, with kids, you do need some light so they don’t trip over the design in the carpet carrying a soda.Plus the new Epson can project at 1080p (don’t know the resolution of the older projector) and at larger screen sizes that is noticeable. That also means you get the better resolution from the Blu-ray player you just bought.Did you buy a new amp?MichaelR
No, have my old amp that is 2-3 years old, will use that to replace the existing amplifier system. The sound system is great, but perhaps it could be greater. I believe my system is at least equivalent and probably better than what came with the system, which was a good system for 2002. The projector is only 480, so it is an upgrade a reasonable person might make just to move to 1080p. It is the color issue with the projector, so will need to replace the projector. Good to know before I waste time and energy and money trying to replace the bulb, or some other work around. The room is totally dark when the lights are out and the projector going, but yes the kids do seem to want to get up and dance in the large area in front of the seats to the projector light, and there is a bathroom down the hall to the theatre which provides just enough ambient lighting if we leave that light on.Thanks Michael. Looks like another expense, but worthwhile.Tinker
Scott:Talked with my friend Simon who has a $1.6 million theater featuring a 29-ft diagonal screen. Took him a year to decide on what projector and screen and, in that time, looked at just about all there is to know about projection. Long and short of it is he heartily endorses the Epson you’re getting. Says you’ll be blown away by the picture.We talked today about screen size, screen’s reflectivity, and the projector’s light emission. Simon said there are higher priced units you could get but why? What Simon said is most important is screen resolution and that going from 480 to 1080p is world’s apart. For that alone he recommends the Epson.My experience is in direct view TVs that started at low res and are now 1080p. Playing even my older DVDs upscaled is Really Something. I think most on this board would agree.One problem with a large projection TV: you didn’t say how old your kids are but expect they’ll invite friends. Lots of friends. My advice? Buy a hot-air corn popper. Of course, when you do get the new projector, a full report is required.MichaelR
9 year old boy/girl twins, 6 seat theatre, plenty of room in front of the seats for others on bean bag chairs, I shall provide the popcorn and report back when new projector installed.Prior owner of the house said she put in the theatre, and multiple other amenities, because she wanted her kids and their friends (and dates) coming to her house to hang out where she could keep an I on them and know the scoop first if something was going on.Benefitting from her wonderful eye for interior decoration (that was her profession) and healthy parental paranoia. Gem of a house. Just need to upgrade that projector.I can report that I recorded Star Trek Movie in HD on Tivo on my 52" plasma, and watched first 15 minutes, and then compared it to the home theatre, not only is there too much green, but there is no red left in that projector. So no doubt about its useful days being frustratingly over with. The sound was still exhilarating, the seats oh so comfortable, but I will not watch any further movies in there until I have it upgraded.Tinker
I decided to switch to the Epson 8350. My home theatre is really a dedicted home theatre down to the "t" so ambient light is not an issue, and the 8350 can handle ambient light even if it were.The 8350 is easier to position in the reviews I read, had an active IRIS, and has less lag. I don't see much need for 3D movies, even the Avengers, that I saw in 3D, I think I'd really rather see it in 2D.I don't have any gaming needs at present, but my kids might some day as they become teenagers (fortunately at least one presidentail election away) and 3D gaming might become very big. But the 3010 has lag according to the reviews that was irksome, so it would not solve the gaming problem. By that point I'd probably need to upgrade anyways if gaming became an issue, and in 5 years, glassless 3D should become the norm.So for a bit less money I get a better 2D picture quality with easier set up. Just ordered it tonight. Will report when I get it all hooked up and going.I did pay $100 for a Geek Squad consult. Their recommendations would have cost me $2,600 in total. I shopped around, and the projector can be found hundreds of dollars cheaper on Amazon. Both projectors. And with a new mount (which may not be necessary as I have an old universal mount already installed, but ordered a specific one anyways for the 8350) and 25 feet of HDMI cable (current system is component cable), the cost is less than $1,300. Quite the savings. My "handy man" has eperience in home theatre installations so if I have any problem I will recruit him. All in all, should save over $1,000 from what the consultants were selling me.That is a rather substantial savings to say the least. No wonder in this age of technology Best Buy is having such problems. Live the store, always have, I paid the $100 consult fee, which helped lead me to potential projectors, but dang, they are not adding much value for that extra $1000 or so. Not that hard to plug and play speaker wire and HDMI cable, although routing it through the ceiling might be difficult. But I could do a wireless HDMI kit to resolve tha issue I think. But won't go there.Yes, if the home theatre was not already set up and in place, and now in a plug and play position, once I install the new projector, Geek Squad may very well have been very worthwhile, or perhaps even a better technical consultant. Anyways, just an update of what I have learned over the last few days and where I am going with it.Tinker
There is a tour of Scott’s Epson 8350 Projector at http://www.projectorreviews.com/epson/home-cinema-8350/tour....This isn’t the most expensive projection unit yet, as I’ve said, there’s entry level and there’s entry level. The 8350 is, comparative to certain others, low cost but this doesn’t mean low-cost performance. Decent enough light throw and fairly good blacks (the two criteria projection TVs are judged) means a large 100-in screen that, at 1080p, is startlingly good.Two movies I’d love to see on this setup: Princess Bride and Lion King 1 ½ . especially having Scott’s kids there and watching their reaction.MichaelR
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