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Projector Showdown (Viewsonic PRO8200 vs. Epson 8350 vs. Acer H7531D)


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   gomerpylevw

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Posted August 01 2011 - 08:53 AM

Hello All. I'm not quite sure where to start but need as much advice as anyone could possibly need in the setup of a new DIY home theater. I am setting this up in the living room (16 x 24) and I have adjacent rooms that are open to this room that will allow visible light to bleed into this room. BUT, my house sits North/South so I don't have to worry about direct sunlight into the room. I have a wall that has a triple window to my outside porch (covered) that I plan on making custom drapes to close when using the projector and the screen will be motorized and roll down in front of the drapes (thus removing as much light as possible). All that being said, my question lies in which projector/screen combo should I get. I have narrowed down my choices to the Viewsonic PRO8200, Epson 8350, and the Acer H7531D. Screen size is needing to be greater-than-or-equal-to 120". I want the screen to completely cover the width of the windows in the room (103.25"). So, with the screen size exposed, and the size and light volumes in the room, which of these three do you guys recommend? TV (sports, Discovery Channel, Science Channel) and Movies (Bluray) are the main purpose of this screen. From what I've read, it seems as though there's a sweet spot when it comes to contrast ratio and lumens. I know I need high lumen output due to the amount of light that will be present in the room, but I don't know how much or how that's rated because I look that the specs of the Acer and it is rated at 2000 lumens, yet the review over at Projector Central says that the measurable lumen output was just over 1000, the Viewsonic was measured at 1475, and the Epson was rated highest of these three coming in at 1507. So, I'm confused when all three of these projectors are rated at 2000 lumens. Why is their actual output less? How will this affect the brightness in my room? Only other insight I have into my decision is that I read a review of the Viewsonic and the person quoted that this is a business projector and not meant for home theater. Is this true or are there just projectors out there that perform better for video instead of a PowerPoint presentation? If you will, vote on the poll then give a reply to backup your vote... Thanks, gomer

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted August 01 2011 - 05:47 PM

The Epson 8350 is the best of those projectors, and should be no problem with a 120" screen. What is your throw distance, to verify this? The actual lumens are less because virtually all manufacturers lie about this. Contrast ratio is another worthless stat.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   gomerpylevw

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Posted August 02 2011 - 12:56 AM

I can mount the projector as close as 16 feet from the screen (ceiling mount). That's another question I had. One reviewer from another site mentioned that you don't want to have to use the keystone correction. If it's ceiling mounted, you're almost guaranteed that you'll have to do this, why is this not recommended? Does it affect the image quality?

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted August 02 2011 - 04:44 AM

The 8350 will easily fulfill your needs.  There is no keystone correction, the 8350 utilizes a shifting lens, and it has tremendous placement flexibility.  You won't have to worry about the ambient light either, just put the 8350 in the Dynamic mode or Living Room mode.  The "best quality" mode is "x.v. color" mode.  When the sun goes down, you can use that one.


Here you can see pics of my 8350 at 13' from the 100" screen.  The projector's lens axis is in-line with the left edge of the screen.  It works!


http://s282.photobuc...243/NickWizard/ 





#5 of 9 OFFLINE   gomerpylevw

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Posted August 03 2011 - 06:08 AM

Nick, I see that you have your projector over in the corner of your room. How much lens shifting can go on? My room is 15 feet wide and I would LOVE to mount it on the wall so that it is not behind the ceiling fan. The mount that I am thinking of getting is the Peerless PWA-14W. It mounts on the wall but not sure of what angle can I go up to before the image is skewed? Thanks, Keith

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted August 03 2011 - 02:00 PM

Keith,


Yes, the projector is in the far corner of the room!  Epsons are amazing... they have such huge zoom range and lens shift capabilities.


With the shifting lens, the projector is always square to the screen.  That is, the front of the projector is set parallel to the screen and the lens axis is perpendicular to the screen (exactly 90 degrees).  As I said above, the lens on mine is aimed exactly at the left edge of the screen.  The angle from the lens to the far right side of the screen is approx. 25 deg.  I hope that answers your question.


Another thing to know is that if you use lens shift in both the horizontal and vertical axes, the amount of adjustment becomes more limited in each direction.  So, you get maximum shifting ability in the horizontal axis if your projector is vertically centered on your screen or maximum vertical shift if your projector is horizontally centered on the screen.  All of this is also dependent on how large or small your image is.  Epsons are so flexible that you can put it on a coffee table in front of your sofa if you want.


Try this Epson distance calculator to see if you can get the screen size that you want at the distance you have planned.  Follow this link.  Before you do anything, maximize the window.  Then at the top left, select projector.  First you have to choose "Home", then the model 8350, then play around with the numbers.  If you click on a box to enter a new number, remember to press enter.  The white outlined arrows are clickable, interactive controls.


If you set the diagonal to 120", you will see in the boxes on the right that this is achievable at any distance between 11'9" and 25'1"


A 150" diagonal is achievable between 14'9" and 31'4".


Of course, the closer the projector is, the brighter the image, and the lower settings that you can use and preserve bulb life.


http://www.epson.com...nce-calculator/ 


Have fun!



#7 of 9 OFFLINE   gomerpylevw

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Posted August 04 2011 - 02:44 AM

That helped tremendously! Thanks so much. This cleared up my questions and helped me make my decision on a projector. The Epson 8350 it is and 120" screen will be the size (although I really wanted to go 135"). I can mount the projector on the ceiling and I will mount similar to your setup, to the left-edge of the screen and shift it right and down. I'm looking at the calculator and the distances that it shows, appears to coincide with what I need. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to inform me of these tools and information. Really helped me make an informed decision. Keith

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted August 04 2011 - 04:33 AM

Keith,


I'm glad to help.  BTW, the mount that you chose looks like it will work just fine but remember that with the 8350, you don't need to swivel or tilt.  In fact, the 8350 needs to be completely level and square to the screen, so, you could use a simple shelf.



#9 of 9 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted August 04 2011 - 04:45 AM

Oh, wait, I just realized that you are going with a ceiling mount now, rather than the origianl wall mount version.  I am not sure that you will be able to go with a high ceiling mount and still get the horizontal shift that you need.  I can get the extreme horizontal shift because the vertical placement of my projector is very close to mid-screen (just three inches away).

Did the Epson calculator tell you that you can achieve the angles that you need for this?