Epson or Panasonic advice + screen & AV advice

Duncanc

Active Member
First off, i'm new to projectors, so please forgive any daft statements/questions :)

1)
The Projector....

I'm trying to decide between the Epson TW8100 / 9100 and the Panasonic PTA 6000.

I've read this in depth comparison in which the Epson wins:

The Epson Home Cinema 5020 Projector Compared to the Panasonic PT-AE8000

Seems conclusive, so i'm erring towards the Epson.

I've seen the PTA 6000 running in store twice. First time it was beside an Epson TW6100 which has a fraction of the contrast ratio of the 8100/9100 (40,000:1 vs. 320,000).

The PTA 6000 is 500,000:1, but i was surprised at how well the Epson compared in the flesh. The 6000 seemed only marginally better. The Epson had far more pop and the flesh tones were a lot more realistic (the 6000 seemed a little purple by comparison).

The 6000 did handle motion slightly better and sharpness/detail was crisper. Question is, since i was comparing the PTA 6000 to an Epson 6100, would the extra contrast and spec of the Epson 8100/9100 close this gap (according to the comparison i linked to above, it would).

Second time i saw the PTA 6000 it was a much better picture, but this time i had nothing to compare it to.

What say you?

2)
The Spec....


If i were to choose Epson, do i go for the 8100 (£2250), or the 9100 (£2599, with 2 pairs of free 3D glasses) ?

the main differences seem to be, firstly, the 9100's ability to set up the picture and inputs to ISF standards...

Is this something i will really be able to utilise? Or are these settings for professionals only? Or, do these settings make little difference to the picture anyway?

Secondly, the 9100 has anamorphic capabilities that the 8100 does not. It has anamorphic options of stretch and squeeze and can take an anamorphic lens. As a film enthusiast i may decide in the future to get a 2.35:1 screen, so this may be useful. Can anyone tell me roughly how much an anamorphic lens for the 9100 would cost, as i've know idea. If they're crazy expensive, then this option is redundant for me.

Btw, an advantage of the PTA 6000 is lens memory for 2.35:1 screens (no extra lens necessary).

3)
The screen...


Does this one seem suitable for the Epson or Panasonic projectors:

Sapphire Electric Screen Infra Red 1704mm x 958mm

The room is 3m wide, walls are white and there's a fair amount of ambient light during the day (also there's light reflecting glass framed pictures my girlfriend won't let me take down ;)

It's a rented flat, so i can paint it etc.

The distance from lens to screen will be about 2.57m (using the throw calculator it appears i can't get the 2m wide screen, but imagine the 1.7m wide will be OK). Am i correct in this, or can either of these projectors in fact handle a larger screen that this at a 2.57m throw?

Also, has anyone attached one of these to a drywall/plasterboard? I'm worried the weight and potential stress caused by the screen motoring up and down daily will bring the lot down on my head :suicide:

I can use another wall that's brick, but it means moving the room around and it won't be as comfortable :(

ETA: Just occurred to me, is the Saphhire screen i've linked to OK for 3D? Or do i need to get one of these far more expensive 3D screens:

Sapphire 3D Tab Tension Electric Screen Infra Red 2032mm x 1143mm

Since the PTA 6000 and particularly the TW8100/9100 are brighter in 3D than their predecessors will a 'normal' screen be acceptable, or will the expensive 3D screens be that much better? Also, would this higher 2.0 gain prove too bright for 2D ?


4)
The Audio...

I'll be running most of my content from my Mac Pro (desktop) via display port-to-HDMI adapter to the receiver (displaying the mac screen and using VLC to play my files) I'm assuming this is possible !!!

So, after the expense of the projector and screen i have to compromise as much as possible, but i don't want to sabotage everything with crappy audio.

This seems like a good deal:

Yamaha YHT398 Black | 5.1 Package System inc Speakers excluding DVD Player | Richer Sounds

I've no idea if the speakers are good or naff, but the receiver seems to have good reviews and it's a cheap bundle.

The receiver is in fact the Yamaha RX-V373. The next step up is the Yamaha RX-V473 which adds DNLA Networking, Airplay and CINEMA DSP 3D...

The RX-V373 has CINEMA DSP, so i'm not sure exactly what the '3D' of the RX-V473 adds to the mix..! Btw, both receivers have HDMI 1.4 (3D compatible).

But sadly the RX-V473 has no bundle deal that includes speakers.

Update: I've found an RX-V474 bundle:

Onkyo-Now.co.uk : : Specialists in Onkyo's award winning Hifi and home theatre systems

About an extra £100 over the RX-V373 bundle. I think the network capability makes it almost worth the extra cost, but what do you think about the speakers? Are these worse than those in the 373 bundle, or better? This might swing my decision either way...

And what about this 'CINEMA DSP 3D' that the 473 has - is it so much better than the regular 'CINEMA DSP' that the 373 has ?

5)
The gratitude....
My huge thanks for any help :thumbsup:
 
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Duncanc

Active Member
A friendly bump, as i'm looking to buy this kit this week and would be really grateful for any advice whatsoever :)
 

Duncanc

Active Member
:hiya: Another friendly bump, as i'm intending to buy this stuff this weekend and could really use the advice.
 

Ribbsey

Member
Just my opinion but I'd be looking to split the budget a little more equally between audio / video. I think you'd be sorely disappointed with the sound side of things as per the items you have listed above.
 

Andrew K

Banned
First off, i'm new to projectors, so please forgive any daft statements/questions :)
I've seen the PTA 6000 running in store twice. First time it was beside an Epson TW6100 which has a fraction of the contrast ratio of the 8100/9100 (40,000:1 vs. 320,000).

The PTA 6000 is 500,000:1, but i was surprised at how well the Epson compared in the flesh. The 6000 seemed only marginally better. The Epson had far more pop and the flesh tones were a lot more realistic (the 6000 seemed a little purple by comparison).

The 6000 did handle motion slightly better and sharpness/detail was crisper. Question is, since i was comparing the PTA 6000 to an Epson 6100, would the extra contrast and spec of the Epson 8100/9100 close this gap (according to the comparison i linked to above, it would).

Second time i saw the PTA 6000 it was a much better picture, but this time i had nothing to compare it to.

What say you?

The 8100 and 9100 are in a different league to the 6100. If you think the Panasonic was only marginally better than the 6100 then you will be blown away by the 8100 or 9100

2)
The Spec....


If i were to choose Epson, do i go for the 8100 (£2250), or the 9100 (£2599, with 2 pairs of free 3D glasses) ?

the main differences seem to be, firstly, the 9100's ability to set up the picture and inputs to ISF standards...

Is this something i will really be able to utilise? Or are these settings for professionals only? Or, do these settings make little difference to the picture anyway?

Main differences are the 9100 has 2 pairs of glasses, 3 year projector and lamp warranty compared to the 2 years of the 8100 and is black (8100 is white). You will need a professional calibrator to make use of the ISF.

Basically the 8100 is a slightly stripped down version to reduce the cost. Performance is the same. If you can afford the initial outlay and don't want a white unit then the 9100 is the better buy for the warranty.

3)
The screen...


Does this one seem suitable for the Epson or Panasonic projectors:

Sapphire Electric Screen Infra Red 1704mm x 958mm

The room is 3m wide, walls are white and there's a fair amount of ambient light during the day (also there's light reflecting glass framed pictures my girlfriend won't let me take down ;)

It's a rented flat, so i can paint it etc.

The distance from lens to screen will be about 2.57m (using the throw calculator it appears i can't get the 2m wide screen, but imagine the 1.7m wide will be OK). Am i correct in this, or can either of these projectors in fact handle a larger screen that this at a 2.57m throw?

Also, has anyone attached one of these to a drywall/plasterboard? I'm worried the weight and potential stress caused by the screen motoring up and down daily will bring the lot down on my head :suicide:

I can use another wall that's brick, but it means moving the room around and it won't be as comfortable :(

ETA: Just occurred to me, is the Saphhire screen i've linked to OK for 3D? Or do i need to get one of these far more expensive 3D screens:

Sapphire 3D Tab Tension Electric Screen Infra Red 2032mm x 1143mm

Since the PTA 6000 and particularly the TW8100/9100 are brighter in 3D than their predecessors will a 'normal' screen be acceptable, or will the expensive 3D screens be that much better? Also, would this higher 2.0 gain prove too bright for 2D ?

2.0 gain is probably excessive as the Epson's are bright projectors.
I would prefer tab tension if you can as that is a longer term investment.
At your throw distance I would be going for no more than a 2m wide screen

4)
The Audio...

I'll be running most of my content from my Mac Pro (desktop) via display port-to-HDMI adapter to the receiver (displaying the mac screen and using VLC to play my files) I'm assuming this is possible !!!

So, after the expense of the projector and screen i have to compromise as much as possible, but i don't want to sabotage everything with crappy audio.

This seems like a good deal:

Yamaha YHT398 Black | 5.1 Package System inc Speakers excluding DVD Player | Richer Sounds

I've no idea if the speakers are good or naff, but the receiver seems to have good reviews and it's a cheap bundle.

The receiver is in fact the Yamaha RX-V373. The next step up is the Yamaha RX-V473 which adds DNLA Networking, Airplay and CINEMA DSP 3D...

The RX-V373 has CINEMA DSP, so i'm not sure exactly what the '3D' of the RX-V473 adds to the mix..! Btw, both receivers have HDMI 1.4 (3D compatible).

But sadly the RX-V473 has no bundle deal that includes speakers.

Update: I've found an RX-V474 bundle:

Onkyo-Now.co.uk : : Specialists in Onkyo's award winning Hifi and home theatre systems

About an extra £100 over the RX-V373 bundle. I think the network capability makes it almost worth the extra cost, but what do you think about the speakers? Are these worse than those in the 373 bundle, or better? This might swing my decision either way...

And what about this 'CINEMA DSP 3D' that the 473 has - is it so much better than the regular 'CINEMA DSP' that the 373 has ?

5)
The gratitude....
My huge thanks for any help :thumbsup:

Networking is a positive
I don't worry too much about the DSP modes as I tend to use them in Straight mode anyway.
I would add that you could do better than either of the systems and the amount you would be spending on the visual side deserves something better on the audio side.

Let me know if I can help with any further questions
 

Duncanc

Active Member
QuantumAV & Ribbsey,

Thanks for taking the time, i was starting to think this thread was a lost cause!

You both suggested i spend more on the Audio. I don't have a lot of leeway, but what would either of you recommend anything that was only 1 to 2 hundred pounds more.

If it makes a great difference to the end result i would definitely consider it (i was especially concerned about the quality of the speakers in the packages i mentioned, as i know nothing about this stuff)
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
For the projector the Epson's and Panasonic's all use the same basic technology. Each use developments produced each others. So one being much better than the other is all down to the individual ability of each manufacturer.

For my money the Panasonic has always offered the best performance for the money, however the in this line up it turns out to be the most expensive.

What has the PTAT6000 over the other projectors listed.

Memory zoom which enables you to generate a 2.35:1 screen ratio and then return it back to a 16:9 via the auto detect which is fantastic when you see it in action.

Its 3D is older than the one used on the Epson's This is a little strange as this is a Panasonic development. So that has to make you wonder why Panasonic do not use it on their own PJ. Don't see this as a negative towards the projector as both are very good but I would say the Panasonic's second generation IR system just has the edge.

Gaming with the Panasonic cannot be rivalled against any of these projector including the Sony's and JVC thank's to its dedicated gaming mode.

Throw and shift are very similar and lamp output on the Epsons are higher. Having said that the Panasonic in 2D is perfect and when you fire it into 3D you can detect a small amount of light drop off. So they are on pare with light out put in the real World

For me where the Panasonic really starts to show its ability is the colour. It is significantly better out of the box than the others and really offers a wider range.

For an illustration. The TW8100 is fantastic as projector go, but it seems to ask for more black to grey detail with a little more colour detail. The AT6000 has so much more that it almost makes the TW8100 look dull and lifeless. The TW9100 is more of a match, but with the other features the Panasonic still comes out on top.

Other projector to also consider are Sony's HW50 and JVC's X35. Both of these projectors bring things to the table that the other cannot muster in this mix.

The Sony is the best at 3D and the JVC offers the best image money can buy.

So, the best advice I could offer is go and demo these projectors and believe your own eyes.

I'd also like to ask where you saw the EH-TW6100 vs the PT-AT6000 as you should have seen a difference.

Regards, Shane.
 

Duncanc

Active Member
Thanks for the detailed reply, Shane

I saw the Epson 6100 and the PT 6000 at Richer sounds. The 6000 had a slightly sharper image and motion was a little better. But the 6100's blacks were better, the colours were far more accurate (the PT 6000's skin tones were quite purple and we couldn't manage to correct it). The 6100 had far more pop, drawing my eye to it much more than the PT6000.

However, i saw the PT6000 demo at Sevenoaks and it performed much better. Colours were more accurate (on par with the 6100). Colour accuracy was the biggest issue previously. But Sevenoaks had a dedicated theatre with the 6000 already set up (and i guess calibrated).

Since the Epson 8100 is apparently a big step up from the 6100 i assumed that based on these experiences the 8100 would be generally as good, if not better than the PT6000. So it's surprising to here how much better you find the 6000 and puts me back into indecision-hell :rolleyes:

You said that the 9100 would be more of a match. Is this because the 9100 can be professionally calibrated, or do you think that, PQ wise, it's better than the 8100 (out of the box). So far i've been led to believe that apart from ISF calibration options and anamorphic capability they are the same machine :confused:

Despite living near central london i've found it almost impossible to find any of these projectors being demoed :(
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Ignore the fact that projectors can be calibrated in the first instance. It's all about the level of components inside. Each product has a basic specification which are sometimes used in higher models.

On paper they may look the same, but in reality they are very different. The cost of the lens can amount to as much as 40% in some cases, the components are all graded and each projector has many components inside which means the more you spend the higher the grading of the component and that difference presents itself onto the screen will be very different way even though you may not see it right away.

In my mind Lens is king with everything else following a downward rating. It's a reason why people rush to by IMAX movies as these lenses are as good as they come and the projector carries the same basic function but in reverse.

Regards, Shane.
 
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Duncanc

Active Member
So do you think the 9100 has better components than the 8100, making it a better projector, despite them seeming identical on paper?
 

Member 518284

Distinguished Member
One thing worth noting Duncan is the fact you have mentioned having a pale decorated ambient lit room

All the p's mentioned so far will not perform at their best if you choose a white screen, advice is free but good advice is priceless :D
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
So do you think the 9100 has better components than the 8100, making it a better projector, despite them seeming identical on paper?
Many of the components are the same its just the grading of them that makes the difference.

You could find the the 8100 has a tolerance field of 25% to 55% on its grading levels whereas the 9100 could have a 55% to 100% accurate component.

That would include the lens, processing parts, HDMI board and even the lamp. So every component on the 9100 will be better and you also get the calibration side to.

Don't discount this side as its just as important as the external parts.

So the answer is yes.

Regards, Shane.
 

Duncanc

Active Member
These do very good screens, quality product.

Thanks for the links, they indeed look like very nice screens, but beyond my budget at this time :(

One thing worth noting Duncan is the fact you have mentioned having a pale decorated ambient lit room

All the p's mentioned so far will not perform at their best if you choose a white screen, advice is free but good advice is priceless :D

Which makes you guys priceless as far as i'm concerned :thumbsup:

Thanks for the heads-up. What colour should i be looking at instead; i have a pretty tight budget for the screen i'm afraid.

Many of the components are the same its just the grading of them that makes the difference.

You could find the the 8100 has a tolerance field of 25% to 55% on its grading levels whereas the 9100 could have a 55% to 100% accurate component.

That would include the lens, processing parts, HDMI board and even the lamp. So every component on the 9100 will be better and you also get the calibration side to.

Don't discount this side as its just as important as the external parts.

So the answer is yes.

Regards, Shane.

That does make complete sense, Shane. The parts are all the same, but the standards to which they're tested may be higher for the 9100, meaning they perform better and last longer. That's definitely food for thought.
 

Andrew K

Banned
That does make complete sense, Shane. The parts are all the same, but the standards to which they're tested may be higher for the 9100, meaning they perform better and last longer. That's definitely food for thought.

Apart from it's incorrect. The differences are :-

No 3D glasses in the box
No Anamorphic option
No ISF calibration
Warranty is 1 lamp in 3yrs and 2yr RTB warranty, where as the 9100 is a 3yr unlimited lamp warranty and 3yr onsite service

The rest is the same.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
No 3D glasses in the box
No Anamorphic option
No ISF calibration
Warranty is 1 lamp in 3yrs and 2yr RTB warranty, where as the 9100 is a 3yr unlimited lamp warranty and 3yr onsite service
We'll have to agree to disagree on the component factor, but my experience has shown this to be true over the years. You are correct on the other parts however.

Regards, Shane.
 

Andrew K

Banned
We'll have to agree to disagree on the component factor, but my experience has shown this to be true over the years. You are correct on the other parts however.

Regards, Shane.

Your post did throw me a little at first as it went against everything that Epson say - now as we both know you can not always rely on these things.

Epson have confirmed that the models are identical with the exception of the features listed above - and I missed off colour on the list!
 

Duncanc

Active Member
I think i'll probably go for the 8100, despite the good advice from you Shane RE components, it's £200 cheaper than the 9100 (once 2x 3D glasses are bought for the 8100) and Richer Sounds are giving an identical 5 year guarantee to both (from what i can see).

Note: Richer Sounds' guarantee doesn't mention the bulb, so i'm guessing that's probably left to the manufacturer's guarantee (which i'm assuming runs concurrently): 8100 = 1year/1 replacement... 9100 = 3 years/unlimited replacement. Do you know if these replacements are only done if the bulb is faulty/dead, or can you simply get a new whenever you want within the timeframe? I.e with the 8100 can i simply say i want one before 1 year is up. Likewise with the 9100 can i simply say the same (even more than once) before 3 years are up? If that's correct, then considering bulb costs and assuming Richer Sounds guarantee doesn't cover the bulb, then maybe the 9100 is best after all ! I know you guys won't know the ins and outs of RS' guarantees, just looking for an opinion :smashin:

So, guarantees aside for a moment, assuming i go for the 8100, it's £400 cheaper than the Panasonic PT6000, and since their performance is so close it doesn't seem to merit the extra cash!
 
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Duncanc

Active Member
OK, so now i'm considering the Sony HW50ES over the Epson... :rolleyes:

Hoping to demo them a Kalibrate/Chromapure this week - my nearest showroom (and they seem to have a good rep on here).

But if that doesn't happen i'll probably just take the plunge elsewhere as i need to get the kit and fit it before i return to work in 2 or 3 weeks (i do contracts) and won't have the chance after that for quite a while.

In the latter scenario which do you guys recommend - is the Sony £550 better than the Epson?
 

Duncanc

Active Member
Update: After an excellent demo from Kalibrate (i highly recommended them) i'm now trying to choose between the Sony HW50 and the JVC x35.

Overall i found the JVC's PQ better, but the Sony was really whisper quiet - a very attractive quality in my small 3x3m room.
 

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