Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Epson 6500UB Arrives

The Epson 6500UB arrived this morning around 10 am. By 10:15 I had it mounted, and by 10:30 I was ready to test it out. So far, so good! No dead pixels, no convergence issues, no stuck focus ring, and no dust blobs. The image is stunning compared to my old Panasonic AE700. So far it has exceeded my expectations in everything but the Frame Interpolation feature is very 'freaky'. It is one of those things you just have to see to understand, as it is difficult to describe in words.

Not only does this projector throw an extremely sharp, and bright image, but it is also quiet in the "Theatre" modes. I am not sure how it compares to the Panasonic AE-3000, but it is only audible in very quiet scenes. In fact, I now can hear the Panasonic BD-35 fan which I didn't hear before. This projector shows every flaw in the source material, dust, scratches, noise, you name it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Epson 6500UB is on the way

I got the phone call tonight from AVS, my projector is shipping tomorrow. I am hopeful that it gets here by Friday, but it is difficult to say with NYE holiday. A very good review was posted on Projector Reviews

This will complete the upgrades for the year, and I think I finally have everything in place. I have converted from HD DVD to Blu-Ray, from a 720p to 1080p projector, and upgraded my receiver. I think I can finally relax and not think about any more changes for now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Onkyo TX-SR805

Decision time is over. I went with the Onkyo TX-SR-805. Should be here sometime next week. Until then, I am without sound...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

HK-635 and Panny V2600 GONE!

I am now without a receiver to power my theater. I recently sold both the Harman Kardon and Yamaha receivers. I thought it was time to move up to HDMI 1.3 and the new audio decoders (True-HD, DTS-MA) to use with my BD-35. Perhaps it is time to try another brand, like the Onkyo TX-SR805? It seems to do all the things I want, and without all the video processing that I do not need.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Wait List

The decision is over, I went with the Epson 6500UB. I am on the wait list, and the first batch of these projectors should ship out next week. Whether or not I make the cut for the first shipment is still unknown. At best I could have the projector by Dec. 19th. More realistically, it will be mid-January. A lot depends on how many Epson is actually able to ship to the distributors, and how many people are ahead of me on the list.

In the meantime, I can practice taking measurements with HCFR software and the Spider 2 sensor on the old AE-700. The more I practice, the easier it will be to calibrate the Epson when it arrives. If rumors are correct, a similar projector is almost spot on right out of the box

Monday, December 08, 2008

DMP-BD35 Player

Well I finally took a swig of the blu-ray kool-aid, and so far it is not too bad. This weekend Costco was having an $80 off sale on their two BD players (BD-30 and BD-35). I stopped by 3 stores trying to locate the BD-35, but all they had was the BD-30 (which I did not want). At the last store, I had one of the employees look up the sku for the BD-35 and he came back with some interesting news. They did have several of these players, but they would not put them out until all the BD-30's were sold. It seems there was a note that indicated that the BD-35 were meant to be a replacement for the BD-30's so they were not bringing them out. That sort of frosted me, so I thanked the guy for his help and left. When I got home, I grabbed the Costco Connection magazine that had the ad, and headed by to the second store (which had 72 units). There I spoke to another employee, who was very knowledgeable about the BD-35. He knew where they were, but also gave me the same story about having to sell all the BD-30's before they could bring them out. I showed him the ad, and pointed out that the sale specifically mentioned the BD-35. I also explained to him that they had different sku numbers, and even a different price. After a little more small talk, I was able to convience him.

I had to wait 30 minutes or so for the forklift to make it to the far end of the store where the prized BD-35's were sitting in wait. When they were finally lowered, I snatched one up and headed home. I had also picked up a copy of Iron Man in BD to test it out (since they were $5 off). A neighbor and his friend stopped over to give the player its first showing. There was some issue getting the PCM channel working through my receiver, but after about 5 false starts, we finally had full audio. Something still seems a bit odd about that experience, but I didn't have time to figure out what component was at fault.  

The BD-35 is quite nice, from the time I have had to play with it.  It loads fast, has a very nice menu layout, and was easy to update the firmware over the internet (took about 10 minutes to load V 1.5).  It is hooked up through my DVDO Edge, so it is hard to judge the picture quality without bypassing this processor.  Everything seems to look good hooked up through Edge.

This definitely pushes me one step closer to purchasing the 1080p projector. Just need the first user reports to start rolling in on the 6500UB.