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210 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 94135 6-Dec-2011 23:12
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Hello again everybody - I have a dilemma at hand.

I am looking to purchase a home theater projector at some time in the near future with a few stipulations:

  • Must be NATIVE 1080p (or 1080i) full HD.
  • Must be $2000 maximum.
  • Must be super awesome.
I have been ogling this model for some time - the Epson Powerlite HC8350 (marketed in NZ as the EMPTW3600).  The only issue is the NZ retail price is around $3500, whereas I could get it in from the states for ~$1415NZD plus shipping, hopefully bringing it within my range of $2000 or less.

The projector in question has top reviews all over the web and relatively few negative points.  Have any of you out there got any other options that you may have used/owned and would recommend?

I have not looked into issues such as voltage (aren't the US of A on 110v?) and the warranty problems involved with importing a projector - not to mention duty charges and whatnot - if I can get a really good alternative locally I would rather go that way...

Hit me with your knowledge!




Michelsen Computer Services Whangarei
-----------------------------------------------------------
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas...
-----------------------------------------------------------

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1491 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 554801 7-Dec-2011 07:40
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You should be able to import the Epson within your budget. Yes you are likely to be charged 15% GST on the total price paid (inc shipping) and about $50 or so in extra customs charges. 

This projector can be run off 100-240v so this shouldn't be an issue.

Warranty can be an issue unless Epson offer a world wide warranty.

What site are you looking at importing from?

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  Reply # 554808 7-Dec-2011 08:19
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You will have to use a service like http://www.shipito.com/ as amazon doesn't do international shipping on that.
Good news, they will send it for free to the reshipper,
bad news amazon use oversized boxes,
good news you can get it reboxed and have the custom deceleration as a gift to help reduce the importing tax.

You could get a power transformer if the device isn't 110v/230v comparable.

There used to be an issue with Pal and NTSC tvs, not sure if the digital era has fixed that. Anyone know?

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  Reply # 554824 7-Dec-2011 08:46
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hellonearthisman: You will have to use a service like http://www.shipito.com/ as amazon doesn't do international shipping on that.
Good news, they will send it for free to the reshipper,
bad news amazon use oversized boxes,
good news you can get it reboxed and have the custom deceleration as a gift to help reduce the importing tax.

You could get a power transformer if the device isn't 110v/230v comparable.

There used to be an issue with Pal and NTSC tvs, not sure if the digital era has fixed that. Anyone know?


There is also one on ebay for the same price plus $200 for shipping via fedex.

No issues at all with PAL/NTSC, this model does it all.   

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 554857 7-Dec-2011 09:38
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This is a great value projector - I have a slightly earlier iteration - TW3000. It's virtually identical to the TW3600 other than model number change and apparently a slight difference in brightness.

Over the years I have owned many projectors - and I have to say that if they get a lot of use, then there is also a reasonable chance of them needing warranty support. I estimate around half of mine have needed some sort of repair or replacement during their lifetime. That includes the two Epson projectors I purchased. If you're buying offshore I'd be mindful of that.






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Master Geek
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  Reply # 554881 7-Dec-2011 10:25
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Wow, thanks for the quick response everyone...

Marmel: That sounds like a great deal, probably easier than getting it shipped third party... Thanks for the voltage advice too.

paulspain: Good point, I am thinking that if Epson sells a different model here they may not have international warranties - I will have to contact them directly I think.

I appreciate everyone's input - since using my cousin's projector while he has been away I am loving it - it's kind of a toss up between a big TV and a projector but I think I am willing to put up with the extra cost (bulbs etc.). It will probably depend on the warranty.




Michelsen Computer Services Whangarei
-----------------------------------------------------------
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas...
-----------------------------------------------------------



210 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 554882 7-Dec-2011 10:26
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Also, hellonearthisman, I didn't know that the reshippers will re-package, that's a bonus... I will have to look into costs that way too.




Michelsen Computer Services Whangarei
-----------------------------------------------------------
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas...
-----------------------------------------------------------

687 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 554883 7-Dec-2011 10:26
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You could also look at importing from Hong Kong, www.hivizone.com, their projectors are already NZ powered.

Personally though, I wouldn't buy one without local support as you will most likely need to send it back to the point of origin for any servicing work, immediately killing off any perceived savings (EG Panasonic NZ will not touch a parallel imported projector at all).

Rapolloav have a mitsubishi HC4000 on sale for $2400, the downside is that it is a DLP unit which may or may not cause viewing issues for you (search DLP Rainbow effect?) but is full HD and being DLP will more than likely have more "pop" than a cheap 1080p LCD and the DLP fans also claim better sharpness too.

Enjoy your purchase whichever way you go, don't forget to factor in a screen and decent cables

Sen



210 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 554886 7-Dec-2011 10:35
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Hi there Sen, I don't have issues with the rainbow effect, although that is getting a bit above my budget.

Just spoke to Epson, they do not service warranties internationally so it would probably not be worth it - if the (relatively uncommon) iris issue this model can have were to present itself a warranty would be rather necessary!





Michelsen Computer Services Whangarei
-----------------------------------------------------------
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas...
-----------------------------------------------------------

687 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 555024 7-Dec-2011 14:51
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You may get something 2nd hand on trademe under your budget for a 1080p but you will still have the warranty issue.

If 1080p is a deal breaker, I would suggest you save a little longer and get something worthwhile. Don't get suckered in by the "wow" factor of a big screen picture, once you get over how big you can get the picture, flaws will then start to appear and bug you (it could be poor movement processing, off colours, poor black levels etc.

Good luck



210 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 555027 7-Dec-2011 14:57
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Good point you make, do you think I would be better of going for a better quality scaling model (720p or less)?

Have you any recommendations for my price range, discounting the 1080p requirement?




Michelsen Computer Services Whangarei
-----------------------------------------------------------
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas...
-----------------------------------------------------------

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 555080 7-Dec-2011 16:24
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hellonearthisman:  have the custom deceleration as a gift to help reduce the importing tax.



Any reputable company should not do this for obvious reasons.

I'd suggest having a look at the Customs web site as it has some useful tips for buying from overseas.

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  Reply # 555179 7-Dec-2011 19:32
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good news you can get it reboxed and have the custom deceleration as a gift to help reduce the importing tax.



Ummm.... DON'T do that! Firstly, it won't save you much - from memory it raises the threshold before GST is charged by around $100 - saving you around $15. However, doing it deliberately qualifies as customs fraud, and you will be in a world of hurt if they decide go after you. Not worth the risk for such a small saving.

687 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 555198 7-Dec-2011 20:26
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There is the Optoma HD67, just under $1400 which would leave you some cash for a screen and HDMI lead. Ive never seen one in the flesh, but do some research, or you may be able to find a PTAX200 panny on runout and get that fairly cheaply.

I'm a rather big panasonic fan having reviewed the AE500, AE700 (which I ended up buying), the AE900 and AX100 for Audioenz, to me they always provide good bang for the buck. Conversely, I'm a bit of an anti-dlp person, for me I can't handle the effects of a spinning colour wheel, it varies from downright nauseiating (Infocus SP4800) to mildly annoying (Barco Cineversum70). DLP lovers however would never consider LCD citing poor colour rendition (bs) a fuzzy image (more bs) and not as much "pop" as dlp (true in some cases). If you or anyone who may watch the projector regularly is not effected by the DLP nasties, then that HD67 may be worth a crack, if however you/they do suffer, then its not even worth considering.

Read up reviews on www.projectorcentral.com and discussions at www.avsforums.com, but treat avs opinions "lightly", there are lots of fanboys on there who poo poo anything that is not what they would do. Projectorcentrals reviews are generally ok with actual measurements taken, removing some of the "opinion" and citing facts.

I had the option at the start of the year of buying either the AX200 or AE4000, for me, I just couldn't justify the price difference ($2k or so) although I only have a 92inch screen so its not pushing the 720p "too much". Throw on a good blu-ray image and its simply stunning, especially on a good screen.

Good luck

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  Reply # 555201 7-Dec-2011 20:29
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Whilst we are on the projector subject has anyone had any experience with accoustically transparent screens?

I am fitting in wall speakers to my new build but a decent sized screen (120" 16:9) will sit in front of them.

There is a company selling the material on ebay, would cost about $150NZ to land enough to build a fixed screen myself?

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  Reply # 555214 7-Dec-2011 21:02
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Why can't you return the projector to the USA for warranty returns? Wouldn't cost anywhere near the $2k savings you would get from buying from the US.

Even if you forfeit the warranty, what would be the cost of fixing the possible above issues?

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