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I just saw a demo of the Epson 9500UB (not 8500UB but they are almost the same with some bells and whistles on the 9500UB). I saw the baraka blue ray disc and the picture was amazing. I cant compare it to the panasonic yet but based on what I saw it was a decent projector. The content itself was 2.35:1 and so I could see the bars on the top and bottom of the screen. It was a 0.95 gain accoustically transparent white screen and the bars were not completely black. (Not black enough to notice it) They were grey or whitish grey. I thought I will bounce this off of you and see how the bars look on a panasonic projected screen. Though there are other factors also that contribute to it, like ambient light, screen material etc..., I was just curious.

Its a shame that I cant see the panny beforehand. I may have to try your suggestion. Did you hear back from Panasonic? Were they able to answer your question?

Also how do you send a private message here? Instead of us communicating thru this we could exchange emails.