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I'm between an 8350 and an 8700UB myself. This is for a basement with 2 small windows so ambient light shouldn't be a problem; it's simply coming down to money where the 8700UB is twice as much as the 8350 at street pricing (which is well above MESP) althought has a free lamp MIR valued at ~$300. Given the price, the 8350 is a great deal and might end up being what I go with.

As for screen size, THX recommends dividing your screen size by .84 for the best seating distance (ideal for 1080p). Your distance of 15' would then equate to roughly a 150" screen. SMPTE advice would be ~1.45x your screen size (3x height) for distance equating to roughly a 120" screen (ideal for 720p/1080i). Really old school advice is 2.5x times the width but that is rubbish. At your distance, I would personally go with a 128" size screen which would have an ideal seating distance of between 12.5-15.5'. The projector in THX mode would still be bright enough to fill that screen at your seating distance and screen gain with a little ambient light. With more ambient light you could kick it up to Dynamic and still have no problems. If you are sticking with the 106", I'd be inclined to move closer to the screen but that's just me.

[Edit] If you want to stick with the VMAX2, the 135" VMAX135UWH2 would offer an ideal distance of 13.5-16.5'; you'd be right in the sweet spot.
 
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