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Ok, the panasonic PT-L300 may be it


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#1 of 7 Kimo Bonnelycke

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Posted May 09 2003 - 04:38 AM

I have been looking at RPTVs for a few weeks now, and now I am thinking about a front projection. My only concern is the lamp life. I will use this as my "normal" tv, which consists of about 30% DVD's (weekend), 60% TV (watching stuff Tivo recorded for me), and 10% PS2.....

The panasonic, under low power conditions, has a lamp life of 5000 hours, which if I were to use the system for say 50 hours a week tops (mostly on the weekend) I would get around 2 years of service. This would be acceptable, as the replacement lamps are $360 bucks.

Now, from everybody's experience, is 50 hours a week about right? I calculated say 5 hours a day (when I get home from work). And say 12 hours a day on the weekends. This is of course if I am home, and not out hiking, etc. I am trying to think of worst case scenarios.

Also, how long are bulbs usually available? Should I buy a replacement when I get the projector?

Finally, this would be installed in my den, which has 1 source of light (a window to the back yard). Would using normal wood blinds be enough control of the light, or should I block out the light more?

I know a lot of my questions are hard/impossible to answer, but I just wanted to hear other peoples experiences.

Thanks a bunch...

Kimo B.

#2 of 7 Drew Bethel

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Posted May 09 2003 - 05:24 AM

I blocked out my basement windows with some vinyl like material I bought from Joanne's Fabric for $5 per yard. Eventually I will use velcro to pull it off and easily retach it if necessary.

You may want to consider buying a backup tv to use for regular tv watching. I can think of many tvs less than the cost of a new 300u bulb. To me, watching TV on the big screen is a waste.

And don't purchase the bulb new with your projector. You won't know if it's defective,etc until years from now.
"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." Muhammed Ali, (Cassius Clay)

#3 of 7 Neil Joseph

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Posted May 09 2003 - 06:28 AM

I second that. Get yourself a $300 TV and use that for regular broadcast viewing and save the projector for widescreen, movie matching and HDef programming instead.
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#4 of 7 mark alan

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Posted May 09 2003 - 06:56 AM

You do not want to buy a replacement bulb now. As with most things, bulbs have a much higher initial failure rate. If you go through that period, you can then expect to get a relatively normal life span. This is why the bulbs are warrented for typically 90 days. However, the warrenty runs from date of purchase. You buy a bulb now, put it in 2 years from now, it craps out in 1 week, you are out of luck.

Having said that, Sanyo was having a promotion on the Z1 which included a free replacement bulb with the projector. If you are going to sit further back than 1.5 times the screen width, you are wasting your money getting the Panny model, since the screendoor minimization is really the only difference between the two (IMO). Through in the free bulb, and we are talking about a $800 difference between the two.

#5 of 7 Michael TLV

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Posted May 09 2003 - 07:21 AM

Greetings

I use my Panny LCD projector for all sorts of casual viewing. After 1 year, I have about 1200 hours on the unit.

The more on/off cycles you put the bulb through, the more likely it is to fail early and not reach that 5000 estimate.

The bulb is about $260 the last time I looked. At least for the 100/200 units.

I look at it this way, if I cannot afford a measely $300 bulb every two or three years ... then I really cannot afford to play.

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#6 of 7 Kimo Bonnelycke

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Posted May 09 2003 - 09:19 AM

Thx for the info everybody. I have been doing even more thinking, and I am leaning towards finishing my basement, and creating a small home theater room. I think the dimensions would be about 10-12 feet wide and 20 feet long. I would be able to control the light in this room 100%.

Mark, are you talking about the Sanyo PLV-Z1? Isn't that cheaper than the Panny?

Kimo B.

NOTE: I understand everybody saying that I should get an additional TV. Is there any reason why I don't want to use the projector as my regular TV (other than bulb life)?

#7 of 7 Drew Bethel

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Posted May 09 2003 - 09:24 AM

Channels with a mediocre signal to begin with will be much more noticeable on a big screen. My Directv is pretty good on my Panny 300u but some channels can be awful.
"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." Muhammed Ali, (Cassius Clay)