Another newbie review of the PT-L300U

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Lamb, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. Mike Lamb

    Mike Lamb Auditioning

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    Well, I got my L300U yesterday, I sent it back today...

    I recommend setting up the projector alone, don't have any friends over when you do it. I made this mistake last night, he immediately wanted to watch a movie, I did not have time to go in and adjust anything till later.

    The first movie was Monsters Inc. I have watched this several times on my parents 42" toshiba RPTV, this is my basis for comparison. Here are the details:

    projector: PT-L300U, fresh out of the box and uncalibrated
    DVD player: Panny RP-62, later Integra DPS 5.2
    cables: component 15ft canare cable, LV-61
    screen: a poorly painted antique white wall with paint runs
    screen width about 6.5 feet, viewing distance about 10 feet
    reciever: Onkyo 595
    Speakers: Polk RM6700, with 2 PSW-350 subs
    MonsterPower HTS-2600

    My friend and I noticed that some things in Monsters appeared a little blurry. Looking closer I noticed that diagonal lines appear to have a step pattern to them, and this made Sully's fur take on a star like pattern in several cases. I don't remember seeing this in the Toshiba RPTV...

    There also seemed to be some vertical banding during horizontal pans, similar to the banding you get when your printer heads need alignment. My friend was totally impressed though...

    After he left I did some tweaking, and also found two dead pixels on the screen. One was blue and very close to the center of the screen, the other was green and in the middle of the screen, about 1/3 way up from the bottom. I could not see the blue pixel during the movie, but I would see the green pixel when it was in a bright area.(one of the reasons I sent it back).

    I adjusted the lamp down to the low mode, did the flicker tweak(everything but green was perfect, and green had a very slight flicker), and put in the avia disk and adjusted the picture. I did find out from the avia that the green convergence was a little off on the left side, more predominately to the upper left corner. I also noticed that the DVD player was outputing a 525P signal, I had always thought DVD's were 480, and I thought the scaling was causing the stepping problem I mentioned above.

    Never could get the player to output 480P, but the picture did improve considerably after doing the above tweaks. The biggest improvement came when I ditched the RP-62 and hooked up the Integra DVD player. When I bought it a year ago I was kicking myself for being talked into paying so much for a DVD player, but it has finaly paid off! This is not a progressive player, but it almost completely eliminated the step effect. I really have to try and find it now, and it is very small. Colors seem to be more natural now, not overly bright like they were with the RP-62. Black level does seem to have suffered slightly, but I haven't tried adjusting the Integra DVD player yet.

    I bought this projector without seeing it in person first. My initial impression was that it was a decent buy, but it was not worth building a dedicated theater for(what I am planning on doing). The first big issue was the slight vertical banding and just a little screendoor. These were solved by tweaking and using the Integra DVD player(big improvement). Then I happened to see the image from about 14' and it helped the PQ even more, and really changed my opinion. Now I do think it is worth building a dedicated home theater for.

    My biggest gripe about this projector is that if you want to put it on a table, it needs to be up kinda high(trying to avoid keystoneand shoot over the receiver), and the optimal position for me is just in front of my seating postion. However, if I put it there I will have to look over it, get the heat from it, and it will keep my loveseat from reclining I really don't want to mount it from the ceiling because the room is a bedroom and I don't want to run the wires in the wall.

    One last thing... I am also returning the projector because I can hear something inside rattling if I tilt the projector from side to side. I can also hear the loose object inside vibrate sometimes when the fan is running on low.

    Bottom line - Monsters did not look as clear and defined as it did on the Toshiba RPTV, especially on the fine details like Sully's fur and the subtle textures on Mike's body... But it still looks **** good and your un-educated friends will think it is the coolest thing they have ever seen!
     
  2. Frank Kanyak

    Frank Kanyak Stunt Coordinator

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    I've read your review on another forum. You should check back and see is there is any info. to help you out. I have mine with 30hrs on it and I love it. Yes, there are a few minor issues but that was not the dealer breaker on not to buy it on a "blind" purchase.
     
  3. Mike Lamb

    Mike Lamb Auditioning

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    I posted this to another forum and there was some confusion about it...

    I did not send the projector back because I didn't like it, but because it had a noticeable(in movies) dead pixel and it sounded like something was loose inside. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of another unit.

    I DO like the projector, but I did not like it straight out of the box. Took some tweaking if you know what I mean...
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    We'll be interested in the outcome.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Damn I thought dead pixels wa not much of an issue these days with the newer LCD's and you have two.
     
  6. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    Mike,

    The panasonic projector up-converts everything to 525p from DVD sources. you can't change it. I looked over my screen very carefully, couldn't find a single bad pixel. As for a screen, you might be interested in the 96" Apollo screen available from staples.com ($299.00) no shipping charges. The screen has wall mounting and ceiling mounting brackets that are included.
     
  7. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    You'd be better off with a Dalite screen from cousinsvideo.

    I'm a big fan of the HighPower screen and a 96" 16:9 is cheaper than that 4:3 matte white at Staples...
     
  8. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    I should have mine tomorrow. This will be my first projector and I can't wait to get it. I am going to start out with the parkland plastics screen I believe.
     

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