Going with Panasonic LCD Projector... I think.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Monte Montemayo, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Monte Montemayo

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    Hi there - my first post in this form. Looks like a great place to hang out. I have been researching for almost 18 months on the HT that I'd like to build. I already have the DVD, Receiver, Kiplisch speakers, etc. I going to go with a projector. It appears that the Panasonic PT-L500U is the way to go but I have 1 slight reservation. This projector is LCD and not DLP. This is going to cost around $1999 so I am wanting your opinion if I should just bite the bullet, spend more for a DLP (no more than $2500-2700). The question is: Is this money well spent? My HT room does have ambient light but will have a good screen. Any recommendations of DLP projectors in that price range? (PS. I absolutely want DVI input for HDTV). Thanks all!
     
  2. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Since you're looking for DLP recommendations, the question has to be asked: Have you looked into the $1495 Infocus 4805?

    This projector features a 4x speed, 6-segment, optimized-for-home-theater color wheel, a 16:9 native high contrast DMD chip, the latest Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing circuitry, a 2000:1 contrast ratio spec, and an available DVI input.

    The only real advantage the Panasonic would have over this projector is in the area of resolution (720p vs. 480p). (The SDE, or "Screendoor Effect" should be about equal due to DLP's inherently better "pixel fill" attributes.) Since the 4805 is designed to be pixel-to-pixel compatible with anamorphic 16:9 DVD, and therefore doesn't require any scaling from that source, it provides an absolutely razor-sharp presentation from a well mastered DVD that would probably appear superior to the same DVD being displayed on the Panasonic, in spite of the PT-L500's resolution advantage.

    You should at least check it out!
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    400,000 Pixel panels versus 920,000 pixel panel ...

    One is only geared toward DVD ...

    Regards
     
  4. Monte Montemayo

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    Yes I did consider the InFocus. In fact, I started out with that one in my target zone. I found the Panasonic by mistake. I have a low end InFocus right now and have never owned a Panasonic product. I thought that the higher resolution on the Panasonic would be of greater value than the DLP on the InFocus. True? We plan on watching DVD’s & HDTV most of the time.
     
  5. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Monte:

    Most people that have sampled the PT-L500's picture vs. the Infocus 4805 seem to think that the 4805 does a better job with DVD, and that HDTV, even though scaled down, looks "good enough" on the projector.

    I, personally, just prefer the better contrast ratio of DLP over the LCD projected picture. LCD usually has advantages over DLP in the area of color saturation and RBE; but the 4x, 6 segment, color wheel in the 4805 goes a long way toward neutralizing those advantages. DLP usually has a SDE advantage over LCD, but the L500's 720p resolution vs. the 4805's 480p neutralizes that advantage. So, it really comes down to much better contrast ratio for the 4805 vs. better resolution for the PT-L500. Since the contrast ratio advantage of the 4805 is going to be evident no matter what the source,(and the 4805 is a little cheaper than the L500 to boot) I would go with the more balanced picture of the 4805. But that's just me.

    Now, if we were two years into a real optical HD-DVD format, I would probably have a different opinion.
     
  6. Monte Montemayo

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    Thanks Joseph - you bring up some excellent points. I wish I could just see these things side by side but I dont know where I could do that. Do you happen to know if the InFocus has DVI input? I also wondering if either option would be "just fine" for our purposes. Basically, we're going to have DVI from ComCast, DVD, and XBOX. Just tell me what to do!!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Monte:

    The Infocus 4805 includes a DVI input; but its my understanding that you will need a special cable (available from Infocus) for it to work with most of todays "upconverting" DVD players.
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Yea you need an M1 cable or converter. I found it's actually cheaper going with Infocus's 30' DVI-M1 cable for $50 than buying a standalone 30' DVI which usually cost $100 and up! I was disappointed with the news of a different connector at first but funny how things turn out!

    I will play Devil's advocate and say I wish I had more resolution though [​IMG] All these 1080p clips on my HTPC and I'm "stuck" with a resolution that would be laughable on any computer monitor. Oh well, still a kickass FPTV for my first one.

    I say compare both either through a member that lives near you or at a specialty store display, and make your decision based on that. Personally I'll take better contrast over 720p.
     
  9. Monte Montemayo

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    Does any know of a specialty store in the Seattle area? I live on the Eastside (Bellevue / Redmond near a little software company run by a funny looking rich dude [​IMG])
     
  10. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Ambient light is going to wash out the contrast gains anyway that you might get choosing the DLP over the LCD.

    If you're generally going to be watching with ambient light, or even if the walls are light colored (so as to reflect a lot of light from the screen) then you might not see much of the higher contrast benefit of the DLP.

    Something to think about.

    Matt
     
  11. Monte Montemayo

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    Ordered the Panasonic today. Already excited to see this puppy in action! [​IMG]
     
  12. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Nice unit ... calibrates nicely. [​IMG]

    It actually calibrates better than the 4805 because the 4805 provides only half of what is needed for setting up a proper grayscale. You work with that portion and cross your fingers hoping that the part you cannot work in will be close ...

    Not a concern with the Panasonic.

    Regards
     
  13. Monte Montemayo

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    Cool. I'm so excited that I could just spit! [​IMG]
     
  14. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

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    I was originally going to get the 4805 until, I noticed rainbows in high end dlps and dlp televisions at my local electronics store. Needless to say 4805 was no longer an option. So I got the sanyo z1 instead. saved myself $400. No matter what the display benefits are in the 4805. The inferior z1 is still better looking to me, since IMO screen door effect is not as big of an issue then constant color blurring found in the Ranibows.

    I say you made a good choice.
     
  15. Monte Montemayo

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    I thought about the Sanyo too but I don't have as much confidence in the brand. Not that its bad but I have never had a Sanyo product. From the reviews I found, it sounds like the Panny and the Sanny are almost identical in terms of quality and features. Except maybe the Sanyo edges out the Panny due to the lense shift feature.
     

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