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Panasonic PT-L500U vs BenQ PE8700 ?? (1 Viewer)

Jason Keis

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Jun 18, 2004
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I'm looking for a projector for a living room that's about 13' wide and 30' long...

I think we would view at around 16 or 17' away from the 13' wide wall. The screen will probably be 110" diagonal.

Now I'm new to this stuff and came across the whole LCD and DLP debate. I found the two projectors mentioned above and I'm stuck between the two. Obviously I could save about 2K if I went with the Panasonic.

Any Pana500 users here? Have you witnessed the "screendoor effect?" Any BenQ users?

Any info would be appreciated, thanks!

Jason
 

Max Leung

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At 110 inches diagonal, looks like you have a 96 inch wide display. Your view position is 2x that, so I very much doubt you'll see any screendoor. :)

That said, I did demo a Sharp Z12000 projector, which has the same HD2+ DLP chip as the Benq 8700+. I could not see any screendoor even at 1.2x distance on a 110" firehawk screen. The image is dimmer than most TVs though, which might explain why I couldn't see any that close.

You will probably see screendoor on the Panasonic 500 though at that distance, but that shouldn't be a problem seeing that you're sitting much further away.

Both projectors you mentioned have the same resolution...only factor is if you care about contrast and DLP rainbow artifacts.

DLP = better contrast, but with possible rainbow. I can see them on the latest 5x speed color wheel projectors, but they don't bother me too much if it isn't too bright. Possible headaches/eye strain, although that is rare (no hard numbers though...if TI knows they aren't saying!). Relatively easy to calibrate colors, although color gamut may not be as good as vibrant as LCD even after tweaking.

LCD = good contrast on the new projectors like the Panasonic 500, might see "fixed panel noise" and vertical banding. The 3 panels may not be converged correctly. No rainbow and no eyestrain/headaches. More difficult to calibrate IMHO. Colors should be very good after tweaking.

I'm considering the Benq 8700+ (the + means it has the HD2+ for improved contrast - I heard that some places sell the original 8700 for cheaper - it's best to confirm with the store first) as an upgrade to my Sanyo PLV-Z1, which I don't like much because of fixed pattern noise and vertical banding and those damned dust blobs. :angry:

I can't remember if the Panasonic 500 has sealed optics...if so, dust blobs won't be much of an issue!
 

Max Leung

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At 110 inches diagonal, looks like you have a 96 inch wide display. Your view position is 2x that, so I very much doubt you'll see any screendoor. :)

That said, I did demo a Sharp Z12000 projector, which has the same HD2+ DLP chip as the Benq 8700+. I could not see any screendoor even at 1.2x distance on a 110" firehawk screen. The image is dimmer than most TVs though, which might explain why I couldn't see any that close.

You will probably see screendoor on the Panasonic 500 though at that distance, but that shouldn't be a problem seeing that you're sitting much further away.

Both projectors you mentioned have the same resolution...only factor is if you care about contrast and DLP rainbow artifacts.

DLP = better contrast, but with possible rainbow. I can see them on the latest 5x speed color wheel projectors, but they don't bother me too much if it isn't too bright. Possible headaches/eye strain, although that is rare (no hard numbers though...if TI knows they aren't saying!). Relatively easy to calibrate colors, although color gamut may not be as good as vibrant as LCD even after tweaking.

LCD = good contrast on the new projectors like the Panasonic 500, might see "fixed panel noise" and vertical banding. The 3 panels may not be converged correctly. No rainbow and no eyestrain/headaches. More difficult to calibrate IMHO. Colors should be very good after tweaking.

I'm considering the Benq 8700+ (the + means it has the HD2+ for improved contrast - I heard that some places sell the original 8700 for cheaper - it's best to confirm with the store first) as an upgrade to my Sanyo PLV-Z1, which I don't like much because of fixed pattern noise and vertical banding and those damned dust blobs. :angry:

I can't remember if the Panasonic 500 has sealed optics...if so, dust blobs won't be much of an issue!
 

Jason Keis

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Jun 18, 2004
Messages
16
Ugh... so much to consider... hehe

Anyone know if the Pana 500 has sealed optics?

What's more annoying to you, vertical banding or rainbows?
 

Jason Keis

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Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
16
Ugh... so much to consider... hehe

Anyone know if the Pana 500 has sealed optics?

What's more annoying to you, vertical banding or rainbows?
 

Max Leung

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On a 4x or slower color wheel, rainbows! But then the picture is so darn clear, with no fixed pattern noise or banding.

I didn't think banding would bother me, until I got my Sanyo PLV-Z1. Ugh. But, in normal material I don't see them so I'm just being nitpicky. The screendoor effect bothers me though - yuck. But on a 1280x720, I don't think it's an issue. I couldn't see any at all on a Sony HS20, and I was at 1x screenwidth away!

Any chance you can demo any DLP and LCD projectors? Rainbows can be very bad, and eye strain/headaches are even worse. On a 5x color wheel, rainbows can be mostly ignored, but headaches may not go away so easily...

Aside from rainbows, DLP looks the best when compared side-by-side to LCD, provided both are calibrated properly.

Best thing to do: Find a store and demo as many as you can...even the high-end ones! Only you can decide what is acceptable to you.
 

Max Leung

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On a 4x or slower color wheel, rainbows! But then the picture is so darn clear, with no fixed pattern noise or banding.

I didn't think banding would bother me, until I got my Sanyo PLV-Z1. Ugh. But, in normal material I don't see them so I'm just being nitpicky. The screendoor effect bothers me though - yuck. But on a 1280x720, I don't think it's an issue. I couldn't see any at all on a Sony HS20, and I was at 1x screenwidth away!

Any chance you can demo any DLP and LCD projectors? Rainbows can be very bad, and eye strain/headaches are even worse. On a 5x color wheel, rainbows can be mostly ignored, but headaches may not go away so easily...

Aside from rainbows, DLP looks the best when compared side-by-side to LCD, provided both are calibrated properly.

Best thing to do: Find a store and demo as many as you can...even the high-end ones! Only you can decide what is acceptable to you.
 

Max Leung

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They are less noticeable, provided you are vulnerable to seeing them. Most people can't see them, unless they do silly tricks (chicken dance, rave-style hand waving, spinning like a toddler who has discovered caffeine etc.). People like me (one in a hundred?) can see them standing still. Darting eyes will produce them for me easily, which is why if I sit further back, I won't see them as much since my eyes won't be roaming all over the place.

Quick eye movements will increase the likelihood of seeing rainbows. It is doubtful you will see them in any case.

I would go find a DLP projector to demo right now. And bring your SO to make sure she/he is okay with it.

Again, it isn't likely you will see them if you're like most of the population.

When you find a dealer demoing a DLP projector, bring challenging material like Dark City - it is the BEST rainbow inducing movie I've ever seen. If you don't see any rainbows, then I doubt you will see them on anything else. :) Another good scene to try is the opening scenes of Fellowship of the Ring, particularly when the ring is spinning and flopping about. Also bring a black and white movie such as Casablanca.

BTW, I demoed a Sharp Z12000 using Dark City, Casablanca, Matrix Reloaded, and Fifth Element Superbit. I saw rainbows fairly frequently in Dark City, but it didn't bother me much and I'm sure I can push them out of my mind. Casablanca was a surprise...usually B&W movies bring out the rainbows, but I stopped seeing them after one minute! Matrix Reloaded looks very good, hardly saw any at all during the Upgrades fight scene. Fifth Element, as expected, has virtually no rainbows. But I brought it anyways just to be wowed by the details and colors.
 

Max Leung

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Joined
Sep 6, 2000
Messages
4,611
They are less noticeable, provided you are vulnerable to seeing them. Most people can't see them, unless they do silly tricks (chicken dance, rave-style hand waving, spinning like a toddler who has discovered caffeine etc.). People like me (one in a hundred?) can see them standing still. Darting eyes will produce them for me easily, which is why if I sit further back, I won't see them as much since my eyes won't be roaming all over the place.

Quick eye movements will increase the likelihood of seeing rainbows. It is doubtful you will see them in any case.

I would go find a DLP projector to demo right now. And bring your SO to make sure she/he is okay with it.

Again, it isn't likely you will see them if you're like most of the population.

When you find a dealer demoing a DLP projector, bring challenging material like Dark City - it is the BEST rainbow inducing movie I've ever seen. If you don't see any rainbows, then I doubt you will see them on anything else. :) Another good scene to try is the opening scenes of Fellowship of the Ring, particularly when the ring is spinning and flopping about. Also bring a black and white movie such as Casablanca.

BTW, I demoed a Sharp Z12000 using Dark City, Casablanca, Matrix Reloaded, and Fifth Element Superbit. I saw rainbows fairly frequently in Dark City, but it didn't bother me much and I'm sure I can push them out of my mind. Casablanca was a surprise...usually B&W movies bring out the rainbows, but I stopped seeing them after one minute! Matrix Reloaded looks very good, hardly saw any at all during the Upgrades fight scene. Fifth Element, as expected, has virtually no rainbows. But I brought it anyways just to be wowed by the details and colors.
 

Paul Pratt

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I've owned the PT-500U since Jan. and the screen door effect is a non-issue. With panasonic's Smooth Screen Technology, you can't see it unless you are real close. I have a 96" screen and i sit only 10 feet back. I don't see it. The image is clean and artifact free. Progressive looks great, HDTV is literally breathtaking and you can't even see pixels when HDTV is playing. Regular TV is a bit sketchy, but if you run S-Video or Component, upconverted to progressive, its not such a big deal (Through a receiver, or HTPC).
For the cash your never going to have to compete with anything, even at double the price. Check out sound and visions review of it from two issues ago, outstanding marks. I cannot even begin to tell you what a sound investment this projector has been.
 

Paul Pratt

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Messages
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Location
Wetumpka, AL.
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Paul Pratt
I've owned the PT-500U since Jan. and the screen door effect is a non-issue. With panasonic's Smooth Screen Technology, you can't see it unless you are real close. I have a 96" screen and i sit only 10 feet back. I don't see it. The image is clean and artifact free. Progressive looks great, HDTV is literally breathtaking and you can't even see pixels when HDTV is playing. Regular TV is a bit sketchy, but if you run S-Video or Component, upconverted to progressive, its not such a big deal (Through a receiver, or HTPC).
For the cash your never going to have to compete with anything, even at double the price. Check out sound and visions review of it from two issues ago, outstanding marks. I cannot even begin to tell you what a sound investment this projector has been.
 

Wes

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I just installed the PT-500U in my theater (removed a CRT PJ) and I am here to report I see no Vertical Banding at all. After tweaking and calibrating the new PJ I am very pleased with the picture!

Wes
 

Wes

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Messages
1,194
Location
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Wes Peterson
I just installed the PT-500U in my theater (removed a CRT PJ) and I am here to report I see no Vertical Banding at all. After tweaking and calibrating the new PJ I am very pleased with the picture!

Wes
 

Joseph Bolus

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As someone who has owned both an economy LCD and an economy DLP projector, I can tell you that I much prefer the overall PQ of the DLP. You may see an occasional "rainbow" with DLP (personally, I might see two in a two hour movie, if that); but the picture otherwise "pops" with really nice clarity due to the absence of SDE combined with the increased contrast ratio. The LCD projectors also have an odd "trace line" effect (I'm sure there's some technical term for it.) This is a horizontal line that occasionally jumps across the picture. The effect is most noticeable during heavy action scenes. I've never seen this effect with DLP and perhaps it's no longer an issue with the newer LCDs. Also, the "upside" of the DLP color wheel technology is total freedom from *any* convergence issues, ever!
 

Joseph Bolus

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Joined
Feb 4, 1999
Messages
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As someone who has owned both an economy LCD and an economy DLP projector, I can tell you that I much prefer the overall PQ of the DLP. You may see an occasional "rainbow" with DLP (personally, I might see two in a two hour movie, if that); but the picture otherwise "pops" with really nice clarity due to the absence of SDE combined with the increased contrast ratio. The LCD projectors also have an odd "trace line" effect (I'm sure there's some technical term for it.) This is a horizontal line that occasionally jumps across the picture. The effect is most noticeable during heavy action scenes. I've never seen this effect with DLP and perhaps it's no longer an issue with the newer LCDs. Also, the "upside" of the DLP color wheel technology is total freedom from *any* convergence issues, ever!
 

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