Panasonic AX200U or Optoma HD65? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I found some older threads on this but no real conclusions in a couple of areas that I'm worried about.

I have an HD65 currently (with a few days left to decide on return), see: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=14661766#post14661766


The areas I'm trying to nail down are the following:
- lens zoom/shift: I am not sure I"m going to perma-mount this, and may be using it in different situations or rooms. I'm not 100% sure, but let's say I want the flexibility. I'm not sure it's a deal killer, as you can always stack/angle/lift in a temporary situation if you need to. "Honey, why do we have to move the couch back?" (In this regard, it seems like the AX200U is the clear winner.)
- color "vibrancy": this may be sacrilegious, but I love the almost-not-real colors produced by my Samsung DLP RPTV. The Optoma seems to have this kind of trend, but not sure the AX200 would. Said another way, do the LCD's have the same type of "pop" in color that a DLP would... (No known winner here....HD65 by default?)
- brightness: Well, the AX200 is numerically ahead here, with 400 extra lumens rating. Not sure how much this plays out in real life. People say the 65 is bright (already a light cannon at 1600), I don't have a lot to compare to. I do have ambient light in many rooms, none will likely be completely bl acked out. (Numerical winner with AX200)
- Sharpness and shadow detail: I'm a pixel peeper, having played with video compression for many years. I like my 720p to look 720p ;-) I've read a common thread that people think the AX200U is a bit soft, and I've seen Peter_'s shots from the HD65 that seem to indicate it has amazing sharpness capabilities. (Winner HD65 by default, having not seen 200U in person?)
- Gaming: I may well game on the projector at some point, but not sure. The HD65 looked just fine when hooked to my Macbook, so I assume it would be ok for gaming. Lag adjustments are baked into the latest games anyway (like Rock Band).
- Portability: The Optoma is like 1/4 the size, so it wins here. I don't mean to travel with it on planes or anything though, so not sure this should be a huge deciding factor.
- Noise: The Optoma is loud, haven't heard the AX200U but varying reviews say "whisper quiet" to "loud".

So, hopefully someone has some real world experience to help me attack some of these questions. I called a few AVS vendors (and AVS themselves) and the answers trended toward the AX200U in each case. The only [potentially] negatives I heard are "LCD and DLP have a 'different' picture, that comes down to personal preference". SInce I can't see one locally, I'm hoping to help understand the differences via my question above. I'm also forum-spelunking trying to find user pictures from the AX200U to compare to Peter_'s excellent HD65 pictures.

Thanks in advance for any help. I hope I can take comfort in the fact that hopefully people on here have as much OCD and pre/post buyer's remorse that you take sympathy on my "plight"

Thanks!!
Richard
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 02:50 PM
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I just purchased the AX200u recently. Here's my 2 cents:

Softness: I don't notice the lack of sharpness. Everything looks crisp and clear to me. Only thing I notice is I can walk right up to the image without seeing a screen door.
Noise: It sat literally less than a meter from me and I didn't know it was there. If someone considers this loud I think they have a bright future on a submarine someplace.
Color: Things look natural to me, not poppy and not undersaturated.
Gaming: The gaming mode actually boosts the brightness a bit in a very pleasent way. Horrible to view movies on though. No lag at all.

No regrets buying this machine, at all. Love it to death.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! Do you have experience with DLP projectors or RPTV's? Would love to get someone's perspective who is used to the DLP technology as compared to LCD FP.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 07:48 PM
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You'll most likely be happy with either PJ. My question for a Panasonic ax200u owner would be how is it on dust blobs? I like the sealed light path of my HD65 DLP and I of course love the image it throws. I chose DLP over LCD because I don't want to be taking the machine apart from time to time or have to send it in for a cleaning when dust blobs show up. Then again I suppose you could fashion some filtrete filters to the intake vents like I saw in a thread somewhere on here once on an LCD PJ. To each their own and like I said the image of either will look great, but I'm glad I went with my HD65 a couple of months ago.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-24-2008, 07:30 AM
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I have no experience with DLP at all and every RPTV I've ever seen has looked like total garbage (but my experience is limited to older sets and bar setups so that hardly says much).

I have no dust blobs, but my PJ is also like 3 weeks old so the jury is still out on that one.

I'd also like to point out a clarification in my above post:

There is a mode called "game" which reduces lag (which is already non-existant on the PJ, but whatever) and increases the brightness in a non-obvious way. Things don't look bright where they shouldn't be but dark shadows and areas that would normally be crippled by darkness get nice clarity and detail.

While playing games, this mode is excellent. If you forget to switch it back to "Cinema 1" (my preference) when watching a movie you will have a NOTICEABLE degredation of movie quality. I was flipping back and forth between the two modes watching Sin City on standard DVD and the "game" colors looked wrong, the image was jagged, and overall just harsh to watch. Switch to "Cinema 1" and it becomes a great, natural movie watching experience.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-24-2008, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionyou View Post

... My question for a Panasonic ax200u owner would be how is it on dust blobs? I like the sealed light path of my HD65 DLP and I of course love the image it throws. I chose DLP over LCD because I don't want to be taking the machine apart from time to time or have to send it in for a cleaning when dust blobs show up...

I got my AX-200 exactly nine months ago and just passed the 1000 hour mark. I clean the air filter every 100 hours and have not had any dust blobs.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-24-2008, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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3 days and counting; I'm going to try a couple of different rooms and screen materials tonight to get a feel for different results and brightness. If it works out, then maybe just stick with it and assume I can make it work in different rooms if I have to.

Tick tock ;-)

Thanks guys and gals!
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 11:09 AM
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Any more thoughts on these two projectors in a "versus" scenario? I, too, seem to be coming down to these two ...
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 08:03 PM
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well dont forget that lcd panels are organic and the picture can easily change as the panel breaks down causing colorshift.....then there's the dreaded bad polerizer.....although dlp pixels can stick this seems to be less common with dlp's and the picture quality never changes like lcd does....but then there the possibily of colorwheel moter failure...lol...I guess its a crapshoot...
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-11-2009, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I kept the HD65 and it has gotten rave reviews at outdoor and indoor events alike. The only real issue is placement; if you can't make it work in your room within a few inches/feet throw then you're kinda outta luck. I don't have a permanent placement, so I just put it on a table and scoot it around when neded.
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-15-2009, 07:58 PM
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I had a Mits 73-727 DLP TV when I bought my HD65. I kept it for a week and took it back due to fan noise and heat in my small room. I bought the AX200 and gave away my rptv a week later. Haven't looked back. The picture from the AX200 beats them both hands down. It is quieter than both. As person who has experienced the HD65 and a RPTV DLP, they don't compare.

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post #12 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 05:17 PM
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Bujee1, I think you are the first I have read that has experience with both the 200 and the HC65. I am getting close to ordering a PJ and these two are the top contenders. I like what I have read about the 65 in the way other then some who might seen rainbows with DLP there seems to be no other issues. The 200 seems to be getting alot of flicker complaints amongst owners. My Panny pta500 is almost to 4000hrs and I want a new PJ instead of a new bulb. I have been bouncing between these two PJ's. Looked at the Mit's 1500 but they are no longer avalible! The 1600 has a 2x color wheel so that in my opinion is out.
My budget is under $1000 total, so it looks like it's down to these two. The Panny has always been my favorite, love the smooth screen of my 500 when all the other PJ's pictures was a bunch of dots Panny's looked great.
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post #13 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCP View Post

Bujee1, I think you are the first I have read that has experience with both the 200 and the HC65. I am getting close to ordering a PJ and these two are the top contenders. I like what I have read about the 65 in the way other then some who might seen rainbows with DLP there seems to be no other issues. The 200 seems to be getting alot of flicker complaints amongst owners. My Panny pta500 is almost to 4000hrs and I want a new PJ instead of a new bulb. I have been bouncing between these two PJ's. Looked at the Mit's 1500 but they are no longer avalible! The 1600 has a 2x color wheel so that in my opinion is out.
My budget is under $1000 total, so it looks like it's down to these two. The Panny has always been my favorite, love the smooth screen of my 500 when all the other PJ's pictures was a bunch of dots Panny's looked great.

Run your AX200 in normal lamp mode for the first 500 hr and you won't have a problem with flicker.

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post #14 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 10:33 PM
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So your in the wear the bulb in on high camp and not the it's a dirty PJ camp. Interesting, I was staring to believe them. I had also suggested to burn in the bulb for 500hrs then switch to low lamp and keep the PJ filter clean with a full blowing out at around 1500hrs but came under fire for suggesting such a thing.
So the HD65 with all it's raving reviews does not look as good as the 200? To tell the truth I was leaning to the HD65. Can you elaborate on the picture differences a little for me! How is the black level? And my room is totally light controlled will the 200 be too bright with not so great black level because of it? I will have it 14ft back onto a 124" screen.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 04:56 AM
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Timely topic!

I am looking for something to better handle ambient light...from the bar & pool table area and watching a football game during the day without making it a complete cave out of the basement. Sounds like the 200u gets the nod on that?

If one were going to order the panny, is there a particular place one might go?
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 08:21 AM
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http://www.visualapex.com/Panasonic/...-the=PT-AX200U

They are a sponsored dealer for AVs Seems to be the cheapest at $949 shipped, I bought my Panny 500 from them and was happy with them!
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCP View Post

http://www.visualapex.com/Panasonic/...-the=PT-AX200U

They are a sponsored dealer for AVs Seems to be the cheapest at $949 shipped, I bought my Panny 500 from them and was happy with them!

Cool! That seems to be the going "deal" with about everyone. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Price being equal, service, warranty and reputation are worth a lot!

Thanks.
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCP View Post

So your in the wear the bulb in on high camp and not the it's a dirty PJ camp. Interesting, I was staring to believe them. I had also suggested to burn in the bulb for 500hrs then switch to low lamp and keep the PJ filter clean with a full blowing out at around 1500hrs but came under fire for suggesting such a thing.
So the HD65 with all it's raving reviews does not look as good as the 200? To tell the truth I was leaning to the HD65. Can you elaborate on the picture differences a little for me! How is the black level? And my room is totally light controlled will the 200 be too bright with not so great black level because of it? I will have it 14ft back onto a 124" screen.

Try Cinema 1. If that is too bright try Cinema 2. At night, my theater is completely dark and I prefer Cinema1. I'll put it on Normal with the lights on.
I started in ECO mode and noticed some flickering. (Right after reading about it in one of the threads on this site.) It stopped right away and after 500 hours I switched back, no problems so far and that was 300 hours ago. I don't know what others say on this subject but this is what I know. By the way, I have only cleaned my filter once, about a month ago because I read somewhere that I probably should.

Regarding the picture difference, the AX200 looked more film-like. I wouldn't say it was soft, it just looked like what you would expect to see at the movies. (Actually better!) I know DLPs are supposed to be better with screen door effect but it doesn't hold a candle to the AX200. Black level looked about the same. My test disc was Underworld (bluray). Both did a good job of capturing detail in dark images.

I have an acute case of upgrade-itis. (This is my third projector in a year) But I haven't seen anything out there that makes it worth it to upgrade again. I play video games on my PS3 and Xbox 360, watch football and Desperate house wives with the lights on, and enjoy movies in Bluray and HDDVD on the weekends. No other projector can do it all. Check the projector sites. The AX200 is still one of the hottest selling projectors out there. No projector is perfect but the AX200 is reliable in my opinion and is the best bang for the buck. I've been researching the AE3000 but it may not be bright enough for me and I don't want to buy a special screen.

If they come out with an AX300 in 1080p I'm in. Otherwise I'm stayin' put.

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post #19 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 08:58 PM
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Thanks for the reply Bujee1, that sure sways me back to to 200. I would imagine the 300 will be a 720 also but a bit better contrast ratio.
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