Originally Posted by obscuro
I posted this under my "LG HW300T: The first 90 Days and 1000 Hours of Use" thread.
Yesterday, I bought a LG PA70G projector from Fry’s. It had reached a price that I could justify.
I could have posted in the LG PA70G main thread but there are simply too many conflicting bits of info in that thread to post there. Not only do several of the opinions conflict but some information is NOT consistent with my unit or the user’s manual. If you intend to buy either the HW300T or the PA70G then you should have downloaded the manual by now. If not I highly recommend that you do. And I recommend that you download the EXACT models you are considering.
I will try to be brief but you know how that goes. If I say that “no models” or that “this is not” or words to that effect then I mean that what I am writing is based on the knowledge I have because I can not know about every model and it gets old saying in my opinion when that is the only thing I can offer.
So the main question does the PA70G look better then HW300T? Yes.
Is the picture quality better than the HW300T? Yes.
Is it worth hundreds more than the HW300T? Yes.
Is it quieter than the HW300T? Yes.
But each response requires an explanation. More importantly, you need to know the conditions that I used to weigh my opinions. The manual gives operating conditions (temperature, humidity and altitude). I live in the desert in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area (elevation about 330 m / 1100 ft) and the summer temperatures average over 38 (100) degrees. The humidity is low most of the time. I have white walls and very little light control. Those conditions are at the upper end of the projector’s specified operation.
The amount of noise the HW300T varied not only with output mode selected but also with temperature. At the loudest (brightest) mode the PA70G was quieter than my HW300T in economy mode (lowest noise). (All comparisons are to the 1000+ hour unit and there are wear differences between that unit and the other HW300T units I have.)
With the HW300T atop the PA70 I could overlap images and that implies that the throw ratio is almost the same. The manuals also suggest a slight difference. The ratio is about 1.4 (distance from image / width of image).
At the same distance from the screen the image of the PA70G is substantially better not only because it is brighter but because there are more picture controls.
The image of the HW300T (1000+ hour) has lost some of its luster and I don’t know if the long hours of use or the temperature has caused that. The focus on the 1000+ unit when it is turn on is not as sharp as a unit with considerably less hours but it does get sharper after a few minutes. If you only have one unit you will notice the blurry focus but once it gets sharp and you start watching it you will forget it. That is, until the next time you turn the HW300T (1000+) projector on.
Contrary to what I read in the other thread the PA70G supports 1080p24 like the HW300T. It supports 24, 25, 50, 59, 60,75, 85, and 100 cycle refresh rates on some resolutions. The simplest solution if you are using windows (XP but you get the idea) is to check “…\properties\settings\advanced\adapter\list all modes”. There you should be able to see the resolution and cycle display modes that the projector supports. However, you have to explicitly tell the AMD card to support certain resolutions if they are not displayed.
I believe that the 5000 series and above and the enhanced e-series (Brazos c-60/e-450) support HDMI 1.4 and thus the 24 hertz rates.
One member suggested that the PA70G supports 1280x768 at 120 cycles. I could only get my unit to recognize 120 cycle refresh rate at 1024x768 using HDMI and VGA. That is the rate that allows the unit to be used a 3D projector. So with 16:9 material you get a 1024x576 display.
I wanted to test the 3D but I lack too much knowledge and I could not get any help at Fry’s. They had an Epson 3010 and even that was not setup to show 3D.
An even greater frustration with 3D is trying to find out exactly what is needed to get a picture. I am missing a crucial detail and that is figuring how the required 3dlp link glasses get their signal to work.
One of the reasons I rationalized the PA70G was I know that a dual projector setup should be possible. Unfortunately, it seems that the engineers decided to make a design statement and taper the top of the projector with it sloping down towards the rear (Why would they do that?). Stacking the HW300T was difficult because the top is slippery and slopes.
Another bizarre design decision (like tapering the top) was to use the colour RED (actually a variation) to highlight menu selections. The colour is really annoying so playing around with the menus is unpleasant. I haven’t found out if you can change the menu highlight colour.
However, on the plus side of the PA70G design I liked the additional items added to each menu. That reduces the number of key presses for changing certain things.
The PA70G lacks several features that the HW300T has:
1. DLNA (networking)
2. Both Component AND VGA (it is component OR VGA on the PA70G). An optional adapter is required on the PA70G but included on the HW300T for component connection.
3. an ATSC tuner.
(Both support media playback files but I did not test the PA70G. Both support displaying certain MS Office files but I did not test that on either unit. )
The tuner was crucial in allowing me to rationalize my decision to buy HW300T. I may use them as personal theaters in my bedrooms. A 60 inch image is viewable under most conditions and the tiny projector would fit into any room décor.
The PA70G is brighter and has more control over the picture. You can move the HW300T closer to approximate brightness of the PA70G but the PA70G simply looks a lot better. If you use a much larger image then the difference in perceived picture quality WILL drop because both images are approaching a lower level of acceptable light.
My projectors were about 2291 mm from the screen. The image was approximately 1905 mm (1650mm x 1010 mm). 25.4 mm = 1 inch. I viewed them on my white wall and that means that contrast could not be optimum but the blacks looked darker. Again brightness at this smaller size makes a big difference.
BTW, the manual lists the (DLP) image panel as 11.623 mm for both units. And the length of the power chord from the power brick is about a meter shorter on the PA70G so that will effect placement.
I would like to quickly address the focus and RBE.
RBE is more pronounced on this unit than the HW300T but I have seen much more RBE on the HW300T (1000+) than the other HW300Ts. I have not played with the PA70G enough to see if I can reduce the effect. I am still planning (but I seem to get so distracted these days) to comment more on RBE but I will note that Wiki asserts that few people see RBE. Furthermore, some members assert that they can not see RBE. I find that strange.
I find it strange for a couple of reasons. Just because you can not see RBE doesn’t mean that RBE is not a problem. If you are constructing a “theatre” with a big screen and if your intent is to eventually invite guests then how would a guest complain if they got a headache from your system? I mean how would a vegetarian react to being invited to a dinner with only meat entrees?
But the second reason is that I was watching a recording of a TV show (Torchwood). Suddenly I had a black swan moment: someone passed in front of a projector and I saw the RBE (flash of Red Blue and Green) on the screen. I replayed and then paused the image. Sure enough there were the flashes. So I concluded that RBE can be seen by anyone if the conditions are right. What is strange is that the lower definition transcode of that same scene no longer had the flashes.
The final issue with the PA70G is focus. I could forgive the slight focus problems on the HW300T because it offered so much at a very attractive price. But I had the HW300T sitting atop the PA70G and I could not evenly focus it. The HW300T although duller was sharper over a much larger area of the image.
I may return the unit but I need to do more tests. (Ugh, I have to use their red highlighted menus). There is much to love (especially at the current sale price) but let’s face it if it does not focus evenly or sharply then the value of the PA70G is greatly reduced. It should not be a gamble on whether or not you get a projector that has good focus when you buy.
One member suggested boycotting and at the time I thought that was a bit much but in 2013 there is a great chance that I’m going back to basics (paper, pencil and books) because I am tired of starting projects and quitting because manufacturers deliver shoddy products.
In 2012, there is NO GOOD REASON to sell a video projector that fails to deliver an even and razor sharp image considering that the standard is high definition imagery. I’ll go one step further, auto focus, lens shift and zoom are essential to home video projectors (not special environment home theater projectors). With the potential of the HW300T and PA70G adding those features would transform the market.
(If you have questions about my observations please give me a reference, for example, a movie scene or something similar so that we have a starting point. It would be helpful to know your environment: like how big of a screen, white walls, and if you are using a computer. If you are using a computer then we may be able to compare settings. Finally, if you have a HDMI switch that would allow you to compare the computer image with the projected image. I had a few scenes that looked horrible. When I looked at the computer they were bad there too. I realized that I had crushed my levels to transcode to a smaller file size. The quickest fix was to adjust the levels (as much as I could) in my playback software. )