Calling all Panny 300 owners - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello, I am seriously considering the Panasonic 300, and I was wondering if you would share your pros and cons of this projector. I have read the review at Projector Central and it sounds excellent. I do want to check out the Infocus 4805 when it comes out, I don't know if the rainbows will affect me or not. Thanks.
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post #2 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 06:28 AM
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I love mine...Pros and Cons? Depends on how picky you are!!! As you start to get into this hobby I find the more picky you become.

Peekaboo screen door...rarely visible once you do the flicker tweak and the projector is warmed up. Beautiful HD, no screendoor, nice colours...hard to go wrong really in my opinion.

JVC HD 250
Benq 1070
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 06:38 AM
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A bit dim when the room isnt very dark, but I have no complaints with my 300. I wont upgrade until I can get a dlp 720p for less than $2k.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 07:55 AM
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It is an excellent projector. I've had my 300u for about 10 months. I think I made the right choice at the time, but new projectors are always coming out, and I haven't kept up with the latest offerings. Overall the projector central review is right on, and I would differ to them on the specific pros and cons but here are some of my own observations. Consider all the different applications you might have for you new projector.

Pros:
HDTV is awesome
PQ is everything you could want in a projector for this price.

Cons: (this list is long, mostly nitpicking)
Dimmer that I would like for my actual use (see below) - definitely invest in an actual screen.
Bulb started to dim after 800 hours and had to be replaced- my fault I didn't clean the filter and the kids kept the thing on for about 10 hours straight.
Keystone correction is required unless you hang the projector fairly low from the ceiling.
DVI port is not very useful unless you get a Bravo D1 DVD. I intended to use the projector for more PC gaming, but I haven't taken the time to get powerstrip tweaked to my satisfaction using the VGA port.

Read on for more about my setup:

Panny 300u about 11 feet from a flat white wall in a completely light-controlled basement family room. Seating is just under the projector. I made a black frame to create a 92 inch diagonal 16:9 screen. I place some addition pieces top and bottom to mask off for 1.87 and 2.35 aspect.

video sources:
Comcast cable for analog/digital/HDTV
Cyberhome DVD (progressive scan, but I prefer the Panny's deinterlacer).
VCR - I yanked this out because VHS looks like crap on a 92" screen
Occasionally xbox
PC through vga port using powerstrip.

With this setup I have no complaints when the lights are off. My intended use for the home theater was to watch DVD movies in a theater-like setting. My actual use has evolved into something much different for several reasons - my wife likes some room light when watching movies, my kids are often in the room playing Xbox on another TV, and I've discovered HDTV sports and it is nice to have a bit more room light during superbowl parties, etc.

I plan to get a screen (probably a Da-lite HCCV) in the next month or two and I expect that much of this will be solved. I've also experimented with various lighting arrangements to minimize room light falling on the 'screen'.
I installed a remote dimmer for the overhead lights so I can sneak these down after the movie starts.

Being paranoid does not negate the possibility that someone is out to get you.
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 08:02 AM
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i'm considering a 300 also and appreciate this thread. i'd appreciate feedback on the following...

* is the 300 "directly overhead" distracting as far as noise?

* if it is flush ceiling mounted, how far from the ceiling can the screen be without using keystoning? i'd like both the PJ and screen close to the ceiling.

it's a shame this unit lacks lens shift (but so does the 4805), but this might be the sleeper $1300 PJ for dvd viewing still.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 09:17 AM
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The manual for the panny has a formula for calculating the location of the projector. For ceiling mounting the top of the screen image will be ABOVE the center of the lens by a factor of Screenwidth/32. So for my setup with a 92 inch diagonal this would be 80/32=2.5 inches LOWER than the top of the screen. Needless to say, flushmounting the projector is out (you also need some clearance to pull the filter for frequent cleanings).

Right now I am living with using the keystone adjustment. When I get my real screen I plan to experiment with some other arrangements. I want to raise the height of my screen, but I also want to put a riser under the couch to allow for another row of seating in front.

The fan noise doesn't bother me at all. I keep it set on low, and my ceilings are only about 7 high in the basement - so the projector is already fairly close overhead. My main concern is that someone will clobber themselves while standing up or that the PJ will get whacked during a lightsaber battle.

On the brightness issue...
Sports broadcasts are usually so much brighter that even with some ambient light the projector works great.

Being paranoid does not negate the possibility that someone is out to get you.
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post #7 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 09:45 AM
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Fan noise is minimal. Mine is right above my head, and on high all the time. You can barely hear it (and then only during quiet parts of movies), and I have good hearing.

Match it up with a good screen (I use a Stewart Firehawk), and keep the screen size reasonable (I'm shooting 82" diagonal, which is probably on the small side for many here) and you'll have no problem.

It's a great projector, especially for the price it's going for these days.
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 02:39 PM
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It is an excellent projector! I loved mine. Only a little peek-a-boo scanline, but like the others have said, the flicker tweak and very slight softened focus will correct most of that.

Mine was right near my head and it was silent as far as I was concerned.
Incredible for the price. Oh one last thing, you should know that the DVI port is not HDCP admissable (unless you have a Bravo D1 DVD player). But that isn't an issue for everyone.

~Markito
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-22-2004, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot guys. Are any of you guys using a DIY blackout cloth screen with the Panny 300, and if so how does it look?
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 08:05 AM
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I don't own a Panny 300, but don't flame me yet. ;) I am a happy X1 owner. I plan to "upgrade" sometime this year and move the X1 to our family room. Here are my comments and even a question ...

The 4805 will have very little rainbow effect. The "rainbow factor" is real, I know, but after a year with the X1 and many screenings later, not one person has mentioned them. The faster color wheel and its additional segments should make the already-low number of people who see rainbows, even lower.

My dilemma, as with many, is simply price. I have been using digital front projection (low-end) for about 5 years so I'm fine with controlling ambient light. I have used DLP and LCD and DLP (for me) is the technology I prefer. I am willing to accept the resolution "limitations" of the 4805 if it's price is appropriate (most of our viewing is DVD, then SD TV). If it is too expensive, or if the market adjusts with its release, I may be passing it up.

My question is why the 300 and not the 500? Simply price? The street prices seem to be only a few hundred off yet one gets a "true" HD system with the same CR and light output.

I hope that the 4805 is a steal ($1000-1200 USD). If it is not and I must jump close to the $2000 mark ($1500-1700), I will probably be getting a 500 or a Z2.

Looking for some additional encouragement from the Panny clan. :)

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post #11 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
My question is why the 300 and not the 500? Simply price? The street prices seem to be only a few hundred off yet one gets a "true" HD system with the same CR and light output.
Assuming money is an issue to consider...

The 500 is $700 more for suspect improvement for DVD. If you don't have, and don't anticipate HDTV sources, why bother with the extrat $700 cash outlay?

I agree the 4805 is something to wait/consider but the throw distance is very poorly designed IMHO.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #12 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 08:50 AM
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My 300U is quiet and even though it must scale the 1080i HD television signals, the 84" diagonal picture is spectacular. Even ABC 720p signals look great. A few weeks ago someone posted a comparison between his 300U and a new 500AE that he purchased. He really could not tell the difference so if there is a $700 price difference, I would opt for the 300U. Image brightness in a controlled light room is sufficient especially if you are running a smaller screen size as I am. I plan on keeping mine until the true 1080p models come out.

Also this may not be a big factor in your decision comparing the 300U and the 500U, but the 300U can read an image directly from a smart digital card and the 500U has eliminated that feature. But the 500U does have DVI HDCP and the 300U only has DVI. I feed mine with component video both for DVD as well as HDTV. Don't really see how much better the DVI could be since the image with the component input (30 foot run being switched by a receiver) is great.

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post #13 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 01:56 PM
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My quick price checking has the 300 vs. 500 at no more than $500 difference with a few selling the 500 as close as $300. I guess my feeling is that the 300 is actually over priced compared to other sub-720 projectors (namely some deservedly popular DLP offerings from BenQ and Optoma, not counting my beloved X1).

There is some thinking that HD systems show the "low quality" of DVD's (aren't we all spoiled? :)), but I am in the position of having to make my next purchase last a few years, which will surely mean an increase in HD viewing.

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post #14 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigHeat
My quick price checking has the 300 vs. 500 at no more than $500 difference with a few selling the 500 as close as $300. I guess my feeling is that the 300 is actually over priced compared to other sub-720 projectors (namely some deservedly popular DLP offerings from BenQ and Optoma, not counting my beloved X1).]
Comparing the X1 and 300 is apples vs oranges (and pointless)

You can get the 300 for $1299 at TD w/ authorized warranty.

Please post or PM where you can get the 500 for "$300 more" at $1599 or even $1699 new in box?

Thanks in advance :)

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #15 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 02:16 PM
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TD is doing their usual flip flop website errors and ommisions so who knows if they have any left.
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post #16 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 02:44 PM
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they had some yesterday... hmmm. if they did run out and other retailers don't drop prices $300-400 the decision becomes alot easier to not buy a 300u.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #17 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 07:42 PM
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There are some around for $1600.00 plus and some non-new stock around, but yeah, the L300 well is drying up I think.
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post #18 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 09:07 PM
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Jemsite,

Thanks for quickly putting my "pointless" response in its place (though I'm hardly the only one comparing similarly priced DLP and LCD systems). Surely this will amount to the same, but I am typing nonetheless.

My price comparison was (from the start) admittedly quick. You have found a great deal at $1299 (though it seems they are out of stock?).

I got my data from simple Froogle searches for "PT-L300U" and "PT-L500U":

- A single low price for the PT-L300U of $1487.27 (in stock according to site)
- A single low price for the PT-L500U of $1898.25

- A "quick" average price for the PT-L300U of $1600.00
- A "quick" average price for the PT-L500U of $2000.00

There are more vendors for the PT-L300U, which may account for their varied prices. Almost ten vendors are selling them for $1700+ and a few as high as $2000.00.

There are fewer vendors for the 500u (AKA PT-AE500U), but less price variance - pretty much all are at $1999.00 with a few oddballs at $2100+.

So, my calculations were based on a solid $2000 for the 500u with available 300u's costing between $1500 and $1700. Crude, perhaps, but that's where I got my $300-500 range.

Hope that helps some. Please know that I didn't mean to take the thread off-course. I was just noticing the price gap as I weighed my own upgrade, which included both the 300u and 500u.

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post #19 of 23 Old 03-23-2004, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Who is "TD"?
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post #20 of 23 Old 03-24-2004, 07:11 AM
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Jim McC - you have a PM.

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post #21 of 23 Old 03-24-2004, 08:48 AM
 
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Panny 300U with XP-30 component and BravoD1 DVI.

No complaints. 92" diag DIY screen. Very Quiet. Sits right overhead 13 foot viewing position. No noise.
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post #22 of 23 Old 04-28-2004, 12:02 AM
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Hi Midlife,

Kindly share the pq difference between XP50 component and Brave D1 DVI .... is there a difference?

Clatto! Verata! Nnyaarrghahum(coughcough)!!
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post #23 of 23 Old 04-28-2004, 09:35 AM
 
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not much difference. On a higher resolution projector, maybe.
most notable is the color differences. The xp-30 seems to be more colorful, less life-like. But, you can adjust black level better on the XP-30, you can't adjust with DVI.
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