Panasonic AE300 upgrade to HDCP compliance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-11-2006, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there any way to upgrade my panny ae300 so it is HDCP compliant? I really love this projector and really hate the idea of it becoming obsolete so quickly.
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post #2 of 35 Old 01-11-2006, 09:23 AM
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Sorry to disappoint you, but you can't. You have to get another model. If your concern is with hi def, just stick with component connections.
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post #3 of 35 Old 01-11-2006, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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That's a bummer. I use a HTPC with it and it works great for regular DVD playback. I was hoping there would be a work-around when the new High Def DVD format finally shows up. I feel like I've been ripped by Panasonic. Surely they new what was coming up and how soon. I bet they just sold these machines a couple of years ago expecting everyone to buy their new machines later with HDCP. I will wait and see. There are a lot of people out there that are smarter than me and someone may figure out a way to do it. Thanks for the info though.
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-11-2006, 10:59 AM
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Yeah I know it sucks. I had an AE300 and that issue always bothered me. Its Panasonic Marketing becuse they wanted you to buy the AE500 which was native 720p and had a HDCP compatible DVI port. A firmware updated could have fixed this easily.
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post #5 of 35 Old 01-11-2006, 11:21 AM
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HDCP is pointless for the 300u imho.

it's a (very nice) 540p PJ... you can watch hi-def content via HTPC, cable/sat boxes anyways. They're downscaled and look great.

BRD/HD-DVD would be most likely downressed over component to about the native resolution of the 300u panel anyways.

What am i missing?

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 35 Old 01-11-2006, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I'm no expert on it but--I think the new high def DVD formats are going to require HDCP monitors. Actually 720p and 1080i content does look great when scaled through the AE300. What I worry about is the possibility that the Blu-ray or HD DVD drives for the PC will somehow require the monitor to be HDCP compliant or the image will be scaled to 480p (aka regular old 20th century DVD resolution). Even though the native resolution is only 960x540, there is a huge leap in picture quality when playing material that is 720p or 1080i on the AE300.
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post #7 of 35 Old 09-21-2006, 10:00 AM
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Can someone tell me if the AE300 projector is not HDCP compliant through the DVI port ?? This would explain the problem I am currently having. I have 2 HDMI sources (SAT, DVD) which is switched through my Yamaha receiver (RX-V2600), I have a 25ft HDMI cable running to an HDMI wallplate. I tried using the HDMI to DVI cable that came with the SAT box, but I was getting an HDCP error flashing on my receiver. Thinking that it was a problem with the receiver or wallplate, I took down the AE300 off the ceiling, I hooked it up directly to the SAT HD box using the supplied HDMI to DVI cable, nothing, screen was black. So now I am on my last test, I ordered an HDMI to DVI adapter off of eBay, thinking that maybe the compliance problem is with the supplied HDMI to DVI cable. If the adapter does not work, then I am screwed!!

This means that if I want to use any HDMI source, I will have to sell my AE300 and upgrade to a 500 or 700 just for it to be HDCP compliant...

Tell me it ain't so....
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-21-2006, 11:13 AM
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it's not HDCP compliant.

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 #9 of 35 Old 09-21-2006, 06:39 PM
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At least for now both HD DVD and Blu-ray will not downres component output. Since the 300U is only capable of 540 lines, using HDMI with HDCP is really not an issue. I plan on keeping my 300U for awhile longer, since I am getting a great picture using component input for both DVD as well as over the air HDTV.

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post #10 of 35 Old 09-21-2006, 06:52 PM
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Neils

As already noted the 300u is not HDCP compatible. Also, the DVI port will only accept Wide768 (1280 X 768) as a video format.

I specifically bought the OPPO 971 DVD player (non HDCP compliant) with the DVI output to connect to my 300u, but all signals except for 1280 X 720 were not read. Even the 1280 X 720 format is read incorrectly as the 300u views it as 1280 X 768 leaving black areas on the screen.

The 300u is essentially a very good one component (analog - HDCP does not apply) projector.
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post #11 of 35 Old 09-23-2006, 03:36 AM
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It is my understanding you can view protected content over the component connections, which HDCP does not affect, it just won't work on the DVI input. Can anyone confirm this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmtree View Post

Is there any way to upgrade my panny ae300 so it is HDCP compliant? I really love this projector and really hate the idea of it becoming obsolete so quickly.

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post #12 of 35 Old 09-23-2006, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmtree View Post

That's a bummer...... I feel like I've been ripped by Panasonic. Surely they new what was coming up and how soon. I bet they just sold these machines a couple of years ago expecting everyone to buy their new machines later with HDCP.

If it was just a couple of years ago, you might have a point. However, the 300's were marketed 4 years ago (late 2002) when the majority of projectors in that price range did not have HDCP compatable inputs. I think the competing Sony back then (HS-10) was HDCP compliant. This was discussed quite a bit on these boards back in 2002/2003 (check the archives if interested) and the general consensus was that widespread HDCP content issues were at least a good 2-3 years off, and by then many people would be on their next projector anyway.

PTL-300 owner for 3-1/2 years and still happy with it
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post #13 of 35 Old 09-23-2006, 12:44 PM
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I was also extremely happy with the 300u, and the lack of the # inputs, was one of the determining factors for me upgrading. The resolution and non HDCP were the others , but the Projector itself was very reliable, and I wondered if I was making a mistake in upgrading, but once I saw how much brighter the 700u was, there was never any turning back.

My 700u ended up having the dreaded Lamp issue, so I immediately jumped to the 900u, and to go back to a 300u now, would be like going back to dial up Internet.

The increase in brightness is so much greater now, that we had custom curtains made to keep the daylight or any competing light from coming in from upstairs, as it always compromised the picture on the 300u, but now even with the same light coming in, it doesn't hinder the picture at all. or at least to the degree of it being bothersome.
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post #14 of 35 Old 09-23-2006, 02:54 PM
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Component input on the 300U is not affected by HDCP. As of now the high definition DVD's are not limiting their component output to 540 lines instead of the 1080 that are available on HDMI. So for now the 300U will get the 1080p from Blu-ray or the 1080i from HD DVD and scale it to 540 lines just as it now does with HDTV.

Thus the limiting factor on the 300U is its 540 lines of resolution, but quite frankly when watching my 300U scale a 1080i or 720p signal from my HDTV tuner down to 540 lines, the picture looks fabulous. I am content and am in no hurry to upgrade. So far bulb is doing well with over 1300 hours.

Tom
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post #15 of 35 Old 09-25-2006, 12:54 PM
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Bigrushhead, I got a good laugh when you said going back to the AE300 would be like going back to dial-up internet. That statement alone is incentive to upgrade my AE300. I was thinking about this upgrade issue. My AE300 is working perfect, and the image is not all that bad, especially since I am projecting onto a high contrast gray Draper screen, which helps a lot. But I do find that the image is lacking some punch, probably due to the decreased perceived output due to the gray screen, plus the lower brightness compared to the newer models. Since I would like my projector to be HDCP compliant in order to use HDMI, I was thinking perhaps to upgrade to the AE700. This way I can turn my AE300 into cash, and my investment would be minimal to upgrade. Not only would this option get me an HDCP compliant model, but up my contrast to 2000 (from 800) and up my brightness to 1000 (from 850). Not too shabby, not as good as the AE900, but would be better to look at than the AE300 I have right now...

Anyone want to downgrade to an AE300 ??? It's for sale !!

I think I will have to try and sell it private to get some good cash for it, since it's selling for peanuts on eBay....
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post #16 of 35 Old 09-27-2006, 08:47 AM
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Ah, fellow ae300/l300u owners, I feel at home now. Proud owner of the 300, still chugging along. Sure I'd love to get the 900 or the new ax100, but the budget isn't there for one now. 1700 hours, believe it or not, I'm still amazed at the hd programming from television, especially sports. My only complaint like many others is the basically unusable dvi connection.

Hell, I haven't even upgraded my BO screen and dvd player to a upconvert one. Just been watching and watching.
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post #17 of 35 Old 09-27-2006, 11:29 AM
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This projector certainly does HD, through component, extremely well. HD sports is exquisite. If you are able to get it try Discovery HD....amazing!

I have 1300 hours on mine and I am very pleased even now, 3 years later, with the image. I have even bought two spare bulbs for when that time comes

I think that these projectors should receive a good price as used units, as they have some unique and useful qualities like the SD slot (which will play a movie from SD!) and on board speaker. Unfortunately, this has not been born out in the market.

The DVI is essentially useless even if it was HDCP compatible because of the very limited signal acceptances (No 480p, no 720p, and no 1080i)
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post #18 of 35 Old 09-27-2006, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neils View Post

Bigrushhead, I got a good laugh when you said going back to the AE300 would be like going back to dial-up internet. That statement alone is incentive to upgrade my AE300. I was thinking about this upgrade issue. My AE300 is working perfect, and the image is not all that bad, especially since I am projecting onto a high contrast gray Draper screen, which helps a lot. But I do find that the image is lacking some punch, probably due to the decreased perceived output due to the gray screen, plus the lower brightness compared to the newer models. Since I would like my projector to be HDCP compliant in order to use HDMI, I was thinking perhaps to upgrade to the AE700. This way I can turn my AE300 into cash, and my investment would be minimal to upgrade. Not only would this option get me an HDCP compliant model, but up my contrast to 2000 (from 800) and up my brightness to 1000 (from 850). Not too shabby, not as good as the AE900, but would be better to look at than the AE300 I have right now...

Anyone want to downgrade to an AE300 ??? It's for sale !!

I think I will have to try and sell it private to get some good cash for it, since it's selling for peanuts on eBay....


If it was me, I would get whatever I could on Ebay for the 300u, (should be able to get $300.00 or more). The cost of a replacement lamp would put you at $550.00 + to in effect, keep the same projector, and for $400.00 to $500.00 more, you could jump up to a 900u. if you know where to look

Actually I was you about a year ago, and this is exactly what I did, and believe me, I couldn't be happier. I hate to say this, cause I am trying to sell my 700u right now, but I would bypass it and go straight to the 900u. The 700u is very noisy and makes this "clunk" noise all the time, which I believe is the "Auto Iris" doing its thing, and one cant help but believe its somehow related to all the lamp failures, cause the 900u makes the same noise once in a great while, but no where near as much, is brighter yet, quieter fan, and has a beautiful picture, and even SD material is quite tolerable, and the air filter is way better, the remote is much improved, and 2 sets of component inputs.

I used to have to blow the dust bunnies out of the 300u pretty regular, but haven't had to deal with that at all on the 900u.

I wont be thinking about upgrading for awhile.
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post #19 of 35 Old 09-28-2006, 08:51 AM
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I don't think the bulb for the ae300 costs that much, I've seen it direct from Panny for little over $255. If I were to upgrade, I'd wait a bit and move up to the AX-100, I certainly wouldn't go for the ae700, the least you should be thinking is the 900 model.
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post #20 of 35 Old 09-29-2006, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
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WOW! I thought I was the only person in the world left with this projector. Glad to see so many happy owners. I too have been wanting to upgrade but I really like this projector.
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post #21 of 35 Old 09-29-2006, 03:49 PM
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Hello AVS,

I'm a real rookie as this is my first post. Please excuse if I am not following procedure/protocol. Any advise in this area would be appreciated!

Anyway, I do have a question: Does anyone know if the Blackmagic, Intensity HDMI PCI are is HDCP compliant?

"We do not stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing."
- District 34 Proverb
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post #22 of 35 Old 09-29-2006, 04:32 PM
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just hit 1900 hours. I still regard it as the best electronics purchase I have made. Perhaps in a year or two I'll succumb to the upgrade bug, but that will be driven by affordable HD players and projectors.

I do wish the 300 was HDCP compliant, and that it allowed 1:1 pixel mapping for computer applications. But it puts out such a nice picture that I just watch regular old DVD's and forget all about the fancy stuff!
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post #23 of 35 Old 09-30-2006, 05:49 AM
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I'm very happy with how the hd programming is displayed on the 300, very nice. I'd like to squeeze a bit more out of the dvds though. Anxiously waiting for Oppo to announce their new dvd player as I'm hoping it is component upconverting and Faroudja chip.
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post #24 of 35 Old 10-02-2006, 09:17 AM
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You see folks, I see it another way. Now that I know for sure that the DVI-D port is not HDCP compliant, it forces me to sell my ae300. The reason is the following. I have a 4:3 50" RPTV as well, so I am trying to feed the component signal from the Yamaha receiver to the RPTV, and at the same time, feed the HDMI output to the projector. This way, I don't have to keep going behind my receiver and switching the monitor out depending on which display I need to use at that time.

Also, as someone mentioned on here, I have to use a grey screen to bring this projector to a reasonable contrast level, but that effects everything else, and it makes the image a little dull, it lacks some punch because of the screen. If I upgrade to say the AE700, then I can get some respectable contrast levels, which will allow me to swap out the grey fabric for a matte white, giving me the punch I have been missing. Throw in a slight increase in light output, and I am in business. And all that for a small investment, say a couple hundred from the 300 to the 700. So if any of you have a 700 in great shape and want to sell it for upgrade purposes, let me know by email. For me, jumping to the 900 is too big of an investment right now, I just want to get HDCP compliant HDMI connection plus a little better performance than what I have right now...

Thanks
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post #25 of 35 Old 10-03-2006, 08:47 AM
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neils, I just get by with the 300 with component for both dvd player and hd-dvr. I use a splitter so I can get component out from both to a single lead to the projector. I don't know how much a 700 is versus a 900 or even the ax100u, but why would you want to "upgrade" from a obsolete unit to another obsolete and used unit? You will most likely need to purchase a new bulb for the 700, either right away or shortly, that just adds another $400 US to the cost. Plus you most likely will have no warranty protection on your "new" 700 projector.
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post #26 of 35 Old 10-03-2006, 09:56 AM
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I've owned my L300u (same as AE300) now for about 3.5 years. I think I have north of 3500 hours on it and it still chugs along. I started a thread on maintenence, cleaning the dust and fix color uniformity problems here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=572889 Hopefully that will help some of you keep yours in tip top shape as well.

I think my bulb is beginning to dim significantly though. I still love it and watch 2-4 movies a week but I'm itching for either a new bulb, or to apply the sale price to a new projector. Panny used to sell the bulbs direct for about $250 but they don't seem to list them anymore. At ~$300 from online vendors, I can't decide if my money would be better spent on a new unit... prices on the new Mitsu 1080p LCD are coming out and they are pretty impressive. I wouldn't be surprised to see 1080p around $2500 or less by mid-2007. That isn't much more than my buy in price on the L300u!

Hmmm.... Decisions, decisions, decisiosn....
-Matt
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post #27 of 35 Old 10-03-2006, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neils View Post

You see folks, I see it another way. Now that I know for sure that the DVI-D port is not HDCP compliant, it forces me to sell my ae300. The reason is the following. I have a 4:3 50" RPTV as well, so I am trying to feed the component signal from the Yamaha receiver to the RPTV, and at the same time, feed the HDMI output to the projector. This way, I don't have to keep going behind my receiver and switching the monitor out depending on which display I need to use at that time.

neils-
I assume you aren't using the RPTV and your AE300 at the same time so you won't need them to output simultaneously. Why don't you just get a manual switch from RadioShack for like $20? I assume you are using the Yammy as your source switch so all you need is one to switch the outputs. Just get a mechanical A/V switch (for switching composite video [yellow] and left [white] and right [red] audio). Because it is a manual switch, you don't have to worry about HDTV bandwidth issues... and that also makes it dirt cheap. There are many threads on the topic if you search.

I notice no picture degredation issues with it in my chain. I use one as my source switch so I can have one component cable running to my projector. I have a 4x1 with HDTV, Xbox and DVD sources and room to grow. If you are looking for an excuse to upgrade, you'll have to find a different one like me... bulb dimming!
-Matt
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post #28 of 35 Old 10-03-2006, 11:37 AM
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Matt,

Panasonic still has the lamp listed....>>>ET-LAE100 LAMP $255.47. Dimming lamp is no excuse for you to leave the club.
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post #29 of 35 Old 10-03-2006, 11:53 AM
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Thanks mather... but when you add to your cart and "verify availability" it jumps to $305. And that is before shipping and any tax
-Matt
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post #30 of 35 Old 10-03-2006, 02:07 PM
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I am a firm believer that you cannot take a single component video output in analog format, and start splitting it without some sort of loss in picture quality. Tell me you own a $300 HDMI distribution box, splitting a digital HDMI signal, then that's another story. And yes, and someone summarized above, I am not using my front and rear projection at the same time. Not only am I looking to upgrade to avoid having to switch the output from my receiver to either display option, but I am looking to improve in picture quality. True, an AE700 would be out of warranty, and yes I would still need to consider bulb replacement down the road. But the way I see it, the bulb replacement issue is present with what I own now, so I cannot use that as an excuse. The fact of the matter is that the AE700 is a sizeable upgrade from the AE300, you go from 800 to 2000 in contrast, that's quite noticeable. That will also allow me to go to a matte white screen from my current high contrast grey. That will also increase perceived lumen output and give the colors a little more punch. And best of all, I would finally have an HDCP compliant HDMI port. I bought the Yamaha RX-V2600 in order to use HDMI switching, which also upscales to 1080i internally across the HDMI output. So I would like to take advantage of those features. I agree that it would be more logic to upgrade to the AE900, but they are still up there in price ($1500) where as an AE700 can be had on eBay for $700. That is why I think that it makes a lot of sense to throw in maybe $200 to get those extra features and performace from the AE700 that the AE300 does not have right now...

It is always difficult to justify an upgrade, every one of us can say why it makes sense to keep what we have now because we are not ready to make the jump to the next level, whether it be because we are waiting for the market to settle, or prices to get cheaper, etc... I say that one can find a middle ground, trading up to something slightly better without breaking the bank account. Better performance from higher contrast, higher lumen output, HDCP HDMI port, etc, just might be worth a couple hundred bucks to some...and as a bonus, my Yamaha receiver can output component to my RPTV, and 1080i HDMI to my projector at the same time, with no recabling needed in back.....

My .02
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