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The official Panasonic PT-AR100U Owners Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 144
I'm looking at getting the same projector and I live in Toronto where the price is $1999.00! B&H Photo in NY seem to be the best choice for Canadians. I've purchased from them before without any problems and will probably get my projector from them. All in, you can get it for approx. $1,532.65 ($1,299 + $57.10 for shipping + $176.55 for duty/taxes). So, buy it Ontario, Canada and you'll be paying $1999.00 + $259.87 HST.

Seems like a no-brainer to me. It bugs me that there was a rebate earlier in the year and the projector was going for $999. I guess Panasonic raised the price by $300 to offset the rebates from earlier in the year?
post #32 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kerr View Post

Seems like a no-brainer to me. It bugs me that there was a rebate earlier in the year and the projector was going for $999. I guess Panasonic raised the price by $300 to offset the rebates from earlier in the year?

The $999 (ie. $1299 with rebate) was intended to generate interest in the new model projector, after which the rebate expired and the price went back to its present level.

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Edited by Mr.G - 11/8/12 at 6:09am
post #33 of 144
Thanks to both of you. Jay, there's still the issue of warranty. Also, if you are patient, you might find a promotion that makes it more worth your while to buy in Toronto. After I posted my question I found out there was a promotion at 2001 audio/video this week where they were offering a $1000 motorized screen for only $200 if you bought it with that projector (actually the promotion was for a non-motorized screen for free but the sales person told me the motorized screen would be only an extra $200 which is a better deal), so that would have offset the savings of buying in the U.S. They also have a deal where you get to pay it off over 24 months with no interest. I didn't buy it, because I decided I wanted to wait and save up some more money, especially when I realized I'm also going to have to pay for installation (wife doesn't trust me to hang stuff on the ceiling myself, and I think she's probably right). I'm sure other deals will come along. When I bought TV and surround sound system last year (for a different room), I learned that when you are spending thousands of dollars and show that you are willing to walk away, the sales people are more than willing to negotiate. Maybe boxing day sales, or maybe I'll wait another year and see what comes along.
post #34 of 144
If I needed a screen then the deal at 2001 Audio Video would make sense but I already have an 88 inch Carada screen. I've dealt with B&H in the past and they seen quite good. I'm hoping that I can take advantage of a Black Friday sale. We'll see. I have nothing against Canadian retailers. I purchased a new Denon receiver at Best Buy and I purchased a number of PSB speakers from 2001 Audio Video in the last month.
post #35 of 144
Since I have reached just over 1000 hours on my AR100U I decided to measure the brightness of the projector and compare it to my readings in February (when first used) and July.

I am keeping track of the brightness loss even though to my eyes it still looks quite bright. I have only measured in VIVID CINEMA picture mode (eco setting) using my lux meter, taking the average of 9 points on the screen.

February reading: 1417 lumens.
July (600 hours) reading: 1333 lumens
November reading: 1300 lumens

This represents roughly a loss of 8.3% in brightness for 1000 hours of use (the hours are calculated by the AR100U's internal clock). This is unusually good and much better than the average among other projectors, even Coderguy would be impressed.

I will continue to measure at regular intervals.
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Edited by Mr.G - 11/24/12 at 7:22am
post #36 of 144
Well I ended up picking one up from a Black Friday sale here in Canada, along with 120" screen. It was installed last week, and I am loving it. So far has met all expectations. At first it seemed a little close sitting 15' back from 120" screen, but I got used to it real quick, and now the only problem is it's SO addictive. I'm going to have to be careful not to become a couch potato -- I've probably gained 2 lbs already because of this thing. I haven't completely figured out how I'm going to use it yet. I know blurays have the best resolution, but it's going to get pricey to keep buying them, and it's hard to find places that rent. I tried netflix, and actually I thought they looked pretty good, even thought I don't think the computer I was streaming them through handles 1080p. Only problem is they don't seem to have a lot of new movies. I haven't connected cable yet (I have another tv that I use for watching tv). Just a little question I'm curious about: Those of you with the projector mounted on the ceiling, do you climb up and put the lens cap on each time you're done using it, or is it okay just to leave it? My projector was mounted on drywall as I have a dropped ceiling with no studs. It was done by a professional installer, and it seems secure, but I'm just not keen on placing added traction on it by pushing a lenscap on and off all the time.
post #37 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy6027 View Post

Well I ended up picking one up from a Black Friday sale here in Canada, along with 120" screen. It was installed last week, and I am loving it. So far has met all expectations. At first it seemed a little close sitting 15' back from 120" screen, but I got used to it real quick, and now the only problem is it's SO addictive. I'm going to have to be careful not to become a couch potato -- I've probably gained 2 lbs already because of this thing. I haven't completely figured out how I'm going to use it yet. I know blurays have the best resolution, but it's going to get pricey to keep buying them, and it's hard to find places that rent. I tried netflix, and actually I thought they looked pretty good, even thought I don't think the computer I was streaming them through handles 1080p. Only problem is they don't seem to have a lot of new movies. I haven't connected cable yet (I have another tv that I use for watching tv). Just a little question I'm curious about: Those of you with the projector mounted on the ceiling, do you climb up and put the lens cap on each time you're done using it, or is it okay just to leave it? My projector was mounted on drywall as I have a dropped ceiling with no studs. It was done by a professional installer, and it seems secure, but I'm just not keen on placing added traction on it by pushing a lenscap on and off all the time.

Congrats on your AR100U, I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I have. Try Redbox for Blu-ray and DVD rentals. I stream many movies and TV shows off Netflix and generally their HD 1080p is pretty good. VUDU is another streaming service although more expensive, their HDX quality is excellent. I also use Hulu+ for streaming TV shows I'm interested in. I have Amazon Prime so I stream movies and shows from them occasionally. Lastly I have my Time Warner HD cable box hooked into the projector. Don't bother with the lens cap, any dust accumulation can be removed with a little compressed air like the type used for computer cleaning. With Christmas sales going on right now keep your eye open for a good Blu-ray player that also streams from the online services like the Panasonic DMP-BDT220.
post #38 of 144
===UPDATE AFTER ALMOST 1 YEAR OF USE===

We use the PT-AR100 in our living room for TV, movies, and PS3 games. It's continued to kick ass in every respect.
I posted a video clip months ago to demo blackness levels etc and there's no change today.

Details and comments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MB5QEYboE0

Since my wife's home all day, it gets lots of use with her either watching TV or playing Final Fantasy.
We're now at 2,940 hrs on our first bulb, so it's time to start looking for replacements.
For my old PT-AX200U, I once tried a "compatible" bulb from China, but it died after 900 hrs. Every other bulb I bought for it was a Panasonic bulb and I ended up running them about 10-20% over their recommended rating with no problems.

At this point I want to stick with a true Pana bulb - and likely have to buy from either US or overseas (bulbs are $600 in Canada... don't get me started about Panasonic's moronic pricing strategy in Canada...). I'm going to have to reset the bulb hours when it hits 3,000 hours in a week or two, and plan to run the bulb to [maybe] 3,500 hours.

Has anyone else had to replace their bulb yet?

Happy viewing.
[...I originally posted this on another thread, forgetting that this Owner's thread existed. Mod - feel free to remove one if needed.]
post #39 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulpha View Post

===UPDATE AFTER ALMOST 1 YEAR OF USE===
We use the PT-AR100 in our living room for TV, movies, and PS3 games. It's continued to kick ass in every respect.

Since my wife's home all day, it gets lots of use with her either watching TV or playing Final Fantasy.
We're now at 2,940 hrs on our first bulb, so it's time to start looking for replacements.
For my old PT-AX200U, I once tried a "compatible" bulb from China, but it died after 900 hrs. Every other bulb I bought for it was a Panasonic bulb and I ended up running them about 10-20% over their recommended rating with no problems.
At this point I want to stick with a true Pana bulb - and likely have to buy from either US or overseas (bulbs are $600 in Canada... don't get me started about Panasonic's moronic pricing strategy in Canada...). I'm going to have to reset the bulb hours when it hits 3,000 hours in a week or two, and plan to run the bulb to [maybe] 3,500 hours.
Has anyone else had to replace their bulb yet?
Happy viewing.

Wow - I thought I was putting a lot of hours on my 100 - but not even close to you at this point. Great to hear you are doing so well. I'm not surprised you're wanting to run the bulb out beyond 3000 hours. If you check my post #35 you will see that after 1000 hours I had only lost around 8.3% of the light output which I think is outstanding. The biggest loss was in the first 5 months and then it seemed to slow down. At close to 3000 hours you've probably only lost 25% of the light output - that's just a rough guess.

I have looked at prices for the replacement bulb (ET LAA110) and found that B&H is about the lowest at $338 plus shipping. Provantage is another respected seller of genuine Panasonic bulbs but do not stock this part at the moment. I would be very suspicious of any bulbs selling for less than $300 since clone bulbs are already on the market. A genuine Panasonic bulb should also include a new air filter and electrostatic filter.

EDIT: Provantage informed me that this part is on back order and should arrive in 3-4 weeks.
Edited by Mr.G - 12/12/12 at 8:56am
post #40 of 144
I will most probably buy this projector in a few days.

What scares me, even after looking at the video a few posts above mine, is the noise.

Should i be scared of it? It looks like to be really boring!
post #41 of 144
I'm thinking of picking this PJ up as well...doing some more research this time around though. I need lens shift for my setup and there are only two PJ's (8350) with it, in my price range. Here's another great review vid. I've watched it several times with headphones and the noise didn't bother me. I also think the noise on PJ's is subjective to a degree.

post #42 of 144
So far I have only ever noticed the noise of the projector when the sound is completely off. Even when we had the sound turned down really low the other night, so we could hear my son if he woke up, I did not hear any projector noise, and we sit with the projector pretty much directly over our heads (mounted on an 8.5 foot ceiling). I do have a decent surround sound system, which fills the room nicely, but I don't see how that should make a difference in drowning out projector sound -- volume is volume, right?

Quote:
bulbs are $600 in Canada... don't get me started about Panasonic's moronic pricing strategy in Canada

Have you checked out Eastporters? They are based in Canada, but seem to have cheaper prices than other Canadian retailers.
post #43 of 144
On the subject of lamp life, there was something else I wanted to ask. In reading people's comments on this forum and others, there is a lot of mention of eco mode, but no mention of the eco management feature, which is where you let the projector adjust the light level automatically by detecting ambient light. Any thoughts on why this feature does not seem to be very popular?
post #44 of 144
Thread Starter 
I have about 250hrs our my PT-AR100u and it's doing an outstanding job so far, especially compared to the Epson 8400's I owned. I run it in eco mode and have noticed the fans kick on higher speeds sometimes, then slow down after a few minutes. I'm guessing its just getting hot up on the ceiling maybe from the furnace turning on during the winter season. Anyone else notice their projector fans adjusting speeds during a play? I'm guessing it's adjusting to the temp as designed.
post #45 of 144
I have had mine over a year now and never heard the fan change speed during use. The only time I notice a difference is while the disc is loading. Once the movie starts I never hear any change.
post #46 of 144
Thread Starter 
Maybe it's my MediaCenter PC. It's right behind us. I'll have to turn it off during a bluray movie and see if I notice.
post #47 of 144
Fan speed bumps up on ours occasionally - usually due to high % of screen showing bright white. Not very often though.

Noise doesn't bother us. It's not silent, but it's right above us and is only something I'll notice during a quite part of a movie.

Picture above is outdated and actually shows my original PT-AX200U, but same location for AR100.
For reference, the other side of the living room...


Andy - thanks for recommending Eastporters, I've submitted a price request from them.
Otherwise B&H is looking like my best lead.
post #48 of 144
Looks like I'll be ordering from Eastporters (thanks Andy!)

Eastporters replied by email that price is $419 + $15 shipping = $435

B&H Photo is $337 + $10 priority mail + $55 duties = approx $405 (may be more if duties are incorrect)

So, for $30 more, I'll support the Canadian business. Always good to avoid customs hassles.

...of course a year from now, when more people hit the 3,000hr mark, the lamps should a hundred bucks less and more available!

Cheers!
Edited by mulpha - 12/16/12 at 5:05pm
post #49 of 144
Cool. Don't forget to check back on boxing day and see if they have a sale on. Don't know if stuff like that goes on sale, but never hurts to check.
post #50 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Wow - I thought I was putting a lot of hours on my 100 - but not even close to you at this point. Great to hear you are doing so well. I'm not surprised you're wanting to run the bulb out beyond 3000 hours. If you check my post #35 you will see that after 1000 hours I had only lost around 8.3% of the light output which I think is outstanding. The biggest loss was in the first 5 months and then it seemed to slow down. At close to 3000 hours you've probably only lost 25% of the light output - that's just a rough guess.

I have looked at prices for the replacement bulb (ET LAA110) and found that B&H is about the lowest at $338 plus shipping. Provantage is another respected seller of genuine Panasonic bulbs but do not stock this part at the moment. I would be very suspicious of any bulbs selling for less than $300 since clone bulbs are already on the market. A genuine Panasonic bulb should also include a new air filter and electrostatic filter.

EDIT: Provantage informed me that this part is on back order and should arrive in 3-4 weeks.

Provantage now has the genuine Panasonic ET-LAA110 in stock for $311.15.

http://www.provantage.com/panasonic-et-laa110~7PANP0T6.htm
post #51 of 144
Anyone else using this mount with their 100? http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10911&cs_id=1091102&p_id=3009&seq=1&format=2

This is the mount I have but it 22lb max weight. The 100 is 19lbs which makes me feel a bit uneasy.
post #52 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mym6 View Post

Anyone else using this mount with their 100? http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10911&cs_id=1091102&p_id=3009&seq=1&format=2

This is the mount I have but it 22lb max weight. The 100 is 19lbs which makes me feel a bit uneasy.

Would I hang a $1300 projector from a $12 mount? No I don't think so. Will it work? Most likely it will. Since it only has 3 mounting arms you will want to use the inner mounting holes on the bottom of the projector. Make sure this mount is secured to a ceiling joist.



Maybe someone with experience with this mount will comment. My preference is the Peerless PRG-UNV.
post #53 of 144
I have that mount holding up my old projector (Infocus SP5000) that the kids are using for the xbox. It is more then capable of holding up a sub 20 lb projector, however it does not have any way of locking down your aim, the sp5000 is pretty light and I have to re-aim it all the time, I would spend the extra $20-$30 and get one you can lock down. Here are a couple that might be better.

http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Projector-Vaulted-22-4-Inch-Extension/dp/B000TUDOQ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357831259&sr=8-1&keywords=projector+mount
http://www.amazon.com/Peerless-PRGUNV-Precision-Universal-Projector/dp/B000TXNS6G/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1357831259&sr=8-5&keywords=projector+mount
post #54 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Would I hang a $1300 projector from a $12 mount? No I don't think so. Will it work? Most likely it will.

That's exactly what I'm thinking. My old PJ was under 7 lbs so I wasn't worried at all.
post #55 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by tburns6 View Post

I have that mount holding up my old projector (Infocus SP5000) that the kids are using for the xbox. It is more then capable of holding up a sub 20 lb projector, however it does not have any way of locking down your aim, the sp5000 is pretty light and I have to re-aim it all the time, I would spend the extra $20-$30 and get one you can lock down. Here are a couple that might be better.

http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Projector-Vaulted-22-4-Inch-Extension/dp/B000TUDOQ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357831259&sr=8-1&keywords=projector+mount
http://www.amazon.com/Peerless-PRGUNV-Precision-Universal-Projector/dp/B000TXNS6G/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1357831259&sr=8-5&keywords=projector+mount

I was actually already looking at the VideoSecu, that guy holds 44lbs and can lock. I've ordered it and will report back how it works.
post #56 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mym6 View Post

I was actually already looking at the VideoSecu, that guy holds 44lbs and can lock. I've ordered it and will report back how it works.

I assume you didn't bother reading any of the reviews.
post #57 of 144
+1 I took a chance on this mount and it's very wobbly...not secure at all.
post #58 of 144
I've noticed the fan kicking up speed when I'm switching from Cable to Blu-ray and then it settles back. I'm running an 08 Onkyo 706 Reciever and it has always had a glitch when switching sources but my old AX-200U's fan never changed gears during the transition. Also kinda weird that every time I switch sources a display showing which HDMI port appears on the screen.

I've had the AR100U for two weeks now and have been very impressed. Going from the AX200U's 720 to AR100U's 1080 has been very noticiable. I re-watched Cars on Blu-ray last night and the higher resolution was noticable watching pebbles get scattered when Lightning would peel out or went skidding down the hill into the cactuses. Although every time I watch Cars I seem to notice something diiferent in the background every time.

Black levels compared to my old AX are better but I wouldn't say dramatically better. The scene with Mater driving in reverse really stood out for me. To be fair...my friend has the Epson 8350 and it's black levels and shadow detail I thought looked great. Not enough of a difference for me to switch brands. However our setups are way different. My primary viewing is watching sports and I don't like sitting in a totaly dark room. The AR100U is perfect for my tastes. I can't believe how much light I can have on in the room without the picture washing out. Very very happy with the AR100U so far.

Setup wise: 17 foot throw on a 120 inch Black Widow screen.

For those on the fence between the AR100U and 8350. It just comes down to viewing needs and habits. The AR100U is beyond awesome watching sports with alot of lights on in the room and is very good for movies as well. It's kind of funny that I've blown the dust off some of my older movies/shows just to rewatch them and be dazzled again seeing them on the big screen.

This might be very subjective but watching standard DVD's doesn't have the same look that I actually liked on the AX200U. I think my next research project will be looking to upgrade my 5 year-old player and see if I can find a better unit that upscales and does blu-ray. Or just scrap my Battlestar Galactica and Firely SD collection and go Blu-ray.
post #59 of 144
Great review Paints....I'm curious how is the motion handling. I'm very sensative to motion blur...I'm trying to decide between this PJ and the ae7000. Not really into 3d and I'm trying to see if that will justify the addtional cost of $700. Although the 7000 has faster panels and better contrast. Is it really worth it?
post #60 of 144
Joeboy73

I'm with you on 3D. That wasn't a factor for me at all.

I've watched two Jayhawk bball games, last weekends NFL playoffs, and the NCAA championship game and can happily report I've not seen any motion glitches, lags, or blurs. The true test will be watching the puck during NHL games and since the strike finally got resolved. I'll be able check that out next week.

Everything looked great while viewing the The Avengers on blu-ray as well. Don't see any problems in that department.

Your dilema is something only you can decide. Your setup, viewing habits, and preference should be your guide.

The AR100U is tailor made for me. Sports viewing with the lights on is stunning. Movies look great as well. I am not a videophile that cares a whole lot about not being able to see the crease of some dudes black suit when lurking in the shadows of a dark alley. Now if the AR's black level picture was just a giant blob...I would care. But it's not. Outer space scenes look good to me. The AR will not give the black detail that the 7000 has. If that is important to you. You should get it. The AR's sharpness looks fantastic to me as well. Bear in mind I'm coming off the AX and it's 720 picture. Colors look good to me as well. I will tweak this a bit....but I want to get 200 hours on the bulb before I start playing around with those settings. It's a shame their aren't more theater displays at the chains for people to go make comparisons on. Buying things blind off reviews was hard for me to do 5 years ago when I bought my first projector.

Best advice I can give is buy the projector that fills the most of your needs and what you are willing to spend. The $1300 I spent on the AR suited me perfect. I don't think I would ever spend much more than that on what is essentially a giant toy.

Hope that helps.
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