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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'Day,


I will keep this short because I am sure many are tired of the same question. Two projectors have caught my eye and I am having a difficult time deciding which one to take the plunge with. The main application will be movies and live sporting events. The movies will be played via DVD and HDTV. I will continue to watch regular TV on my 36in.


Projectors:


Panasonic PT-LC75U

Panasonic PT-L300



Just looking for something that may push me one way or the other… More than likely someone is going to point something obvious.


Cheers!


Thanks in advanced!
 

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I used to own the 75U. It's a good projector and for most movies, you'd be happy with it.


Consider the following advantages of the 300U over the 75U:


1. Longer lamp life (5000 hrs vs 3000)

2. Higher contrast ratio (800:1 vs 400:1)

3. DVI input (even though it ain't HDCP compliant)

4. Widescreen panel


Item 1 may be important for you. I believe the replacement lamp for the 75U was more expensive than the replacement for the 300U.


The higher contrast ratio is important if you're a picky person with respect to black levels and shadow detail.


DVI input is also important if you are planning on using a HTPC and want the best possible signal to the projector.



The advantages of the 75U are:


1. 3 year warranty vs 1 year

2. Higher resolution for 4:3 viewing

3. Slightly higher resolution in 16:9 mode


The 3 year warranty is impressive apparantly, as you get a loaner if your projector needs warranty work. This service (Panazip) is not available with the 300U.


I'm not sure the resolution makes much of a difference as I never got to view the 300U. I will say that the 75U put out a fantastic, sharp picture.


Obviously, you should view both projectors before making a choice.


For me it all boiled down to the contrast ratio. For movies with dark scenes, it was tough to make out shadow detail. If I increased the brightness, I lost the punch in the picture (i.e. it became washed out). I was all set to purchase the AE300 when a good deal on the TW100 came up.


I dumped the 75U and am waiting for my TW100 to come in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply... You raised some good points, which leads me to ask a few more questions.

Quote:
2. Higher contrast ratio (800:1 vs 400:1)
In your opinion is it preferable to have a higher contrast ratio or higher lumens?

Quote:
3. DVI input (even though it ain't HDCP compliant)
Even though it is not HDCP compliant would I be able get around this if I were to build a HTPC? (Which would then be able to adapt to the industry standard.)

Quote:
4. Widescreen panel
Does this mean that it always displays widescreen? (i.e. when I go to view regular TV 4*3 format it will display it in a 16*9 format?



Thanks once again!
 

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vincanity,


I just ordered the 75u... what advantage would I have in having a wide panel? Is there a disadvantage to using part of the XGA panel?


I just HAD to have XGA as this PJ will dubble as a business projector.


Thanks for the info.


LaKidd


"Livewire"
 

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"Does this mean that it always displays widescreen? (i.e. when I go to view regular TV 4*3 format it will display it in a 16*9 format?"


No, you can watch 4:3 if you want but you won't be using all those pixels you paid for.
 

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I never thought I'd be asked for advice on the AVS Forum! Keep in mind when reading my comments that they are based on my experience and understanding.


SensFan:


I have total light control in my basement, so I don't need a light cannon. In my situation, it is preferable to have higher contrast rather than higher lumen. I was running my 75U in the low power mode, with a Hoya filter. The light output was surely way less than the rated 1200. Probably around 500 or less. It was plenty bright in my situation.


I had the brightness set to a level that produced a nice "punchy" picture. But when watching movies with dark scenes (like Spiderman when Parker is chasing Uncle Ben's killer), I was literally in the dark. Jacking up brightness resulted in a washed out picture. I also got tired of dark grey space when watching space movies like Star Wars. I am hoping that the 800:1 contrast ratio of the Epson TW100 will help with this. I will say that Gladiator was spectacular on the 75U, as were other "light" films.


You can use a HTPC to send a digital signal to the AE300. The DVD players coming out now with DVI will scale to 720 p (or higher) and apply HDCP on that signal. You can't use these DVD players on the AE300, but the HTPC should serve the same purpose. When High Definition DVD's come out, I don't think the HTPC will provide a way around HDCP. You'll probably have to buy a new DVD drive that will implement HDCP.


My understanding of the 16:9 panels is that you can watch 4:3 signals stretched out to fill the panel, or with black bars to the left and right.



LAKidd:


Watching a movie in 16:9 mode on the 75U results in a decrease in brightness. Since some of the pixels are "off" to produce the black bars on the top and bottom, the light being sent to those pixels is wasted. On a 16:9 panel, there are no wasted lumens (unless you are watching 2.35:1 ratio movies). So the net result is that a movie on the 300U should be brighter than the same movie on the 75U in its' 16:9 mode (even though the 75U has a higher lumen rating).


The other advantage of the widescreen panel is you won't have annoying dark grey bars on the top and bottom. With my 75U, I place some black cloth above and below the 16:9 area to produce a more pleasing image. However, I got tired of having to move it up and down for different aspect ratio movies. I'm looking forward to not having to apply this cloth again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by vincanity
SensFan:


I have total light control in my basement, so I don't need a light cannon. In my situation, it is preferable to have higher contrast rather than higher lumen. I was running my 75U in the low power mode, with a Hoya filter. The light output was surely way less than the rated 1200. Probably around 500 or less. It was plenty bright in my situation.


I had the brightness set to a level that produced a nice "punchy" picture. But when watching movies with dark scenes (like Spiderman when Parker is chasing Uncle Ben's killer), I was literally in the dark. Jacking up brightness resulted in a washed out picture. I also got tired of dark grey space when watching space movies like Star Wars. I am hoping that the 800:1 contrast ratio of the Epson TW100 will help with this. I will say that Gladiator was spectacular on the 75U, as were other "light" films.
Great information Vince! This is the information that I was looking for. I truly believe that 90% of the most useful information comes from those who have used the item in question appose to some formal review. Don’t get me wrong reviews are a wealth of knowledge but for the average ‘joe’ like me, I like speaking with people from experience.


Anyways… My hunt continues. I am now looking at a few Sharp models and comparing them to the l300.


Cheers once again!
 

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I'm not so sure you're right about the brightness issue of the 75U vs the 300. The 75U is still using more pixels to produce a 16x9 image than the 300. I realize total lumens is measured with the whole lcd panel, but I can't imagine the 75U putting out less lumens than the 300 in 16x9 mode when it is still illuminating more pixels. The TW100, probably, but you're taking about a projector that cost over 2x as much. I agree with you on the contrast issue with the 75U, but it is not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. First of all, the Spiderman dvd is very poor when it comes to black and shadow detail. There was a discussion at length in the dvd forum when the dvd was released on how poor the Spiderman dvd was. Good encoded movies like Blade 2 look very good on the 75U, even though most of the movie is in the dark. It depends on the source too. I recently got to see the Sony HS10 and the Yamaha TW100. While they definitely offer a little sharper picture, I did not feel they were by no means that much better than the 75U. I am also toying with upgrading in hopes of a bit better contrast, but I am having a hard time justifying spending $1000.000 or more when the pictures are not that dramatically better. Quite frankly, the only reason I am considering upgrading is that now you can get a 3 or 5 year warranty with the 300U, but I would like to see one in person first. I have a Iscan Ultra with a DVI out and I could use a DVi to DVI direct connection to a 300U. However, I don't have any dead pixels at all, I don't see vertical banding, I see no panning artifacts and I have 2 1/2 years left of the Panazip warranty with the 75U. So I don't know. The 75U is a good unit- especially for $1600.


Scott
 

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Scott:


There is no doubt the 75U is a good projector. My very first statement was that "It's a good projector and for most movies, you'd be happy with it". The vast majority of movies I watched on there were outstanding. I was only trying to convey what I understand to be the difference between it and the 300U, and my experience with the 75U.


An opportunity presented itself and for me, it was worth taking a chance on the TW100 for the increased shadow detail. I spend far too much time here on AVS forum and have been guilty of looking for problems rather than enjoying movies on the 75U. I decided that it was worth the extra money for a percentage increase in picture. What that percentage increase turns out to be, I'll have to wait and see.


I'll post a review in a few weeks time when I've had my TW100 for a few days.
 

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vincanity,

1st, how do you go about getting a good deal on a TW 100 with 800:1 contrast? I believe that is the new one. I would like to know how your new TW 100 works out. Thanks for the info.
 

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vincanity,

I would like to know how to go about getting a good deal on a Tw 100 with 800:1 contrast. I need a projector that would project at about 11', and that one does. I would also know how you rate it. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Joe:


I'll certainly post my thoughts on the TW100 when it comes in. It's on back order and won't come in until early May.


I am in Canada and the prices for the TW100 here are ridiculous. After verifying that the warranty is valid in Canada for a unit purchased through a US reseller, I went ahead and placed an order for one with a US reseller. Even with conversion, taxes, duties, it worked out cheaper than if I had bought from a dealer here.


I purchased the unit for $3550. I'm not really very good at striking up good deals. You could just try asking a few of the resellers if they can beat, say, $3500. It wouldn't surprise me if you could get it for $3450 or less.
 

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vin,

Thanks a lot for the info. I would really appreciate your imput when you receive your TW 100. It seems to me the more that I read the more I get confused. Then I read about these shootouts and when the people but the units it seems that it is very complicated to calabrate them. Thanks again for your time and good luck with your unit.

Joe
 

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Another small bit of advice: Black levels and shadow details become very important once the WOW factor period has passed. You are initially totally enthrilled by the large picture, etc and once you get used to that you start seeing the flaws. For LCD projectors, I believe the biggest issue is black levels and shadow details. Now I know for a fact that the 300U does a pretty decent job as far as those two points go (remember that it is still an LCD after all) and would very much recommend it on those points alone.


Xander
 
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