Thanks! I appreciate your opinion. But one more question. While yiou say PQ is the same - or the Panny is better - what about HD. Wouldn't the Epson show more detail with HD than the Panny bc it has better native resolution since you can't make up pixels where there were none? Maybe I'm asking you the same question again - I was talking to a couple of friends this morning about this, and they claim the Epson will have more detail by definition bc of the resolution - and is 720p native, so I will essentially not need to upgrade as quickly - and also that I was wasting my time spending a lot of money on HD equipement if I was getting the Panny since it is below HD resolution. I gather you disagree and know you didn't think more detail was necessary, but can you tell me why anyway...please!
$1500 is a lot of money. Is the picture from the TW100 that much better than the 300U? Depends who you ask. No two sets of eyes are the same. It is apparent that for DVDs at least, the picture quality is close between the two.
I haven't seen either, but I do have the TW100 on order. I previously had a Panasonic 75U. I struggled with the decision about whether to upgrade to the 300U or the TW100.
In the end, I decided on the TW100 for the following reasons over the 300U(keep in mind these are all theoretical reasons based on my research, I haven't actually seen either of these two units):
1. Faroudja processing in the TW100 should be better for cable and vcr inputs. The Panasonic processor is pretty good (if it's similar to the 75U), but it ain't no Faroudja.
2. Two component inputs at the back on the TW100. There is a component input as well as a VGA input that can be used as a component input (with the use of a break out cable). The Panny only has the component inputs. It's VGA input can't be used as a component input.
3. Brighter lamp, even though the specs say otherwise. I'm assuming you'd run the Panny in low power mode, which would reduce the rated 800 lumens to below the rating of the Epson.
4. Epson lamps are apparently renowned for retaining their brightness longer.
5. Higher resolution of the TW100 should make a difference viewing HD.
6. 2 year warranty on the Epson, and I've been told by Epson (Canada) that they have a ZERO DEAD PIXEL policy.
The unfortunate thing is that neither of these projectors has DVI/HDCP. This could be a problem in the very near future. If the majority of your viewing will be DVD, you could just get the 300U and save the $1500 towards that next DVI/HDCP projector in a coupld of years.
For me, the $1500 premium on the TW100 was worth it for the (theoretically) slightly better picture (on DVD), and the reasons outlined above. When I actually get the projector in, I'll post a review.
Thanks. It does help. Here's the problem. First, as you pointed out, I havnen't found anyplace that has both or even two places near me that have one and the other, so I have no way of doing an A/B. Second, I went to the trouble of getting a second Dish and having two lines run for a new dual decoder Dish network box - one for OTA HD and the other for Dish HD. I was planning on having OTA HD set up and running to maximize the PQ of the pj. If I never planned on going to HD - or at least not until I was ready to upgrade the pj, it wouldn't matter as much. But I am concerned about how regular Dish will look on a 92" screen. I'm concerned that only HD and DVDs will look good. I don't want to feel forced to watch my 35" Mits b/c the PQ on my pj isn't as good. Does that make sense? Plus if that's the case, my wife will want to know why I had to spend all this money. Ironic that I might have to spend more to not hear that, but true. Anyway, the Panny as I understand it has to scale to get HD, which means you're not seeing HD. Does easy scalability (i.e. 1/2 or 1/4 HD - whatever projector central calls it) means it scales better. Does that result in a better PQ that appears higher than its native resolution?? I agree with your other assessments - I just am a little concerned that I could either save or spend the extra money and never know if I made the right decision. That's why I'm hoping a few more people chime in and I can get a small consensus one way or the other. Thanks for the reply and please let me know what you think.
It is 1/4 HD, which means when it scales (i.e., makes the HD source fit the LCD panel, it can effectively reduce the height and width by 2). The net is that it is can, in essence, remove every other line of resolution rather than having to convert at some odd ratio for height and another for width.
DVI/HDCP means a DVI (digital) connection that supports HDCP (High Definition Copy Protection). HDCP is supposed to be what the industry is putting in place to prevent people from copying HD source at the same HD resolution, thereby making nearly perfect copies of the original. The trend seems to be going to HDCP, but there are other schemes out there under discussion, so ultimately, who knows what it will be.
You won't notice any difference in pq of regular dish network channels between these two pjs, so that shouldn't matter. As for HD, the Panny looks fabulous. Most people that have compared the Panny and Sony HS10 have given the Sony a 10%-20% edge in visible resolution. The $1500 price difference equals almost twice the Panny price. I know the TW100 picture isn't twice as good as the Pannys, even on HD. My strategy is to buy low and upgrade often. The Panny gives you an awesome picture, even with HD, at a very affordable price. If you saved that $1500, you could upgrade again next year to an even brighter, higher resolution pj. Just my opinion. If you have $1500 extra to blow and nothing better to spend it on, then go for it. But the way technology is moving in these pjs, I'd keep it for next year.
blackbelt, DVI is a digital input that was used for computer inputs mostly until now. The industry is pushing to use DVI with HDCP (high definition copy protection) as a way to protect their copyrighted material. It could potentially mean that without a DVI/HDCP input, you wouldn't be able to watch HD programming. It's still up in the air. Read hundreds of threads on this forum about HDCP. Bottom line, if you're only going to buy one pj for the next 5 years, go ahead and get one with HDCP. If you plan to upgrade within 2-3 years, I'd go ahead and buy and by then everything will have settled out.
I can't say how a dish signal would look, as I don't have a dish. I only plan to use my projector for DVDs. I've thought about signing up for HD on cable, but for now DVDs are good enough for me.
Regarding your worries that the pic quality will only be good for DVD and HD, I hear you. I used to have a 53" Hitachi SDX01B, and some of the cable channels were total crap on it. They were much better on my 27" analog Sony tv. I too was expecting much better from a "digital HDTV capable tv".
The saying "Garbage in - garbage out" really does apply when you're going big. Any deficiencies in the picture will become obvious when projected. Even poorly mastered DVD's become pretty unbearable. I remember watching Star Wars Phantom Menace for the first time on the big screen with the 75U. I didn't know what the hype was regarding the edge enhancement. I quickly realized what the uproar was about. John Carpenter's "The Thing" is almost unwatchable on the big screen due to edge enhancement. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that if the incoming signal isn't clean, don't expect miracles. What you might have thought was crystal clear on the Mits may not be very good on the projector.
I don't know if you've tried this, but you could try contacting Panasonic and Epson and asking them directly if there is a dealer in your area that sells those projectors.
Unless fed a native signal, all projectors have to scale the incoming signal to their native resolution. When watching HDTV, the incoming signal is 1920x1080 (typically, thought 720p is also HDTV). The Panasonic just has to divide the horizontal and vertical by two to scale to its' panels. The TW100, since its' 1280x720, will have work harder on 1080i inputs (however, if the incoming signal is 720p, the Epson should be better than the 300U since the incoming signal is already at the Epson's native resolutiona and hence it won't have to scale at all). The harder a scaler has to work to convert the incoming signal to the native resolution of the panel, the more likely it may introduce artifacts into the picture. The Epson has a Faroudja scaler on board though, so it should do a better job than the Panasonic even if has to work "harder".
There are reports that HD on the Panny is pretty good compared to higher resolution units due to this easy scaling. I can't say either way since I haven't seen the units at all, let alone a 1080i signal into them. I'm no expert on scaling, so you should understand that this is my understanding. I could be wrong.
As Uther points out, HDCP is a copy protection scheme. If you have a DVD player or set top box that has HDCP applied to its' DVI output, you can only view it on a display device that also has HDCP on its' DVI input. If you purchase the upcoming Samsung DVD player for example and expect to see an all digital picture on either the 300U or TW100, you'll be dissappointed due to this HDCP scheme.
I see others have posted replys before me. I've got to work on my typing speed. That and my defence
Thanks for the fast response all.I was wondering what the heck that meant.Is hdcp a big enough concern to guide you into what projector you get?Or is it so far down in the future ,one should not worrie about it for years to come?Or should one buy cheap and upgrade in the future ,once the standard is set?
Thanks. I'm still worried either way, since I'm buying one site unseen. But Jacksonian, I liked you logic, I probably will want to upgrade within 3-5 years. Like PCs, I'm guessing by then, I can get another pj for than same money I'm spending on the Panny, but it will be better than the Epson is now. My main concern was making HD worthless on the Panny. But I think the Panny's maximum is 540p, as a opposed to 480p on a DVD, which doesn't seem like much. But since you say it is much better and I have no way of seeing both and not enough WAF to buy and try both and return one, I think I'm sticking to the Panny. But still worried...
How fast it will come and what it will mean is heavily debated. Do a search on threads with HDCP in the title and you'll have a comprehensive talk on the subject. Or check Sound & Vision, Home Theater, or The Perfect Vision magazines for articles on it.
My opinion is that something will be coming for copy protection in the next 2 years. It may undergo some changes and revisions--the HDCP for instance is already planned to be replaced by HDMI which also carries audio signals, and the HDCP isn't even being used yet! But then we'll need new A/V receivers with these connectors, and new cable boxes, dvd players, tvs, etc... So I would rather have a great pj now at a good price that will ALWAYS show great DVD pictures, and if I need to upgrade next year, so be it.
This is just my lean. Some folks don't want to buy another pj for ever or for many years. In that case, I'd say get the HDCP, just in case. Now, if I was going to drop $8 grand on a 50 inch plasma, then I'd make sure I got one with HDCP. But for $1900, I'll take my chances. Read those threads though, you'll get all kinds of different opinions.
There is another benefit to the TW100. It has a VERY flexible RGB calibration control system. The controls to manipulate RGB offset, gain, and gamma are readily available to the end user in the main menu system. This is in addition to the usual controls of black point, white point, tint, saturation, and sharpness. It is very easy to tweak the TW100 to standard calibration via AVIA and a lightmeter.
Keep in mind other opinions here...the TW100 has more input flexibility and it is definitely possible to do 1:1 pixel mapping. I will check the 60Hz possibility tonight, but I am almost positive that it is positive.
Bottom line...there will always be people who buy Ferrari's and people who buy Hyundi's. For sure, the TW100 and AE300 are neither Ferrari nor Hyundi in the land of projectors. Only you can decide whether the benefits/differences are worth the extra money.
PS. Does anyone in San Jose *have* a L300u??? I have a TW100 and would gladly invite you over for a shootout. I have HTPC DVD and OTA HD available for demo.
just buy the panny and buy a denon 1600 dvd (or similiar) with a faroudja processor and save ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS! that could buy you an ELECTRIC ROLLUP screen!
Also, the faroudja chip wont help that much with standard cable. I saw a samsung dlp with the chip displaying standard cable and looked very grainy. Just look in the rear projuction forum under the Samsung HLN DLP set posts and many say standard cable looks like crap through them.
I switched from a worn out Sony VW10HT to a brand new Panny 300 (1/3 the price for what I paid for the Sony 3 years ago) and the 1/4 HD is stunning. Leagues ahead of the Sony HD picture, which was great, and just a really nice, bright, colorful, stunningly good, clear picture. I'm pretty impressed with what $2K can buy these days. So impressed that I personally find it hard to justify spending much more right now, since this rate of improvement is likely to continue for some time, totally obsoleting whatever you buy this year probably by next year (if not next quarter).
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