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I was offered a Panasonic PT-LC50E for £400 from a friend of mine. I don't know anything about these projector. I am in fact looking for a projector to use with my HTPC. Is this any good? Is the price correct? Please give some advice and help. Thanks in advance.
hey thats the projector i have got! to be honest i think you can probably get better for the money, its the frist and only projector i have had and i have been really happy with it so far, its great for portability use as it comes with a bag and a table top little stand, but doesnt have horizontal keystone correction or lens shift, its a good starter projector i guess, but for £400 or close enough you could get better i think like the panasoinc A500 which is much better . how many hours has he done, when i can afford to i do intend to uprgrade but for the time being it suits me fine. i havent demoed a lot of projectors so havnt got much to compare it against,
It has limited contrast, and although your HTPC will certainly improve the image compared to the on-board processing, you can get a Sharp Z200 for under £500 and it will be considerably better (and with a warranty).
There are quite a few sub £500 pjs available now if you look, and those designed for home cinema will be a better choice for a little extra outlay.
Thanks for your input. I have decided not to buy this projector. I have now increased my budget to around £2000. I am not sure whether to go for LCD or DLP. I would like to share forum members experience. Thanks
Don't forget the Sony HS50/60 which can be had for well under £2k and is a very good LCD projector, there are plenty of HD ready DLp pjs for under £2k as well now though so you have a wide choice. Look at the BenQ PE7700, Infocus 7205, Infocus In76, Optoma H72, Hitachi PJ-TX200, The Panasonic AE900 and the Sanyo Z4 which are all 720p HD ready projectors.
I prefer DLP myself, but try to demo both types if you can, preferably correctly set-up. That can make a huge difference in how a projector can look, and a good pj badly set-up can look worse than a bad pj set up well.
Where in Surrey are you? If you can get some demos you should be able to make up your mind which technology you prefer, and what models may suit you.
Screen size and resolution is relative to how far back you will sit - you want to be over 1.5 times the screen width away with most 1280 x 720 models, and further again with lower resolution models. Take into account the 'throw' of the pj and where it can be sited relative to a particular screen size. Some are long throw, and others short throw. www.projectorcentral.com has a throw calculator which is quite useful for determining what size screen and throw distance works for a particular pj.
All the previous models mentioned are worth a look, including the Optoma H78/79 if you can get one. I've always used an HTPC, so you should get excellent results with that and not have to buy a player. As Sime says, you may want to budget for a screen as well. Fixed screens are best (no ripples), but not great for a lounge (pull down or electric can be rolled away and less obtrusive when not in use).
In Horsham there is www.projectorsareus.co.uk and www.nexnix.co.uk (also www.shotandshow.co.uk), so they might be worth a look, but see what they have in stock and can demo for you. Projectorsareus has a good demo room, but I've not seen Nexnix, though they seem to have a good reputation as well. Hopefully others can chime in and mention some places that can demo for you.
Yes, this is becoming more or less standard resolution for middle-class 16:9 home cinema PJs...such projectors are fully HDTV compliant and you may want to use DVI-HDMI cable for best picture from your HTPC, although I'm not really sure that your PJ will want to talk to your gfx card due to HDCP protection protocol required on both ends for HDMI to work, so you may want to get a new HDCP compliant gfx card...