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2317 posts

Uber Geek


#23541 2-Jul-2008 11:09
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Hi all,

Just wanting to hear from any projector owners out there. I have just purchased a panasonic PT-AX200 720P projector and will be setting it up in a few weeks when I move into my new house.

Just wanting to know if any one has any tips/tricks.
Are you using a screen or a wall?

That sort of thing.

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534 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #142201 2-Jul-2008 13:08
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I'm a big projector fan. Nothing like it for movies and I imagine the same for HD broadcasts. I even use it a lot for SD which gives surprisingly good results.

I'm on to my second one which is a Sanyo PLV-Z5 and I guess will go 1080p in the next 12 months or so.

I have mine mounted on the ceiling and have a motorized screen above a set of windows which basically allows me to use the lounge as a projector room without it dominating the look of the room. Motorized screens are great, if you aren't having a fixed screen I suggest you get motorized over pull-down. I bought mine for $220 off Trade Me.

One advatage with a motorized screen is that you can bring the black border up on movie aspect content.

Ceiling mounted projectors in winter can be affected by heat rising from a heating system. I have to watch my fireplace heat or the fan starts to ramp up.

Mounts for projectors can be expensive retail. I always make my own or adapt something to the task. If you are not DIY minded you should be able to get something off Trade Me or eBay for $50 ish.

Suggest you go with an HDMI cable with at least one analogue cable type as back up.

76 posts

Master Geek

  #142215 2-Jul-2008 13:48
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I have a 720p DLP projector in a dedicated room with no windows. One wall is entirely screen (5 meters diagonal). I tried several products for the screen material, and standard matt white paint performed as well as anything else I tried (Stewart screen, screengoo, glossy photo paper). I have thick dark curtains that I can pull in for 4:3 format movies, but rarely do!

I run HDMI, Component & S video to the projector, the latter for the PlayStation2. Actually I put a 40 mm conduit in the wall (just PVC plumbing pipe). An HTPC drives this - getting a video card to do 1280 x 720 in both 50Hz and 60Hz way tricky back then but anything seems to work now (had to hack the Intel drivers as I recall).

One silly mistake I originally made was putting my projector mount perfectly in the center of my cinema room, then realising the lens of the projector was offset to one side, enough to make projected image into a trapeziod shape. Opps ...


2317 posts

Uber Geek


  #142414 3-Jul-2008 06:59
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Thanks guys.

I'm probably going to point it at a wall at first and if its no good I will get a screen later. I'm going to be feeding it via HDMI from my HTPC running MediaPortal with Freeview HD. I also download a lot of content in x.264 @720P so that should all look pretty nice. I have a Sony upscaleing DVD player but dont watch DVD that often - but its there...

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242 posts

Master Geek

#142444 3-Jul-2008 09:44
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If your wall is coloured at all it will screw the image colour balance. If you are to use paint on a wall use Dulux white(FLAT), this I have measured with my radiospectrometer and has a pretty flat spectra. ie shouldnt alter the colour balance too much.
If you want slight deeper blacks(at the cost of some lumens) use a grey shade, Dulux Thomas Tallas 474. This has a slight blue push but is linear in the slope and can be calibrated out.

Fixed screens are better than pulldown screens in the absolute image result due to the wavy nature of pulldowns and motorised screens. Over time they all start getting a little wavy, some have side tensioning which addresses most of it.
The downside of a fixed screen is the large landscape they take up. Here sign the bottom corner  and call it, "Man in a white out!" Art , a matter of taste

Setup for position. Ceiling mounting is better most of the time as you don't nudge ,bump and move the PJ all the time. You could also fix it to a shelf or cabinent cavity. Ventilation is critical though, don't overheat the PJ, protect that bulb, don't turn it off and on regularly or you will shortern the bulbs life. Get a spare bulb if you dont have one.

Position 2, read the manual for best practice, positioning of the PJ. This is more critical than you think dispite the very good lens shift in the AX series. The less you use the better the final image. Start with optimum position, then if not environmentally friendly(WAF) slowly comprimise position until the environmental (WAF) is green.

On no account use KEYSTONE CORRECTION, unless you want to kiss goodbye all that lovely resolution.

Projection is about lightcontrol, ie dark rooms, don't expect or try to view in brighter/daytime viewing.

The environment walls idealy want to be neutral and darker shading to lower ambient reflections from the screen, keep this in mind if you are painting the walls. Blackout curtains are a must for windows.

Get plenty of material, movies, rented or otherwise now you are joining the PJ parnter and I are addicted and can watch 2~3 movies in a session

Masterpiece Calibration Ltd, isf certified



"I'm not a robot!"

2317 posts

Uber Geek


  #142458 3-Jul-2008 10:24
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Great post Masterpiece. Thanks for all the info.

The wall is white at present so I'm going to give it a test and if I need the blacks a bit deeper I'll go for the dulux TT474 (seems to be the best choice by all accounts). Def going for a roof mount as I like things out of the way and tidy.

If I do go for a screen it will be fixed, motorised would be a possiblity but I dont really mind having a screen on the wall - plus its one less thing/remote the WAF has to contend with.

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Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #142543 3-Jul-2008 14:31
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One of the joys of the panasonic AE/AX range is their great zoom range and manual lens shift.  I have used a PT-AE700 for three years now and movie nights are something special.  My situation (WAF) means AV equipment should be hidden when not in use (and preferably when in use as well), and that's when the pana projector's flexibility comes in.  My PJ is in a cupboard at the back of the room (ventilated) along with almost all the AV equipment.  The advantage is that all cable runs are relatively short and the PJ is readily accessible for manual adjustments (zoom, lens shift and focus) and connection changes.  When not in use the cupboard is closed, the screen is retracted and everything is hidden(ish).  Before you shell out for a ceiling mount and long cable runs (including getting power to the PJ) and poke holes in your new ceiling, consider other options.  A friend of mine, after seing my setup, has used a free standing cabinet (approx 1800 tall) to put his gear in with the PJ on top.  Advantages being the lens is on the screen centreline horizontally and just above vertically, and there isn't an appendage hanging from the ceiling when not in use.

Mind you if you are lucky enough to have a dedicated theatre room in your new home the world is your oyster.

Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

534 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #142588 3-Jul-2008 16:02
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Fixed screens are better than pulldown screens in the absolute image result due to the wavy nature of pulldowns and motorised screens. Over time they all start getting a little wavy, some have side tensioning which addresses most of it.
The downside of a fixed screen is the large landscape they take up. Here sign the bottom corner  and call it, "Man in a white out!" Art , a matter of taste.

My experience with this is the opposite. Roller sreens can start out wavy but generally improve and flatten as they get more hang time....but yes, you sacrifice a little bit in PQ for them.

As you say, Dingbat, ceiling mount can look a bit obtrusive. Silver or white cases can make a huge difference here. Also a lot of the 1080p projectors now have motorised lens adjustment which will make ceiling mount just that bit easier.

I must say the Sanyo motorized lens cover is a great feature too in this regard. You can see I like motors Smile


23020 posts

Uber Geek


  #142776 3-Jul-2008 23:21
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We were putting a proj mount up at my mates place, and we carefully measured out the distance on the back wall to get the center of the screen, then allowed for the lens offset.

Once installed it was about 100mm off, and the small amount of digital keystone was really offensive to look at - turns out the house was about 100mm off square.

So the second time we did it we measured to the ends of the screen back as a triangle. That worked ok.

Also the hdmi cables would go thru the holes in the nogs in the wall that we had done before gibbing, but the stupid ferrite bead wouldnt, but those will smash to pieces if you get the plastic off them ;)


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