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Panasonic PT-L300U User Reviews

Panasonic PT-L300U Projector

Panasonic PT-L300U

WVGA (960x540), 800 ANSI Lumens,
6.4 lbs, $2,799 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.7 out of 5
187 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.8
Features 4.6
Construction 4.7
Ease of Use 4.8
Reliability 4.6
Value for Money 4.9
4K Large Venue Projector

User Reviews

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Review by Alan D

Can not say enough about this machine 4900 hours on the original bulb almost all in low mode. Every time a vacume theater I clean filter never had a issue. I will be going with Panasonic again when the 1080 models get under $2500. If you can find one and it meets your need buy it...

Any Problems: None at all.

Review by John Kittleson

Is versatile and can be positioned anywhere. We use from ceiling mount for viewing TV/movies at home. Have 8 foot screen. Room must be dark. Spent big bucks on DVI-D cable but picture is not better than with regular video cable.

Any Problems: Bulb blew after only 1000 hours of on and off use. I am in process of finding a replacement bulb. List price for bulb is $370. No idea why the bulb snapped so soon - all conditions seem normal before. After, fan making scraping noise.

Review by rckymtnhi

Bought it new in 2003 and have been LOVING it ever since! I set it to low power, now have over 5000 hours on the original bulb- it still looks good! I think those having bulb life issues need to read the care portion of the manual. Set it up, dont move it and clean the filter! I run all types of signals from DTV at 525i to computer in HD. All look fantastic. THANKS Panasonic.

Review by Shastry

I have used this projector for 2 years now. It is connected to a Bravo D2 player via a DVI cable. The images are projected onto a Dalite 96" Screen and are seen from a distance of 12'. The picture is sharp and clean. HDTV via component video is excellent.

Any Problems: None

Review by shemp

The projector itself is very good, but the PROBLEM is bulb life. My 1st bulb lasted 586 hours,the 2nd 618 hours. and at $300 each.

Any Problems: bulb life

Review by Mark

I purchased this projector in spring of 03, great projector. I have a HD-Da-Lite at 92" and in a controlled lighting setting. It is ceiling mounted and I have over 2000 hours on the orignal lamp. I always use low fan and lamp mode. It has a great picture and I have Direct-TV and Comcast cable HD setup, I dont even watch anything but HD anymore. This projector is a great value. I am now looking at the 700 however.

Any Problems: Bought a new Lamp when I got close to 2K hours as everyone here said it would die, Im at 2100 Hours and it still is going strong.

Review by Tony

I have had my projector for about a year now.Been meaning to post my review for sometime now.Anyway I've been into projection tv for about thirty years.I started out with a 13"tv mounted in a box with a lens.Then I had a Advent model-710 then I had a novabeam model-1A.then I bought a zenith pro-851 11yrs ago and I still watch every night.I mainly use my panasonic for dvd's I don't have high-def yet.Anyway there has been a lot of advancement in the last 30yrs.But in the last two years I can't believe how far LCD has come.I think the PT-L300 is a great projector I have it ceiling mounted I made my screen a 104". If you have been waiting to buy a projector now is the time to buy. If you can't find a PT-L300 check out reviews on PT-L500 and PT-L700.You can't go wrong with Projector Central.

Any Problems: None

Review by Dean

I purchased the 300U in January 2003. I have over 2000 hours on the lamp and the picture is still bright, and incredibly beautiful. HD signal and a controlled light room deliver an outstanding picture. A Cut-to-Fit Da-Lite HCCV screen also enhances the picture at a very inexpensive price. I paid $370 for a 133" diagonal HD format screen. I would highly recommend this projector. My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed it for the past 21 months. Thanks Panasonic.

Any Problems: Nearly two years and non so far.

Review by Marty from CT

Best pick under $1900, but bulb eng. is terrible. We now put a TV in front of our screen and use that instead - move the TV when we want to enjoy a movie. Great projector but bulbs are a real problem - maybe with Panasonic in general - can't be sure.

Any Problems: I'm on my second bulb which lasted about 300 hours each. I agree with the other posts, manufacturers should develop more consistent and reliable bulbs. The lifetime is the time to 50% brightness - I did not even get 1/4 of that out of my first two - now I'm searching for a place to buy bulbs under $250 - I can't find them on the net any more at the price I paid about 6 months ago ($217 from - now gone!). If anyone knows a good source for bulbs, please let me know.

Review by Jim

I purchased a PT-L300U in March '03 and have been very happy with the performance of the projector thus far. I use it for DVDs exclusively (low power, cieling mounted) and less than 500 hrs on the original lamp. However, I've recently noticed that the image is getting dimmer and want to replace the lamp. Several folks on this site have stated that they were able to purchase replacement lamps for $225-$230. Can you tell me where you can get replacement lamps for this price(

Any Problems: The image has begun to dim after less than 500 hrs.

Review by scrtchy

Used it for about 600 hours over 11 months. I remember how nervous I was when I first received it, because I had to convince my wife that it would be better than a big rear-projection box... How small and light it was, and I projected the image onto the palm of my hand and wondered -- would it really do what I hoped it'd do? That worry has gone for a long while, my wife is bragging to our family and friends about our HT set up: how it saves room, how it is like going to the movies, and how hi-tech I was to do something so cool and off-stream. Music to my ears :) The projector is ceiling mounted, 13 feet from the screen, which is about 113" diagonal. The seating area is 12-13 feet from the screen, so the projector is above heads. It's quiet by the way, so the fan noise is hardly noticeable. The room has black blinds and thick curtains, so it can be made dark even during the day. Having too much ambient light is no good with front-projection anyway. I am hearing the stories about dim/exploding lamps, so I am readying myself to replace the bulb when it reaches 1000 hours or so. To get a band-new bright image for $250 still sounds like a good deal to me.

Any Problems: Perhaps, the only feature I'm missing is lens shift (I am religiosly against keystone, don't even mention it!! It's like putting bicycle wheels on a Porsche). Placing the projector would be SO MUCH easier off-center. Even 500U doesn't have lens shift. Maybe 700U will?!? Then I'll upgrade.

Review by Shane

Simply outstanding. Be prepared to replace bulb every 2,000 hours to ensure highest quality picture output. Easy to setup and use. For under $1200.00 on the used market (look for one with under 500 hours) its an absolute steal....

Any Problems: None.

Review by Chris C

Just purchased this one and I am more than happy with the results. My setup is as follows. Bell Expresvu Satellite with S-video, and a NAD DVD player using component cable. Satellite reception is moderate quality as expected so you won't be impressed with the results through the projector. DVD however is an entirely different story, it just blew me away how good the quality is on this inexpensive little machine. I'm never buying a Television ever again! Top marks for this little beauty, of course you can get better, but not for this price.

Any Problems: None so far.

Review by senepede

This is a follow up review, as I have now had the projector for just over a year. When I went over about 1000 hrs. on the bulb, I noticed that the picture had lost it's pop. People seeing the projector for the first time were not very impressed. One of the problems with this projector in the first place is that the dark scenes are too dark. Well, after 1000 hrs., they're down right hard to see. I really figured that I'd get at least 2000 hrs. before I had to replace it. Anyway, I've now bought a new bulb, and the image looks wonderful again. I've decided to use the projector for movies only. (No more tv, computer, ect.) It's just too expensive to keep replacing the bulb. Forget Panasonics 5000 hrs. That's just not going to happen. If you're buying this projector, also figure on buying a bulb every 1000 - 1500 hrs. That's the bottom line.

Review by Mike C

After looking at this website and lots of other projector sites for many months, I finally made my decision and purchased the L300U. I am very happy with the results and so far no complaints. Everything, including the picture, is much better than I had imagined it to be. All the reviews on this projector were right on. Best bang for your buck. (This unit is being replaced by the L500U so if you can find one, you should be able to get a great deal on one for a lot less money than the L500U). Another happy customer of Panasonic.

Any Problems: I heard lamp life does not actually come close to even half the time Panasonic claims. high mode: 2000 hours low mode: 5000 hours No complains yet, so we'll see about the lamp life in the future.

Review by mark

All I can say is Wow, what a projector. Although I haven't seen the PT-L500U, at $1299, I don't think I want to. At this price, you just can't beat the video quality. Please, if you're considering Infocus X1, don't! you will regret it. It gave me such a headache and I almost threw up. The 300U is a great value item. The picture quality is superb, color is vivid, construction is excellent. One thing I'm puzzled is that the replacement parts (any part within the projector) is more expensive than the 500U. How can that be? Also, the suggested retail is come? Is the 500U made in Japan? or assembled with China parts? Just don't get it..........but I'm glad I got the 300U. And the lamp at 5000hours. I've also used a 12 volt fan blowing on top of the case where the lamp is located. It really didn't make much more noise, and I'm sure the lamp will live up to 5000 hours in this setup (hopefully). While the fan is on, the case dramatically dropped in temperature. Bottom line, if you want to spend $1299, can't do it any better..........

Any Problems: None!

Review by AP

Why would anyone buy a big-screen TV when this unit (and a few others) cost less and give you 2-4 times the image size? The picture quality is very good, with no screen door effect. The brightness is only suitable for very dark rooms, but then it looks very good. I am projecting a nearly 130" diagonal image, viewing it from 12 feet, and loving it. If the Sanyo Z2 had been available at the time I bought the Panasonic, I would have bought that instead. The cost difference is now about $500, and worth it if you can swing it. A friend has the Z2, and it performs even better than my 300U.

Any Problems: No problems to date (coming up on 500 hours now).

Review by Dave

Well, I'm following up on this projector as the bulb exploded after 750 hours! Granted, I did not clean the filter in the time I have had it ( 7 months ) but always ran in low power mode. I just purchased a replacement bulb for 230.00 and hope to get more hours this time. -- My advice. Clean the filter every 100 hours as it states in the manual. maybe your bulb will last longer. Dave

Any Problems: Bulb exloding 750 hours.

Review by imax-to-homemax

Using for film editing and screening this projector looks nice. I use a 4X7' sheet of foamcore from a local film and lighting supplier for 10 dollars, and hang the projector from a lightstand. The Foamcore is bright white and weighs very little, so it was easy to setup. The projector looks fantastic with dvd material and good with dv video off my mac with final cut pro feeding it componet video. The projector does not seem to have a deinterlacing feature in it so of course progressive scan dvd looks better then my video computer signal. I like also watching the visualizer in I-tunes on the big screen. Main reason for having this is for editing video, outside of interlacing issues of 3:2 pulldown, which I can correct later, I am very satisfied with the image. I don't have a long room, the depth is 13feet, so having a 4X7 foot screen looks bigger than most, I use another monitor for fine color adjustments, as video projector technology does not match the color of a nice tube yet. The pixelation from being a litttle close to the screen is not bad, this projector looks far better and bigger then the hp vp6110. The LCD is far better then the almost sickening DLP rainbow affect. Beware of this also in the BenQ 6100 and it's DLP rainbow too. If you feed this projector dvi from the computer, it looks better then vga. At 800x600 I use I-Photo to review my digital photos. I have run 1024X768 signal also, but would stress that this projector looks best with componet progrsive scan video. It is probably not the best choice for doing mostly presentaions from a computer. I'm very satisfied with the end result of having a lagre screen for editing. I was looking at having an acceptable working grade screen, and feel that I have ended up with something better than I anticipated. You do need to have a light controled darkend room, with some amient light okay. The conectivity of this unit is outstandind, and the remote is well designed also. For home theatre and screening this makes a good choice, It almost feels a like a little Imax thatre at home. I got this for $1350, and with having a spare bulb around ($220) and my screen with some harware spent less then $1600. I don't think the next model up would have been worth at least another $650 to me, I have money to get several hundred dollars of dvd's instead. Apocalypse Wow. Definitly get a 16:9 ratio projector, it gives a better use of vertical space, I prefer when I do watch a 4:3 aspect raio (computer screen, basketball) to have the black bars be on my horizontial space then my vertical space. I can say that unless I get other issues that arise this is a very nice image and the constuction fells solid, I don't hear it, and it cools down fast after shutting down. I hope to take it out and project my movies with a sheet on the side of my van in the desert, oh and on the side of my neighbors white stucco house, and maybe at your theatre someday

Any Problems: The zoom lens range is small, the projector may dictacte where it needs to be, but once your on I find minor adjustment fairly easy.

Review by yodashut

I had a love affair with this projector for 3 months. I use it to throw a 120" diagonal image in a darkened room on a da-lite screen. TV, DVD's, video games all showed up excellent. Three dead pixels did appear, but they weren't overly noticeable. Then the image started to get a little darker. Within 100 hours of the image darkening, the bulb literally exploded. AT LESS THAN 600 HOURS (whilst I was running the lamp always on low power, the fan on high, and never running more than 4-5 hours at a time)!!! The folks at panasonic say, gee well sorry, we know we said it would last at least 2000 and maybe 5000, but please give us $300!!! I was planning on replacing a bulb once every 2 years and the D!@# thing didn't even make four months!!! Talk about your hidden cost of ownership!!

Any Problems: 3 dead pixels Bulb life less than 600 hours. LESS THAN 30% the assured life and less than 12% the projected life. = Horrible hiddent cost of ownership!!