Opinion of Mike Smith - Sep 17, 2004

Panasonic PT-L500U Projector
HD 720 (1280x720), 850 ANSI Lumens,
6.4 lbs, $2,499 (MSRP)
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by Mike Smith - Sep 17, 2004
Image Quality 5.0
Features 5.0
Construction 5.0
Ease of Use 5.0
Reliability 4.0
Value for Money 5.0

Personal Experience
Let me start by saying I did many many months of research before buying the Pana. I have spent a long time looking at DLP's (which initially i was looking at several BenQ models and the Mitsibushi XD300U). At first, I never thought I would go to a LCD model. It seemed old or outdated. But man was I wrong. This projector is phat! Awesome. I am very glad that I did not shell out a couple extra hundred or even a thousand dollars more to get the BenQ's or Mitsubishi's. this one simply rocks.

I've owned it now for about 4 days, and have barely tweaked a thing. Right out of the box it projected images that were beautiful and crisp. and handled some ambient light fairly well. Though in complete darkness is the best place to get the best picture. Its outputs are perfect, you simply don't need anything else. DVI, Component and VGA, S-Video is all there. I experienced no dead pixels, and the screen door effect is barely there. you have to get super close to even begin to see it, one thing i was honesty worried about. it handled bright scenes and dark scenes beautifully. there is a lot of pickiness and discussion about LCD's and their ability to project true black images. but let me tell you, this one did fantastic job. black was black. i tested movies like Matrix, Batman, and LOTR, and it looked great. Progressive scan DVD player does help the image even more, but so far everything I have seen looked fantastic. Star Wars should just look spectacular.

I am projecting currently on a white wall and its great, my screen is coming in next week, and will project at 58x104 High Contrast Matte-White screen. I marked those dimensions on my wall and it filled the area perfectly, from only about 10 ft away and colors were crisp throughout the entire scene. the computer looks great, games look great and DVDs are wonderful.

i demoed the Sanyo PLZ-2 (probably have the acronymns wrong, but its the direct competitor of the Pana) and have discovered the Pana does a better job, has a better set up and its remote options are great. having the ability to tweak the picture to perfection is priceless. and the remote layout is good and easy to use, all major commands are actual "buttons" not buried in a menu somewhere, so it has a nice layout and its backlit.

I gave Reliability a "Good" simply because I havn't owned it long enough, but every day i keep testing it out to see what it can handle. look, get it. you don't need DLP. yes its the next "big" thing, but it still isn't perfected yet. LCD has been around a long time. If you have a dark theater enviroment and want a great projector. . BAM. . .this is it.

None yet. The one problem I see initially (which almost forced me to buy the Sanyo) was its warranty. Only 1 year. However, it depends on wher you buy it. I just purchased mine and got the 2nd and 3rd year warranty free. so that solved that problem right there. Keep searching, there are lots of deals with this particular model. If u have any questions about my experience with this model in the future here is my e-mail. just put "panasonic" in the subject line.
mike smith