Not logged in
 
Jump to page: <<<12>>> (2 total)
Author
Topic: Upgrading my PT-AX200U and have some q's
member
Joined: Jun 1, 2022
Posts: 5
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
Hi there,

I have a ceiling mounted Panasonic PT-AX200U that was installed by an installer some 15 years ago and has treated me very well. It's mounted right above my bed (my head when I sleep) with an 11’ throw distance and hasn't fallen down and smashed me yet, so that's ok too. But it's time to upgrade.

I saw a recommendation made for someone else on this forum for a BenQ TK700 which I've researched and seems to be a great projector, about the same size as the Panasonic, not too heavy, and if slotted in where the Pany was, should result in better everything all around. I primarily watch movies, but want to get a PS5 and it looks like the TK700 should handle that very well. But I still have some (possibly silly) questions:

0. Am I looking at the right projector to replace the PT-AX200U? Looking for 4K and all the bells and whistles to make it last as long as possible. In actuality, It was the TK700STi that was recommended, but I’m not sure that it would work with an 11 foot throw distance.

1. The Panasonic is mounted upside down on a metal shaft that looks like it has adjustable legs with screws at the ends. Are the mounting holes on projectors generally in the same place? ie are the ceiling mounts generally universal? I don't know if I can just unscrew the Panasonic and screw in the BenQ. (and I have a fear of the projector falling on my head I’ve included a photo in case anyone recognizes the mount.

2. I've got an HDMI, component, composite and a couple of cat6e cables coming out of the wall from the other side of the room where the sound system is. I'm sure the HDMI is not 2.x and the receiver does not have ARC. I stream from an AppleTV 4k which I can reposition close to the projector, get a new HDMI to plug it in directly and use the second HDMI port to plug in the HDMI cable that’s connected to the stereo to get audio, I think. This would work as long as I only have one source, but it would work. Any other ideas? Can the Cat6e be turned into an HDMI cable?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer. I’m afraid to get anything without being positive it won’t fall on my head when I sleep, and it would be a shame to get something, mount it and be no better off than with my ancient AX200U. I want to join the future (or at least the present

Attachments:

Current Projector Mount

480 × 640 pixels (30.85 KB)
  
moderator
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,305
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
Lots of questions, so I will try to address them.

1. Throw distance of 11' is irrelevant without including screen size. The AX200 is a VERY versatile projector. It includes lens shift and a long zoom range. So, the AX200 with EXACTLY 11' lens to screen (throw distance), can produce an image between 55" and 110" diagonal.
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Panasonic-PT-AX200U-projection-calculator-pro.htm

The BenQ TK700, from the exact same 11' throw distance can only give you an image size from 104" to 134" diagonal.
https://www.projectorcentral.com/BenQ-TK700-projection-calculator-pro.htm#calc

If you have a 100" diagonal screen, then the projector lens would need to be several inches closer to get the size you have.

Two takeaways - Be EXACT with your throw distance. A few inches difference can matter a lot. And, what is your screen diagonal size, you can't do anything without knowing that as well.

2. Your projector mount, while a pretty cheap model (I do not like them), should still be plenty sturdy for any typical projector up to about 25 pounds in weight or so. It is a 'universal' mount, so the legs on it can be adjusted for any typical projector like those from BenQ, Epson, Optoma, and others. One thing I can't tell is if your mount has THREE or FOUR legs on it coming out. Most projectors have four mounting points, not three. So-so installers only use 3 of the included 4 legs on a mount because they are bad at their job. Kind of like not putting a brush plate on your wall to keep the installation clean where the cabling comes out.
Yes, the mount SHOULD work. If the mount is currently in ceiling studs, then it should support a hundred pounds or more quite easily. No projector should ever fall down if properly installed into a ceiling stud.

Be aware, that (once again) the AX200 was VERY versatile in how it could be installed. This included having almost the most lens shift of any projector on the market. If you have a 106" diagonal screen, and use the BenQ TK700, that projector has NO lens shift. So, the center of the lens MUST BE 5" above the top of the screen when mounted upside down on the ceiling mount. If you have a larger screen, it must be higher (by about an inch), if you have a smaller screen, it must be lower. Your mount doesn't offer any obvious height adjustment, so you will have to figure this out if you get the TK700.
If you need lens shift, you may want to consider the Epson 3200 or 3800 models instead.

https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_3200-projection-calculator-pro.htm

The Epson 3200 and 3800 have a fair amount of lens shift and zoom range which would likely be much more versatile for your installation.

3. The ONLY cable you will need is a proper HDMI 2.0 cable. Yes, your existing cable likely won't work if you actually want 4K to your screen. If cabling was installed during construction, conduit should have been installed to allow you to upgrade the cabling. Composite video is dead. Component video is dead. If cat-6 was used instead of the more likely cat-5e, then that's shocking, but actually useful.

You can't really put sources at the projector, because you have no way to get audio into your AV receiver. If your AV receiver isn't 4K compliant, then you will need to figure out how to get audio into your receiver separately from the video going to the projector.

A product like this will extend the video to the projector over category (5/6) cabling:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079PMQSZ8/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2

A product like this will give you the audio to your older 1080p capable AV receiver separately from the video to your 4K projector.
https://www.amazon.com/gofanco-Prophecy-Intelligent-60Hz-Splitter/dp/B079HJWF31/ref=sr_1_1_sspa

Or, just get a new receiver which supports 4K video properly to handle the audio.

It is possible, using the HDMI splitter I listed, to put a single source (AppleTV 4K) at the projector and send audio back across your existing HDMI cable to the AV receiver as an input source into the AV receiver.

What you want to do isn't really a straightforward upgrade, but if you do your homework, you may be able to get decent results. Jumping from 1080p (or less) to 4K rarely works as expected in projection setups. So, be aware that it may not go smooth and you may need additional parts to make it all work perfectly.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
member
Joined: Jun 1, 2022
Posts: 5
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
My Gosh! Thank you so much! I didn’t realize just how ignorant I was walking into this. I’ve taken some time to try to digest your entire response and then measure things to the best of my abilities and rethink things.

First off, the throw distance is just about exactly 130” for a 100” screen size.

As you so accurately surmised, the mount is using 3 legs. There is a channel in the wall to bring the cables up directly vertically from the floor, but I don’t think it extends around to the other side of the room. Also as you predicted, the AX200U is using a touch of downward lens shift (which I think is due to the fact that it is angled up a touch(…?)) and a fair amount of horizontal shift.

In terms of source material, I am now actively searching out a PS5 with the Disc player for 4k games and 4k movies in addition to streaming over the AppleTV. I’ve been looking at Marantz/Denon receivers which would take care of the audio and the multi-source routing, leaving me to deal with just 1 new HDMI cable to get across the room.

Do you have a recommendation for a step-up projector from the Epson 3200/3800, and would it be worth the extra expense? I should mention that the room would be dark for movie watching, but low brightness for tv and probably gaming. I’ve been living in Throw Distance Calculator and also paying attention to the input lag times for video games, which have become more important as this process has progressed. The Find a Projector lists the Epson 6050UB, 5050UB and the 4010, but the one which I’m really interested in is the Epson LS11000. It seems to tick all the boxes and be future proofed for a good while. The site only has a review of the LS12000 which is an extra $1k. Would love to know your thoughts on both of these projectors and whether I’m just getting dazzled by specs which tends to happen to me. It’s basically a choice between the 3800 and the 11000…

Thanks again for getting me on the right track!
member
Joined: Jun 1, 2022
Posts: 5
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
And one more question, this time about screens. When I redid my room some 18 years ago, I did it with the projector in mind—I had read in an AV forum that one could get by using Behr Silver Screen paint, and since my wall was freshly done and as flawless as a wall can be, I pained the entire room in that color and have had great success with the AX200U projecting directly onto the wall’s surface. However, I’m sure that will simply not cut it with one of the newer projectors (in fact, I’m sure the AX200U would have looked better with a proper screen and a dark bezel).

I saw elsewhere in these forums that you prefer Da-lite Progressive HD screens. Given that I have a white ceiling and light gray walls but am front projecting, what gain would I want the screen to be? The Epson 3800 is listed at 3000 lumens and the LS11000 is listed at 2500 lumens. A tool on De-lite’s site seemed to suggest a 0.6 gain. I was imagining that a 1.0 gain would be the way to go.

Also, the color of the screen—white or gray? Again, this is not a light controlled theater room, though it does have blackout shades and the carpet is a dark gray. But I can’t escape the white ceiling and the light gray walls. That is primarily why I’m wondering if the LS11000 is overkill or rather its advantages would not be noticeable in this environment. I am quite positive that the LS12000’s advantages over the LS11000 would be lost…

Thanks again for any advice you may have for me,
Oliver.
moderator
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,305
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
Contrast in dark scenes is visible in any room. This has been my personal experience. When there are high contrast scenes with a lot of lighter/brighter content, then it reflects off of ceilings and walls, and a grey screen can help bring that down some and make things look better, so higher contrast projectors aren't as visibly better in that scenario, but when you get into dark outside scenes at night, as is often shown in many movies, the projectors with better black levels are clearly visible in all types of rooms, including those with weak paint jobs.

Yes, you could get a huge improvement with $100 in paint and a day of painting in the room. But, that's your decision. I've never understood why some can't paint rooms a bit darker at the very least, but my wife just helps me pick a darker color that she likes and we roll with it. Each their own.

Yes, in a premium screen, I like the DaLite HD Progressive material. It's a premium screen that will last for years and works well with 4K projectors. But, it is expensive, and not for everyone. It is one of those things I would buy if I had a fair bit of budget to work with and wanted a really premium screen. On a budget, I'm a huge fan of what Silver Ticket delivers.

At the end of the day, the Epson 5050UB and the LS12000 are very similar in performance. It's about a $2,000 premium to go to the laser and a few new features, which I am not sure I would buy into. I would much more likely get the new Sony 5000ES instead (forthcoming).

But, I think the 5050UB is still a sweet spot projector. It is priced well under the laser models that may offer some improvement, but not a huge amount and it has phenomenal contrast. The 3200/3800 models offer a value option entry point to a quality model, but lack the contrast of the 5050UB. I still point a lot of people towards the Epson 5050UB and while you can get into the LS11000 for just $1,000 more, it has weaker contrast, and that $1,000 will buy you several brand new replacement lamps.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Jump to page: <<<12>>> (2 total)