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Panasonic PT-VZ 580U Question

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  • Panasonic PT-VZ 580U Question

    Based on all of my reading on this forum which has been extremely helpful (so thank you everyone)... it seems like the Panasonic PT-VZ 580U is one of the best 16:10 WUXGA projectors for the cost (under $1,500) currently on the market.

    The following link was very helpful:

    I am in the process of putting together my first golf sim in the garage and wanted to make sure there wasn't something I was missing or a better projector out there.

    The screen size will be 12.5 ft (150 inches) wide and height using 16x10 aspect ratio will be approx. 7ft 10 inches. The ceiling height is 9.5 ft. (not including size of mount).

    I plan to have a distance from tee to screen of about 9-10 feet which seems to be typical distance used.

    Based on this, the distance from projector to screen using full zoom with this projector would be 13 ft 8 inches per projector central.

    My questions are:
    1) Would this cause shadows on the screen? I don't think there is any website that can calculate shadows but was curious what people thought or experienced and

    2) If I plan to have some lights above on above me to help capture video of my swing for swing analysis purposes, would this projector's 5,000 lumens be bright enough to still get a decent picture on the screen?

    Any advice, tips, comments would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    KMitch I'm not sure how tall you are, but when I stand a couple of feet in front of my projector I start to see my shadow on the screen (but I'm 6' 4'). For reference, my screen is 8' tall 14' wide and my ceiling is around 9 1/2' (Similar to yours). In other words, if your projector is 3 1/2 feet behind where you will be hitting from and you're over 6 ft tall, I think you will likely start to see your shadow at the bottom of the screen. I can't say that definitively, but that's my guess. I also looked at getting the PT-VZ580 after reading that post, but decided on the Optoma Darbee. If you do get the Panasonic, let me know, I'd be curios to know how it worked.


    • #3
      Thanks for your post. That's what I was afraid of actually. I am 5 ft 11 so not quite as tall as you but not insanely shorter. I just really like how many lumen it has (5000) compared to some of the other projectors I looked at which all seem to be around 3,000-ish and some close to 4,000.

      The next step up if I wanted to keep that brightness of 5,000 lumens or more with 16:10 WUXGA ... I think would be the Optima WU 515ST which has 5,500 lumen and the projector would be right above me at 9 ft 10 inches which is all perfect but it's approx. $3,000 which is $1,600 more than the PT-VZ580U and incredibly hard to justify.

      Does anyone know of any other 16:10 WUXGA projectors with 5,000 lumen or higher and contrast ratio of 10,000 or higher? I am not aware of any and have done a ton of research but hoping I am wrong?


      • #4
        With respect to shadows, you can solve it graphically...a straight line drawn from where you expect the lens of the projector to be (13.8 feet back and 8.5 to 9 feet high, allowing for the projector mount) to the bottom of your screen, then look at the height between your floor and that line. Use graph paper or a ruler for scaling.


        • #5
          Thanks - that was really helpful. I used an excel file and just made all the squares the same size and small and did exactly what you said.

          Standing at exactly 10 feet from the screen, a person of exactly 6 ft height or less should be just under the "shadow line". I guess the golf club may cause shadows during the swing but I can't imagine that's a big deal.


          • #6
            KMitch - I'm also in the midst of a new build and I have ordered the Panasonic PT-VZ 580U as my projector. I had very similar concerns. My screen will be 14' wide and 8' 9" high and the projector will need to be 15' 3" away from the screen to project that size (based on Projector Central). My ceiling height is 10', so I calculated that the bottom of the projector will be 9" lower (5" height plus mount), and then I used lucid chart online (similar to your excel solution) to draw a line from the bottom of the projector to the bottom of the screen. I figured that at 10' - 11' from the screen (my hitting position) I will just avoid me causing a shadow (I'm 6' 1"), but that the club may cause one. I'm trusting that during my swing I should be looking at the ball not the screen, so the shadow would only be visible to anyone I'm playing with. I'm not sure this information will help you at all, other than to confirm that I think Dan McWhirter's approach is a good one, and that I'm hoping the calculations are correct!! From my research and other people's feedback I think the 580U is a great option - I hope we're both right in that decision. When I get mine setup I'll post a review. If you can do the same, it would be great to learn from your experience.


            • #7
              GoldenSim thanks! That is very reassuring. I will definitely update you once it all comes together but it may be a few weeks. I recently ordered the SQ Screen from Par2Pro and it’s currently in production. The place I plan to order the 580u from, they allow full returns within 30 days AND less than 4 hours of bulb use. So I was going to order the projector last once everything else arrives in case I have to return it, want to make sure it’s within that window.

              I am definitely interested in how yours turns out for sure re: distance and any shadows for sure! Good luck!


              • GoldenSim
                GoldenSim commented
                Editing a comment
                It sounds like we're on similar paths! I'm also waiting on my SQ screen from Par2Pro. But I'm also only just starting my room build, so I'm going to be several weeks behind you. I've ordered the projector through Par2Pro (as well as the screen), as they were able to get me the best price up in Canada. Keen to see how yours turns out. Good luck to you too!

            • #8
              GoldenSimKMitch , how did you guys make out with your PT-VZ580U? I am thinking of this projector but have been looking for some feed back. Do you have it up and going and what are your thoughts on it.


              • GoldenSim
                GoldenSim commented
                Editing a comment
                hi pwade3 - sorry for the delayed reply, I've not been on the forum for a couple of weeks. I have the projector mounted and I'm super happy with it. The image quality is excellent, both in terms of color representation and also sharpness / crisp image. IMHO the sim projections are not the sharpest elements to really compare projection quality with as so much of the image does not necessarily need to be super crisp, but I've watched some HD vidoes on mine as well as viewing still photos and I've been super happy. For lighting, I have three "banks" of lights in the room. One pair in the front, two pairs in the middle (over the hitting area, and two pairs in the back of the room where my gym is. I find that if I have the front lights off, and the mid lights dimmed to about 75% (easily enough to play golf under) and then have the back lights at 50% the projection looks great. If I'm watching movies, I can turn them all down to minimum or off, and it looks amazing. I would recommend the same idea of having lighting on several different controls, and make sure you have dimmers. I hope that's not too late to be helpful

            • #9
              Subscribed . I'm considering the same thing. Also have the Optoma GT1080 Darbee, BenQ HT2150St and TH671ST in consideration.


              • Supraracer
                Supraracer commented
                Editing a comment
                The GT1080 is a nice projector. I have track lighting over my hitting area but a cone over the light to keep bleed out on the screen at a minimal. My screen is 8.5' x 15' and it's plenty bright enough on high lamp. I also like that it can be calibrated with a meter and has a decent set of calibration (ISF) controls. I don't know about the others. The only negative I can see is the lack of zoom, remote focus, no image shift, and minimal keystone controls.

              • pwade3
                pwade3 commented
                Editing a comment
                Mine needs to be 16:10

            • #10
              Snaphook I have the Optoma 760 right now. I just mounted the "from the mill" screen. My previous screen was a PR-100 but had to use 4:3 ratio. I have gone to 16:10 ratio on the new screen but I want to upgrade the projector to get a brighter picture. I'm finding it a bit dark and washed at times. Not a bad picture, but I'm sure it can be improved. Everything I have heard about the 580 seems to point me in that direction, except I will have to mount it 14' 7" back and be hitting from about 12 feet. I can do it but would prefer not to. I have 3 garage doors that all have windows in them and another 4 windows in east wall. I have blinds on those but not the garage doors. If I could find a projector that was short throw but performed like the 580, it would be perfect. I know snaphook has a 580 and has raved about it. Hoping kmitch and goldensim can update us.