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Author Topic: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability  (Read 4053 times)

Arnold B. Krueger

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Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« on: October 06, 2011, 10:02:05 am »

Last night I flicked on our 5 year old Panasonic PT-D5500 projector and it was very dim. I logged into it and found that one bulb was gone. Thing is the remaining bulb was very, very dim for 3000 lumen projector, which it had become.

If this was my first ride at exactly this same rodeo that would be one thing, but we went through exactly the same thing almost exactly 2 years ago. In the end we spent over $600 on replacement bulbs which didn't help that much, followed by a $2,500 plus shipping trip to the authorized service center. The repair slip mentioned 2 ballasts and a new color wheel.

When you are looking at over $5,000 worth of maintenance on a $6,000 projector and know that $2,500 fix-up jobs only last only two years, you're thinking about a new projector.  We're darn careful with this thing, and have only put about 2500 hours on it in the past 5 or so years. If memory serves, its only got about 1200 hours on it since the last mega repair job.

The thing is permanently wired to power so it can't be shut down without a proper cool down cycle. Internal temperatures look fine when we monitor them via the network connection. The line voltage at its power plug is normal, maybe 118 volts. It is sitting on the end of a six foot 2" steel pipe coming down from a 27 foot ceiling so it is nice and rigidly mounted. The air temperature up there isn't that much more than room temperature because it is so far below the ceiling.  Besides,we know what is happening inside the box because it tells us and I look at it from time to time since I often turn it on and shut it down that way.

IME Panny PT-D5500 projectors are very common and generally highly regarded. When this thing was new or fresh back from the repair center, it looked great! It was actually too bright!  It had visibly degraded before it crashed.

I can't believe that many PT-D5500 projectors are taking dumps on their owners like this one is doing to us.

Anybody got any clues about issues I haven't thought of, or have any suggestions about its replacment?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 10:06:23 am by Arnold B. Krueger »
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Clayton Ganzer

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 12:35:43 am »

Last night I flicked on our 5 year old Panasonic PT-D5500 projector and it was very dim. I logged into it and found that one bulb was gone. Thing is the remaining bulb was very, very dim for 3000 lumen projector, which it had become.

If this was my first ride at exactly this same rodeo that would be one thing, but we went through exactly the same thing almost exactly 2 years ago. In the end we spent over $600 on replacement bulbs which didn't help that much, followed by a $2,500 plus shipping trip to the authorized service center. The repair slip mentioned 2 ballasts and a new color wheel.

When you are looking at over $5,000 worth of maintenance on a $6,000 projector and know that $2,500 fix-up jobs only last only two years, you're thinking about a new projector.  We're darn careful with this thing, and have only put about 2500 hours on it in the past 5 or so years. If memory serves, its only got about 1200 hours on it since the last mega repair job.

The thing is permanently wired to power so it can't be shut down without a proper cool down cycle. Internal temperatures look fine when we monitor them via the network connection. The line voltage at its power plug is normal, maybe 118 volts. It is sitting on the end of a six foot 2" steel pipe coming down from a 27 foot ceiling so it is nice and rigidly mounted. The air temperature up there isn't that much more than room temperature because it is so far below the ceiling.  Besides,we know what is happening inside the box because it tells us and I look at it from time to time since I often turn it on and shut it down that way.

IME Panny PT-D5500 projectors are very common and generally highly regarded. When this thing was new or fresh back from the repair center, it looked great! It was actually too bright!  It had visibly degraded before it crashed.

I can't believe that many PT-D5500 projectors are taking dumps on their owners like this one is doing to us.

Anybody got any clues about issues I haven't thought of, or have any suggestions about its replacment?

Bulbs go out, simple as that. Seems like you are getting about twice as much life out of your bulbs than I am. I change mine every year. I think the balast & color wheel what a freak thing. I have multiple PT-Dxxxx series projectors and have never had an issue, they have always been super reliable.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 07:44:11 am »

Bulbs go out, simple as that. Seems like you are getting about twice as much life out of your bulbs than I am. I change mine every year. I think the balast & color wheel what a freak thing. I have multiple PT-Dxxxx series projectors and have never had an issue, they have always been super reliable.

I guess I'm not communicating well. New bulbs didn't fix the problem the first time.  Given that both of the new bulbs are super dim, there's no logical reason to believe that spending nearly a $grand on new bulbs would work any better than it did the first time. A bulb failing after a few hundred hours I get. Two of them failing after a few hundred hours is deja vu of a bad trip I already got taken on.

*Everybody* seems to have PT Dxxxx projectors that work just fine. I see them all over the place.  We got a bad one. Panasonic's chosen service center couldn't fix it. Kiss $3000 good bye!

Our new projector is a Mitsubishi WD8200. It eclipses the picture quality of the old Panasonic projector on the best days of its sorry way-too-short life in so many ways that it isn't even funny.

The newest Panasonics do have many of the new features for image geometry adjustment that are pleasing us with the Mitsubishi.

The current Panasonic auditorium projector line seems to lack a feature that both Mitsubishi and Sanyo provide that makes all the difference for us - a 6 segment color wheel that gives us true HDTV quality by eliminating the color quality issues that come with using just a 4 segment wheel. Panasonic seems to be aware of this issue and seems to be saynig so between the lines - their promo material shows some wonderfully saturated colors. Thing is, pictures and videos of people are a big part of what we do, and people don't come in saturated colors.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 02:08:44 pm »

I guess I'm not communicating well. New bulbs didn't fix the problem the first time.  Given that both of the new bulbs are super dim, there's no logical reason to believe that spending nearly a $grand on new bulbs would work any better than it did the first time. A bulb failing after a few hundred hours I get. Two of them failing after a few hundred hours is deja vu of a bad trip I already got taken on.

*Everybody* seems to have PT Dxxxx projectors that work just fine. I see them all over the place.  We got a bad one. Panasonic's chosen service center couldn't fix it. Kiss $3000 good bye!

Our new projector is a Mitsubishi WD8200. It eclipses the picture quality of the old Panasonic projector on the best days of its sorry way-too-short life in so many ways that it isn't even funny.

The newest Panasonics do have many of the new features for image geometry adjustment that are pleasing us with the Mitsubishi.

 The current Panasonic auditorium projector line seems to lack a feature that both Mitsubishi and Sanyo provide that makes all the difference for us - a 6 segment color wheel that gives us true HDTV quality by eliminating the color quality issues that come with using just a 4 segment wheel. Panasonic seems to be aware of this issue and seems to be saynig so between the lines - their promo material shows some wonderfully saturated colors. Thing is, pictures and videos of people are a big part of what we do, and people don't come in saturated colors.
A four segment color wheel is usually red, green, blue and white while a six segment color wheel typically replaces the white segment with some combination of three cyan, magenta, yellow, dark green and/or white segments.  That means a six segment color wheel may be able to provide more accurate color reproduction, but can also result in a reduction in peak white levels.  And while the number of segments in a color wheel are a certainly a factor in the resulting image, there are also many other potential factors including the electronic image processing that affect the overall image quality.

Projectiondesign was the first manufacturer I recall offering a choice of color wheels but now a number of projector manufacturers offer more than one color wheel option for their single-chip DLP projectors, including some providing multiple color wheels with the projector that can be interchanged by the user.  For example NEC offer some projectors that are provided with both four segment (red, green, blue and white) and six segment (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow) color wheels, however they also note that the use of the six segment color wheel without a white segment is associated with an approximately 33% reduction in projector brightness and I would guess that would probably be fairly generally applicable to other manufacturers as well.

FWIW, according to Mitsubishi's information, the WD-8200U comes standard with a five segment (red, green, blue, yellow and white) color wheel, the six segment (red, green, blue, cyan, yellow and magenta) color wheel is an added option that has to be ordered separately (around $500 street cost) and that should be installed by a "trained specialist".
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 02:38:19 pm »

A four segment color wheel is usually red, green, blue and white while a six segment color wheel typically replaces the white segment with some combination of three cyan, magenta, yellow, dark green and/or white segments.  That means a six segment color wheel may be able to provide more accurate color reproduction, but can also result in a reduction in peak white levels.  And while the number of segments in a color wheel are a certainly a factor in the resulting image, there are also many other potential factors including the electronic image processing that affect the overall image quality.

Projectiondesign was the first manufacturer I recall offering a choice of color wheels but now a number of projector manufacturers offer more than one color wheel option for their single-chip DLP projectors, including some providing multiple color wheels with the projector that can be interchanged by the user.  For example NEC offer some projectors that are provided with both four segment (red, green, blue and white) and six segment (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow) color wheels, however they also note that the use of the six segment color wheel without a white segment is associated with an approximately 33% reduction in projector brightness and I would guess that would probably be fairly generally applicable to other manufacturers as well.

Good point. We knew from experience that our Panasonic was always a tad too bright when it was working right. After the big rebuild that period of time lasted only a few weeks. The loss in brightness was expected and did materialize after we installed the 6 segment wheel into the Mitsubishi and it worked out just fine.

Quote
FWIW, according to Mitsubishi's information, the WD-8200U comes standard with a five segment (red, green, blue, yellow and white) color wheel, the six segment (red, green, blue, cyan, yellow and magenta) color wheel is an added option that has to be ordered separately (around $500 street cost) and that should be installed by a "trained specialist".

We did have to order the six segment separately, but the installation of it did not seem to require any special skills of our installation team. I fix computers including laptops and the other guy is a HVAC specialist. ;-)

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Ole Anderson

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 11:40:45 am »

We changed the bulb in our Hitachi when it died at about 1200 hours and after the bulb change the image was still kind of dark.  Finally I went into the contrast and brightness settings and the factory had set brightness at 0 out of 30, so I cranked it up to 25 and what a difference.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Panasonic PT-D5500 reliability
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 10:46:04 am »

We changed the bulb in our Hitachi when it died at about 1200 hours and after the bulb change the image was still kind of dark.  Finally I went into the contrast and brightness settings and the factory had set brightness at 0 out of 30, so I cranked it up to 25 and what a difference.

Sounds like a more typical projector bulb failure. In our case changing bulbs made no change. The brightness after the bulb change was still very, very dim.

We had long ago done everything that could be done with settings. In fact our first moves as the projector started to degrade was to compensate for the brightness loss by putting back some brightness we had adjusted out because initially the image started out too bright.
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