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PS3 as a blu-ray player
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MacosNerd
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Mar 30, 2008, 02:08 PM
 
I have some questions about jumping into the blu-ray market. From my initial investigation it seems to make financial sense to buy a PS3 because it does blu-ray - does that make sense? Looking at the prices, I'm in the same neighborhood as regular players and from what I've read the PS3 can (or does) download the blu-ray 2.0 patch, where as other blu-ray players are still at 1.0 (or 1.1). Plus it can connect using the wireless b/g network, so I won't need to run a cat-5 cable.

I'll probably play some games on it but in general its main purpose is for a hi-def.

The tv is a 32" samsung lcd (I forget the 720p, does it make sense for spending that much money and not get 1080p

I can buy the sony hdmi cables for 54 bucks or some cheap no-name cables for 30 - again is it worth it.

Finally I don't have any stereo equipment hooked up to the tv, is that something that's needed? I don't want this to turn into a money pit. I just want to play blu-ray movies, the added benefit of games is a plus
     
exca1ibur
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Mar 30, 2008, 03:20 PM
 
For a 32 I don't thing there are any 1080P options. 720P should be fine. I, personally, would go for a 1080P if I were looking for something bigger in the future, if I were you.

If you wish to use an IR remote with the PS3 there is an option now to do that.
IR2BT - InfraRed to BlueTooth Converter for the PS3

If you are planing to go with Blu-ray, I'd advice a small 5.1 system, as that is part of the experience. Even all the PS3s are pretty much 5.1 and a few are 7.1 if you wish to go all out. There are several inexpensive options out there that should work fine for a 5.1.

You can get HDMI cables for about $8 actually. monoprice.com

Hope that helps.
     
mduell
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Mar 30, 2008, 03:21 PM
 
The PS3 makes a good BluRay player. If you're thinking of playing even one or two games then it makes more sense than most $400 BR players.

Neither, buy the $5-10 cables.

Do you need a good sound system? No, you can use the speakers in your TV. But what's the point of great picture with poor sound?
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Mar 30, 2008, 03:28 PM
 
Thanks, I just didn't want to start throwing money towards it all at once. The PS3, plus cables will get me started. I'll then move towards the sound system.

I originally purchased the 32" 720p tv to replace an existing tv, I've not upgraded my direct-tv to hi-def and so this is my first foray into high definition.

I kept seeing the prices of standard blu-ray players from 400 and on up so why not get something else in addition to the player.
     
Nexus5
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Mar 30, 2008, 03:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The PS3 makes a good BluRay player. If you're thinking of playing even one or two games then it makes more sense than most $400 BR players.

Neither, buy the $5-10 cables.

Do you need a good sound system? No, you can use the speakers in your TV. But what's the point of great picture with poor sound?
What about the noise a PS3 makes? A friend told me that, because of the heat it produces, a PS3 is much louder then a "normal" BR-player.

nexus5.
     
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Mar 30, 2008, 03:48 PM
 
Actually, I have heard the PS3 is rather quiet. Especially compared to the 360.

The PS3 also makes a good Blu-ray player. It is speedy due to it's power for things like games, and is upgradeable since that will be a fact this generation in movie formats. Plus you have a PS3 then to play games, and other media formats like H.264 and MPEG4.

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Mar 30, 2008, 04:00 PM
 
For most people the PS3 is a very capable BD player, I use it to play movies on my smaller TV and it performs well.
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Mar 30, 2008, 05:01 PM
 
and the last firmware update (2.20) makes it 2.0 compliant
45/47
     
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Mar 30, 2008, 05:13 PM
 
You can also stream media to the PS3 from your Mac.
     
subego
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Mar 30, 2008, 05:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by OwlBoy View Post
Actually, I have heard the PS3 is rather quiet. Especially compared to the 360.

I'd say that the PS3 can get equally as loud as the 360, and the fans are programmed to be more aggressive.

OTOH, just by it's nature, the PS3 runs much cooler than the 360, so you don't get to that level of fan volume with the same frequency.

You shouldn't normally get the fan going at full while watching a movie, but mine can be very sensitive to ambient temperature. IOW if it's the SO (God bless her) riding the thermostat instead of me, the fans kick in full blast.

To the OP: it's an excellent player. Should you decide to get a stereo system to hook it up to (which you should), I recommend looking at Yamaha for an excellent price:feature ratio.
( Last edited by subego; Mar 30, 2008 at 06:34 PM. )
     
mduell
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Mar 30, 2008, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nexus5 View Post
What about the noise a PS3 makes? A friend told me that, because of the heat it produces, a PS3 is much louder then a "normal" BR-player.
It is. But someone who's using the speakers built in to their TV doesn't seem like someone who really cares about sound.
     
subego
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Mar 30, 2008, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
If you wish to use an IR remote with the PS3 there is an option now to do that.
IR2BT - InfraRed to BlueTooth Converter for the PS3

That looks pretty awesome.

I have this: http://www.nyko.com/nyko/products/?i=113, which isn't quite as high tech, but is only $20 and seems more widely available.

In fact, I've got my PS3 sitting vertically behind my TV. Makes very good use of my CRT sized TV stand. My remote can still ding it through the gap between the TV and the stand (and over my Apple TV )
     
Helmling
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Mar 30, 2008, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
I have some questions about jumping into the blu-ray market. From my initial investigation it seems to make financial sense to buy a PS3 because it does blu-ray - does that make sense? Looking at the prices, I'm in the same neighborhood as regular players and from what I've read the PS3 can (or does) download the blu-ray 2.0 patch, where as other blu-ray players are still at 1.0 (or 1.1). Plus it can connect using the wireless b/g network, so I won't need to run a cat-5 cable.

I'll probably play some games on it but in general its main purpose is for a hi-def.

The tv is a 32" samsung lcd (I forget the 720p, does it make sense for spending that much money and not get 1080p

I can buy the sony hdmi cables for 54 bucks or some cheap no-name cables for 30 - again is it worth it.

Finally I don't have any stereo equipment hooked up to the tv, is that something that's needed? I don't want this to turn into a money pit. I just want to play blu-ray movies, the added benefit of games is a plus
Over the summer I went HD. I bought a 56" Samsung at 1080p and the PS3 (not nearly the value it is now). I don't have a stereo set-up, the sound out of the TV is as loud as I'd ever wanted it and the five-minute cool factor of "hey, that sound was behind me!" isn't worth the cost for me.

That actually brings me to my point: The whole HD thing is a five-minute "hey cool" feeling that wears off. If I could go back, I'd save myself the five grand. The only thing that was really smart was that I also bought a mini and plugged it into the TV.

I've really come to the conclusion that this whole HD mess is a giant scam by the electronics industry. It's the epitome of consumer culture convincing us to buy stuff we don't need. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch Fight Club...wish it was on Blu-Ray already, so I could pay five to ten extra dollars for the disk so I can say "wow, that looks great" one time and try to convince myself I'm not a grade-A sucker for starting down this whole Blu-Ray road.

So, rant aside, if you're going to buy a Blu-Ray player, yes the PS3 is a no-brainer. For my two cents, it's go-big or go-home. If you're going to take the plunge, I'd go all the way to 1080p.
     
subego
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Mar 30, 2008, 08:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
That actually brings me to my point: The whole HD thing is a five-minute "hey cool" feeling that wears off. If I could go back, I'd save myself the five grand. The only thing that was really smart was that I also bought a mini and plugged it into the TV.

Do you have HD cable?
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Mar 30, 2008, 08:13 PM
 
I think some of you misunderstood my posts.
I already own a 32" 720p samsung tv. There is no need to take the plunge to 1080, because I already own it.

I'm not convinced its a scam, but I do understand that your eyes get used to the high quality so it may not "pop" the second or third time you see a hi-def show.

Right now, my tv is being used as a replacement, for your run of the mill non, hi-def programming.
     
subego
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Mar 30, 2008, 08:54 PM
 
Well, just to be sure to answer your original question directly: yes. For the moment, a PS3 costs the same as a SA Blu-Ray player. There is absolutely no reason to get a SA model, doubly so if you play a game every now and again.

As for the sound issue, if you spent $250 on a sound system, you would have noticeably better sound, though probably not a lot better. If you can spend $500, I'd say it's worth it.

However, I wouldn't suggest you get a surround-sound rig. Just stereo. $100 on a cheap (stereo-only) receiver, dump the rest into the speakers.
     
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Mar 30, 2008, 11:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
That actually brings me to my point: The whole HD thing is a five-minute "hey cool" feeling that wears off. If I could go back, I'd save myself the five grand. The only thing that was really smart was that I also bought a mini and plugged it into the TV.

I've really come to the conclusion that this whole HD mess is a giant scam by the electronics industry. It's the epitome of consumer culture convincing us to buy stuff we don't need. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch Fight Club...wish it was on Blu-Ray already, so I could pay five to ten extra dollars for the disk so I can say "wow, that looks great" one time and try to convince myself I'm not a grade-A sucker for starting down this whole Blu-Ray road.
Thankfully my ability to be jaded is not as severe as yours.

We've owned our set since June of last year and nearly every time I watch a true HD broadcast I am amazed at the picture and sound quality. I watch HD content I would never watch in SD simply because the picture is amazing. Every time we watch CSI and the opening scenes come on my wife always does a deep inhalation and says "that's so cool".
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 12:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Over the summer I went HD. I bought a 56" Samsung at 1080p and the PS3 (not nearly the value it is now). I don't have a stereo set-up, the sound out of the TV is as loud as I'd ever wanted it and the five-minute cool factor of "hey, that sound was behind me!" isn't worth the cost for me.

That actually brings me to my point: The whole HD thing is a five-minute "hey cool" feeling that wears off. If I could go back, I'd save myself the five grand. The only thing that was really smart was that I also bought a mini and plugged it into the TV.

I've really come to the conclusion that this whole HD mess is a giant scam by the electronics industry. It's the epitome of consumer culture convincing us to buy stuff we don't need. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch Fight Club...wish it was on Blu-Ray already, so I could pay five to ten extra dollars for the disk so I can say "wow, that looks great" one time and try to convince myself I'm not a grade-A sucker for starting down this whole Blu-Ray road.

So, rant aside, if you're going to buy a Blu-Ray player, yes the PS3 is a no-brainer. For my two cents, it's go-big or go-home. If you're going to take the plunge, I'd go all the way to 1080p.
No way.

Dude, I collected film on 35mm. That's how much I love movies. HD is like a film lover's dream. Maybe you don't like, it, but it's no scam.

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Mar 31, 2008, 01:26 AM
 
I bought some HDMI cables from monoprice.com and they work AWESOME!

it's not like an analog cable, it either works or it doesent...

-Zach
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 01:58 AM
 
Another vote for monoprice.com for cables. Excellent cables for a great price.

I use my PS3 with a 1080i projector and the quality of the picture is far superior to standard DVDs, and it is more apparent the bigger the screen you are watching. I'll have to say, the upconversion of the PS3 is also very good. Good enough that I won't rebuild my DVD collection in BluRay, but there are some movies that I will buy again due to the difference in the picture quality.
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subego
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Mar 31, 2008, 04:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Thankfully my ability to be jaded is not as severe as yours.
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Maybe you don't like, it, but it's no scam.

This was why I was thinking he didn't have cable. Sounds more like being grumpy about lack of content. Nothing sucks more than SD on HD. That is the only thing that has even approached being a letdown about HD for me (in the sense of "crap, I wish I was watching this in HD").
( Last edited by subego; Mar 31, 2008 at 07:18 AM. )
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 07:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by phantomdragonz View Post
I bought some HDMI cables from monoprice.com and they work AWESOME!

it's not like an analog cable, it either works or it doesent...
That's not true. Digital AV cables are far less finicky than analog AV cables, but higher priced cables can still potentially be better. More bandwidth, better shielding and superior construction can make for better, more reliable audio and video.

It won't make a difference unless you use ultra-long digital AV cables, however.

So, if you only need 6' cables, Monoprice is just as good as anyone else, but for 50' cables, do some research before you buy.
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Mar 31, 2008, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This was why I was thinking he didn't have cable. Sounds more like being grumpy about lack of content. Nothing sucks more than SD on HD. That is the only thing that has even approached being a letdown about HD for me (in the sense of "crap, I wish I was watching this in HD").
I am getting better content from a couple rabbit ears drawing the local broadcasts than what the cable companies around here offer. The Cable companies are compressing it more or something. We get about 12-14 HDTV channels alone with the cheap antenna.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 11:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by BasketofPuppies View Post
That's not true. Digital AV cables are far less finicky than analog AV cables, but higher priced cables can still potentially be better. More bandwidth, better shielding and superior construction can make for better, more reliable audio and video.

It won't make a difference unless you use ultra-long digital AV cables, however.

So, if you only need 6' cables, Monoprice is just as good as anyone else, but for 50' cables, do some research before you buy.
Agreed. We bought some HDMI cables to cover a little over 75ft. and cheap simply did not work. For 25ft. or less the cheapest brands worked, but not longer distances.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 12:09 PM
 
PS3 as a Blu-ray Player FAQ: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=979687

PS3 as a Blu-ray Player General Discussion: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=650544

For the record, I have a 60 GB PS3 I use as a Blu-ray player. No complaints at all, especially after the recent updates. Completely future-proof as well.
     
mduell
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Mar 31, 2008, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Agreed. We bought some HDMI cables to cover a little over 75ft. and cheap simply did not work. For 25ft. or less the cheapest brands worked, but not longer distances.
Not all cheap cables are good. Not all good cables are expensive.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 02:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Not all cheap cables are good. Not all good cables are expensive.
You get beyond 25ft. and you get what you pay for.
     
Mithras
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Mar 31, 2008, 02:30 PM
 
But who will buy me an HD projector? I'll need to get one of those if I'm going to play Blu-Ray discs.
Actually, ironically, I'm about to go the opposite direction -- and buy a VHS player. There are still a surprising number of older movies I'm interested in seeing that aren't on DVD.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 02:45 PM
 
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue alone should be enough reason to get the PS3 over a standalone Blu Ray player...
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Mar 31, 2008, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by legacyb4 View Post
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue alone should be enough reason to get the PS3 over a standalone Blu Ray player...
Do you need the steering wheel/pedal package for this and other driving games?
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Mar 31, 2008, 02:58 PM
 
I love mine plays blu-rays and dvds beautifully. And yes, the occasional game gets played. We're currently enjoying Burnout Paradise.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
You get beyond 25ft. and you get what you pay for.
If you spend your money wisely, you can get very good 50 ft HDMI cables for not too much money.


Originally Posted by Mithras View Post
But who will buy me an HD projector? I'll need to get one of those if I'm going to play Blu-Ray discs.
Not Blu-ray, but same idea...

Yes, HD DVD looks totally awesome on my HD projector, but it still looks totally awesome on my "measly" 42" LCD. Blu-ray would be the same.
     
Mithras
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Mar 31, 2008, 04:34 PM
 
Yeah, and I'm jealous of your nice little Panasonic. But I'm still slummin' with an Infocus 4805 and its 848x480 native rez... Though now that's it's been a whole six months or whatever, your projector is probably < $1000 now, maybe?
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
But what's the point of great picture with poor sound?
Maybe he's deaf.
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Mar 31, 2008, 04:49 PM
 
Nope, not required to enjoy the game. In fact, remapping the brake and gas pedals to the L2/R2 buttons gives you a decent amount of feathering control to really keep the revs up.

Having said that, there are definitely some levels where having the extra control the wheel would give you would definitely help. For now though, I'm having a helluva fun time in my tuned Lotus Elise in "S" class earning my 45 million for the F40.

Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Do you need the steering wheel/pedal package for this and other driving games?
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Mar 31, 2008, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mithras View Post
Yeah, and I'm jealous of your nice little Panasonic. But I'm still slummin' with an Infocus 4805 and its 848x480 native rez... Though now that's it's been a whole six months or whatever, your projector is probably < $1000 now, maybe?
That Panasonic PT-AX200U is still $1299, which is what I paid last year.

However, you can get some other 720p ones for $999 or less.

eg.

BenQ W500
Mitsubishi HC1500
Optoma HD72
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by legacyb4 View Post
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue alone should be enough reason to get the PS3 over a standalone Blu Ray player...
Hopefully they fix the crappy engine sounds this time around. That came close to ruining GT4 for me. They made a Corvette Z06 sound like a Civic with its muffler cut off and the Ford GT sounded like a weed whacker.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 07:22 PM
 
Totally agree, Laminar. Once you tuned any car they all sounded the same. A Dodge Charger with a supercharger and 700+ HP sounded like a 4 cyl Nissan Sylvia.

Forza 2 has much better sounds, but they still need some work. The only car that sounds perfect is the V10 Porsche Carrera GT which you can hear screaming around the track no matter how far ahead of it you are.
     
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Mar 31, 2008, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
If you spend your money wisely, you can get very good 50 ft HDMI cables for not too much money.
Junk. We bought and returned 3 from there at that length. The last one "worked" but seemed to want to fail at critical times. We are using a top of the line commercial Panasonic projector Panasonic Projectors - PT-D5700U/DW5100U/D4000U

Cheap cables simply have too much resistance over long runs.
     
Eug
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Mar 31, 2008, 08:53 PM
 
Which ones did you buy and how are you running them? I've seen lots of posts over at AVS with those HDMI cables and everyone says they work fine, even with 1080p bandwidths.

EDIT:

Your projector is DVI. If you used that cable, then you'd have to use an adapter with it.

EDIT AGAIN:

My mistake. I linked the wrong cable. The cables I was talking about were HDMI cables, not HDMI to DVI, but I incorrectly linked an HDMI to DVI cable. I haven't read reports on the HDMI to DVI cables at that length, but I guess the ones you got were no good. In any case you should be able to get a good quality HDMI cable for less than $100. I see people going out and spending $300 on an HDMI cable, and I think that's non-sensical.

P.S. That projector seems to be a very good one, but I wouldn't exactly call it top of the line. According to Panasonic's site that projector is an upper mid-range single-chip DLP auditorium projector.
( Last edited by Eug; Mar 31, 2008 at 09:20 PM. )
     
Eug
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Mar 31, 2008, 09:27 PM
 
Interesting post - Monoprice cable testing

He also makes this reasonable statement:

Please note that success at 1080p depends on a lot of factors including quality
of TMDS transmitters, receivers, and anything you might have connected to the
cables like HDMI switches, repeaters, HDMI->DVD adapters, etc., therefore these
test results should be taken as a data point and not as a guarantee the cables
will be problem free @ 1080p with your specific equipment.

For example, during initial testing I had discovered through process of elimination
that one of the HDMI->DVI adapters I was using could not reliably pass 1080p. At
first I thought the cables were the issue, but after switching out the adapters, the
cables worked great.


And to justify your argument to a certain extent, he also notes that the Monoprice 50 foot cables aren't actually warrantied for 1080p60.
( Last edited by Eug; Mar 31, 2008 at 09:34 PM. )
     
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Apr 1, 2008, 12:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Which ones did you buy and how are you running them? I've seen lots of posts over at AVS with those HDMI cables and everyone says they work fine, even with 1080p bandwidths.

EDIT:

Your projector is DVI. If you used that cable, then you'd have to use an adapter with it.

EDIT AGAIN:

My mistake. I linked the wrong cable. The cables I was talking about were HDMI cables, not HDMI to DVI, but I incorrectly linked an HDMI to DVI cable. I haven't read reports on the HDMI to DVI cables at that length, but I guess the ones you got were no good. In any case you should be able to get a good quality HDMI cable for less than $100. I see people going out and spending $300 on an HDMI cable, and I think that's non-sensical.

P.S. That projector seems to be a very good one, but I wouldn't exactly call it top of the line. According to Panasonic's site that projector is an upper mid-range single-chip DLP auditorium projector.
It was top of the line when we bought it over a year ago.
     
   
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