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AE100...Where to get one..and are they reliable now ?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Newboybee, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. Newboybee

    Newboybee
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    Can anyone advise me the best place to purchase an ae100 online, and have the reliability issue's now been ironed out?...ie have the latest batches had a lower failure rate?
    best regards
    NBB
     
  2. Zig

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    Sound and Vision is the place to buy, this is as low as it goe's and they apparantly bought the last remaining stock from Panosonic in order to hit this price point.
    I think it is safe to assume this batch should be free from the main issues which have given trouble in the earlier models such as the PSU but one of the long term owners should be able to offer a more informed opinion. I took the plunge at the weekend and for the money these are unbeatable value
     
  3. Dannykos

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    digital direct has a marginally lower price than sound and vision now (789.93), probably best to stay with S&V as I've no knowledge of digital direct, maybe someone else has something good to say about them?.....
     
  4. charlie

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    I bought an AE-100 from Sound and Vision a month ago, unit manufactured in November 2002, PSU replaced after 4 weeks/120 hours of use.

    Hasn't put me off, but the reliability of the AE-100 is still very questionable.

    Charlie
     
  5. DazB

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    Have anyone else noticed that Sound and Vision on-line ordering is not secure? Best ring then me thinks, if you’re going to order something.
     
  6. Zig

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    My unit from S&V is dated Jan 03
     
  7. John_N

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    Where to get one: Nearest wheelie bin
    Are they reliable: No

    :laugh:

    Seriously though. I've read a whole lot on the forums about people's AE100 units blowing up and having problems.

    Are you serious about spending nearly £800 on a product with this kind of reputation - 'specially when you could buy something like a Sanyo Z1 for only slightly more.....

    I personally think it's not acceptable to spend money and have relaiability problems. I have an HS10 that I'm seriously considering taking back and swapping out for a more reliable model because of false starts. I would be very wary of going into a model with a 'known issue' like this... You very well may live to regret it.

    I know it's cheap, but so is sawing your leg off....
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    Agree with John N, the new model will probably be fixed, and no doubt the AE100 will be a expensive paperweight (once over 12 months)
     
  9. theritz

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    Ooooops !

    The troll detector just went off !

    Seriously, though, all projectors have issues of one sort or another. I have no idea what the worldwide sales of AE100s currently stands at, but you should take it that the frequency of guys here having power supply issues is unlikely to reflect as an average or significant amount compared to the total sales - I'm sure that lots of owners never heard of avforums, so consequently it's not possible to make ajudgement. Some Ae100s have power supply problems, Z1s seem (by reference to posts on avsforum) to be prone to dust in the optics, HS10 is excessively noisy for a home cinema projector, and has a known ( and well documented by users ) bulb problem. That bulb problem dates from its earliest production, with a thread on avsforum since October/November 2002.

    At the end of the day, these items are not regular conventional domestic appliances, and the range available and different specs. is sufficient to indicate that.

    If you want to front projection, be prepared to deal with the issues - if you're looking for perfection without any issues, then you're unlikely to find it here. (Mind you, a 12HT seems stonkig value at the mo' - check avsforum, where there's lots of experience for any issues with that one.)


    All the best,

    Sean G.

    Sean G.
     
  10. John_N

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    :hiya: Sean

    I was expecting something a bit more robust than that :)

    Granted that lots of AE100 owners will never have read the forums, and perhaps it's only human nature to moan about problems and post about problems on the forums, after all you don't get many posts like: "My projector is working fine and everything's great" do you?

    My HS10 is currently tetering between going back and being swapped, and staying because my first HS10 failed due to the lamp bug and this one has just failed to start after 20hrs for the first time. Sigh....

    Front projection is indeed a bit more complex and problematic than your typical consumer device. However, I don't expect to buy a projector that goes wrong - I don't mind about dust in the optics. I don't mind about replacing bulbs after a reasonable time like 2000hrs, but I do personally have an issue with projectors that don't start, blow up or do other antisocial things.

    The fan in the HS10 is excessively noisy sometimes right enough.

    J
     
  11. theritz

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    John,

    A Robust Reply ?? Moi?.....:D

    I sympathise with the HS10 prob - I'd be fairly ******ed off too.

    I agree that we should expect (and demand) better than blow-ups etc, particularly if you consider the manufacturer/distributor/dealer mark-up chain - if S & V can get them to sell at about £800 now, then there's £600 or more that was being split along the chain when they were selling at a new price - and I don't buy the "R & D" costs argument either - Home Pj's are biult on well established technology lines following the main hardware design of business LCD projectors. It ould appear that the issue with AE100s would appear to be a poor spec, or insufficiently robust design of the power supply circuit and this would appear to be from building the unit down to a price.

    For all the maoning I have to say I'm still in love with mine !! HCPC thru it is smashing - and what flaws remain in the mage I'm more than happy to live with (at least until I visit Kramer for a gawk at his HS10). Would I like to upgrade ??? Z1 not sufficient a step up for the cost, AE300 - can't do 1:1 pixel mapping, would have to invest in more kit to get the best (Pal Progressive DVD),
    HS10 - throw too long, although option of adjacent room mounting is there, but concerned about lamp issue, not a fan of DLP, still have a secret lust for CRT !!!!!:devil:

    Think I'll stick with what I have for the mo'.


    All the best,
     
  12. John_N

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    Hi

    Yes well at least you're happy and that's 99% of the argument for anyone :)

    I'm NOT happy and wondering what I should do now... As I've said in another thread, I have the following options:

    Stick with the HS10
    Return it and swap for either:

    Sony VPL-VW-12HT
    Epson TW100
    NEC HT1000 (DLP)

    Although DLP scares me a bit with all the talk about rainbows.. I saw a poll and a debate over at avsforum where about 50% of respondents saw rainbows... :eek:

    The main thing that attracts me to the NEC is the very quiet fan noise.

    I don't know what the fan noise is like on the other two..

    CRT is a nice idea but the low lumen output puts me off a bit - I don't have a perfect black home cinema room. If I had a dedicated black home cinema room then CRT might be the way to go...

    J
     
  13. Flimber

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    Robert Whyte are reportedly selling refurbs for £599.

    Mike.
     
  14. nathan_silly

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    Ho ho!

    To buy a refurbed modelwhich has been plagued with problems is pretty moronic, and asking for trouble.
     
  15. Zig

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    Have you ever owned an AE100 Nathan? People seeking advice normally respect opinions from people who know what they are talking about.
    My projector is only a few days old so I may yet have trouble with it in the future, who knows. However before buying I demoed against a HS10 and IMHO the Sony wasn't worth two and a half times the cost of the AE100. I would of course prefer a new model rather than a refurb, but if £600 is your limit and the warranty is good then I don't see a problem.
     
  16. nathan_silly

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    You don't have to own something to know whether it's any good or not. For example a Rover Metro- never owned one, but they are unreliable.

    I would expect some faults- it's only natural. But not recurring faults from dozens of owners, plus negative feedback from the supplier.

    It's pretty obvious why they are reduced to £600. If you want to throw your money away....

    Would I buy a Philips Pixel Plus TV or Panasonic AE-100? No! Not even if they're reduced to £200.

    20 seconds after powerup and blows up?.. bad sign. Don't touch the thing.
     
  17. Dannykos

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    well thats a bit off mark if you ask me!!

    sure - my 2nd PSU has gone, but if you can put up with the 7-10 day downtime while being repaired, there's nothing better for the money! (i'm presuming that every new PSU they put in will be under warranty for another year....)
     
  18. John_N

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    DannyKos:

    I don't think the issue is whether or not the PSU will be guaranteed for a further year or not... At the end of the day, if you are spending good money on a projector then you expect it to have a longevity commensurate with the cost. Even £600 is a lot of money - and if you bought a TV set for £600 you wouldn't expect it to repeatedly fail with a lot of down time for repairs.

    I wouldn't fool yourself into thinking that panasonic will keep replacing the PSU ad-infinitum. I would imagine that 1 year after your ORIGINAL purchase date, things might start to get difficult - and - what happens if the PSU fails after a trouble-free spell?

    Zig:

    IMHO, if £600 is your budget, you don't really have enough to get into front projection anyway since you'll be needing a screen, decent sources, decent sound and accompanying equipment etc etc etc. If I was thinking of spending £600-£800 on this model, I might be tempted to think again and wait a while and spend just a little more on something with potentially fewer problems.

    I personally wouldn't be tempted to buy a reconditioned unit either because I'm not personally prepared to spend time with no projector whilst it goes away for repairs. However, if people want to do that, bearing in mind the possible problems, then I guess that's their own personal decision.

    I wouldn't criticise anyone for buying the AE100 at that sort of price. YOu might be one of the lucky ones. It depends really on how much you can afford to lose £600 and how badly you want a projector now - all sorts of factors. However, I guess if I was in that situation, I might be tempted to look around for an ex-demo or recon projector with a slightly better reliability record.

    Although I have never owned an AE100, I have formed an opinion of it from reading the forums over the months and have also had feedback from dealers where I've been demoing projectors. It <appears> that quite a few have had PSU problems, just like quite a few sony HS10 owners have had the bulb bug reported (myself included).

    At the end of the day you pay your money and take your own choices...
     
  19. cosmic023

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    Hi All,

    I've always wanted a home theatre, since a freind of mine had a cool setup in the late 80's / early 90's with a crt projector.

    For me to buy a new video projector, would take a very long time to save up. But for now, i made do with the old method of OHP & Video panel, which is great and very cheap to run, with a DIY screen. Ok it's not the latest thing but it does peform very well !!

    I'd like to buy a Panasonic AE100, especially if you could get refurbished unit's for £600 or less, and with a warranty. But then if i had the space, i would prefer a crt projector. The only downside is the price of spares if they go wrong.

    I don't agree with John that £600 is not enough for a home theatre, sure if you are starting from scratch. But if you are only buying a video projection device, whatever type be it LCD, DLP or CRT. It's enough money to get you a cinema type setup over a normal tv, and there are plenty of 2nd hand video projectors out there.

    Ok i agree if your paying between £600 - £1000+ on a video projector, the last thing you want is an unreliable device that breaks down, especially when paying this kind of money. The unreliabilty lies with the manufacture, and it's up to them to sort the problems out !! It seems like AE100 owners are getting a rough deal with a flakey PSU. Is the unit still in production ?? If so is it worth pestering Panasonic, to sort this problem out ?? As there seem to be a lot of AE100 owners, who read this forum !!

    Oh i can't wait till the day i can afford a proper video projector !!

    Sorry about the rant folks, but i need to have my 2 cents worth !!

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  20. theritz

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    Nathan,

    The last couple of posts by you in this thread have clearly explained the second part of you sig - Silly! This wouldn't be so bad, but I believe that the following

    is offensive. This kind of trolling is thankfully practically absent from this side of the forum, and it would be nice to keep it that way.


    John,

    Fully agree with what you say about making individual choices, but don't agree with



    If £600 is the allocation in a persons budget for a projector then fine - they may already have a dvd player, sound system etc. If they weren't going for an AE100, then there are other options at prices less than new projectors - ex-lease, CRT, etc. I would not agree with telling a person that because they were on a budget of £xxx they shouldn't consider getting into FP, unless the amount was ridiculously low.

    Zig,

    We are all in different positions - one of the benefits of the forum is that it has an equalising quality - people are aware of what kit you might have and could draw a conclusion about how much you like to spend on AV, but what really matters is an enthusiasm for "the big screen", and a welcome and advice for like-minded people. This is evidenced clearly in the posting of most regular attendees, with advice and questions in equal measure. I think John's post encapsulates the essential message in saying that it's down to a matter of personal choice. Hope you get your AE100 sorted out (again !!) and back to movie watching soon.


    All the best,

    Sean G.
     
  21. Zig

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    Personal choice is off course everyones right, I intended buying a HS10 and even went as far as putting noggins between the joists where it was to be mounted. I have spent as much time as anyone reading feedback on these forums and had decided to opt for the AE300 rather than the HS10 due partly to the noise but wanted to demo them both first. I had a demo of the AE100 v HS10 at S&V and even though the demo rooms favoured the Sony I was more impressed with the value for money the AE100 offered despite it's reputation. If I had wanted, then either the HS10 or AE300 were well within my budget, but I choose to keep the money in the bank for other upgrades.
    At £600 for a refurb then I don't see why someone should miss out on one of these if that is their budget. Until my screen is finished my magnolia wall is performing beyond belief, and I am sure cables need not be too expensive if your budget is tight.
    BTW Ritz, my AE100 is fine :p fingers crossed :)
     
  22. theritz

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    Zig,

    Oooops ! - Comment should have been made to Dannykos.

    Regards,


    Sean G.
     
  23. joust

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    Hi All,

    I will be buying one of the units from Robert Whyte - contrary to popular belief, they are ex-demo units with less than 100hours on the clock (oh and theres only one left now!). As regards the PSU issue on the unit, should this fail outside of the warranty period, there should be sufficient evidence to persuade Panasonic to repair it - something along the lines of the goods being fit for purpose (and quite clearly the PSU isn't)[I'm sure this is in the goods act].

    So there we have it, a £600 entry into projection (now just to buy all the cables and screen).


    Joust
     
  24. theritz

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    Hey Joust,

    Welcome to the fold !!

    Come back and let us know how you get on - sure you'll be blown away !!


    Sean G.
     
  25. John_N

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    ..About the budget considerations. People don't usually take the screen into account. Most people may already have some kind of sound system and some kind of source, but front projectors tend to be relatively unforgiving of poor quality sources.

    This means that a £100 DVD Player with S-video output is not really going to look good on a front projection system. This could mean that people end up upgrading their DVD player to a good one with a component output. Not all component outputs are equal by the way - some units have component outputs as "spec sheet fillers" with a relatively poor signal. All in all, you tend to get what you pay for, and I would say that with any front projection system you need to be thinking of a good quality DVD player and that means £400 upwards.

    The £600 budget might be enough - barely - for an entry level or second hand projector - but not really enough once you take the screen + extra cables into consideration and certainly not enough if you have to upgrade your sound system (by adding a centre speaker perhaps - I personally found a centre speaker necessary with the projector whereas before I used the TV speakers with aceptable results) or upgrading the source.

    If we consider the £600 budget to be just spent on the projector alone, then I would add that if someone is on a tight budget, then £600 is a lot to spend on a unit that seems sometimes to be unreliable, and I would be thinking about maybe spending a bit more on a unit with a better perceived track record or perhaps a second hand unit although you are getting into dodgy territory here. At the end of the day, you tend to get what you pay for and £600 is a lot to spend in order to be disappointed with a second hand unit with poor contrast for example, or on a unit that is in and out to be repaired all the time.

    Personally, I would invest my £600 and save up a bit more and see what comes along - but that's just me.

    Best of luck in whatever you do.
    J
     
  26. pompeysteve

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    FWIW, I bought an AE100 last summer and built my own 9ft screen for <£50

    I am absolutely DELIGHTED with it, I cannot fault it at all.

    I'd recommend the AE100 to anyone - but then again,
    I've had no problems - and I'm aware that others have.
     
  27. pcdoc

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    Ohh! I just have to stick my 2 coppers in here.
    some of the comments in this thread are a little too disrespectful IMO. Fine have you stance on the AE100 being a waste of money, wifey thinks all this sort of stuff is a waste of money; but then she would. If you don't like a piece of gear, then you don't like it. Not much point in making remarks about others because they do. I have had my panny ae100 for nearly 6 weeks only got 34 hrs on it, but I am very happy with it. I already had a dvd player sound system, only had to make a screen and bracket to mount it on the wall. I didn't need a £30000 budget (Oh, now she would have made me talk in a very high voice hehe) If people don't like my cinema sound system, my DVD player or even the cables and output I use, its tough mucky poo-doo-doo, I am happy, so are my family. In the end its down to personal choice, I like others sought out sites like this one to gain some knowledge
    that was very welcome. Oh and I am neither daft, moronic or otherwise my choice is my choice.

    ok that off me chest.
    steps down from soapbox

    Pcdoc
     
  28. John_N

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    Guys.... :laugh: it's only a piece of plastic. People get sooo defensive about criticism of their beloved possessions don't they...

    We're aren't discussing here whether someone likes or doesn't like someone else's choice of cables, DVD player or whatever.

    I think we should take a bit of the hot air out of the discussion and focus on the facts.

    1. There <appear> to have been a number of users who have had reliability issues.

    2. There is a supplier selling reconditioned (ie faulty and then fixed) units at a reduced cost of £600

    3. Other units with possibly greater reliability are for sale for twice as much and more.

    How these facts are interpreted will vary according to your financial means, your willingness to take risks, and your own personal preferences.

    At the end of the day an opinion is an opinion and although you may not like what someone says, they still have the right to say it.

    I personally would have chosen different words to "moronic" that was used previously - I think "optimistic" would have been better. At the end of the day I do think it might be a bit optimistic to buy a reconditioned unit that <appears> to have a track history of problems, and has in fact already broken down once, and expect it to never give problems.

    Then again, some people are bound to have no problems at all and be very happy. Others won't wish to take the risk. Some will take the risk and lose out.

    Best to just make the decision and live with it.
     
  29. Kramer

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    Nathan S.

    As you're well aware, there are nearly 150 (largely happy) owners of AE100s here on the forums. I myself was the owner of 2 AE100s.

    It's a fine PJ for the money. That was the case when I purchased mine at nearly twice what peeps are paying today. Yes it isn't the most reliable, but neither is my HS10 & other PJs have issues.

    For someone who's never owned an AE100 you sure have some strong opinions on it. That's your right.

    It's not your right however to use words such as "moronic" when talking about other members. Your comments serve no purpose other than to beguile other members & start some flaming.

    You've already upset several members (understandably) & I ask you to refrain from this type of posting in the future.

    Be good now ;)
     
  30. nathan_silly

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    Regarding happy owners of the 100- great, and I hope the units are reliable.


    But regarding new purchasers- just spelling out the obvious. I guess people either need it, or don't want to hear about it.

    For anyone even considering the AE-100, well that's their money.

    Would I want something with a nagging feeling everytime I switch the unit on it'll go pop? No.

    Will Panasonic give good CS regarding a refurbed unit?


    Hey I own a pair of B&W 601's. Go ahead, call them the worst speaker's on the planet. Do I care? No. It's because I know they are rubbish, compared to other speakers of similar price.
     

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