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AE700 or Z3

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by daddyorchips, Jun 10, 2005.

  1. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    Hi,

    Age old question this I'm sure. I'm new to the world of HDTV - was going to upgrade my CRT to a HD LCD up until recently, but then I discovered there were top quality projectors out there for the same price if not cheaper! The two in the title have caught my eye, as I'm looking at spending circa £900-£1k.

    My main uses for the projector will be PC gaming, console gaming and DVDs. Both those projectors look pretty even, but I was hoping you guys could recount your experiences with them. The Panasonic sounds like the dogs, with higher contrast and anti-screendoor mechanism. However, it sounds like it may have a real problem with vertical banding?? Are these some sort of vertical thick bands of shade/colour that overlay the picture? If so, how bad is this effect? I've come across mention of a firmware upgrade - was this to eliminate VB?

    The Z3 lacks an RGB Scart interface, which is a minus point IMO as that's currently how I hook up my GC and PS2. Xbox I've got all the component leads for, which suits either projector. The dust cleansing feature sounds really appealing for the Z3, but being new to projectors I'm not quite clued up on that. Do they tend to gather much dust, and does it accumulate under the lense? Is that something I'd be able to clean up easily myself manually?

    Last thing, there's the case of warranty. The fact Sanyo provide 3 yrs as standard is a great perk. A quick shop around and it seems I'm can get the Z3 for around £990 with the warranty and del. inc. The AE700 will cost me an extra £200 on top of that for 3 yr's warranty, though that deal includes a free screen too.

    Oops, I do have one very last question. How long do the bulbs in these things last, on average? And are there any good deals on replacement?

    Thanks for reading! :cool:
     
  2. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Add the Hitachi PJTX100 to your list.

    And yes it is an age old question, and if you peruse this forum (it sounds like you may have done already) you'll see that there is no right answer. They are all good.

    It may be the best 1K you've ever spent!...PJ :thumbsup:

    PS I would not change my TX, but I'd go for the Z3 'cause of the warranty :)
     
  3. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    I've not heard about the Hitachi - are there reviews I can look at in the usual places?

    One other thing, does anybodyhave experience of hooking up a PC to one of these projectors? How do you do this? Is the standard VGA DB-15 cable sufficient, or should I invest in a DVI-to-HDMI adapter?

    Cheers! :smashin:
     
  4. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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  5. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    Do you know what the difference between the PTAE700E and the PTAE700 is??
     
  6. Mark_a

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    I think the E is for Europe and denotes an added RGB scart socket, which is missing on the US model.

    The other major feature you want to consider is noise. As it happens both of these are pretty low, though the Sanyo just shades the Pany with 23db.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  7. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    Nah noise isn't really a concern for me. I run an xbox and doubt it's any louder than that beast ;)

    I'd snap up the Sanyo at that lower price, but the fact that it's missing scart as well as contrast means it's a second runner atm. The deal I'm looking at is this one:-

    http://www.electricaldiscountuk.co.uk/itfx_product_details.php?pid=2661

    It's slightly more expensive than everywhere else, but comes with a free screen (not details included though) and the additional 2 years of warranty are cheap. I take it it would definitely be a good idea to extend my warranty beyond 1 yr? This being my first projector, I've no idea how easily they "break down". :confused:
     
  8. Mark_a

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    I think there are three major factors. Blind luck, and how long and how often you have it on for. I don't think they're really intended for casual day to day TV watching, and using them thus will probably shorten their lives.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  9. Wasabi

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    daddyorchips,

    shootandshow comes in at a shade under £1k for Z3, and if you can pick it up, they throw in a 6" screen as well. This equals of a saving of £200, a lot of money for an extra scart input. On the other hand if you live far away from the shop, time is also money, not to forget the petrol cost.

    Although the manufacturers claim of contrast ratio are far from what it achieves in real measurements (just achieving 40-60% of the claim is not unusual), Z3 has also 2000:1 as AE700.

    Wasabi
     
  10. gingerone

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    When using the theatre black mode the Z3 is supposed to have more contrast than the panny.
     
  11. Geesus

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    I have no problems with contrast on my Z3, especially when using Rone's powerful default trick.

    Watch it in the day without any problems...certainly the lesser of two evils when comparing with VB and the Panny's negatives.
     
  12. neil c

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    I purchased a Z3 from Nexnix last week after weighing up between the AE700, TX100 and the Z3.

    I would think very carefully about making a PJ a first choice display if you play alot of videogames - at least until the next gen of consoles arrives.

    PJs are only good in dark rooms. If you spend alot of time playing videogames, you'll want a display that you can use during the day without blocking out the sun the whole time - it just gets a bit depressing! I'm also fairly certain that heavy gaming PJ usage in a dark room could have an affect on your eyesight.

    Current gen consoles also look pretty poor on LCD and plasma technology (I havn't tried a DLP projector). But this is due to the lack of anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and the low resolution of the consoles. Compared to an RGB input on a CRT TV, an Xbox via component (excluding the few 720p games) looks pretty bad on my Z3. So, if you are planning on getting much use out of the current generation of consoles, I'd hold off the new display purchase until the next generation of consoles.

    However, I have connected my PC via VGA and played Far Cry at 720p, and this looks fantastic. It's like having your PC monitor blown up to 6ft in size, the picture is awesome. WMVHD also looks amazing, the picture the Z3 produces from a 720p encoded video is astounding, and I only had it connected via VGA. I've also got a Samsung HD850 connected via HDMI which upscales to 720p, and this also looks great.

    If you're a really heavy gamer, go for a TV instead, but if you really want a PJ for games AND movies go for the Z3. Get component leads for your GC (Lik-Sang.com) and PS2 (Ebay), and for DVDs get the HD850 for around £99, and you're all set.

    Would you rather spend £998 on a Z3 with a 3 year warranty and £40 on console component leads, or buy an AE700 for around £1000 with only a 1 year warranty just for scart?
     
  13. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    I'm not sure, neil c. I've not heard anything negative from AE700 users regarding running consoles on their setups, but I've seen several reviews from Z3 owners mentioning how bad they look. Also, isn't there some sort of smoothing technology on the AE700: does that help improve the image on SD sources, such as an Xbox running at 480P or a gamecube at 480i?

    I could be wrong entirely - this Z3 does sound excellent. But so far I've not had any input from a Panasonic owner, so there's no flipside of the argument but for the couple of 'extras' that I researched myself. Any AE700 owners with consoles care to post their opinions?

    Finally, though the Z3 appears to have the same CR, I'm sure I read in a couple of reviews that the image it generated was sharper and brighter than that of the Z3. Surely that would help in a bright-er room, so I wouldn't have to sit in the dark all the time?

    Cheers for your help so far guys.
     
  14. gingerone

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    My ps2 via component looks superb!
    I've used it on my plasma and a normal crt and I prefer the picture on my Z3 by quite a margin.
    GT4 and tekken 4 just look awesome.
    There are a few people on the forum who replaced the panny with the Z3.
    I was undecided but ken from ivojo convinced me to go for the z3 even though it was cheaper, and I'm glad I did.
     
  15. PC_112

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    I was between Z3, AE700 and Sony HS50. The Sony seemed to be better overall, but for me it was not that much better to justify the price difference.

    In the end I decided to go for the Z3 because it was the cheapest, and it has 2 component inputs.

    However something that I believe the AE700 is better is with lower quality signal. I've seen the Z3 with composite and interlace and the image looked really crappy.
     
  16. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    Cheers guys, keep the opinions coming =)
     
  17. gingerone

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    The trouble is it's difficult for you to get an objective view from people who own the machines. I love my Z3 so will big it up and I dare say so will the panny owners cos that's a good machine as well.
    The deciding factor for me was that I demoed my mates Z2 and I thought it was great so I got the Z3.
    The 3 year warranty tipped the scale as well as the panny actually would have been easier for me to place.
    Is there anywhere you could demo either of these machines, cos I think whichever one you demo first you'll probably buy.
     
  18. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    Well in that case it sounds like I'd be happy with either machine.

    Is there much of a difference in cost of bulbs for them? Also, has anybody tried running XBMC (on the Xbox) through their projector? Does it look good?
     
  19. gingerone

    gingerone
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    By all accounts there's very little to tell the two machines apart. A lot of people plump for the Z3 due to reliability and warranty issues but performance wise they are very evenly matched, which is why most peole can't decide between the two.
    Bulbs are expensive regardless of what machine you have.
    My mate has his xbox set up on a Z2 and it looks great but never seen one on a Z3.
     
  20. Mark_a

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    I see that the Sanyo wins the "Budget: Big Time Bargains" shoot out in the latest edition of "What Projector", beating the NEC VT470, Mitsubishi HC3, Sony VPL-HS3, BenQ PE-5120 and NEC HT-510.

    Mind you, it only gets 4 stars, whereas the Pany AE700 gets five stars elsewhere in the mag in a straight single review.

    Still gonna me get the Z3, though. :)

    Regards

    Mark

    Oops, tell a lie, the Z3 gets five stars too. I think it got four last time they reviewed it a couple of months ago, so they've revised it up a star.
     
  21. daddyorchips

    daddyorchips
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    Hey neil,

    Could you post pics of any Xbox games running on your projector? Preferably ones running in 480P, such as Halo 2. Also, have you tried using your Xbox as a movie player, rather than a seperate dvd player?

    Thanks! :)
     
  22. neil c

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    Ill try and get some pics for you, but I'm having a new line installed and so Im running on 56k at the moment! I'll PM you when Ive got some ready.
    I've not tried any of the Xbox's media functions.
     
  23. dapex

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    Geesus, when you say you can watch your Z3 ini the day without any problems, how dark is the room at the time, are we talking bloackout curtains and so hardly any light or what? The only thing that puts me of the Z3 is the low light levels...

    I went to see a Z2 ages ago and even in a ttotally dark room, I thought the picture lacked brightness.

    Cheers
     
  24. Geesus

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    Yep I'm talking blackouts, but really, you will need those with either of these projectors during the day.

    Are you sure the Z2 was set up right?
     
  25. paulmcp2403

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    I have the ae700 and it is ok in a room with ambient light..... thats why i choose it....
     
  26. Deansmark

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    What made me decide on the Z3 was the top deal that lots of sites seem to have at the moment - ivojo.com still has it on at £821.33 inc vat + free extra lamp voucher. Got mine 3 weeks ago and have been using it with a 20 quid IKEA black out blind as a screen. All males (and even many women) have been so impressed they have put orders in for one.
     
  27. markusp

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    That's a great price for the Z3!!! Here in Canada, the Z3 with taxes (In Ontario) works out to $2990 with the recent price drop (includes free mount, no extra bulb) which works out to £1,380.

    Ouch.
     

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