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Am I asking too much of the Z2?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by motionbroker, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. motionbroker

    motionbroker
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    I nearly bought a z2 tonight but just could not do it since it failed in one quite significant way, but this could be something that is curable with the right setup.

    I want to buy the Z2 for home theater use, but want to be able to use it for work presentations as well (its a lot of money to me for just a lovely toy) . For me this means being able to play 1024 X 768 (or 1280 1024 ) power point presentations and run clients through sets of autocad files on screen.

    The DVD performance of the projector is amazing, especially for a pj in this price bracket, but I have to say I was seriously disappointed when I tried to project an image from my laptop. The text was seriously blurred, not illegible, but enough to give you a serious headache after a while.

    I thought originally this would be because of the 1280x1024 signal it was getting from the toshiba notebook, but even at 1024x768 it was really soft. Could this be caused by a vga to dvi converter? I have used them on monitors before without much issue or is it caused by the fact that the lcd does not have enough pixels in height so it stretches everything.

    If this is really obvious to you , please be patient with me since I am new to projectors.

    Thanks
    MB
     
  2. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    The Z2 is a home cinema projector and has gone the way of the television and is natively widescreen. It isn't really designed to do PC presentations.

    To show the 4:3 resolutions you are after it has to do some internal scaling as they don't map to the 1280x720 resolution of the Z2.

    It seems from your report that this scaling isn't great. I have no idea how it scales 4:3 video material, but defects wouldn't be as apparent as something as fine as pc text.

    If you were using a normal PC then there would be hope as many graphics card can be made to output the widescreen resolution (using powestrip). However I doubt this can be done with your laptops graphics card.

    When you are sending the pc signal to the Z2 is there a way to change the aspect ratio the Z2 is using? On my LCD projector there is a mode called 'Thorough' which will 1:1 pixel map, so if I sent a different resolution to standard and if that resolution was less it would not scale just have a black outline around the image of unused pixels...

    In general if you want to use a projector for presentations as well as home cinema you really need to be looking at XGA projectors.

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  3. Messiah

    Messiah
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    'Thorough' = Through
     
  4. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    Thanks!

    Damn this thing for not having a spell checker...
     
  5. Quatermass

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    Copy and Paste from Word :)
     
  6. PeterV

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    If you put 1024 x 768 through the machine and change the settings in the menu to true rather than full it will show a true 1024 x 768 window with black borders to the side.

    This should produce a reasonable image, but like others have stated here, it doesnt compare favourably with a dedicated data projector.
     
  7. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    That will be the same as 'Through' on my projector and should achieve the desired reults and a sharp image with a 1024x768 image.

    Obviously a 1280x1024 will have scaling issues as the panel is 1280x720.

    The only issue remianing now would be that a data projector tends to be brighter than a cinema projector so you would ideally need some light control to use this for presentations.

    My quick test of a Z2 did suggest it is a pretty bright 800 lumnes...

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  8. motionbroker

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    Yes we tried this, but the image was still quite badly blurred and whats worse the machine required vast adjustments from the gamma and color controls to get something even close to a properly color balanced image.

    I produce 3d animation and renderings for a living so I know a bit about color and this was WAY off. We eventually got it close, but it should not take such large corrections to get a projector (or any kind of monitor for that matter) close to a lifelike image.

    It does seem however that Sanyo would have been well advised to make the height of their lcd panels 768 so that someone could at least use the projector for data if they needed to (i can live with black bands on the side and xga res but not the headaches that come from looking at a blurred image) , especially if the scaler was such crap that it could not produce a reasonable image. I am sure that I am not alone in wanting a machine like this to serve several purposes. It amazes me that a projector could generate such religious fervor with such an obvious engineering oversight. This is especially true since more and more peoples living rooms will have a computer within the serviceable life of this projector.

    In its defense however I have to say that movies did really look great, especially once we had tweaked the color.
     
  9. motionbroker

    motionbroker
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    sorry the english in the last post was a bit wierd, it is 1am in my time zone and I am fading.

    Do you guys think I would be better off with the hs20 considering it

    a) has a higher brightness rating
    b) has lcd panels that will allow it to produce 1024 X768 without scaling

    I kind of dread the thought since it is significantly more expensive(still cheaper than buying two projectors though!), and the hs10 seems to have been a horror story for many people.
     
  10. PeterV

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    out of interest, did you have the laptop screen on at the same time?

    It varies from laptop to laptop, but in some laptops with very high resolution screens (ie 1280 x 1024 & above), when you change the settings to run at 1024 x 768 they still automatically re-size the image to fill the screen at native resolution. Togglilng the screen off via the F5 (usually) button & then doing an auto image on the projector can sometimes work wonders.
     
  11. motionbroker

    motionbroker
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    Actually I did have the laptop screen on at the same time. That would have been a good thing to try. Kind of embarassed I did not think of it. Thanks for the tip.

    MB
     

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