Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by theritz, May 17, 2003.
Like it says..... anyone been ?? Seen anything interesting - esp. comparisons of PJs ??
Yep, just got back, after going to see a VW12 at KrishAV as well.
Unfortunately the conditions were not ideal with too much ambient light which made it nigh on impossible to see the true potential (especially black levels) of all the pjs. However, the conditions were the same for all so you could still draw conclusions from comparison.
Other than that really well setup with the same source feeding every pj and plasma via, I understand, a load of Extron boxes.
Very interesting when you see 6 pjs all side by side projecting onto the same screen size (although all separate screens). They were showing The Matrix, Toy Story, a BBC mammals documentary (not sure which) and they had a load of other DVDs there but these were the only ones I saw.
For what it's worth my take on each of them was...
Z1 - nice brightness but shame about the screen door. And this was on a small screen (they were either 5' or 6' wide). Unfortunately it was very noticeable in comparison to the others.
Epson TS10 - Better than the Z1 in the screen door department although the colours did not look so vibrant.
Epson TW100 - Probably the best colours and detail of the bunch but the vertical banding was evident as was a small amount of pixel structure. very nice looking image though with plenty of brightness even in the ambient light conditions. Blacks didn't look at all bad either.
NEC HT1000 - Without a shadow of a doubt the best picture out of all of them by quite a way. Absolutely no pixel artifacts, screen door, banding or anything even when you were within 3 ft of the screen. The smoothest picture of the lot (although some video noise was evident) and I think starting to rival lower end CRTs. Fantastic colours as well although maybe a tad dimmer than the TW100 but more than made up for with the beautifully smooth and artefcat free image. This would certainly be my choice of all the digital pjs there (and tbh is not far behind the MT8 which I had on demo for a few days last week). Absolutely stunning and if anyopne is thinking of one do not let the 4:3 panel put you off because if you do you will be discounting what must be the best sub £5k pj currently available. Fantastic blacks as well that would undoubtedly be even better in a light controlled environment.
Toshiba MT5 - Another very nice image with no evident screen door or pixel structure at all. Not as good blacks as the HT1000 and slightly more washed out looking but another cracking pj.
Panasonic AE300 - A fantastic image with plenty of colour and yes, the smoothscreen technology definitely works. Slight evidence of pixel structure but far less than the Z1 and in the sub £2k band I think the winner without a doubt.
If I had to rate them in order I would do so like this
1st - NEC HT1000 (by a fair margin) *
2nd - Epson TW100
3rd - Toshiba MT5 *
4th - Panasonic AE300
5th - Sanyo Z1
6th - Epson TS10
* Note - these are DLP pjs and rainbows were eveident on certain scenes with both pjs although with the HT1000 they were not at all distracting for me when I just watched the picture as opposed to flitting side to side to do comparisons.
Just my subjective opinion of course
Room for improvement? As feedback to Andrew and the team I think any future events would be well served by having a dedicated (small) room set up with full blackout and also a full on DD/DTS/7.1 sound system so serious purchasers could sit and watch their chosen pj (remove it from the main stands and plug it in for 15-20 minutes) in true cinema style. It's amazing how 'boring' the picture looks without sound.
News: I was informed by one of the stand reps that the new Sanyo Z2 is due out next month. It apparently contains a W-XGA panel, will have similar styling and be priced slightly above the current Z1. Also, in September, a Sanyo DLP model is due to be launched. No intended specs or pricing given.
And finally, a BIG thankyou to Andrew and his team for setting up this event. I truly hope they introduce the home cinema experience to many more people and get plenty of business from it. They deserve it.
PS Anyone looking at purchasing a new WS TV, check out the Z1 or AE300 before you do. For the same money you can have the REAL home cinema experience
PPS: The VW12 was a big disappointment. Image about on par with the TW100 although slightly less screen door, lots of video noise and, for me, the fan would drive me nuts. A less than inaudible constant droning. Shame. Choose a HT1000 or MT8 instead. Or better still go CRT
I went as well!
Arrived home about 7.00pm
Just having something to eat and i will post some pics etc
Picture one shows my wife Amanda and Messiah getting comfy on the Laz-z-boys!
Picture shows general layout etc
Same picture again without flash to show how much ambient light was about
This shows how the screens were setup
Ive just got back and concur with every thing Messiah says above. would add from a service point of view no hard sell in fact quite the opposite the guy by the Pt-ae300 didnt seem to be able to answer any tecnical questions he didnt even know the screen sizes they were using ( I later discovered a large sticker on most screens saying 69 inches - not a difficult number to remember) They were alos offering about 5% discount on web prices but still expensive. Shame they didnt have a XV-Z91
We had a great day out, and had a fantastic meal a "The cross Keys" pub!
I echo Neils (Messiah) points about the ambient light preventing serious reviewing, but all credit to both Andrew and Liam for at least trying.
The news is if this proves a success, they will be willing to tour around the country giving customers a try before you buy type demo!
This is good news because the main complaint from people dipping their toe in the market is lack of demo facilities.
Please note, most of the PJ's were set "out of the box", so with more time maybe a better picture could be obtained.
I will start of with the Epson TS10:
Never even knew this existed before today, so i don't know how much it costs etc.
Boring Beige/white case, but looked very well built.
I thought it was almost identical to the Z1 in the picture stakes, except to say the colours didn't seem as saturated. So i will skip any further comments.
Smart black and silver case.
Image was bright and punchy, with well saturated colours. Struggled to give convincing images due to low resolution panel plus screendoor. Don't get me wrong for it's budget price these things are to be expected. I would rate it above the AE100 for example, but although highly saturated, the colours didn't look "real".
As with most LCD there was much vertical streaking/banding on the light scenes, but viewed from an appropriate distance the image did look good.
Couldn't judge the black level as it was too near the door.
I feel this PJ just needed some careful setting up and a slight defocusing to make it a great budget projector.
I had mixed feelings about this projector!
I was demo-ing this one for a friend, so was trying to see how black the blacks were.
This projector was in the darkest part of the room, so a slight greyness to the blacks was noticable.
The projector was pushing blue, so maybe this was what i was viewing.
Considering this PJ is selling in the budget range, it stood up well to the pricer Epson TW100!
The Micro Lense array really did reduce the screendoor to about the same as the TW100, without noticable softening of the image.
But it didn't have the detail level being shown by the TW100.
Colours weren't as "in your face" as some LCDs, but after watching a range of material, it endeared itself to me.
I would be happy to install this projector in my freinds budget install.
Again i feel the PJ has more to offer with some tweaking.
Case same as the TS10.
This PJ seemed to change my mind, every time they changed the film!
I do think this PJ is more fussy what you show on it, ie garbage in garbage out. Or maybe the type of film source, brings out the best and worse.
Detail levels on this machine were very high, confirming the above statement maybe!
Colours seemed fine on the whole, and i think it needed a darker room to shows it's ermm "true colours"..... sorry!
Biggest let down was screendoor+vertical streaks. On a projector in this price range i would expect better. As i mentioned above the AE300 was similar but that PJ costs a lot less.
I think this PJ just needs a price reduction.
I don't like Toshiba anymore after grief with a TV, so will not help sell any of their products...
Case is a bit boring in white/beige, but looks very very well built.
I can't tell you if this Pj was the quietest there, but in high and low lamp mode it was really quiet!
Screendoor = Nil (from any sensible distance)
Vertcal banding/streaking = Nil
The above two factors are very important to picture quality, and in their absence it left a stunning picture!
Very smooth and film like, in fact nothing like normal digital pictures!
The black level from what i could tell compaired to the other projectors looked very low.
There are a few negatives i must point out, but compaired to the LCD niggle pale in comparison.
Rainbows are still present, but i am very sensative to them. In fact Amanda saw them for the first time!
But after demo-ing for a while i became aware that i hadn't seen any!
Just shows that i look for them etc
There was also some dithering in the backgrounds and on fast moving objects, but to be honest it was more than acceptable.
The last point was image brightness. Since this PJ is native 4.3, it loses a lot of brightness when veiwing 16.9 (2.35-1) material.
So in lower power mode with the "Iris" shut i feel you might need total blackout conditions!
Overall i think the HT1000 is a stunning machine and well worth every penny. Even with the slight rainbows/dithering gives a truely cinematic image.
I very much would like to see this PJ again in a better enviroment, on a larger screen.
I often get asked if digital Pjs are getting closer to CRT PJs, and the answer with the HT1000 is yes...... Closer but not there yet.
The main points about a CRT image is the total lack of Image!
Ie the image is so much more vibrant and alive, nevermind image depth and 3Dness.
A well setup CRT with good tubes and lenses can give sharp highly detailed image, just as much as a cheapo poorly setup CRT can give a soft bland/dark image.
So i will be sticking with CRT for the time being!
I asked Neil to come with me and view the plasmas, as everytime i review them i always come up with the Panasonic 42 as the best.
There is a list on av-sales.com site what plasmas are on offer.
After having a fresh look at what's on offer i still mantain the Panasonic it still tops.
But i would ask Neil to fill in with his thoughts on what looked the best, as he has the sharp-PIoneer clone.
Right thats it!
I'm having a beer and maybe some sleep as it been a couple of days now!
Just a quick screenshot requested by Messiah concerning detail levels and lack of "image" in a CRT picture etc.
Picture taken witha a standard 35mm instant camera and then scanned with an Umax flatbed scanner.
Projector BarcoData 808s (17,500 hours on chassis)
Quadscan Elite scaler
Pioneer 737 DVD player
Matt white painted wall
Well, I have to say that the Panasonic certainly looked a better picture at the show. Better colours, whites were whiter, blacks were blacker. But......
I didn't like, and couldn't live with the screen flicker on the Panasonic. Don't know what it was but the Pioneer was rock solid, as mine is.
I have setup my plasma with Avia and my whites are white and blacks are black and I love my screen even after seeing the Panasonic today
My guess is that the default factory setup is better on the Panasonic than the Pioneer and as the AV-Sales guys had not tweaked them then that would explain why. Put it this way, I would not swap my Pioneer clone (Sharp) for a Panasonic but if the Panasonic had not had the screen flicker I would have bought it I didn't know the Pioneer needed tweaking (as many potential purchasers wouldn't)
Oh, and I was very surprised by how good the Relisys plasma looked considering it is half the price of the Pioneer. Wow!
Great reading, well I cant buy NEC. 75% of what I watch will be DVD,s and with the quality going less in that mode isnt worth me buying that(brightness-important to me for quality).
Looking more like Panasonic, good prioce and good quality for the price. Cant understand if epson is so much dearer it must have better qualities than that. Do you think as said that the true quality was not set up with each projector?
Panasonic or Epson?
I will have to decide one day, thats enough for another day, will I ever buy one.
All the best,
Excuse me saying this but you will be absolutely bonkers if you buy the Epson or Panny over the NEC. I'm not sure what you mean about the qualkity being less for DVDs. Less than what?
The resolution is still higher than the res of the DVD and in fact for PAL discs it matches the DVD res perfectly 576 horizontal lines.
The HT1000 does not reduce the quality of the film in any way, it's just that it only uses the 16:9 portion of the panel.
No different than if the HS10 had a 1366 x 1018 (4:3 panel) but only used 1366 x 768 to display 16:9 DVDs.
Does this teherfore mean that you would not buy a 16:9 panel pj to watcgh 2.35:1 films cos that will work in the same way in that not all the panel will be used. Had they stuck a 1024 x 576 (16:9) panel in the NEC would you have bought it then.
I say again that if you buy the Panny or Epson over the NEC then you will be the loser as you will end up watching a poorer picture by far. Don't go by specs, go and see one and I guarantee you will buy one.
Neil and Paul,
Your findings on the Z1 Vs. AE300 are interesting, considering that they both sport similar panel sizes it would appear that the Panny "Smoothscreen" technology makes a significant difference.
Also intrigued by the classification of the HT1000 - I've never seen dlp so can't make judgements about rainbows, but I think having a look at one of these has to be on the "upgrade-path" menu.
Seems like I missed a great chance to see a lot of kit in one place - Vexorg had planned a quick "hop" to the Uk and I had intended to tag along for fun.... Family committments meant staying at home - 8 year old daughter had a big day today !!!!!!
Once again, Thanks a million for such excellent descriptions, Paul, that screenshot is mouth-watering !!!!!
All the best,
I agree that the Relisys plasma may be a new budget contender!
It was both bright and had good black level.
But it was setup wrong, having a very blue tint to the picture.
It also needed the brightness turning up a notch.
If somebody who's going tomorrow could check these little adustments and check for banding etc.
It gave a similiar picture to the Pioneer, but the whites seemed whiter due to the blue push etc.
The price being quoted INCLUDED the speakers and stand!
Also although i never mentioned it before i did actually like the image from the new Fujitsu. It was nice and bright, and maybe with a little tweaking it could better the Pannys picture IMHO!
Also i forgot to mention that the Panasonic had a slight green push!
Both the above colour problems are simple to adjust in the menus.
Sean, if i HAD to pick a digital projector due to space etc. Then i would chose the HT1000, as i could live with it. Yet i prefer the calm picture LCDs give!
That's why there is big hope for Sonys SXRD (LCOS) to deliver on it's promises of high contrast with even less screendoor than DLP!
High Definition panels = 1920x1080
High Contrast estimate = 3000-1
Near zero screendoor
But i will believe it when i see it!
Neil you have misunderstood my thread. What I meant was by reading Pauls(fulabeer) reveiw that when the NEC was put to the 16:9 format the brightness of the picture was reduced to that in 4:3 mode which surely must reduce the quality of the overall picture. And that my main need for a pj is to watch DVD films which is why it will be in 16:9 mode 75% of the time. 4:3 will not be used much. And for my DVD,s is where I will want the picture to be at the highest qualty of whatever pj I FINALLY buy.
To me the picture quality is "in your face" type picture more than one where you wish you could "turn the button higher feeling", sorry about that statement hard to describe what I mean, late at night.
So another scenario then, if the NEC is in 16:9 picture mode with reduced brightness from what it can generate in 4:3 is the overall picture still better than TW100 or AE300? Can you see where I am coming from?
This must surely be the last part of the points I need to know!
You are right, the quoted output for thr HT1000 is showing a 4.3 image.
It did look dimmer than the LCDs around it, but not by much.
What is harder for me to describe to you is the "field depth" or "depth of view"!
With the HT1000 the images had "looking through the window" type of depth, where as the LCDs were much "flatter".
Once you darken the viewing enviroment, this 3D effect it more important than higher brightness.
I understand your reasoning for going for a 16.9 shaped panel, as all the quoted lumens would be showing (except for 2.35 film!).
Maybe one of the higher end 16.9 DLP maybe a better option for you.
As for picture quality, even though the HT1000 is using less pixels in 16.9 mode than say the TW100. The image from the HT1000 still looked far better.
In fact when they put Toy Story on for Neil, i expected the LCDs to leap over the HT1000 DLP in sharpness and colours, but they didn't. I have never seen the toys look so shiny and sharp!
I feel the HT1000 offers flexiblity as well, with it's high/Low power lamp modes plus the added feature of the Iris for when watching really dark films.
What higher end pj would you recomend?
I cant say a price because every time I do I get deeper into the savings. I think my problem after talking to my girlfreind is that if I buy a pj at £4000 or less I am looking for TOO high quality. Whatever one I like and think"thats it" there is a flaw.
It never stops. I could be asking questions and seeing pj,s forever, getting me down a bit now.
The only higher end pj I think about is the MT8. Not many are mentioned here on this forum.
Because I live Wrexham North Wales its hard to get to a store with a good choice of PJ,s.
Anyway thanks for your view, loved to of been there with you and Neil. You would of had sore ears though, good job I wasnt,
The only current pj I would consider over the HT1000 is the MT8. You can pick them up for about £4300. BUT, as I said before, having seen the HT1000 I would find it very hard to justify the £1500 increase over the HT1000. Yes, its better and brighter and, as said previously, if the money is not an issue, then the MT8 would be the one for me.
However, at sub £3k I think the HT1000 is the current king!
could you let me know where you have seen the HT1000 for approx £2800-.
A negotiated deal with a online reseller. You'll need to get your negotiation hat on as deals are out there.
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