Dilemma - Panasonic PT-AE4000 or JVC HD350?

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
Hi guys...

I have a dialemma... A friend has two projectors for sale... A JVC HD350 and a Panasonic PT-AE4000 he want's £600 for each...

Which one would you go for and why?

i understand that it's a blind buy but due to it not being thousands of pounds i'm happy to ride it out on reviews and opinions... but the more the merrier from people that know more than i do about it!!

The general consensus seems to be the HD350 is the hands down winner... althought its over a year older?? I understand it originally had a heftier RRP price than the panny 4000 but is it that much better?

Are both a good buy for £500?

Does anyone have a better suggestion that blows both out the water for £600-700 2nd hand?

Any info would be awesome! I'm open to be swayed!
 
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kbfern

Distinguished Member
HD350 for sure, it has a much better quality image and has much better blacks as long as you have a decent light controlled room.

As long as the lamp hours are more or less the same I would go for the 350, at £500 it is a great pj and a bit of a bargain.
 

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
Thanks for the input! To be honest... The room isn't particularly well prepared... I can achieve total darkeness in the room and the walls are off white... I don't know whether this is good or bad tbh!

Would my above room description have any impact on the choice?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Not really both will benefit from a fully darkened room and conversely suffer from rooms with less than ideal conditions (light coloured walls). The 350 will still be the better choice.
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
Hi - I wnet through a similar decision a while back about either looking at the Panny 4000 or the JVC HD350. I went with the JVC, got a reasonable price at the time on the classifieds here. For the money you are talking about its a no brainer for the JVC.

What attracted me to the Panasonic was the memory lens function which would be really useful for 2:35:1 screens as well as the auto masking of the black bars. The JVC doesn't have a lens memeory function, but it is an electronic lens so you can do it manually if you do have a 2:35:1 screen. I never got a scope screen in the end so was not an issue for me.

If it was just a straight picture quality shoot out then I suspect the JVC will win, I've never seen a Panny 4000 in action but the general consensus on here and reviews is that the JVC is better.

My room is not ideal either but at night the picture is great, and the blacks are so much better than my previous LCD projector. Just have a think about placement, zoom capabilties etc. and check whether the Panny is any better for you if those are important? All things being equal I suspect the JVC is better ! But if you'vce never had a projector before and you're talking about the money being suggested for these machines I think you'll love either !!
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I've already discussed this via PM with the OP*, but one thing I didn't mention is that the HD350 may suffer from the 'magenta stripe' issue as it ages. This would pretty much write it off since a repair would cost more than it would be worth (especially at this low price).

The worst that the AE4000 might suffer is dust blobs, which could at least be fixed by the owner and a can of compressed air.

So as usual, it is a bit of a gamble: Do you go for the better blacks of the HD350 or the less risky AE4000?

Considering that these projectors are down to maybe 1/6 of their original price, then as I've previously argued on these forums, you can't really expect more than 1/6 lifetime out of them. So maybe if you get a year out of either then you've had your money's worth and anything else is a bonus? If you do suffer the magenta stripe issue with a HD350 at least you can use the built in masking option (2.5% or 5%) to 'trim' this off the edge of the screen and just zoom a little more.

Just a few points to throw into the mix.

* I'd previously recommended the JVC based on picture quality via some PMs we'd exchanged.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Stripe issue is due to the optical block going faulty but is not such a costly problem as it was. I understand JVC now have the required blocks and a replacement should be less than £300 IIRC.

Just check the pj over and you should be Ok, second hand pj's always are a bit of a gamble but as Kelvin said you are down to a sixth of the price so not so bad if you get 12-18 months out of it, probably longer if you are lucky.
 

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
That's great info... Is there a checklist i should consider when viewing the projecting? Things to look for or test for? Or will any issues simply be glaringly obvious?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
If it projects a bright even image with good natural colours (not overblown) look in the corners for any dimming or out of focus.

Bear in mind that bright image needs to be in a dark room not during the day with curtains open as any pj will look rubbish under those circumstances. Find out how many hours the pj has done (the owner should be able to display that on screen).

You should be suitably impressed as if it's shown to you on a 100" screen or thereabouts most folks are:eek::eek::thumbsup::thumbsup: when they see a decent pj for the first time.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
For £700 you could get a new Optoma HD131x 1080p 3D projector with warranty but the HD350 will look much better to the experienced pj owner. The 131x would have a much brighter and vibrant image and can do 3D but the HD350 will have more shadow detail and better blacks and a more film like image.

The 131x is a DLP machine and can to some folks give off what are know as rainbows due to the colour wheel technology so if you were to consider one of those get a demo first.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
If it projects a bright even image with good natural colours (not overblown)

Be aware that the HD350 tends to have over saturated colours anyway, so don't be surprised if greens look a touch 'neon' and reds a bit strong.

However, if the AE4000 is used in a suitably bright mode (such as 'Normal' ) then the colours aren't that accurate either. Only the Colour 1 mode on the '4000 is reasonably accurate out of the box (though this will have drifted anyway with lamp age) but it uses an internal filter which cuts light levels to below those of the '350.

If you've never seen a home cinema projector before, then it might be worth seeing if there is a local forum member who will show you their set up. Otherwise there is a chance that you'll be too impressed just because the screen is big and might overlook any faults with the used projectors.
 

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
kbfern = I'll look into the Opoma HD131x... is it possible to get close to the HD350 black levels?

Donnacha = Yup, this will be my first.... just want as much bang for the buck as possible to be honest... I have a few options and no one i know has one for me to demo... Im a bit reluctant to go to the shops to make comparisons as my budget only permits 3-4 yr old 2nd hand models.

Kelvin = Thanks for all your info you've been really helpful... The chap has just dropped the price by £50 on the 4000 over the HD350.. i dont know whether i'd be better served finding a solid 2nd hand newer and 3d model for round £700 ish or not than taking the hd350 or panny 4000... :(

So to confirm - It's

Panny 4000 = £550
HD350 = £600
Alternative = up to £750...

What do you think?
 
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kbfern

Distinguished Member
You won't get JVC black levels with anything other than a JVC machine, they are famous for it. Having said that to get the better black levels you will need a batcave type room to get the darkest blacks.
 

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
incoming newb question........ "What defines a batcave?" ;)

A perfectly blacked out room? I have velvet curtains on all windows... Will that cut it?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
A blacked out room i.e. a room with no external light getting in is not a true batcave in the a/v sense. A batcave needs black or very dark colored walls/ceiling/floors and furniture.

You would be surprised how much light gets into a room on a sunny day. I have just had my pj on and I have blackout curtains and darkish walls but a white ceiling and there was still light getting in the room.

At night no light comes into the room and my darker walls help but the ceiling knocks back the black levels a bit, if I had light walls it would be even worse as light goes from the pj to the screen then bounces back onto the walls and if they are not dark enough it will light the room up.

Is your mate who is selling the pj's local if so go take a look at his set up and see what you think if you were near me I would be happy to show you my set up but you are a long way away.

See my link below to show you the colour of my walls they used to be magnolia and when i painted them darker it made quite a difference. I also got another big improvement when I added a black velvet mask to my screen which eliminated the grey bars you can get with some movies if you are watching a movie with a different aspect ratio to your screen aspect ratio this made a huge difference to perceived black levels.

So every little thing you do can have a big difference to your movie watching experience but you have to be willing to go the extra mile to get there in the end.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/projectors/1673307-screen-no-screen.html
 

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
Thanks for the info... I've been asking myself the same question today.... screen or white wall!

Hmmmm well im leaning towards the JVC at the moment....

can anyone chime and conclude whether they think i can get a picture to rival the JVC and throw 3D into the mix for my budget of £750 2nd hand?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
Thanks for the confirming! i'll stop holding out for one! :(

I was just doing a spec to spec comparison of the panasonic ae4000 vs jvc hd350 and noticed that theres a LOT of difference on paper... can someone explain why the JVC is still the better buy for £50 more?

JVC
--------------
1000 lumens
30,000:1


Panasonic
---------------
1600 lumens
100,000:1
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
The lumens of the Panny are in brightest mode and when you use a cinema preset or calibrate it the 350 will be brighter as Kelvin will confirm.

Also the CR on the 350 is a native 30000 where the AE4000 would be nearer 5000, Kelvin has owned both and will confirm the 350 beats the 4000 on both counts.Don't always believe specs on paper they can be very deceptive.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
By the way have you determined yet how many hours these machines have done and are they still on their first bulb.
 

phoenix_rising

Standard Member
Was that a typo or do you think that the panasonic's real contrast ratio would be closer too 5000:1?

Bulb life is about 800 hours on both i think... 1st bulb.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member

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