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Disappointed by the AE900

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Jonny1973, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Jonny1973

    Jonny1973
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    Is anyone else disappointed by the picture quality of the AE900?? I've had an AE100 for 3 years and loved every minute with it but felt it was time to upgrade with HDTV just around the corner. The mounting plate for my ceiling mount are the same for the AE900 as my old AE100 so the AE900 looked like the perfect upgrade.

    I got mine from Discount TV on Tuesday, since then I been playing around with lots of different sources including my Harman Kardon DVD-25 (480p via component) and my PC running at 1280x720 (720p) using WinDVD 7. So far I haven't really been gobsmacked by the picture and I haven't felt the need to show it off to anyone.

    The picture quality is a big let down. Sure, the contrast is greatly improved, there's zero SDE and it is quieter but the picture is so blurred that I get eye strain. I bought a HD ready projector so that HD material would be pin sharp which it isn't with the AE900. Even the PC desktop at it's "sharpest" is still blurred.

    If this is what SmoothScreen technology does then why bother??? It has the same effect as smearing vaseline on the lens. No wonder other manufacturers haven't tried to copy it. I'd choose SDE over a blurred picture any day.

    If you are interested in the AE900 make sure you see a demo. Don't make the £1300 mistake that I did.

    :mad:
     
  2. xavster

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    I think it's great (slight vb aside!). Admittedly it is my first pj.
    Hi-def looks amazing at 1280x720. It's a great toy!
     
  3. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Cant you turn smoothscreen off on the Panasonics?
     
  4. Spacecat

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    i am considering upgrading my PJ (4 year old Tosh which i still really love to use and still really enjoy the picture quality).

    I havent really demoed anything else since and I wonder how much better all these new models really are, esp if they still have VBs!!
     
  5. Jonny1973

    Jonny1973
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    No, inzaman you can't. The smooth screen must be like a frosted lense between the panels the adjustable focus lense.

    On the 80" screen, no matter how much I adjust the focus I can't get it pin sharp. I can't see any pixel structure on mine even from under 1 foot away from the screen. From that distance the pixels are so out of focus they merge together.
     
  6. DEANO-B

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    The Panny 700 is sharp. In fact it's so sharp projector central said it was sharper than the Z3. I have my PC through the 700 via VGA and have no complaints (apart from the fact damn Panasonic are still repairing it! :mad: ). Could it be your connections. Also after 70-100 hours they do get sharper!
     
  7. Jonny1973

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    I've been thinking about my connections also.

    My PC connection uses a 15m VGA cable from Lindy. Maybe this was OK for 480p but maybe 720p requires a better quality cable.

    Also considering buying a HDMI scaling DVD player. My Shuttle PC is noisey and usually lives in the study.

    I'm gonna have another go with my PC tonight and watch Revenge of the Sith.
     
  8. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    I thought the ae700 looked less sharp the the ae300
     
  9. Penfold73

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    Jonny1973 you can send it back for a full refund as long as you do it within 7 days. Get on the phone tomorrow and tell them it's not what you wanted, and you would like to send it back. As far as I am aware they have to take it back and give you a refund.
     
  10. sainthalo

    sainthalo
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    Lindy cables are pretty darn good - i doubt its the cable unless its visibly damaged.

    Not much comfort to you Jonny but my z3.5 is pin sharp - ive been told its too sharp by some so i have it on -2 sharpness but i have no complaints with it.

    This unit i understand also has VB? May be best to do a return - if you're thinking along those lines then decide this weekend and act immediately to reject it.
     
  11. PJTX100

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    Do the menus look sharp? If they do and the DVDs don't then it could be connections, if not then it's either a duff unit or you need to get a unit without smoothscreen...PJ
     
  12. Ekko Star

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    I know what you mean. When I went from my AE100 to the AE500 I didn't like smoothscreen at all. I think the AE300 was the last Panasonic mdoel without smoothscreen.

    All it appears to do is slightly defocus the image, which you can do anyway for yourself.

    However, I think since you have taken the step up from low res panel like on the AE100 to a HD capable one on the 900 the density of pixels and scaling involved will soften the image down as well.

    I think therefore your problem is twofold, one is the getting used to smoothscreen and the other is getting the scaling spot on to native res on the 900.

    Smoothscreen was not liked by all when Panasonic introduced it. In actual fact it opened up the door to the Sanyo's in someway for those people that preferred a razor sharp image.
     
  13. PJTX100

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    I can't understand why they persist with it especially now with the D5 panels.

    I like sharp pics and it's because of this reason, not the service worries, that my next PJ is very unlikely to be a Panasonic.

    People may say the Pannys look sharp anyway but I suspect if you put the 700/900 side-by-side with the Hitachi or Sanyo you'd realise what the compromise was for smudging those pixels...PJ
     
  14. Jonny1973

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    I don't think the PJs faulty. The panny's menus look OK, although they aren't pin sharp from close up.
     
  15. gingercat

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    Wonder if you could void your warranty, open it up and remove the "smoothscreen" filter/picture destroyer?
     
  16. Jonny1973

    Jonny1973
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    I've also seen some VB which I thought was supposed to be fixed with the new Epson D5 panels.
     
  17. eugdog2

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    It is the noise and graininess of the picture on a AE900 that annoys me. I do not think you will have a problem with sharpness on a HDMI DVD player. Infact I find it too sharp on my NEC DLP projector

    I am beginning to like my AE900 more now but I know it could be a lot better.

    It is so annoying we cannot compare projectors in the shop - we are all dependant on reveiwers. I would have loved to seen the Sharp Z4! In the end I just tossed a coin!
     
  18. cyberheater

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    You can only send it back if it's in a resaleable state. In other words basically unopened. If you clock any hours on the PJ then it's used and can't be returned under the distance selling act.
     
  19. Penfold73

    Penfold73
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    It's a slightly grey area, as in order to inspect the goods you do have to open them and possibly try them out to see if they did what you expected them to do. And you do have the right to inspect the goods.
     
  20. sainthalo

    sainthalo
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    Hi Cyber, the OP should state this is a faulty unit and the consumer can then reject it as such for a full refund. It does have VB as well as the problem mentioned here.
     
  21. sainthalo

    sainthalo
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    AE900 review comparisons:

    http://www.ausmedia.com.au/panasonic_ae700_vs_ae900_review.htm

    [font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif] SANYO Z2.. This first thing we noticed was it's sharper than either Panasonic however close up you can
    see the pixel structure. From normal viewing distances it's not an issue.
    [/font]
     
  22. cyberheater

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    The more I look into this area the more grey it is.

    Is does seem that you can use the item and if not happy return it. I'm not sure how this applies to projectors though.
     
  23. Jonny1973

    Jonny1973
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    I'll get in touch with Benji at Discount TV tomorrow.
     
  24. Jonny1973

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    You can't really trust their reviews since they sell the AE900. If you shrink a blurred photo small enough, it will look sharp.
     
  25. Kramer

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    So it doesn't look like it's faulty.........but,

    :confused: :D
     
  26. sainthalo

    sainthalo
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    Healthy cynicim there!

    The only reviews of projectors you can trust are:

    1) your own
    2) other individual forum members - when there is a mass of opinion
     
  27. Ekko Star

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    and yours alone.....
     
  28. sainthalo

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    ehehe some selective quoting there! :D the thing is jonny posted elsewhere on the forum that this unit has VB - this is a fault in my opinion (although his retailer disagrees) and enitles him to legally reject the unit. the sharpness of a Panny AE900 caused by smoothscreen could be argued as a fault but personally i dont think it is. VB however most consumers would say is a fault.

    jonny - welcome to email me for any help/advice.
     
  29. benji_m

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    Sainthalo,

    Johnny1973 has a contract with us, and chose us to supply the PJ. How any return is handled and what constitutes a fault is none of your business. Your motives could not be clearer if you put 'pathological retailer hater' and 'serial trouble maker' in your signature.

    What evidence from our past 5 years selling PJ's have you to assume that we would deal with the customer in anything but a fair, reasonable and just way - without recourse to the strict letter fo the law.

    Offering legal assistance to a purchaser in persuing a retailer BEFORE the retailer even has notification of any problems is trasparent at best, malicious at worst!

    I have no problems with the OP returning the PJ within limits! It's not what you wanted to hear Sainthalo. Why are you trying to complicate things.

    This AM I have sent Johnny an e-mail, expressing my suprise that he finds this with the AE900, as all the dems I have done it has won hands down. But also telling him he can return the unit for inspection - refund.

    Simple, no fuss :)

    Everyone is happy :smashin:
     
  30. ROne

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    I applaud you for being honest, too many people understandably want to support their expensive purchases with over-enthusiastic - "Just got the ZAEPJX .... WOW", comments.

    It's hard to spend this kind of money and say something bad it.

    Top marks though for the retailer offering to sort it out, this kind of attitude makes me want to purchase from them in future!

    Now do yourself a favour and get a Z4 ;)
     

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