Has the Piano already landed?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by nickane, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. nickane

    nickane
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    OK, so there was a review in HCC (four stars - reasonable) and the word was it would be out in April. But there is no info about it online (possibly because none of the internet stores will bother to stock it as it has a fixed price of £2100 and if there are no discounted prices people will just buy from shops). The Plus website has had no mention of it ( http://www.plus.uk.com ) but then its down at the moment so maybe its being updated (?)

    So, if anyone has seen this pj on sale in England please let me know as I would really like to take a look at it.
     
  2. ian_guinan

    ian_guinan
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    By the time this projector finally lands in these shores we'll all have holographic neural implants and have our movies downloaded direct into our brains from the 4G mobile network.......

    Seriously though, this would have been a hot product if we had got it when the rest of the world did. Now its up against much stiffer competition (eg. Panasonic AE etc) and if they do finally release it it will need to be at a very competitive price point.

    Ask any projector owner how important it is to have a zoom unless you can guarantee that you will never need to move the projector.

    Will the lack of progressive inputs limit your picture quality or do you intend to run this projector from a HTPC with DVI output?

    Will you be able to demo one?

    etc. etc.

    I would have bought one of these 12 months ago on its specs alone, but would be a lot more cautious now. Sorry to sound so cynical!

    If you really would like some fun try getting a straight response from Plus's UK ditributor as to what is happening with this projector...doesn't bode well for future support.

    Regards,
    Ian Guinan
     
  3. Guest

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    This one has been a possible choice for me also! I have been looking here...
    http://www.plushometheater.com/lounge/faqs/pianohe3100faq.htm
    ...but the 2 things that are putting me off are
    1) Only 1000h lamp life (even though lamps are supposed to be cheap)
    2) It will not support a computer resolution of 848x480
     
  4. Guest

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    Hmmn - I've had a Piano since last November. I bought it whilst on assignment in Holland from Grobi in Dusseldorf, Germany. Though Grobi only acted as an intermediary - Plus delivered it from Japan direct to my address in Holland (which btw caused a slight hiccup in Dutch customs).

    You may be able to get them via the Official german website:

    http://piano.plus-vision.com/index.htm

    Not sure if they'll deliver to the UK yet though?

    Yes it doesn't have a zoom lense which could be a problem if you move it about a lot. But once setup in a permanent place how often do you fiddle with the zoom?

    Lamp life is shorter than most of the newer ones coming on the market but I figured I watch maybe 10 hrs / wk so say 2 years worth. By that time I'm reckon I'll have bought a HD2 DLP unit anyway. And, as mentioned above, the lamps are cheap anyway.

    No progressive input - not an issue for me since I have none. The inbuilt Iscan chip gives performance on a par with an outboard Iscan Pro unit which is arguably as good as similar priced offerings from Faroudja etc (in film mode anyway) and those fitted to most all PS dvd players. Plus there are no sync problems since it's designed in.

    Yes, there is a problem addressing the full 848x480 panel via DVI (which is allegedly going to be fixed by a firmware fix later this year / next year). But if you want a 'plug & play' projector that has great performance (read AVS forum and see how few bad reviews it gets) it's worth considering.

    BTW I'm hoping to go along to the AV Sales shootout in a couple of weeks and was going to take it along (I want to see how good it looks via DVI, even at 640x480 stretched).
     
  5. Sykes

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    Have been waiting for what has seemed like an age for the Piano, finally it looks as if it really is going to be released in the UK - Rapesco have said it WILL be mid-May (I know they have promised various dates a 1000 times before but what with the HCC mini-review etc. I believe them for once).

    I almost went with the AE100 but have held back as I just wasn't that impressed with the black level in a well darkened demo room when fed via component (how good is the Piano?? sounds very good). Also although price wise the AE100 looks alot cheaper than the forecast £2100 of the Piano, I would have to also purchase an iScan Pro at £650 to get the same de-interlacing of the Piano so for me there is not much difference price wise even taking into account bulb life etc.

    Although I have trawled AVS forum and posted some questions there ( I mainly got whole hearted positive recommendations for the Piano over the AE100 - surprising as the world now seems AE100 obsessed), I still have a few unanswered questions, hopefully Philip you can answer them:

    1. How does the Piano handle PAL especially r2 DVDs (from component and s-video)?
    2. Similar question here - how is it with TV broadcasts especially from composite or game consoles using composite?
    3. I am only intending to project onto a 48"-60" wide screen (16:9), so how is the brightness, 450 sounds low but in eco mode I understand the AE100 is only 600. Is it watchable in let's say 'twilight' hours ie not pitch black but also not full sun either? Or is it just a completely darkened room job?
    4. What do you think are its good points and bad points? Some people at AVS forum have quoted a Japanese review claiming that on screen size upto 80" wide it is supposedly as good as the Sharp 9000!!
    5. Finally the dreaded question of Rainbows - have you or any of your guests ever had problems, eg headaches, eye strain etc? Have seen hardly any rainbow complaints egarding the Piano with its 4x speed 6 segment wheel. I don't see rainbows on a SIM 250 DM, but i do care about guests!!

    Anyway in case it helps my intended set up is for a 'coffee table' projector ~ 7-8 ft from a 4-5ft wide screen, seating ~ 10-11ft from screen i.e. being a coffee table projector I'll be moving the thing around anyway so a zoom ain't that important!!

    Many thanks

    Sykes
     
  6. Sykes

    Sykes
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    Here's hoping that the Piano launch is imminent!!!

    The Plus UK web site has been out of action for a couple of days now - could this be because Plus UK (Rapesco) are preparing the site for the launch of the legendary Piano and for its Internet distribution as in the USA and Germany???

    (Really hoping they do the 10 day free home trial deal but doubt they will)

    Ohh... but what colour to get?????

    PS Please note that there has been no mention of the AE100.........b*gg*r I just did refer to it
     
  7. Guest

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    Sykes,

    In answer to your questions:

    1) R2 DVD's - well, I buy almost exclusively R1 since I buy from Canada for price / release dates. I also kind of figured that since the dual mode DLP chip was designed with NTSC in mind there would be less chance of scaling artifacts. But to be honest I have not seen any visible difference between R1 and R2 material - they all look very smooth. I only have an S-vid connection at the mo since I'm waiting for JS Techologies to bring out their RGB-Component convertor. I could buy a cheap Tosh player but their latest chip sets aren't as good as their previous models.

    2) Hmnn - don't really know about RGB (via component) since I'm waiting for the JS convertor to use my sky digi box. But on composite it's OK - the picture is soft but that's kind of expected at the size. Haven't used it with my PS1 yet.

    3) Well, obviously total darkness is best but I watched a movie last night at dusk and it was quite watchable. But I find it fine with the curtains closed.

    4) Good points - size/weight: made installation very easy since I didn't need to attach the gyrolock to a joist, just used cavity plugs. Quiet - I demoed a few and it was definately the quietest. Though I think others are probably as good now. Ease of use - out of the box it looks great. I have changed very little even after using Avia. One box solution.
    Bad points - Lack of RGB input. Currently, the only device I know of that converts RGB(SCART) - Component properly costs about 700 quid. There are transcoders around for about 100 - 150 quid but you need to extract sync-signals since they all expect an RGBHV input. And the quality is reportedly not so great. Also no RGBHV input - just DVI. No UK supplier - haven't got a clue where I can get a spare bulb / get it serviced.

    5) Rainbows - identical to all other 6 speed DLP's: if you know what to look for you can see them. Not a single person that's seen it has noticed them. But if you get high contrast highlights and move your eye quickly you can usually see them. But what ever you do, don't read AVS about temporal dither effects on DLPs - I made that mistake.....

    Cheers, Phil.

    Your proposed setup sounds very similar to mine except I have mine ceiling mounted (thanks to Unicol for making up a bracket) so you should have no problems getting a 4-5ft wide screen.
     
  8. Sykes

    Sykes
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    Thanks Phil for all the info, it has been most useful. The balance is now well and truly in favour of the Piano over the AE100, well for my circumstances anyway. Also suits the 'other half', the AE100 is just a bit too ugly to have on the coffee table, at least the Piano comes in a few different colours.

    Have also just heard from a reliable source that the release of the Piano is scheduled for this Wednesday via internet purchase!!!!!! Don't think they have dealers sorted out as yet though.

    I really do hope so.......

    PS Unfortunately I have done far too much reading on the AVS forum, I began to get the impression that 99% of people require hospitilization after viewing a DLP projector for more than 5 minutes.

    Fortunately this does not really appear to be the case. Found it quite funny that one person who had problems with the Piano also got headaches looking at a computer monitor with a refresh rate of less than a 100Hz!! Makes you think....
     
  9. Guest

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    I have seen the Piano, which btw is already for sale here in the Netherlands, and i can tell this:

    1) It looks *very* nice with PAL discs. (pj connected with s-video). Obviously, you lose some lines, but thanks to the excellent scaler/deinterlacer you don't really notice.

    2) Sorry, haven't seen it. Personally i think i wouldn't bother watching analogue TV with a pj. (except of course for sports matchesd etc.) Ever tried to watch the News on a projectors. Those talking heads are scary :eek: .

    3) To bring out full colours and contrast you need to black out the room. (but that goes for every pj in my opinion)

    4) Good points: size, weight, overall picture quality, low noise, the right tradeoffs chosen (for a "cheap"-ish pj) (ie: no zoom (gives a better image), low light output). Image is VERY sharp. Short throw. DVI (which is supposed to give a spectecularly sharp image). Very few problems reported (a few lamps that went at 500-600 hours). No need to fiddle with grey screens of filters. No screendoor at all at 2x screen width. Good Contrast. Relatively deep blacks (also thanks to the lowish light output). Excellent scaler/deinterlacer.

    Bad points: slight rainbows, no VGA, motion artifacts (it had to be pointed out to me, but then I could see it clearly. It doesn't disturb me very much, but be sure you have seen al artifacts before buying the pj.), No zoom (makes placing more difficult). Power cable at the front is a bit awkward. No progressive input (not that you really need it) apart from DVI). Strange marketing concepts form Plus, though (reportedly) good service (at least in Germany). Short lamp life (1000hr), but lamp is relatively cheap at €300. Low light output, so the rooms really needs to be blacked out.

    5) More about rainbows: the rainbows on the Piano are fewer and smaller, compared to data-grade projectors. In fact i saw them only occasionally. Unfortunately some movies are real rainbow generators because of the high contrast scenes. Pitch Black is a prime example. I can almost guarantee you'll see at least some rainbows in this movie. Then again i find them only slightly distracting. The motion artifact however, which is present in slow pans, have a longer duration, and are therefore a bit more distracting in the long run, i suspect. Though the effect is quite subtle, once you know where to look for, you'll see it when it's there.

    In short... I'm going to buy a Piano in a month or so (unless something spectaculary better comes along, which is not bloody likely, i think)
     

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