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Just got a Sony HS1 on loan while Panny is getting repaired

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Anim, Apr 24, 2002.

  1. Anim

    Anim
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    Got a Sony Cin..HS1 on loan from System Sound while my panny is being replaced/repaired and some initial thoughts...

    Unpacked it and it really looks the biz, very stylish.

    Plugged it into the same connections as my panny used which is DVD on SVideo and Sky via Composite.

    Powered it up

    First off my wife said "wow" as the sky TV picture was as good through composite as a normal TV, the text in the menu at the bottom of the screen when changing sky chanels was crystal clear, and the picture was simply much better than my Panny. No noise, no blur, simply great...and thats through composite.

    Iv'e read peoples posts about this PJ saying the picture isnt as good as the panny. Did i have two duff AE100's? maybe thats why both broke on me.

    The fan noise was very quiet, Had to strain to hear it over normal TV viewing.

    So, I must say I was surprised when looking at this and feel a tad embarssed to the wife as I was praising the Panny while plugging this one in :)

    The only down side is:

    Not true widescreen, has widescreen mode like normal 4:3 TV's have.

    Smaller picture from same position in room (about 8 foot away from screen)

    Costs more than a panny and no ceiling mount.

    Why is the composite on the panny utter crap compared to the sony? I mean the panny is almost unwatchable via composite due to the poor image quality wheras the sony is very good.

    Thanks
    Anim
     
  2. Guest

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    So how are movies on the Cineza?
     
  3. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Hmmmmmmmm, you must have the one I had on loan. I posted too about this pj, but I have slight differences of opinion. I think the one you've got on loan is the one I set up in my house. Better than you'd get out of the box.;)

    My thread is about two pages back or so. Called, Didn't touch it, honest, or something like that.
     
  4. Anim

    Anim
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    Ah :)

    Did you lose the remote ? it wasnt in the box.

    Did you test composite?

    Anim
     
  5. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    No I returned the remote. I only used composite on Playstation really. But I'm not a fan of the Sony. After a while, you may get to notice the artificial look to the picture. I didn't like it.

    When I got the Sony, it had 6 hours on the clock. I sent it back with about 70.:rolleyes: So maybe I've just run it in for you.[​IMG]
     
  6. gavan

    gavan
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    It's more the case of 'Panasonic Mania' than widely differing units I think. The Panasonic clearly broke a pricepoint that allowed many people to get into projection. Of course, once you get your first projector you can't help but think that it's the best thing ever. With lots and lots of people getting them and enthusing about them, the Panasonic has built up quite a momentum online.

    As you've discovered, the Panasonic has a really crap video decoder and scaler and deinterlacer unit. This sort of came out through all the posts (witness people raving about building a HTPC in order to bypass it) and the Sony has rather a good one. The thing is that computer units are quite cheap, but when you want to make a good unit for the home cinema user you have to spend time and money making a good composite/s-video stage with good quality scaling and deinterlacing. Sony did a great job making a consumer friendly unit ... the Pansonic really needs a PC to get the best out of it. Not everyone's cup of tea.


    The Sony is also pretty quiet (very important) and ergonomically quite nice (not such a big deal).

    Downsides to the Sony are that you must pay extra for a component or VGA input (proprietary cable) and that it's tricky to ceiling mount. However, you _can_ invert the image and an official ceiling mount is available in other parts of the world so hopefully that won't be an issue too much longer.

    As for the ratio (4:3 vs 16:9), well if you play a lot of videogames then 4:3 is useful to have. Also a lot of the channels available on Sky are broadcast in 4:3. It's not too much of a pain to put up with letterboxing when you've got a huge image anyway. If your primary use is DVD movies though, then 16:9 is an advantage, though the AE100 has quite a lowres panel and doesn't offer that much in the way of extra resolution over the Sony even on 16:9 material.

    Pricewise, the Sony should be at least in the same range to compete. In Switzerland now you can get it for the equivalent of 1400 quid with a screen just about everywhere. I'd guess that Sony UK will lower the price to that level depending on how sales go vs the competition (AE 100).


    Gav
     
  7. Anim

    Anim
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    I have to agree.

    I am now secretly building a HCPC for when my panny gets back as going back to composite will be like a kick in the nads.

    The Sony is a "Out of the box" solution. I have even reccomended it to some friends.

    Problem is, i dont own it and it will go back in a few weeks so I need to get a HCPC sorted rapido.

    But, its pushed me to build a HCPC as I really want to get our LAN on the big screen. I play loads of MMORPG games and use the net every night so it should be a good addition. The wife also plays her jigsaw games on the PC and if she can watch SKY + Talk in MSN + play her games all from the big screen then thats a bonus.

    Anim
     
  8. mattr

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    Just thought I'd add that my AE100 is not quiet. It's about as loud as an average PC, and way louder than my specially quietened PC. It's even louder when not in 'economy' lamp mode. So there's definitely variation in the fans.

    And have fun building an HTPC. Getting the S/PDIF port on my Soundblaster 4.1 digital to chuck out AC3 was not easy. I ended up using WinDVD 3.1 as just ticking the "enable S/PDIF" worked. PowerDVD didn't work and the ATI player doesn't support AC3 output unless you really hack things around by using Zoom player. I don't use Zoom player as it makes the video jerky regardless of which video filter is selected. Bah. Of course, WinDVD has lipsync problems so nothing is perfect.

    Humph :(
     
  9. jonny m

    jonny m
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    Hey matt
    Ive recently got my projector a Eiki clone of sanyo plv-30, and the quality playing via the pc is quite amazing, the screen door effect has almost disappeared, the only problem is that the screen jerks when on panning shots, with powerdvd xp it was really bad, with windvd 3.0/2000 it was alot better but it still made the image kinda unwatchable, Ive not heard of windvd 3.1 but how is the quality with your radeon?

    the test picture I use is the opening scene to armageddon, with the fly past the moon etc, when testing last night with svid from a dvd player the picture was silky smooth but you could really make out the screen door. with the pc there was no screen door but the picture jerked!

    have you checked out the theatretek player?? Ive set them an email to try and get a demo but I might just buy the damm thing to try it.

    Is my problem my gf3 ti 200? would it be fixed with a radeon??

    what do u think?

    J
     
  10. mattr

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    Hi J,

    Well there are lots of things to try for jerkiness. I guess first make sure you use 60Hz refresh rate for NTSC DVDs, then make sure DMA is enable on your DVD drive and make sure it's 'master' on its own channel if possible. Doing that sorted my jerkiness with the ATI player (I hadn't tried PowerDVD or WinDVD at that time).

    So try that first ...

    As to various players picture quality - PowerDVD was worse than ATI as there were lots of noisy 8x8 blocks in flat backgrounds (I mainly used the barbers poll from the start of The Man Who Wasn't There to check them). Haven't really compared WinDVD with either of them. I don't see panning problems so I've not really worried yet !

    Cheers,
    Matt
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Well I have seen both the Sony VPL HS1 and the Panny AE100 this week on demo, albeit in separate countries on neighboring days. My thoughts.

    Sony looks lovely and the ability to site off centre is excellent idea (done by others). £2000 inc screen. Frankly I found the picture really ‘wanting’. I tried all options but inputs are really limited. The picture was lifeless, dull and frankly boring. Don’t rate this machine at all, bettered by most of the cheaper HC projectors I have seen, PLV 30s etc. Seemed expensive. Don’t rate the de-interlacing at all. PLV 30 is much nicer IMHO. Cute but just doesn’t cut it in picture stakes, pity really as it is a projector.

    The Panny was a different kettle of fish. Joe F colleagues entertained me in Edinburgh as Joe was away. I really like the Panny and could see why it has made so many friends. It is CHEAP for what it offers. Colours were good, de-interlacing was not nearly as bad as people were saying. Granted the way to run this machine is with HCPC / PS player / Isan Pro (or other good de-interlacer / scaler) but most will probably be satisfied with it just as it comes. As the introduction to projectors for many new buyers, it does things really well. I like it.

    Screen door was not an issue for me but I have never really been an issue for me with modern HC projectors. Mind you I have never been able to understand much of what has been written on this. Why screen door reduces when using VGA inputs is beyond me. Screen door is the gaps between the pixels. It is a constant for any panel. LCD is worst, then DMD and finally LCOS is best. Aperture ration for LCOS is about 92%, DMD about 85% ish and modern LCD nearer 60% (old LCDs down to 40% where / when screen door was bad). With a given state of technology the aperture ration will be the same whether it is SVGA or wideXGA. It is this lower aperture ratio that bathes the panels with additional light thus reducing the contrast of LCDs.. The AE100 has excellent contrast for a LCD, though DMD and CRT are much better IMHO. I haven’t seen many LCDs look substantially better IMHO It does benefit from a light controlled room as all these devices do.

    To be able to do this at £1400 is a credit to Panny but as well as this projector, they are producing the best plasmas, best LCD TVs and highly regarded TVs (CRT). They must be doing something right.

    Now I just want to see the Plus Piano DLP. Any dealers out there? Gordon? I have been given the name of a local stockist but it is a computer dealer!

    I do detect that people now want to knock this machine for various reasons. Unfortunately this happens (un-fairly?) with all new projectors but on quality (picture quality grounds) it doesn’t deserve it. It is the cheap projector with basic de-interlacing, something that many of us have been campaigning for, for ages.

    What else would I like?

    DVI
    BNCs and
    PAL compatible ‘DM’ device (1024 x 768!) rather than this NTSC one

    but at £1400 they are probably not realistic.

    Now who will demo me that Piano, due mid may, I am told.
     
  12. Peter Webb

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    My experience with the Sony VPL-HS1 is at odds with yours Nic.
    I have not seen the Panasonic in action, but your comments re the Sony's picture quality are very different from my experiences.The Sony has a complete set of video and PC inputs,if you have the correct cables,and whilst it does not de-interlace brilliantly it does scale well.This is proved by use of a progressive DVD player (Toshiba SD900e and Nintaus PDVD-N9769),which I use,or an Iscan,which I haven't tried. Using the region 1 Titanic dvd and progressive component input,image quality is very good with most interlaced artifacts effectively removed and the picture looking smooth and cinematic,and about as far away from dull and lifeless as I could imagine.Dark scenes could generally be improved, however I have found this to be rather dependent on the picure quality of the DVD(ie films like Terminator 2 or Rush Hour with very deep blacks during night scenes look pretty good).
    Screen door is also not a problem using the supplied Sony 60 inch screen.
    Even using the interlaced S-video input and a decent quality disc picture quality could hardly be described as "lifeless dull and boring",though interlaced display artifacts can be distracting once you start noticing them.I bet the Panny is no better though!

    Having said all that,I too would probably have gone for the Panasonic AE100 had it been available at the time I purchased the Sony, for all the reasons mentioned by other people.However I still don't feel as if i'm missing out or at any real disadvantage with the Sony compared to the Panasonic.

    Just wanted to put the record straight from my experience

    regards

    Pete (A happy Sony VPL-HS1 projector owner)

    :D
     
  13. Peter Webb

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    Just a couple of additional points.As i said in my previous post I find picture quality from film source dvds to be more than acceptable,but the Sony does seem to have more trouble displaying a balanced image from video originated material.Many video sourced making of documentaries tend to look rather poor with colours looking very over saturated(large areas of green grass taking on an undefined and over saturated aspect that is impossible to correct with normal menu adustment. Composite off air terrestrial images also look rather mediocre(I don't have satellite or cable TV).

    BUT!,strangely, the demo seqence from the Video Essentials calibration dvd, which contains a number of video originated sequences, looks very good indeed!.It seems the science of producing a good all round and affordable projector remains something of a black art.

    Perhaps the Plus Piano or the new Toshiba MT5 will be THE ONE

    Pete.

    :)
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

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    Fine, I have no problem with that but you do say you haven't seen the AE100

    The extra leads are a pain in the butt and are difficult to use. Sonys often de-interlace indifferently but scale well.

    The best way to run it IMHO

    If you see the panny, there is quite a jump however as you are happy user, don't, just enjoy your Sony.

    It is what I saw. More than one review has said similar things however.

    De-interlacing and black levels / contrast are my bug bears re projectors. This is why I was surprized I liked the Panny and why I still have an interest in the mythical Piano. One will tide me over until I can plug my CRT in to my new AV room.

    On paper the Piano does some things better for me but I need to see it before making a judgement. I do like the idea of SIL de-interlacing (still one of the best I have seen regardless of price) and DVI (I have Tag equipment so all digital is poss) but I need to see how good the rainbows are and the major lack of zoom lense.
     
  15. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    I found the sony disappointing, and a fatiguing image, whereas the panasonic was more natural to me. Both via S-video interlaced.

    Why Sony didn't pop a DRC chip in there is anyones guess. That could easily have leapfrogged them over the panasonic.

    I look forward to the HS-2, almost certainly having a 16:9 panel and DRC, and costing about £2000, in this autumn's Sony lineup (note: speculation on my part)
     
  16. gavan

    gavan
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    I think you hit the nail on the head with the 'out of the box solution' comment.

    The HS1 is set up to be an easy to use plug and play unit, optimised for home cinema and designed to work well with a multitude of HC sources (VCR, sat, videogames as well as DVD).

    The AE100 has a good feature set, is keenly priced and is capable of great results, but isn't really terribly well setup for ease of use. You really need to go to some lengths to get the most out of it, like adding a HTPC.


    Personally, if price was really an issue and I wasn't so bothered with ease of use then I'd look at some computer data projectors paired with a homebuilt HTPC. Computer units tend to be cheaper and 'better specced' (in terms of resolution and light output) than the home cinema models. As it is, I'm happy with the 'consumer-friendly' factor of the Sony.


    Gav
     
  17. richard plumb

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    ..except that its only consumer friendly to people without HCPCs or component equipped DVD players.

    So its more mass market, but not better equipped.

    Perhaps thats OK though - Sony were probably thinking that if you want those kinds of inputs you'll buy an 11WHT
     
  18. gavan

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    I said it was more consumer friendly - which it undoubtably is. I don't recall saying it was 'better equipped', that seems to be a strawman argument that you've just made up. Plus I don't see that it's any less friendly for those wanting to use component or VGA input either - though it will hurt your wallet a little bit more.


    [/QUOTE]
    Perhaps thats OK though - Sony were probably thinking that if you want those kinds of inputs you'll buy an 11WHT
    [/QUOTE]

    If you want inputs for HTPC or Component then you'll pay an extra 80 quid for the appropriate connection cable for the HS1.

    I do think that's a bit of a ripoff, but the HS1 _does_ have that connection capability contrary to what you are implying above.


    As I said, if I wanted a good-spec, cheap home projector setup and wasn't bothered about using a HTPC with the general loss of ease of use, then I'd probably check out some 'data' units and build a system comprising of a HTPC and 'data' projector.


    Gav
     
  19. Peter Webb

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    Nic
    I agree regarding the non standard component/VGA cables on the Sony being much too expensive and rather awkward to use.
    I've not had the DLP experience yet so don't know about my tolerance of the oft mentioned 'rainbows'.There's a small piece about the Piano in this months HCC.Looks interesting,though as you say no zoom :( .The Toshiba MT5 is more expensive but also has decent de-interlacing on board,in this instance from the Sage/Faroudja DCDi chip. DLP again of course.
    Approx half the price of the Sim HT200DM !!

    On the LCD front the new Epson EMP-TW100 and it's forthcoming sibling from Yamaha(model number?) seem worth a look from initial reports,but list prices are up nearer 4k in the UK.

    When I upgrade from the Sony,which will probably be sooner rather than later(the projector bug is already biting hard !),there will no doubt be other tempting propositions,maybe even from Sony themselves.

    Regards,

    Peter.
     
  20. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Gavan

    didn't mean to be misleading, and simply forgot to mention that you can buy an additional box - but it had already been mentioned in the thread.

    But I'm still not enamoured by the Sony's picture, and prefer the panasonic - simple s-video interlaced feed from an old pioneer DV-505.

    I don't own either at the moment.
     

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