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My thoughts on my newly acquired AE-100

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Sigismund, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Hi all :)

    Thought I'd share my experiences of becomming a new projector owner, having recently bought Trojan's Panasonic AE100 and 90" pull down screen :cool:

    I'm quite impressed... but I immmediately hanker after something more modern and even more impressive! With Xmas on it's way, who knows... :)

    Anyway, I've put a shelf up above the doorway into my living room, sat the AE100 on it and beamed an image across the room (approx 11') onto the screen. I recently bought a Pioneer DV-575 for progressive scan duties through component... and the image was reasonably good, with colours especially being quite vibrant and solid. Vertical banding is sometimes apparent, with scenes showing solid colour, but it's not as bad as I was half expecting!

    As I'm sure is the norm around here, on go all the usual demo DVDs - Jurassic Park Superbit, T2 Estreme etc. and it's immediately clear what a difference a good transfer makes - so much easier to see when compared to viewing movies on my 36" Tosh... reviewing DVDs will take on a whole new dimension, which is good!

    Some time ago I had reason to return a Bruce Lee collection DVD set to Yes Asia and received a credit, which I used to purchase a Giec GK-3900 DVD player (I'm not exactly sure why! During the process of moving my gear around, though, I discovered that it had a VGA output. A quick switcheroo and this connection gave an even better image - smoother and even more solid looking, with VB slightly less noticeable. There's also more picture tweaking available, now!

    With a newly acquired 10m S-Video cable connecting Sky Plus to the projector the Ryder Cup and World Cup qualifiers will take on a whole new, hitherto unexplored, experience :)

    For around £450.00 all in (for projector, 90" screen, cables, shelf and brackets) I am a very happy chappie. Like I said, though, Hitacji TX-100s, Sanyo Z2s, Panasonic AE300/500s all start to look so much more desirable to me, now... but for the money I've spent I can't believe how good the movie experience that's available. Anyone sitting on that should I/shouldn't I buy a projector fence, my advice would be... jump in at the deep end - if nothing else you'll be able to share stories of VBs and rainbows with all your mates here at the AVForums!

    A big THANK YOU to Trojan for allowing me to see the light ;)

    Sigs
     
  2. Darwock

    Darwock
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    Was vertical banding more apparent on the earlier models of Panasonic proector or is it consistent throughout the range?
     
  3. theritz

    theritz
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    Sigismund,

    Glad you're happy with your new toy...... it still stands up very well. If you have a pc you should give 1:1 pixel matching a whirl (details in the FAQ, IIRC), even if it's just for interest - the difference in dvd playing performance for me is unbeatable. Entry into frontprojection for that price is a real bargain, I hope you get lots of fun out of it.

    Darwock,

    Different LCD projectors can suffer from VB..... I have some Fixed Panel Noise on my AE100, but no VB and have seen AE100s with fairly marked VB, so it's not a consistent issue across makes or individual models. The Hitachi TX100 I demo'd had very obvious VB and FPN, sufficient to deter me from buying one. With the disclosure of service menu access I'm now tempted to re-visit to demo through hcpc.

    Sean.
     
  4. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Hi Sean :)

    I'm tempted to connect my PC to the Panny, but having read a little about pixel matching I'm not sure I'm up to it!! Now, you may realize from my next question that I am a true newbie as far as projectors and PCs are concerned, but this pixel matching... is it linked in any way to the Dot Clock and Clock Phase? I can adjust those settings (the DVD player "Mode" is Wide 480) although I haven't touched them yet as I don't really know what they do :eek:

    I've now connected the Hoya filter that Trojan threw in, and adjusted colour and picture settings, and this has improved things even more... where will it end? :D

    Sigs
     
  5. theritz

    theritz
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    Sigs,

    Pixel matching is setting up your computer to output a display resolution which perfectly matches the resolution of the display device - for non-standard resolutions you use a program (trial version free off the web) called Powerstrip. The details of how to do this for the AE100 are in This Thread look for Hoglet's post - no. 4 in the thread. As I say, it's worth trying out...... 1:1 pixel matched is the AE100's favourite food :smashin:

    Sean.
     
  6. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Thanks Sean. I downloaded Powerstrip, followed the instructions you linked to, disonnected my DVD player and was about to unplug my computer and link it to the Panny... when I realised I didn't have a 5.1 digital output on my PC :rolleyes:

    I think I'll leave things as they are for the time being, until I upgrade the AE100 to something with DVi and then get a new graphics card to suit... or perhaps even build a dedicated HTPC :cool:

    Cheers mate,

    Mark
     
  7. theritz

    theritz
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    Mark,

    ....... Lol.....

    Look, you could hook it up from the normal stereo feed out of the pc to your receiver and have Prologic II or whatever......I had things that way for ages before upgrading my sound. The dvd player would need to be something very special indeed to outclass a pc and AE100 matched up together.......

    One way or another I hope you get lots of fun out of your newest addition - it really puts that extra "something" into movie watching for me..... :smashin:



    Sean.
     
  8. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I have had a second hand AE100 for a few weeks now. I have been impressed. I am using a pull down screen that can create a 80" 16:9 image.

    I am using a Ebench KH777 player. It produces an excellent progressive signal especially as it only cost me £30. However, the drive is crap and it has problems with some DVD's. The films also freeze every now and then. I am thinking of replacing it with a Sony DVD-NS585.

    Is that Hoya filter to improve blacks? I read about it on these forums but cannot find it again.
     
  9. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    theritz - I did think about connecting up to stereo outs, but as I review DVDs for Total DVD and the forums I thought that was a no-no ;) The image I'm getting from my Giek 3900 is pretty decent, though :cool:

    nwgarratt - here's a link to some info on the Hoya filter. I think it boosts the red output from the projected image, as well as darkening it slightly and improving contrast levels. Link

    As for DVD players... I'm not sure how much that Sony costs, or how good it is, but I bought a Pioneer DV-575 to go with my AE100 and thought the picture was very decent... then I moved this Giec 3900 I had lying around and noticed it had a VGA out socket. In my opinion this gives an even nore "filmic" image. It's not much to look at, but if you fancy having a look here's a link... Giec 3900 It costs about £95.00 inc. delivery :)

    Sigs
     
  10. LTJ

    LTJ
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    Sigismund. I've used the Panny 100 for 18 months. Initially with the iscan pro with great results. I have to say though that since trying pixel-mapping and a recently acquired sweetspot card used with descaler that HTPC is the way to go. It's a huge,huge leap over the Iscan pro. Problem with HTPC is it is very complex and confusing when starting off. I believe there are many out there who find the task daunting. It's a shame there seems to be no service offered by anyone to set these things up.
    To finish my panny is still going strong, despite some self inflicted disasters. Using sky rgb out into the sweetspotcapture card -dscaler and pixel mapping results are very good. Last night I actually was able to have the pc to myself (told my son to go back to his mothers for a change)to try and improve the set up via some test images. Eventually the image was looking absolutely superb (of course setting up involves the pc and the panny)
    I have to say that without this forum I would still be back in the dark ages.
    I have a dedicated pc now on it's way and will soon be looking for a new PJ.
    It just never stops!
     
  11. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    God, not only is Mylo PMing me just so he can have a laugh at my expense just 'cos I made a typo in a DVD review thread title, but now I feel I'm being "ganged up" on 'cos I haven't gotten around to setting my AE100 up with my PC :devil:

    OK, OK I'll do it :D But as you say LTJ, it does seem a little daunting this pixel mapping lark - especially as I now have to use a "sweetspot card" as well ;)

    First thing I'm gonna do is order a new graphics card. I guess two DVi outs (that also output VGA?) is a good start... any ideas what cards are available at a good price?

    Then I'll buy a long DVi lead (do they output VGA as well or would I need an adaptor?).

    If you guys can "talk me through" the setting up of everything I would really appreciate it :smashin:

    LTJ - I'm with you - I, too, would be back in the Dark Ages without this forum... I would have been a much wealthier Dark Ager, though :D

    Sigs
     
  12. LTJ

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    Sorry Sigismund. I wasn't my intention to put pressure on you. The PC route is bleedin arduous and cruel unless you have help. Take that pixel mapping stuff. I'd tried before on my old pc amd900 geforce mx200 and just gave up. Couple of years on new pc amd3000xp geforce 5600 graphics, again I read some stuff from various contributors and think why not! So I have another bash and it was only with hoglet's pivotal post in which he clearly gives instructions with the settings that I finally cracked it. Even so, that wasn't total plain sailing. Anyhow once I'd tried it with my current spec set up and was very impressed by the results I delved further on the HTPC forums and saw the potential for feeding in sky into a video capture card and then using dscaler and so on. even that wasn't immediate nirvana as you really have to start to understand the dscaler settings and those of your pj. I almost went to SDI with Ian Johnston over on HTPC forum but that fell through but Ian was extremely helpfull. Anyhow for now I'm very happy with my current set up but the fever is starting to rise, what if I now upgraded the panny? and so on.
    So Sigismund the pressure arises from such revelatory results which leave you thinking how many others are missing out on this?
    The part about expenditure is true but IMHO we've never had it so good for home cinema. The PJ's are getting better and as the Americans say "bang for buck" improving all the time. The PC route although initially complicated once started offers so much potential and again increasing "bang for buck"

    Sigismund I live in SE London if you are near I'd be more than willing to help you set up with the limited experience I've gleaned so far.
     
  13. LTJ

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    Sorry Sig? Should have mentioned it I've ordered a 128MB ATI SAPPHIRE RADEON 9600XT DDR DVI+TV-OUT £111.57 .Apparently 128mb is just fine and I've seen many HTPC users go for this range. Have to say though my current Geforce 256mb 5600 is fantastic for the job.

    Apologies to all the moderators as this post is leaning heavily towards the HTPC forum. It's bloody dificult some times as the set ups are covering so many aspects and features. I'll get back on track now.
     
  14. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Thanks for that LTJ - your offer of assistance is much appreciated and I have a feeling I'm gonna need it! :smashin:

    The "pressure" doesn't really come from you guys... well, it sort of does, but as always via the wife :blush: "Money, money, money :nono: ", she says!

    This time I'm determined to think ahead, though. I'm sure that as soon as I've got the AE100 running through my computer I'm gonna think, "Wow, just how much better could things be with a PannyAE500?!" and I want to make sure I don't buy bits and pieces that will immediately be "antiquated"!

    Cheers mate... Oh, I've just remebered - I'm gonna need an audio card as well, aren't I? :rolleyes:

    Sigs
     
  15. LTJ

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  16. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Will do :smashin:
     
  17. LTJ

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    Sorry mods and Sig here i go again. I should have read your posts more thoroughly . You only need the sweetspot card if you want to feed in sky or some other source. For pure dvd playback you just need powerstrip and a PC that has a dvd player plus the DVD software such as Power DVD and your away.
     

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