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My Z2 impressions

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by zAndy1, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Well had a bit of a chance to play last night, hooked my Philips 963SA up via S-Video and component. Also put the 963SA S-video feed through my PC and used Dscaler to see what that looked like. Also tried the PC using Theatertek connected via DVI at 1:1 pixel mapping i.e. 720p. Getting the 1:1 mapping was a breeze, set the Z2 input 2 to DVI HDCP, connected the PC, went into the display settings and unticked the 'hide resolutions this display doesn't support' or whatever it is box. Then selected 1280 x 720 and that was it.
    So, what was the performance like. Well for a start I'm currently just projecting onto a magnolia painted wall but despite that the picture is perfectly watchable. S-Video from the dvd player was ok, some screendoor or vertical banding (not sure what it is but lines anyway) was visible on lighter scenes but I'm sat approx 9.5 ft from the 'screen', the projector is about the same distance away and on mimimum zoom the image is 65" wide. The DVD player via component was a slight improvement in terms of colour reproduction but I couldn't see much difference in sharpness and the VB/Screendoor was about the same also. The DVD player via the PC using D-Scaler was a definite improvement, much cleaner, skin tones looked much more realistic and a definite reduction in VB/Screendoor (can't explain why!). The icing on the cake was DVD playback using Theatertek, I was completely blown away by this , it was a night and day difference compared to the DVD player S-Video and component. No pixel structure evident, very little VB/screendoor (didn't jump out at me like it did using the s-video/component inputs). Colours were fantastic! Mark Grant of the power buy cables fame was here and he was also impressed by this stage, as he commented 'it's like watching a plasma or normal TV only 6ft wide' and I have to admit that's a good description. Needless to say I will definitely be using my PC and would recommend anyone with this PJ to use a PC or failing that a DVD player that can upscale to 720p and connect via DVI as it is such a leap in PQ that it would be criminal not to do it!
    Hope that helps..

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  2. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    By the way, are there any recommended tweaks in either the factory or service menus e.g. to reduce VB etc? I've seen conflicting reports and am confused as to whether it's item 14 in the service menu or factory menu that can be tweaked to reduce VB, can anyone confirm which it is?

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  3. rob@rar.org.uk

    rob@rar.org.uk
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    Service menu. Certainly did the trick for me.

    Regards

    Rob
     
  4. Wilster

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    Im lucky - cant see any at all. A small ammount of fpn is the only complaint I can make, and I really have to look for it to notice it. Glad to hear all thats needed is the HDCP setting on the pj, and you didnt need to go through hours of frustration like me! Wish I had a standalone DVD player to see how bad it is compared to 720p, got rid of mine before the pj arrived heh
     
  5. Spacecat

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    If you do a search on removing VB or such like you will see that one of the best way to remove VB is via an HTPC.
    I have an MT1 Toshiba 3 years and still going strong and a top projector all round and i managed to get rid of I would say 95% of the cursed VB with an HTPC set up , a Hoya Filter (which realy helped the picture quality as well) and a very very slight defocus
     
  6. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    So service menu item 14, is it something like change from 69 to 81? I'll give it a try and see what difference it makes..

    Cheers,
    Andy.
     
  7. nelius

    nelius
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    Which DVD players can upscale to 720p then?
     
  8. scooter

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    Andy,
    Thanks for your post, interesting read. I have just packed away my Z2 for the night after having watched R2 Monsters Inc all through (daughter wouldn't let me turn it off after a quick demo :zonked:). PJ arrived today :clap: so this was my first exp of the z2.

    connections: my comp cable hasn't turned up yet so I was forced to use the composite cable supplied :frown:

    screen: projecting on blackout blind (temporary measure) with image of approx 5'5 (limited by composite cable length). My planned image size is in region 6' - 7', tbd with more testing.

    thoughts: well the lens shift works a treat & I immediately put into low lamp mode, though I was a little surprised that I could still notice the fan. I should qualify this by saying that my son was in bed & I had the vol. turned down v. low (-45dB). Still a vast improvement over high lamp :smile:

    As you would expect image quality was grainy (even the missus commented when she came in - I quickly pointed out that a new prog scan player would help here, he he :lesson:) Hopefully comp cables will turn up tomorrow.

    VB: Nothing to note at first, however I did occasionally pick up faint traces on solid grey background. Shortly after I attempted to stop & try U571 but daughter intervened so re-started. Whats this ? MAJOR horizontal banding had appeared :mad: camera pans out - it was a scene where a tv report is playing & the HB is replicated to simulate a TV screen - all is fine :big grin:

    colour: I found this vibrant but a touch on the red side - oft commented previously. Will check out service menu when I pluck up courage.

    After having read your HTPC comments I am half tempted to look into this. Are you using it a simple slave scaler unit or is it full on PC ? I think I'd need a simple turn on & boot-up for the missus or it'll be down the 720P DVI DVD player route (samsung 935 ??).

    Will post again when had a chance to check out comp connections.
    Neil.

    PS. should point out this is my first PJ.
     
  9. WeirdFish

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    :blush: Yeh I got caught with that too :blush:
     
  10. Cool-hand

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    I noticed someone had the Samsung only a short while before selling on this forum which makes me think perhaps its not up to the task. I never took the time to ask then but would be interested to hear other peoples/935 users comments.

    CH
     
  11. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I think Army Bloke is selling his Brainwave 880 (Momitsu clone) and that does 720 and 1080 via component. Look in the classifieds.

    Gary.
     
  12. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    I use my PC for DVD playback using Theatertek and for video capture using a PB TV100 capture card and then use DScaler, can run Sky+ and the x-box through the PC in this way although I haven't tried them yet but suspect the results will be pleasing! The best thing about the pc route is it doesn't have to cost the earth, £600 should get you a perfectly functional one, it might not look as nice as one in an LMP case but one step at a time....
    Would recommend Abit IC7 motherboard, P4 2.4C CPU, 512MB DDR Ram, Radeon 9600 fanless graphics card, Antec sonata is a nice quiet case but it isn't a desktop case so if you want to put it on a shelf on a rack it you're stuffed. HTPC isn't easy, I won't pretend it is, especially as far as the user friendliness is concerned. One of the DVI DVD players will yield good results and a definite improvement over s-video or even component 480p/625p. The momitsu V880 or brainwave v880 are cheap enough to experiment with, build quality isn't fantastic though!

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  13. fred123go

    fred123go
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    for those of you who tweaked the service menus what did you change nm 14 to reduce vertical banding?
    cheers
    fred
     
  14. uczmeg

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    Bearing in mind that every Z2 is going to be a little different, below are the settings I got off a thread on AVS for a caliberated Z2.

    I would STRONGLY suggest noting down the original settings when messing with service and factory menus. I have no idea how to get into those menus, but I'm sure someone does...

    Service Menu Settings
    ==================

    Service Menu - Input 1 DVD Component Video

    Item/ Out of Box/ Calibrated
    1 52 58
    2 51 60
    3 52 60
    4 0 0
    5 0 0
    6 0 0
    7 503 480
    8 499 499
    9 498 498
    10 138 138
    11 137 137
    12 137 137
    13 75 75
    14 75 80
    15 75 75
    16 540 540
    17 582 582
    18 515 515


    Service Menu - Input 2 DVI 720p

    Item/ Out of Box/ Calibrated
    1 52 58
    2 51 60
    3 52 60
    4 0 0
    5 0 0
    6 0 0
    7 490 490
    8 490 490
    9 490 490
    10 138 138
    11 137 137
    12 137 137
    13 75 75
    14 75 80
    15 75 75
    16 530 530
    17 568 568
    18 502 502


    Factory Menu Settings
    ===================

    Item/ Out of Box/ Calibrated
    14 2 3 (fix for VB)


    User Menu Settings (Same for All Inputs)
    ================================
    Contrast 0
    Brightness 0
    Color 0
    Tint 0
    Color Temp Mid
    Red 0
    Green 0
    Blue 0
    Sharpness -5
    Gamma 0
    Auto Grayscale Off

    IRIS: 50% open
    Lamp Hours: 75
     
  15. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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  16. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Herein lies my confusion, one minute it's item 14 in the service menu the next it's item 14 in the factory menu! Which one is it?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  17. uczmeg

    uczmeg
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    Apparently both factory and service have some success.

    Some people have more success with one than the other. I guess the only way to find out is to experiment!
     
  18. scooter

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    Andy, thx for your comments ref. your recommendations for HTPC.
    Will look into this more.
     

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