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Panasonic Ae500 or Z2?

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

  1. dan_wade

    dan_wade
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    Im kinda new to projectors, but was hoping to get a one for christmas. By budget is around £1500. After a little reaearch, i was going to go for the AE300 (the fact that it got projector of the year award helped a little too).

    Ive only found out that the AE500 model was coming out in the last few days. From what i can gather, it will only be slightly more expensive than the 300 model. The features look great. Everyone seems to be bigging up the Z2 projector though at the mo.

    Can anyone put some views down about which would be the better choice. Im basicaly gonna be using it for DVD playback, PC, SKY, and my Xbox/ps2.

    Oh, and can anyone tell me when the AE500 hits our shores. Is the Z2 already out?

    Cheers,
    Dan.
     
  2. dan_wade

    dan_wade
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    Where is the cheapest UK place to buy a Z2?
    The cheapest ive seen it is for about £1400
     
  3. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    Preliminary reports from avsforum seems to indicate that Z2 gives a touch better value in terms of picture performance than AE500 (using Jap import units), but we are really talking about being really detailed here.

    Ok, projectorcentral is saying that Z2 is the new benchmark, but they said that about Z1 as well (which I proudly have and still totally satisfied with) but when AE300 came it took over as the new benchmark (I omit HS10 as it is out of your price league). It could be that AE500 could take over the no1 spot when it is officially sold in US and Europe and the opinions will be more even when there are more AE500 owners on avsforum or avforums. We have to wait and see.

    E.g. I would have chosen AE300 if I knew that it would include a RGB scart for my tv signals which Z1 doesn't have (noise would be my 2nd most factor). I reckon since you are hooking up quite a few sources, the variety of inputs is a important factor, if pictures between the 2 machines are comparable, which I assume it is based on previous models.

    Basically Z2 and AE500 has 1component, 1DVI, 1S-Video, 1composite, 1VGA but AE500 getting the edge with a RGB Scart.

    I'm sure someone here more knowledgable how best to allocate the inputs can give some good advice.

    Other important factors could maybe be the way you are planning to place the projector. Z2 has side ventilations which benefits small rooms where you have to have it close to the back wall, while AE500 has ventilation in the back which means some space between the unit and wall. Bad ventilation shortens the life.

    Z2 has optical lens shift, which allows you to place it a bit to the side of e.g. a fireplace and still get the picture in the middle.

    Z2 also have a much quieter fan, only 24db in eco mode and 27db in full mode (my Z1 has 27db-28db in eco mode), AE500 is 27db in eco mode. This could be a deciding factor.

    When in comes to the picture features, again, I let other members here with expert knowledge jump in. I just wanted to give you a couple of thoughts.

    Wasabi
     
  4. cyberheater

    cyberheater
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    The reality here is that you can't really go wrong with either projector.
    It's like with pc's and cpu power. Everyone was forever upgrading until the processor speed got to 1.5 Ghz and above and suddendly, you realised that you had enough cpu horsepower and woudn't need to upgrade again apart from component failure.

    Projectors are now at the point. The new PJ's like the Z2 & Panny AE500 are good enough. Your really looking at the fine detail now...
     
  5. mjones0

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    I’ve been a bit put of the Z2 by the vertical banding reports, so I thought I’d wait and see if the AE500 has the same problem. Has anybody seen any reports of vertical banding on the Japanese AE500?

    If they both suffer from it I’ll probably go for the Z2.
     
  6. Wasabi

    Wasabi
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    VB can be solved on Z2. A guy at avsforum also warned not to send it for repair, as one guy got the unit back in a worse shape then before sending it.

    From avsforum "factory setting #14- go from 2 to 3 or the opposite to fix the problem."

    Wasabi
     
  7. Insp.Gadget

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    The one thing that bothers me about my AE300 is the black level, but it's beginning to annoy me on TFT TV's and monitors too now I've noticed it so much. Before I bought it I thought my biggest problem would be noise, vertical banding, chicken-wire etc. Turns out the black (grey) level is the thing that I notice the most. I honestly can't see how they think large screen LCD TV's are going to take over, I certainly wouldn't buy one at the moment.
    Definitely get a demo of both before you buy.
     
  8. cyberheater

    cyberheater
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    If blacks are a problem then try a fld filter. Can make quite a difference and a cheap upgrade.
     
  9. dan_wade

    dan_wade
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    Has anyone with an import AE500 from Japan or Germany have any thoughts? Not read any practical review on it yet from anywhere.
     

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