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Panasonic AE700 or Sony HS50?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by seanm, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. seanm

    seanm
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    Please help me choose between the two. I will predominately have it connected via DVI or VGA to a HTPC at 1280 x 720 and a Component DVD Player.

    The room is not the darkest, with some ambient light.

    Cheers.

    BTW, I have had a quick demo of a HS50 (Sony Centre) and the setup was not great.
    I am unable to find a Panasonic on dem in my area.
     
  2. avinalarf

    avinalarf
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    Hi Seanm,

    I believe that you would like to take a look at an AE700 somewhere in the Midlands. I live in Leicester, and have recently installed an AE700 in a dedicated home cinema room, and you are very welcome to come and have a look if Leicester is not too far away from you. You are of course welcome to bring along your DVD player and HTPC if that would make the demo more useful.

    You mention that there is some ambient light in your setup - my room is normally completely blacked out for viewing, but we can add some lighting to try and simulate your viewing conditions.

    If you are interested, then please send me a PM, and we can exchange details.

    regards,
    Peter.
     
  3. seanm

    seanm
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    Cheers Peter,
    Thanks for the offer.
    I am in Worcester, over an hour or so away. I'll keep trying locally and around Birmingham tomorrow and see how I get on.

    I called Super Fi in Birmingham yesterday,
    I asked what projectors they stocked and the guy said they only sell the Panasonic AE700 (Great I thought)
    I asked if they had stock, he said "no, we only have the 500's" (eh?)

    Once again,
    Cheers Mate.
     
  4. Tempest

    Tempest
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    From all that's been posted on here, I think you have really already answered your own question here....

    I don't think you will get anyone to disagree that the AE700 will be brighter than the HS50.
    You've not got a dark room, so you'll need the brightest of the two, hence, question answered..... :smashin:
     
  5. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Why not the Sanyo Z3? If you ask me it's a better option than the Panny (I've had both), certainly quieter and a better lens shift. Worth looking at...

    Andy
     
  6. yellowbug

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    I have the AE700 and am well pleased with it, absolutely no complaints. With regard to the light in your room, why not fit black backing to your curtains! (No excuse for having light in your room really.)
     
  7. avinalarf

    avinalarf
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    Hi Seanm,

    Just a further thought leading from yellowbug's suggestion of black backing: Dunelm sell white/cream 'blackout' material which is fully light proof, and can be used as an extra curtain or as curtain lining. Can't remember the exact price per metre but it's certainly not expensive (typical Dunelm prices) but very effective. (I used it for a couple of weeks as a makeshift screen just to set things up sizewise before I ordered my Beamax screen.)

    Also B&Q sell navy blue roller blinds (which they will even cut to size for you free) which are also VERY effective as light stoppers. I have one across the only window in my room and it cuts out 98% of the light. The point is that the darker the room, the better the picture IMHO.

    Good luck with your search for a local demo of the AE700.
    If you get no joy, or want to more extensively try your equipment with an AE700 then my offer to come and have a look at mine is still open.

    regards
    Peter
     
  8. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Hi seanm :)

    I own the Panny AE700, have owned a Sanyo Z3 and have demoed the Sony HS50. Obviously, any choice between PJs is a personal one and what may impress, or disappoint, one person may not do the same for the next person - if that makes sense!

    Anyway, my experience of the PJs goes like this -

    Z3 - Excellent warranty; good lens shift; I liked the front closing flap - good if you have kids!; two component inputs; sharp image.

    I couldn't quite get the colours to set up for my tastes, but that's probably just me. I had two Z3s - both had colour uniformity errors, which would most likely have been corrected by the unit going back to Sanyo and them adjusting the LCD panels. The first unit had very little noticeable vertical banding, the second unit had more noticeable Vertical banding... but a slightly sharper image.

    I liked the Z3, and it was only the hdmi issue, which I believe has now been sorted, that made me part with it. Had there been no issue, I would still have a Z3 :)

    Panasonic AE700 - I bought my Panny second hand with about 250 hours on the clock. Comes with one year warranty, as opposed to the Sanyo's 3 yearer, and has only one component cable input. To my eye the image is "smoother" than the Z3's - not quite as sharp, but more "filmic".

    Colours immediately appeared more natural - especially in Natural mode! In Natural mode contrast levels aren't as good as they should be, though.

    The lens shift isn't as nice to use as the Sanyo's - the Panny's is stiff and jerky, and also seems to cause a slight degradation in the image the more shift is used.

    I've found the Panny comes into its own when used with a filter - contrast levels have improved dramatically, probably by allowing use of the Panny's Video mode. I did use the filter with the Z3, and it did improve things in some areas, but caused a few problems in others.

    I like the AE700 a lot :)

    Sony HS50 - I demoed this, along with a DLP Mitsubishi 900... and immediately wanted one! Demoing a PJ is not quite like living with one, but the Sony looked sharp, solid and colourful. In comparison with the Mitsubishi it looked more "clinical" - I preferred the mitsubishi's "smooth" image look. I couldn't live with the Mitsubishi, though, due to eye strain.

    To sum up - If I had £2000 going spare, and I had to spend all of it on an LCD PJ, with any money left over being spent on DVDs I would choose the Sony :)

    If I had £1500.00 to spend, I'd buy the Panny along with an extended warranty, and spend a hundred or so quid on DVDs.

    If I had £1200.00 I'd buy the Sanyo and buy as many DVDs as I could. :)

    Of course, there are other issues that come into importance - which will best suit your personal setup etc. but for me, especially now I've tweaked the Panny image by adding a filter, I'm happy with what I've got - and the fact it cost me £700.00 means I've often got a :D on my face.

    All of these PJs are good, and I think it comes down to personal prefernces and cost - if that's an issue... it was for me!

    All the best mate - I hope you end up buying a PJ that you'll be thoroughly impressed with ;)

    Mark
     
  9. Craig Armstrong

    Craig Armstrong
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    When I wanted an AE500 last year all Superfi had as a demo projector was an AE100 :D Having been thoroughly disillusioned by Panasonic's service centre's refusal to accept a bulb flicker as being a fault, I chose not to replace it with the AE700, but instaed to go for the HS50. Although I've not seen the AE700 in action, the reviews and comments on this board suggest that the HS50 is the better projector.
     
  10. seanm

    seanm
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    Thanks everyone for your input.
    Just have to wait for the Sony HS50's to arrive in the UK now.

    Cheers all!
     

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