Panasonic PT-AE100 first impressions - :)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by richard plumb, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Hope its OK to start a new thread, as the others were speculating about price etc...

    anyway, picked one of these up from the local Panasonic centre in Brighton (right next door to the Sony centre). Agreed a 7 day return to test it at home.

    Now, before I give my impressions, I'm no expert, and I don't have a proper screen. Instead I used some matt white artists board on the wall. Not ideal, but I was thinking it should be a harsher test than when I saw the Sony HS1 at Sevenoaks.

    Anyway, I'm very impressed by this little panasonic. As they say, you should ignore the specs and just see what it looks like. And it looks very nice indeed.

    It certainly seems to paint a much more natural image than the Sony. With the Sony, after a while I became quite aware of the horizontal line structure and it became quite fatiguing. There was none of that with the Panasonic. I tried it with Final Fantasy, Gladiator and also R1 Starship troopers (with this last one, the opening studio logo has those little scratches in the film. Really noticable blown up big - really makes it feel like home cinema :) )

    The blacks aren't great, but that can be improved by using the low light mode and 'cinema' picture mode, and it really didn't bother me that much. This latter mode seems to be very clean- the other two modes (normal and dynamic) have quite a bit of noise, especially noticable on large areas of single colour.

    Trying to lower the brightness right down to get a good black ended up losing too much detail, so I might try a grey screen.

    I was about 13ft from the image maximum - less than 2x screen width anyway, and there was no chicken wire obvious. Occasionally you'd notice it for a split second out of the corner of your eye, but if you looked at it it wasn't there.

    Nice bright image too - I was a bit concerned about using the low power lamp mode, but it was plenty bright - the room was almost completely dark though.

    Each video mode (PAL/NTSC etc) has its own memory settings so you can adjust separately for your different regions. There are also a full set of connectors on the back (Composite video, S-Video, SVGA, Component). Chart in the manual shows how to get the best picture (it likes being fed 848x480 wide SVGA). Manual mentions automatically selecting 16:9 or 4:3 by a signal down the S-video. Not sure if it did it, but it'd be nice if it did.

    It seems to be quite short throw (not seen many though). At 11ft from the wall, the smallest image was 7ft diagonal (16:9) and the largest was about 8.5ft. So for the size I was looking at, it needs to be in the middle of the room. Also, I might want to ceiling mount it, as otherwise the angle might be a bit steep.

    All I have to do now is persuade my wife of its charms. I'm tempted to ask her to pick one up while she's over in Japan, but what happens if it breaks down or has dodgy pixels? (this one has one bright green one in the top border). I'm sure she'll love it once its up and running, but we're moving soon, so she'll try and get me to take it back until then. Probably makes sense, but even if I do, I think I know which one I'll be buying.

    I've heard good things about the PLV30 but I can't get a demo easily (Richer sounds or mail order being the only simple way to get one), so I'm looking forward to seeing impressions from people who've seen the PLV-30 to compare with it.
     
  2. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    How does the just mode work?
    Is 4:3 material, ie TV, ok in the just mode?
    Fan noise?
    Light leakage anywhere like on the Hitachi a little while back?
    Cheers.
     
  3. Guest

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    Looks like I still want one :)
     
  4. Timh

    Timh
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    And me :)

    Do you think it's worth £1500 then?
    How do you find the shaddow detail? try some dark scenes like Alien.

    I woudnt rate the plv-30, my Brothers suffers from vertical lines on bright scenes, it also needs a completely darkened room.
     
  5. Tony O'dell

    Tony O'dell
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    What price did you get it for?
    regards
    Tony
     
  6. brad123

    brad123
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    I definatly want one by the sounds of the first review. Thing is my room is quite bright with pure white walls so will it be ok for this, also my friend had his compaq projected onto his wall so can I use my wall, its white and as flat as it could be.
     
  7. meva

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    This is the main reason I'm not that interested, I'm not sure I can be bothered to fight for a dead pixel free one. I'm still holding out for the Plus Piano ( are you listening Plus/Rapesco ? )
     
  8. Jonny1973

    Jonny1973
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    :p

    I'm so jealous. I want one NOW!!!

    My local Panasonic dealer told me it would be the end of february but I can't wait that long!!!!!

    Jonny
     
  9. Guest

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    Richard

    I think you should reply to your 1st post entitled "PT-AE100-Why so excited", as you now know why!

    I think you have been very lucky to find a Panasonic Centre that seems to have lost its manual on how to be sarcastic, rude & condiscending to its customers. Stick with them!

    But, agghh, I see you have hit the wall we call the Wife Appreciation Factor (WAF). Flowers is always a good starting point I find! Good Luck!!
     
  10. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Light leakage - some visible from the rear vent, but it isn't that bright - doesn't leak over the table.

    Noise seems a bit louder than the CS1, but not too bad. Didn't check the dB in the manual - I can do that tonight if wanted.

    My room is very bright. Windows all down one wall, white/grey patterned walls, pale carpet, white sofas. It was fine, although it does seem to light the whole room up in bright scenes. Perfectly usable with the lights out.

    Shadow detail seemed OK, but the contrast range isn't amazing. While I still have some time left with it, I'm trying to get some icestorm, but all my local DIY stores are out of pale base :(. Then I'll play with the settings some more. This is one area where I'm interested in more expert opinions, hopefully this week.

    I paid £1500.
    Definitely worth it, considering its better (to me) than the Sony which is retailing at £700 more than the Panasonic. Sony surely have no choice but to react and cut their prices.
     
  11. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    And just mode?
     
  12. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    didn't really look at it. Not easy to route TV through to it - My digibox is tied really tightly to my TiVo and I don't want to upset it. I was never really a fan of Sony's equivalent 'just' stretching - I usually watch 4:3 with side bars.

    I did briefly flick through just mode while playing with the 'aspect' button, and it didn't seem offensive, but I spent no time with it.

    I'm going to try and spend some more time with 4:3 material to see how 640x480 affects things, but as I'll be using a fixed height approach, it'll probably look as good as 16:9, just smaller :) I'll try out just a bit more then too.
     
  13. brad123

    brad123
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    Well ive ordered one from my local dealer for £1,550. Get it delivered on Friday definatly. Its my first leap into projectors but I think I cant really go far wrong with this model.


    First film to de virgin the wall is: Independance Day
     
  14. Timh

    Timh
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    Brad,

    I coudn't wait either, ordered mine from a local Panasonic dealer on the phone, it's arriving Friday, £1400 including vat, that's his price, I didnt even have to knock him down :D :D :D

    OK I know you should demo before you buy :eek:
     
  15. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Got some icestorm 5 & 6 (all the stores said you couldn't get a mix of the two), and some MDF.

    I'll have a play tonight or tomorrow. I'll get the THX optimode up (don' t have Avia or VE). I'll also play with the colour controls - there are three settings depending on whether you have a white screen, grey screen or something else screen (can't remember)
     
  16. brad123

    brad123
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    Which dealer is this, do you have a number, might go for a price match with my dealer.
     
  17. Timh

    Timh
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    Richard,

    My Brother mixed icestorm 5 & 6 50% each, he found it to be the best compromise for his Sanyo plv-30.
    You would probably best trying to darken your room though.
     
  18. Timh

    Timh
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    Brad, sorry I missed your last post.

    It was from Eric Alcock Ltd in Tunstall North Staffs, a local francise with about four shops. phone 01782 815343
     
  19. brad123

    brad123
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    Right Ive just bought this and I pick it up on Friday. Does it come with all the leads i need to attach it to my DVD player and TV, I alos have ondigital through a pre paid box, so straight out of the box is all the stuff I need there.
     
  20. Timh

    Timh
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    Brad,

    How did you get on with your order, and where from?
    It comes with a carrying bag and a 3 metre av cable, not sure what type it's probably a composite cable (the worst)
    I got my s-vhs pro cable from www.lektropacks.co.uk 10 metres long, for £50 delivered, sounds expensive but it looks well made with directional cable. Componant would be the best connection from a dvd player, but I dont have componant out on my player.
    I am going to loop my dvd and s-vhs vcr (and digi box) through my Amp, so as I only need one cable going to the PJ.

    At first I will project onto a wall painted magnolia :rolleyes: if the image looks OK at 2 metres wide I will order a Dalite model b 16:9 screen from www.direkt2u.co.uk its about £220, not a cheap hobby I know.

    Future PT-AE100 owners, check this out if you have a large region 1 dvd collection http://www.homecinemachoice.com/new...emachoice.com/cgi-bin/displaynews.php?id=1452
     
  21. brad123

    brad123
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    Got mine for £1,550 from a place in West Yorkshire. Its going onto a flat white wall, no marks at all on it. One question the actual lead from the dvd player or ondigital box to the projector "how long is this" as the wall i will direct it to is behind the tv itself so surely the projector will be at other side of room from the tv/dvd etc to project onto that wall and the lead will have to stretch that far (around 4 metres I think) but saying that i will only use my tv for watching normal tv now so i could put my dvd, ondigital and video at the back of the room as long as they are connected to the projector as it doesnt matter where they are as the projector will fire the image onto the wall so the tv can go anywhere, even in the corner as its only used for neighbours, news etc lol.

    I have a digitheatre so whats the best way of placing the speakers (front centre especially) to enhance the projectors image on the wall.

    Im a total newbie so all help is appreciated.

    What leads do i need to connect my DVD player to the projector to get the best picture, the same also for the tv and ondigital.
     
  22. Timh

    Timh
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    Brad

    You really need at least an s-vhs (mini din 4-pin) cable to go from your dvd player to your projector. (make sure your dvd has a s-vhs mini din 4-pin socket on the back, most have).
    As for getting the image from your vcr or digi box you will need a scart to phono lead , this will give you composite image only.

    I am lucky enough to have a s-vhs vcr, so I can watch recordings in s-vhs, or should I say s video.
    My ITV digi box is then looped through the vcr, this is only composite but the vcr will output it as s video signal.

    As for your centre speaker, it would probably be best under the projected image, make sure its the same height as the left and right speakers and the distance apart is equal.

    Hope this helps.
     
  23. Jonny1973

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    Brad,

    Stop teasing us and tell us your dealer.

    You might find this link useful, it explains the differences between component, RGB and composite connections.

    http://www.techtronics.com/uk/shop/510-how-to-hook-up-dvd-player.html

    Projector wise the best connection to a dvd player is by component video (even better if the dvd has progressive scan).

    If your dvd player doesn't have component then next best option is S-Video.

    If your dvd player doesn't have S-Video or Component then your stuck with composite video which is rubbish.

    I'm hoping to daisy-chain my Sky Digibox via SCART (to dvd) then Component Video leads (from dvd to PJ). I hope it works.

    Jonny
     
  24. brad123

    brad123
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    www.activehomecinema.co.uk


    I have a Toshiba SD100E Multiregion so whats best for this in terms of leads. I presume it will have to be a long lead to reach to where the projector needs to be from the DVD player. Wheres the best place to get cheap long leads.

    Like scart to phono as i think somebody on here mentioned Ill need one for tv etc.
     
  25. Jonny1973

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  26. brad123

    brad123
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    Great thanks friend. Think I might just unplug the dvd player and move it to the back of the room with the projector. After all i wont use the tv to watch DVD anymoe I suppose. In fact my video can go there too. Would it be a good idea to have all my av equipment with the projector as my tv will only be for news, neighbours etc from now on. O its such a good headache to have. My only worry is that I wont be happy with the picture when i get it set up although its my first projector and Ive nowt to compare it too.

    I should be satisfied shouldnt I????
     
  27. Timh

    Timh
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    Brad

    I think we will all be very pleased :D
    Your getting a 16:9 projector at a great price, I believe the next equivalent projector would be the Toshiba MT-7 which is over 3K.
    No harm in moving your kit next to your projector, shorter the leads the better.
    Try to keep the keystone to a minimum. it degrades the picture quality.

    Whose excited?
     
  28. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Me.:D
     
  29. Guest

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    just a couple of questions, I would be gratefull if anyone can answer or point me in the right direction

    What size image is available from this projector, is it adjustable in size or do you have to move the projector/screen towards each other and away from each other to vary the size, i'm only going to be able to manage about 11-12 feet from lens to screen and i'm hoping for a rather large picture, for me anyway ;), something like a 90" horizontal screen and wherever that takes me verticaly on a 16-9 screen ( ok so I need to relive the opening scene from Star Wars :D ).

    From what i've read people seem to say get the projector first then see about screen size, unfortunatly I don't have a suitable wall to try it out on..........any suggestions for screens ?, the room is not light tight but will be made so if needed.

    This will be my third attempt to buy a projector, the first time I got sidetracked into computers, the second time I settled for a rear projection tv, nice but it soon seems too small :( so hopefully its third time lucky
     
  30. Timh

    Timh
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    Mick

    Yes this projector does have a zoom lense. This PJ has a short throw lense making it capable of producing large images at close range, a pdf file on the PT states it will do an image of 7ft 3" x 4,1" at a distance of 10ft 2" - 12,1" so you should fit it in.
    To work out the height, use this equation

    16 / 9 = 1.77
    if you want a 90" wide screen you devide 90 by 1.77 = 50.8"

    answer 90 x 50.8"

    The screen I will probably go for is a dalite model b 203 cm x 114 cm (16:9) in matt white is about £220 from www.direkt2u.co.uk
    Most people say you should sit 1.5 x width of screen away, so a 90" wide screen should put you about 11ft from the screen.
     

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