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Panasonic pt-ae500 brightness flicker

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by pez, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. pez

    pez
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    Hello, up until a few weeks ago i was increadibly happy with my panasonic pt-ae500, but then i noticed something ive not seen talked about before.

    the brightness seems to flicker.

    ive run it from 3 different feeds (video, svideo, vga) and it does it with all 3, no matter what the fan, bulb and display settings are.

    im wondering if anyone else has seen this, whether i should contact panasonic and get it replaced (ive only had it a few weeks, got 80 hours on the clock) or just take it back to the shop and ask them to swap it.

    its done this in 3 seperate locations (in 2 different houses miles apart) so ive pretty much ruled out a noisy AC in.

    any ideas?

    its a great projector, but this flickering is annoying me, its especially noticeable on white or bright scenes.

    cheers :(


    edit: also, can anyone explain all of the service mode features to me? ive changed the ones i understand (flicker adjust, got rid of any perceptible flicker on the green red and blue - but could this have anything to do with my brightness flicker problem?) What do the numbers mean in the self check?

    in service mode in ext options the brightness flicker is readily apparent :(

    pez
     
  2. pez

    pez
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    would it be worth me checking out some kind of AC smoothing device (no idea what im looking for!) before i contact panasonic?

    Can a dodgy AC in (or maybe the PSU is dodgy in the projector?) cause the brightness to appear to flicker?

    pez
     
  3. Kramer

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    It's probably a dodgy lamp. Have you tried it on high power? I'd contact your retailer ASAP & ask for an exchange. Lamps only have a 3 month warranty so get onto them ASAP.

    Best of luck.

    :smoke:
     
  4. torimusic

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    I bought an X1 and read the FAQ's for the X1 which I found on the web and the symptom you describe is the result of a dodgy lamp. Send it back ASAP and make sure you understand the warranty agreement relating to lamps for your particular projector.
     
  5. pez

    pez
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    yeah its even apparent on high power mode, i bought it on the 22/5/2004, the problem itself only became apparent to me as i was watching Wales vrs Argentina a few weeks ago.

    ill take it back down to the panasonic shop where i bought it (does it matter that it was bought on 0% finance?) and see what they say.

    pez
     
  6. pantages

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    No, the warranty is for the machine so how you pay for it has no bearing. Go back tomorrow and get a replacement. I have just bought a 500 and I have to say it really is a fantastic projector for the money!
     
  7. calibos

    calibos
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    On the bulb warranty issue. Its a 'Doh' moment for me. Got a new bulb from Price Japan. Excellent service BTW. I ordered the bulb 3am on a Tuesday it was delivered 1pm on Thursday! Anyway...the point. I thought I had about a month left on my current bulb so I decided to get a new bulb early so it would be a straight swap. After receiving the bulb and recalculating my usage, it seems I have 3 months left (assuming it reaches its quoted 5000hrs) So you can see where the 'doh' comes in. The warranty on the new bulb will be up before I even use the bloody thing!! :D :D
     
  8. Ekko Star

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    If it's the lamp, I'm a bit surprised even when you run it at full power it hasn't the cleared the flicker so early in it's life.

    You say you went into and adjusted the flicker settings ? Did you do this after the PJ had been running for at least 30-45 mins. If you adjusted any earlier the new settings will not be quite right and maybe the reason you're experiencing the flicker. Revert back to the original settings and try again ?
     
  9. pez

    pez
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    I was thinking maybe it was something a little more terminal, but ill take it back tomorrow and see what they say.

    as for the panel voltage adjustments for the individual flicker, ive changed messed around with those after the thing has just been switched on, and ive altered them after its been on for LotR TTT extended edition. no change.

    pez
     
  10. chic

    chic
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    how much did the bulb cost, and any customs problems?
     
  11. calibos

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    I'm in Ireland btw. It was €276 all in which is Stg£184. As I said great service. Ordered 2 or 3am Tuesday and delivered 1pm Thursday. Paid via Paypal though I think they do bank transfers as well. No direct Credit Card payment option though. Kaneda sent me an email with the DHL tracking numbers and explained that it would be sent from stock they keep in the US to spped things up. He also explained that they wrote $80 as its invoice value. Top Man Kaneda! as I assume thats why I got away without paying customs etc. I had a Cpu for my computer coming that week too of around the same value. They wrote its correct invoice value on the package and I had to pay the DHL guy another €51 customs and Vat when I took delivery. Who said the Japanese were sticklers for the rules!! :D
     
  12. pez

    pez
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    Well, i took the thing down to the Panasonic Shop in Newport (which just happens to be owned by and right next door to the Sony Centre in Newport). The problem (luckily) displayed itself when we set it up instore (in daylight, with about a million TVs all flickering in unison!).

    I should here back from them by the end of the week.

    I just hope this doesnt turn into a 'Disappearing Panasonic Projector' caper (ive heard they take a while to repair). :rolleyes:

    pez
     
  13. Abstrakt

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    Pez,

    I’ve been battling with the same brightness flicker problem you’ve described ever since I bought my AE500. Although it is not widespread, there have been similar reports of this problem on AVS Forum, as well as on this forum a few months ago. Even on AVS most of the folks who have reported this flicker were from Europe; so my theory is that a whole batch of European models was shipped with faulty bulbs.

    My PJ actually died last month, after only about 80 hours of use. It basically went up in smoke -- even though I had been running it on an APC Smart-UPS 1000, which is a pure sine wave and noise-filtering UPS. I had also taken great care to only power it on once a day, and never ran it for more than 3 hours per session.

    Neither the store nor the service center would replace the unit with a new one, so I had to tough it out and get it repaired. I’ve just recently gotten it back with a new power supply, but with the same old bulb, and that damn flicker is still there! :(

    To sum things up I think we can rule out noisy power lines, the pj’s power supply and any software issues (the flicker tweak has no effect.)

    The bulb is the most likely culprit at this point. I’ve been thinking of replacing it at my expense, since the service center won’t do it under warranty, but I’m going to wait until I hear back from you before biting the bullet. Please let me know how things turn out with your PJ, and whether your service center was able to locate the problem.

    Cheers.
     
  14. pez

    pez
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    Went into the store today (gave them this URL too - hello!) and theyve told me its gone back to Panasonic (im guessing that PUK in Bracknell) for their engineers to have a look at it.

    I cant remember the manufacturing date on it, but it was a 2004 batch.

    Hope they can solve the problem.

    Anyone know what division of MEI produce the projectors? Is it PCC?

    pez
     
  15. Abstrakt

    Abstrakt
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    So is mine: March 2004.

    I hope you get your pj back soon. Please keep us posted!
     
  16. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    I think this is a feature of the panasonics.
    My AE100 had it and so does my AE500.
    It isn't constant and only comes at about 30 mins worth of viewing, then dissapears.
    Can't explain it, but I don't think it's a faulty bulb.
    I wonder wether it has something to do with the power distrubution in the house or the unit just warming up?
    Don't think its worth letting panasonic having a look at it...If I sent them a toaster with an AE500 badge on it they wouldn't notice (past experience and all...)
    :D
     
  17. Abstrakt

    Abstrakt
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    That’s probably not what Pez and I are seeing then. The flicker I'm talking about, although sporadic, can appear as soon as the unit is powered on, and it will not go away.

    It is a pretty serious and annoying fault I’m afraid. But since I have just gotten mine back from a service center, I wanted to try replacing the bulb myself before going through another repair ordeal.

    If Pez gets his Panny back flicker-free, and it turns out it wasn’t just a bad lamp, I’ll send my AE500 back for repairs right away.

    Cheers.
     
  18. pez

    pez
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    UPDATE:

    Just had the guys from the Panasonic Shop on the phone, theyve got my projector back from Panasonic, and the bulb has been replaced.

    I am going to pick it up later, hopefully ill get an opportunity to have a good look at it this afternoon, if not, expect my full report by the weekend.

    cheers! :thumbsup:

    pez
     
  19. pez

    pez
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    UPDATE 2:

    Well its not looking good at all. :mad:

    The Panasonic Shop assured me that the bulb had been replaced by Panasonic, but i switched it on, checked the bulb life and it still read 89hrs (which is what it was on when i dropped it off in the shop).

    When a bulb is changed the operator who replaces it should reset the bulb life meter, so its very possible that they replaced it without resetting the counter.

    BUT - the flicker is still there, i ran the Matrix Reloaded into it and freeze framed the bright freeway scenes, and its still visible.

    Not good.

    Im away tomorrow so i cant take it back down to the retailer, thatll have to be at the end of the week.

    Not Happy. :thumbsdow

    I need to know how to read the service mode counters as well (for bulb life).

    heres a pic of it after running it for an hour or so this afternoon...

    I understand the TOTAL 91H is the current total, RESET 0 is the amount of clock resets its had (0 strikes me as odd if they really did replace the bulb)


    what puzzles me is the numbers underneath. :confused:

    90H50 51 46H10
    0H00 0 0H00
    0H00 0 0H00

    Can anyone explain the number layout on this page to me please?

    Manufacturing date of the box is April 2004.

    Ill keep you guys posted.

    pez
     

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  20. pez

    pez
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    also, does anyone know what these are for?

    pez
     

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  21. Kramer

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    If the lamp is replaced & the counter reset, the old runtime details move down to the 2nd line. If replaced/reset a 3rd time, the current lamp details are on the 1st line, the 2nd lamp details on the 2nd etc.

    I'd say there's a strong possibility that the lamp wasn't replaced as Panasonic would almost undoubtedly reset the counter.

    The other settings have been gone over loads of times, try a search.

    Get back on to them & demand retribution :devil:
     
  22. Abstrakt

    Abstrakt
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    I’ve searched far and wide, including the archives at AVS Forum, and never found an explanation for the RUNTIME PRT option in the service menu. Lots of folks inquired about it, but an answer was never given... :confused:
     
  23. Abstrakt

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    The left-hand column (90H50) is the total number of hours the lamp has been powered on.

    The middle column (51) is the number of on/off cycles the lamp has had.

    The right-hand column (46H10) is an adjusted lamp runtime counter, which runs slower while you’re in low power mode and in real time while in high power mode. Yours indicates that you’ve been running your pj mostly on low power mode. It is when this counter gets to 2,000 that the pj will ask for a new bulb, or so I've read...

    I hope you can sort things out with Panasonic and get your new bulb, if they did not actually replace it. Please let us know how things turn out...
     
  24. pez

    pez
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    cheers for the info guys.

    latest news:

    ive just been down to the panasonic shop in newport and they kindly replaced the unit with a new one.

    ive yet to give it a run out, but i will report back here.

    its from the same April 2004 batch (serial number isnt too far away from the previous model).

    ill report my findings sometime tonight.

    Many thanks to all again.

    pez
     
  25. pez

    pez
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    Well, ive had the new projector on for about 2 hours now, running at 1280x720x60hz (reported as Wide720 by the projector) from a GeForce3ti200 on a PC, and im here on the web, browsing pages.

    And the flicker is very prominant.

    New projector is an April 2004 model.

    Could it be that a certain batch of these has a problem?

    Could everyone with a PT-AE500 who has the ability to run it from a PC just have a look at this page (avforums) with it and report back whether they can see a flickering of the brightness of the screen?

    cheers :(

    pez
     
  26. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    Pez

    Have you tried it with a domestic DVD player yet. It will be interesting to know if the flicker is there?

    Ta

    C
     
  27. SamirP

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    Hi Pez is that via vga or dvi ?
     
  28. pez

    pez
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    vga at the moment, and the flicker is there.

    ive not yet run this new projector from my pioneer dvd player, but the last projector showed the same brightness flicker during light scenes when run via S-Video on the DVD and via Video from Sky (i first noticed it when watching Wales vrs Argentina in the rugby a few weeks ago...that was an NTL box connected via composite video down a friends house).

    Id love to try and get this thing running via DVI-D but my current gf3ti200 doesnt have a dvi out.

    Time to upgrade the pc :)

    But itd be all for nowt if the projector still flickered :(

    edit:it also happens in Service Mode on the White screen, without any inputs connected.

    pez
     
  29. Abstrakt

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    Which it will probably do. :( My AE500 is connected via DVI-D to an HTPC.

    In diagnosing the problem, I have also disconnected everything from the pj and simply projected the blue background screen. It still flickers! So it is definitely not related to the components connected to the pj.

    On AVS Forum there was another person who had the unit replaced with a new one, but still saw the flicker.

    This is not making any sense. If there really were that many faulty bulbs in circulation, I would expect to read many more complaints. Instead it seems like there is only a handful of us out there with incredibly bad luck.

    sigh. I should've bought a Z2. :mad:
     
  30. (GTV)Chris

    (GTV)Chris
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    Do these panny's come with only a year guarantee?
    If one blew a few months out of this guarantee does that mean you aint got a leg to stand on?
    I know there is something as general wear and tear but if there is only,say, 500 hours and its supposed to do 5000...is there not an argument to be had?
    I say this because mine does an intermittent flicker after about 30 mins...and the warranty will be up near the end of the year :(
    I hope you both get your flicker problems sorted out.
    Have you tried it at someone elses house?
     

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