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Sanyo Z1 or Panasonic AE300

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by HEADRAT, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. HEADRAT

    HEADRAT
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    Hi All,

    So what are peoples opinions, is the AE300 worth £400 more than the Sanyo ?

    I've seen both the AE300 and Z1 in action, but not side by side, they were both pretty good IMHO. I guess I'm having a problem justify the extra £400 for the Panasonic..

    http://www.nexnix.co.uk/ would be my supplier of choice as they have a decent rep. and the dead pixel check for £20 is worth every penny IMHO.

    Which ever one I choose it will be run off a HCPC for pixel perfect mapping of the LCD.

    Help Please ;)

    HEADRAT
     
  2. Mr_Belowski

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    I'd advise you look into 1:1 pixel mapping a little more. It's tricky on both projectors, but more so on the AE300 (I think).

    Have a look at the sub-$5000 projector forum on www.avsforums.com, as there's quite a lot of techincal info on there about 1:1 pixel mapping on both projectors.

    I got a Z1, which is great, but the AE300 is supposed to be a little better. However, if my info is still up to date (it may well not be), 1:1 mapping on the Z1 is possible, but the projector doesn't remember the setup and you have to faff about each time you start it up. With the AE300 I don't think it's possible at all, but like I said, check the avs forums for more technical info.

    You'll need to grab a copy of Powerstrip so you can set up custom resolutions on you HCPC either way.

    Of course, other factors like screen size, seating distance and stuff need to be considered.
     
  3. xander

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    HEADRAT, check my database entry on 1:1 mapping on the AE300 (see link below).

    Xander
     
  4. HEADRAT

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    Thanks xander..

    Any more input from the wise :), I know your out there !

    Cheers

    HEADRAT
     
  5. tonytigerrr

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    Hi HEADRAT,

    I have an AE300, I havent seen the Z1 though I read lots about it at this and AVS when deciding which to buy recently.

    I find this 1:1 pixel mapping generally a non-issue. I have experimented with various resolutions (xanders site is very informative and helpful in this regard) and found that as long as you have a decent card (radeon 8500 in my case) you can get a very sharp crisp picture.

    In fact with DVD images I couldnt detect a great deal of difference in PQ between the different resoutions especially the ones that were near to 1:1 mapping - even the higher XGA resolutions looked pretty good. I'm guessing its because the internal scaler in the Ae300 works so well.

    I'm not saying that there arent differences, certainly when viewing the Windows desktop the image looks far crisper when using a resolution close to the PJs native. However, I wouldnt hold it up as a holy grail show stopper when making your decision as to which to buy.

    If it really is an important issue to you then you may want to consider the more expensive Sony HS-10 which is apparently easier to achieve a 1:1 mapping with - though you may find it even harder to justify the price differential!!!!!!

    Cheers,
    Tony.
     
  6. Kramer

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    I haven't seen either AE300 or Z1 (not from the want of trying :( ), but I can tell you (from ownership of both AE100 & HS10) that 1:1 pixel perfect mapping IS of great importance to maximise the PQ available from ANY projector.

    It's astonishing that Panasonic didn't forsee this with the AE300 (then again 99% of owners couldn't care less about this, or indeed s-video V component progressive etc...).

    I know you're a PC man (;) ) &, as such I suggest you give justifyable priority to this before your final decision. There are also the throw ratio issues etc... to consider, but 1:1 mapping is a major +, which unfortunately, AE300 owners will never appreciate.

    My 2p.

    :)
     
  7. meva

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    I've had an extensive play with the Sanyo and setting it to 1:1 pixel perfect mapping was a doddle.
    It is true that upon power up it sometimes needs resetting but provided you stored it to the pj's memory it takes seconds.
    From what i have read the Z1 is easier with a HTPC.
    I agree with Kramer , pixel perfect mapping is important with a HTPC.
     
  8. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Ive just phoned up a dealer in preston to get a demo of the z1 vs ae300.

    I got the usual drivel about the fact that they dont stock the ae300 as in their opinion its nowhere near as good as the ae300 and they should know theyve been on training courses. I know they are talking rot as they were saying the panasonic lacked features that I know it has. Funny enough he also dismissed forum reviewers as not really knowing what they have:confused:

    Im looking at these two, but not for HTPC. Its unlikely Im going to get a demo of these because of my location and the lack of decent AV retailers. Can anyone give a comparative review based upon use with a non pal prog dvd source? Im interested in comparing everything, not just the image.

    Im looking for short throw and off centre positioning so keystone correction and screen door could be an issue (13.5 foot throw distance and viewing distance). SO would be interested in how both handle this.
     
  9. gothmog

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    Drivel is the word ;)

    The AE300 and the Sanyo-Z1 use exactly the same LCD panels so in basic picture quality terms they should be very close.

    Disregarding the HTPC there are only three issues to consider.

    Placement of the viewer: The AE300 smoothscreen system reduces the visibility of screendoor significantly when you are sat in the 1.4-2.0x screen width range. The Z1 won't look as good if you need to be this close.

    Placement of the projector: The Z1 offers optical lens shift meaning you can mount the projector off-axis with no significant reduction in PQ. The AE300 only has digital keystone correction which really hurts the picture quality.

    Price:
    Is the AE300 worth £400 more? Almost certainly not ;)
    Is it worth £200 more? Yes, if you have to sit at near 1.5x screen width.
    Is it worth £0 more? Not if you have no option but to mount the projector off axis. :)

    -- Jon
     
  10. nunew33

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    So with price difference at £200 if I go for web cheapest it comes down to a compromise between screendoor and keystone.

    In other words if I go for the Z1 I can have it positioned as in attached diagram and will have to suffer screen door.

    But if I go for AE300 I have crap digital keystone correction or shortened throw by having to place it in front of the chimney breast.

    I think I need to demo the Z1 and see how bad the screen door is and whether I will be bothered by it.

    For me, at the moment maximum screen size is what im after. Maybe I will change my priorities after a demo.

    Anything else I ought to consider
     

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  11. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Hi nunew33

    Can you not switch your room around as per amended diagram below? Save you using any keystone.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. kbfern

    kbfern
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    I have just got a Z1 last week I think it's fantastic

    projector lens is only 3.6mtrs from the wall I am projecting onto.I have a 110" diagonal image.And viewing from 3mtrs I cannot see any screendoor.Only if I move closer than 2.5mtrs is screendoor obvious.


    Regards
     
  13. Messiah

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    Hey Keith

    Great to hear that. I'm toying with the Z1 as a stop gap solution and I too have a 110" diagonal screen. I have been a bit worried about screen door but as I wil be viewing from about 4.5m I guess it will not be an issue then. Did you view any others prior to getting the Z1?

    Cheers

    HEADRAT - apologies to go off at a tangent slightly
     
  14. calibos

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    nunew33,

    The lens shift of the Z1 is only vertical AFAIK. Its not horizontal. Thus with the lens shift you may not need as much keystone in the vertical plane but by mounting off centre in the horizontal plane you will have to use as much keystone with the Z1 as the Ae300. Thats also assuming that the Z1 does horizontal keystoning in the first place. If it doesn't you'd have to mount it dead centre in the horizontal plane. Whats wrong with mounting either PJ on the chimney breast? You say 'shortened throw'. As long as the PJ can project the size screen you want from that chimney position then whats the problem. It doesn't affect the PQ. When people talk about the screen to width ratio they mean the distance of your seating position to the screen, not the PJ to the screen. ie Someone says the ideal screen-width ratio for the Z1 of AE300 etc is 1.5-1.75. This means that for screen door not to be an issue for you width these projectors you should aim to sit at least 1.5 times the width of your screen away. So if your screen is 80in wide you should aim to sit at least 120in away in this example.
     
  15. nunew33

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    Messiah, I may as well place projector on chimney breast!!! saves rearranging the room. But I would lose 18 inches of throw which I think works out to be about 12-15 inches of screen width. Id rather have the extra foot of screen width and have the projector off centre. So I suppose Im talking myself into a Z1 even tho the AE300 looks good in every other aspect.

    Also Ive tried the sofa and soundsystem the way round you suggest but acoustics were strange. I dont have golden ears but I could tell that the speakers sounded better when placed in front of a flat wall rather than an alcove. I think it was the fact that one of the alcoves is significantly smaller than the other that made it sound imbalanced.

    Apologies headrat , im not intentinally hijacking the thread, but the thread title sums up what I am after and didnt see the point in a thread with a similar name.

    calibos, the Z1 does horizontal lens shift as well as vertical.


    Got to ask Messiah how did you replicate my diagram? Visio?
     
  16. Messiah

    Messiah
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    The lens shift on the Z1 is BOTH vertical AND horizontal. It does only have vertical keystone though.
     
  17. Messiah

    Messiah
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    No, just bit of old fashioned cutting, mirroring and pasting in Paint Shop Pro :)
     
  18. Mark P

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    :smashin: at last - someone who talks in english and simplefies matters for us who are still not too clued up yet in projector lingo.:lesson:
     
  19. nunew33

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    Calibos just read your post in more detail.

    Regarding screen width. I want the largest screen possible, so putting projector in front of chimney loses 12 - 15 inches off screen width (by my calculations from 8 foot to 7 foot).

    Im aware of what the ratio means regarding viewing position to screen width. Id read it was as high as 2 times the screen width.

    So with a predicted screen width of 8 foot I was assuming I would get screen door if viewing form approx 13 foot . But if its 1.5 then I should be ok. But I will demo the Z1 to see if its going to spoil my viewing pleasure
     
  20. Snippermanden

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    Do not plan on having the projector behind you, particular if you are planning for the Z1 - you will be watching movies through chickenwire!
     
  21. timlloyd

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    Nunew88

    Something else you may need to consider is that although the Z1 does horizontal lens shift, the max offset in the horizontal is 25% of the screen width whereas in the vertical it's 50%.

    Also, not the last word in AV style but a £15 AVF portable TV support from argos fits the Z1 perfectly and extremely useful when positioning on a back wall!
     
  22. nunew33

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    kbf you seem to have similar dimensions to me. As a matterof interest how are you connecting.

    I am looking at 10m components for DVD and RGB to VGA (15DPin with synch) for sky, leaving svideo for potential games console or camcorder. This is imminent purchase so that cables are channelled into walls, am still tempted to get 10m svid and composite just to cover all bases.

    But need to decide on panny vs sanyo as Panny has RGB scart. Decisions decisions.
     
  23. calibos

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    nunew33

    Yes but the horizontal lens shift will only have a marginal effect on the level of keystone needed over what would be needed with the Ae300. I wouldn't base my buying decision on the keystone issue alone. You may find that the (no screendoor)smoothscreen of the Ae300 is a much greater loss PQ wise than the marginally smaller amount of keystone required with the Z1.

    [edit] Sorry nunew33, this post is in response to a post on the first page. I didn't spot the second page!:rolleyes: :D

    As for the throw thing, I thought you may have been confused between throw distances and screendoor screen width ratios like I think Snippermadden might be.:D

     
  24. nunew33

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    Im unlikely to get an AE300 demo as nowhere round here sells that kind of kit other than sevenoaks (who told me they dont stock it because its crap yet their website stocks it!!).

    Anyone near lancashire know any different?
     
  25. nunew33

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    Another thing regarding the Z1:
    Just to clarify the difference between lens shift and Keystone. My understanding (after reading the brochures last night) is that lens shift moves the image in parrallel with the projector. SO if the projector was static and you did the horizontal lens shift, it would move 25% left or right with no perceivable trapezoid distortion.

    Therefore if in the intended place in my room is more than 25% of the predicted screen width off centre, I will need horizontal keystone correction which isnt available on the Z1. Which pushes me into the AE300.

    So following that logic, if screen size is paramount and I then opt for the AE300 to place the projector off centre, just how bad is digital keystone correction? At what angle does it become unbearable? How does it actually work? Im assuming that the thin end of the trapezoid effectivly becomes the maximum screen dimension and the fat end is compressed. If thats the case then having an off centre projector may allow it to be 18 inches further back but may not actually increase the screen size.

    If what I am guessing is correct then a bit of trigonometry will tell me tell me wether there is any benefit in an off centre position because one would assume that (and this is where Im starting to lose it) If you move the projector off centre in the horizontal then to maintain the screen height you need to pivot the camera around the screen edge thats on the side you intend to move the projector to. Therefore IF the distance from the screen edge (the one that you are pivoting around)to the projector off centre is the same as it is centre then I may as well have it centre and forget about keystone correction. In which case the AE300 offers no other benefit than a £200 price hike for similar performance.

    If anyone followed that you are a better man than me.
     
  26. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    You are spot on with the Lens shift not being as flexible as it first seems.

    To my horror, when the Pj is mounted on its table, and the shift is rotated up, the picture looks very trapizpoid, so, I bought a new stand for it and this has made things a lot better, although I have had to use the keystone slightly.

    I am going to put some chunky wheels on the bottom of the unit the PJ now resides on. This will lift it further, and it should then sit smack bang in line with the screen, thus removing the need for keystone.

    At a later date I fully intend on putting it onto the far wall with a Tv bracket, but having spent £75.00 on leads to reach the Pj on a table I am loath to do so at present.

    One final thing to note is that the Z1 manual actually tells you that you get optimum PQ when lens shift is central :lesson:

    Overall however, I am over the moon with my PJ.

    Regards to all,

    Captain Benefit.
     
  27. nunew33

    nunew33
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    Captain benefit, does that mean that off centre horizontally isnt really an option with the Z1 because even with lens shift I will be looking at a trapezoid that cant be corrected with keystone.

    So with a little bit of euclidean geometry I need to work out wether off centre projector will actually increase the screen size.

    If it doesnt then Z1 mounted centrally if it does then AE300 mounted to side!
     
  28. Bristol Pete

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    Correct. Dissapointed with the Lens shift to be honest. Yes it can be corrected with keystone. However, I understand that this can seriously damage picture quality.
     
  29. timlloyd

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    Capt, I disagree there, I haven't found the lens shift to trapizoid the image at all. I've found it to keep a pretty much consistent screen size aswell.

    Are you sure the PJ is not inclined slightly?

    When I first got the PJ I had it on a table and was using the max lens shift but still had to tilt it and then use the vertical keystone, as I'm projecting onto a wall the result was horrible, you have your square image but you have to live with the trapezoidal black bars. I assume this could be minimised by a screen if it has a large enough black border. Now have it located quite close to the ceiling with the vertical lens shift set to the minimum value to get the top of the picture level with the PJ.
     
  30. calscot

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    The best thing about the lens shift is that it allows you to install your screen and projector without having to use 100% accuracy (not even close!) You can then adjust the picture to fit your screen perfectly.

    The lens shift should not cause any trapezoidal distortion as, for example, the increase in distance from the top of screen to the lens is matched by the increase in the distance from the bottom of the lcd panels to the lens.

    Otherwise all projectors would be distorted as the distance from the centre increases. Actually the last statement is true but the error is very small for the size of the panels being used.

    Basically think of the lens shift as using panels 3 times the size and blanking out 2/3 of them to put your picture anywhere inside. There should be very little distortion. Of course there will be a tiny finite amount which is minimised at the centre.

    Cheers,
    Cal.
     

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