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Shopping trip checklist - any tips?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Supersonic, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Supersonic

    Supersonic
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    I'm going to take a look at a couple of projectors (Sanyo Z2, Sanyo Z3 and Sony HS50) tomorrow, with the earnest intention of making a purchase.

    (I've heard about the Sony overscan issue but want to see the thing in action before ruling it out. I've heard about dust blobs but want to see the Sanyos before I rule them in. Concern about Z2 is whether it's about to be discontinued - and how it compares against the other two of course.)

    Can you guys n gals please give me your best "questions I wish I'd asked in the shop before I bought my pj"?

    I've checked throw ratios as far as I can on-line, I know to ask for a dead/stuck pixel check and I'm aware of the seemingly firmware version-related 'predator' issue on the Sanyo Z3, but are there any others you can think of? You just might help me avoid an infuriating :censored: up!

    Whatever happens, I'm quite looking forward to joining the big-screen club. :smoke:

    And just to make sure I get the WAF right, I'm taking her with me!! :eek:
     
  2. WonkyEwok

    WonkyEwok
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    Maybe take 'Master and Commander' as a test of vertical banding malarkey in the fog / clouds. It also has quite a few dark scenes which show up limited contrast ratios (ie they can look grey rather than black in places).
     
  3. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
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    1) Ask for any sound system to be turned off or down so you can concentrate purely on the picture. This will also allow you to hear how noisy the fan is.
    2) Start close to the screen and walk backwards until there is no screendoor ( pixels) visible to you. This is how far back you will need to sit. Is this too far?
    3) Ask how long it lasts and how much a replacement bulb costs ( get accurate quotes, not wild guesses)
    4) Really look for Sanyo's main problem of verticle banding because my friend has a Z2 and it is ruined by this issue.
    5) Finally, after all the auditions, buy the Sony and be happy !!!!!
     
  4. UrbanT

    UrbanT
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    Supersonic, I think its fair to say you will be blown away by your first big screen experiences, and that you only begin to notice the problems once you have lived with a projector for a short period of time.

    Many users report no problems at all when they demo a projector because its such a new experience, and then post a 'what are these vertical lines I keep seeing in my image' type questions.

    I would avoid the Z2, the black levels compared to the current crop of projectors is disappointing, and its 2nd hand value is subdued now the Z3 is available in numbers.

    Read the posts on the board, enjoy your demo, and buy what you feel comfortable with, both from a visual and financial point of view. Its also fair to say that many dealers don't setup up their projectors correctly, unless they are on permanent demo. As you are local, I'm interested in where you are demoing, is it Nexnix?
     
  5. Supersonic

    Supersonic
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    UrbanT - Yes, am heading across to Nexnix at Horsham at lunchtime.

    Thanks for all the tips! Will post back how I get on.
     
  6. PIG JOE

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    good advise from 'oakleyspatz' BUT, why not also have a look at the Hitachi TX100 !
     
  7. benji_m

    benji_m
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    You might also want to throw a DLP in the mix (Sorry to the harrassed salesperson!)
     
  8. Supersonic

    Supersonic
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    Spent a good hour and a half at Nexnix with Matt and had a good look at the Sanyo Z2, Z3 and Sony HS50.

    Matt put Driver on and fired up the pjs.

    First impression was just how quiet they were - something which is important for me given the location of the pj relative to the nearest seating. The Sanyos were quieter than the Sony and the Z3 was quieter than the Z2.

    Second impression they made was the real lack of noticeable screendoor at roughly 1.5 - 2x screen width :) - I was expecting to notice this a lot more. And the vibrant colours of the Sanyos - the Sony was maybe a little more 'neutral'.

    Thanks to Oakleyspatz and WonkeyEwok for the tips - I could only hear the pjs because the sound system was off (in fairness Nexnix did say they wouldn't turn the sound on so I could hear the pjs) and I had a good look at the cloudy bits at the start of Master & Commander. All seemed fine - I couldn't see any blockiness or missing detail. I couldn't see any VB on any of the three at all.

    We had a quick tour round the different lamp modes (for noise issues) and even in 'normal' (=high?) lamp mode, they were all pretty quiet. Certainly nothing like the jet taking off sound from the DLPs I've borrowed from work on previous occasions.

    So in the end I decided on the Z3. Three things clinched it - one was the overall cost (the Sony was £500 dearer), the warranty (Sony 1 yr, Sanyos 3 yrs) and lastly I couldn't honestly see a slap-me-in-the-face difference between the Z3 and the Sony - despite what I've read all round the forums. Factor 4 was of course that my wife liked the Z3 best (which was nice as it co-incided with my preference and avoided a row in the Nexnix office!!)

    [benji_m - yes, I thought long and hard about DLPs but I get a belter of a headache after watching a movie and I'd end up hating the pj and regretting the expenditure]

    Nexnix were patient and helpful - a lot of places aren't, so credit to them. :thumbsup: And I picked up a free 180cm 16:9 Projecta screen into the bargain. Not too shabby a freebie, really!

    Thanks to everyone on the forums for all the info - you've saved me/us a lot of time and effort!

    Now just need to pick a film and get the beers in! :smoke:

    S
     

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