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Sonny HS50 vs Panny 700 vs Themescene H30a

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by DEANO-B, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B
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    Last week a member of these forums Paul (justwondering) invited me to a trip to Roy Jowetts for a PJ test as he is going to purchase a PJ. I in turn invited a friend and member of AVForums, Daz (Fallwood) along. Paul wanted to see the Sony HS50, Panny AE700, and the Themscene H30A. We tested the 3 PJs for 2 ½ hours and used ‘StarWars IV & V’ and ‘Monsters Inc’ as our source material. Daz and I have owned Panny AE700s from last October, and proir to that Daz owned a Panny 100 & 500.

    -First up was the Sony HS50 and ‘StarWars IV’, and I have to say I thought this machine was going to be ‘a bit special’ with its high contrast ratio of 6000:1 and price tag of £1600. Daz and I have watched this film several times on our PJs so knew what to expect. We were all highly disappointed!! Paul had seen this machine in the Sony shop under poor conditions and stated that he hadn’t thought much of it. The problem we all agreed was that the dynamic iris works too hard, and when there was any darkness to a scene it looked flat and lifeless – there was no sparkle to the image. We messed around with the settings and got it looking a little better – but not much! I was very surprised how bad it was.
    -Next up was the Panny 700 & ‘StarWars IV’ again. Staight away Daz and I noticed the blacks were not true blacks (unlike at home) and put this down to the screen which was +1.5 gain. Trying to be impartial I kept quiet until Paul said that it was a lot better than the Sony. There was a lot more sparkle to the picture, skin tones looked better, the image was more alive. We put ‘StarWars V’ and then ‘Monsters Inc.’ on, as it is a good test to see if the characters stand out – to test how sharp the image is. V.Good.
    -Then came the Themescene H30A and ‘StarWars’. One second into the film a chorus of ‘rainbows’ came from me and Daz as the StarWars logo goes off screen. We were being completely unbiased and had never seen a rainbow before today. The first line of text in the monologue came up and once again we saw the dreaded rainbow effect. Luckily for Paul he couldn’t see it and I indexed forward to the film. 5 mins into the film Paul saw the rainbow effect, but it didn’t really bother him. The image felt open and bright, and gave a nice warm film like feel. Scenes on the dessert of Tattooine and the icy planet of Hoth looked very natural. Apart from the rainbows Daz and I thought there was another down side though – the image was very soft, and lacked fine detail. Paul was unsure. We messed around with the settings but with no success.

    Daz and I were honestly being completely unbiased, but thought the 700 won hands down. For Paul it was a closer call with the Panny being better than the Themescene, but both offering great but different pictures.
    I apologize for not including the Z3,Hitacthi etc etc. but we wanted to test these machines properly, and I think 2 ½ hours is long enough to test anyone’s patience!!

    I would like to thank Benji at http://www.royjowetthomecinema.co.uk/ for his patience, and professional sales manner. (top bloke!!) :smashin:
     
  2. fallwood

    fallwood
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    Just to recap, I don't think deano was harsh enough with his comments about the hs50, compared to the panny and the themescene the hs50 looked flat and lifeless, for a machine that costs 600 quid more I was expecting something special but was left very very disappointed by the overall lack of punch and vibrancy. The themescene on the other hand was very very good, colours were natural and consistent from scene to scene and the image was very bright and punchy, the only things that let it down was the soft picture and lack of detail also the lack of hi-def support was a major drawback, rainbows were also a severe problem for me. Overall the 700 still came out on top with the themescene a very close second, IMO the hs50 shouldnt have even been in the same room.
     
  3. benji_m

    benji_m
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    Yes, it was an interesting afternoon. Very revealing!
     

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