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Time to choose - any opinions? :-)

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by docfeelgood, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    I've been reading lots and talking to many people about my first PJ and now it's time to choose.

    Demo's have been a nightmare. I have only managed to see a SIM 2 Domino and a Panny 200 and have resigned myself to picking a PJ without seeing it 'in action'.

    This is where you guys can help.

    I had two ways of thinking for this:

    1. Buy a cheaper LCD PJ (say 1-1.5k) and maybe look to upgrade sooner if needed.

    2. Buy a more expensive DLP PJ (1.5-3K) and keep longer (take me ages to pay for it anyway!)


    My narrowed down choices are as follows:

    1. LCD:

    Z2, Panny 500 (although I wanted to buy before xmas so this one is probably no good) and lastly the Hitachi PJ-TX10 (Illumina).


    2. DLP:

    Infocus screenplay 5700.


    At the moment I'm leaning towards the Infocus but it is the most expensive. The Z2 looks very interesting and the Hitachi looks like good value.


    I need some final help to push me over the cliff.


    I'd really appreciate your opinions :)


    I'd also like to say that this forum has been a godsend during this process and I've learn't a hell of a lot from the people posting here.

    best regards

    Doc.
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I bought an AE300 blind and now know what mistakes I made. ;)

    Your first decision is LCD or DLP, sadly while DLPs generally give better pictures in terms of black levels the cheaper ones can be a source of 'rainbows' which some people find impossible to live with .. it's down to the individual, you can't predict whether you're susceptible to them.

    I've never seen a DLP so don't know what one looks like in comparison to an LCD of equivalent resolution.

    Given the relatively low prices there is an argument by buying cheap in the full expectation of upgrading ... however new models like the Z2 are the same price as I paid for my 300 and is considerably superior in may ways, which is then an argument for going for one of those.

    If I were buying now, for the first time, I'd got for a Z2 provided there are some serious reviews of them ... remember, early production runs often discover the flaws which test runs didn't, anyone say HS10 lamps? :(.
     
  3. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Thanks KRaGorn :)

    I don't think 'rainbows' will bother me. I didn't see any on the SIM2 and thats a similar spec.

    Out of interest.... what mistakes did you make buying the AE300?

    ta

    Doc
     
  4. Noger

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    The question I would ask is ... what would bother you about a Z2/AE500 that would require upgrade to a DLP ?

    These latest LCD's (and I have seen neither although I have demoed the Infocus), if they live up to expectations, should be excellent.
     
  5. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Thanks Noger.

    My max budget is 3k which is what the infocus costs.

    I guess I'm thinking that the pq of the infocus must be much better than the LCD's mentioned ... as it costs twice the amount and has a great spec. Maybe not ?

    What did you think of the infocus?
     
  6. venkman

    venkman
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    I've got a 5700, and am extremely happy with it. However, if I was choosing again I would definitely wait to see the Z2 in action; if it lives up to its spec, it should be a bargain!
     
  7. Noger

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    Great projector, sadly it was watching American Pie - not the greatest demo DVD.

    But quite whether it is twice as good as a £1500 unit ? Hmmmm. Not sure about that.

    If you can afford it, go for it. But the pq on the newer LCD's look like they should be really good.
     
  8. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Thx venkman.

    How would you compare the DLP pricture you get from the 5700 to an LCD picture.... is it more detailed etc... ?

    Is there anything about it that your not happy about?

    cheers

    Doc
     
  9. KraGorn

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    Actually .. none really. :D

    The 300 is a very nice projector, certainly for a n00b like me .. got my 300 early September. The problem with 'blacks' is one which I only got to understand after some time with it .. to begin with the 'WOW' factor for a first-timer masks most of the compromises in picture quality of course. :)

    About the only mistake I made was to take a grey screen .. while it does indeed improve blacks the 300 is a bit under-powered to project to a 92" one and I need a complete black-out and the projector on 'high' to get a reasonably bright picture.

    That said, I'm well happy with my AE300 .. as I'm sure I'll be when I finally succumb to a Z2 or even perhaps an HS20. :blush:
     
  10. ChrisNightingal

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    Hi there Doc,

    Just thought I would offer my penny's worth of knowledge!! I also was in the same position in that I wanted my first projector but didn't know which one. HCC magazine and these forums were a great help. But arranging a demo was almost impossible as no one every had anything from stock to demo. I gambled and went with the Panny AE300 from NexNix and all I can say is it's the best £1600 I have ever spent. Absolutely superb. But would I feel the same if I saw another projector. Don't know, but like Cypher said in The Matrix, "Ignorance is bliss"!! Not sure any of this helps but there you go.

    Here is a little web page I did on my pj and installation if your interested.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/chris.nightingale1/ftvtp/ftvtpmainpage.htm

    The only thing I would mention if going the LCD path, is a dead-pixel check.

    Good Luck in your choice,

    Chris Nightingale.
     
  11. venkman

    venkman
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    My only lcd experience is from my previous projector – a Sony HS10. The 5700 has a far smoother image; the screendoor effect was noticable on the HS10 from 1.5x distance, on the 5700 I can't see individual pixels from 1.5x. Blacks and shadow detail are much better on the infocus - the HS10 always seemed to have subtle grey haze over the picture. The colours were good on the HS10, but they are even more vivid on the 5700, especially reds.

    I wouldn't say the image is more detailed on the infocus; with dvds I would say there is nothing between the two (I am going from memory though). On hidef material, a higher res LCD like the Z2 should show more detail, but hidef clips / T2 extreme edition using my HCPC still look fantastic on the 5700.

    The only negative point I can think of about the 5700 is that a whine from the colour wheel occasionally gets my attention. I’ve put over 300 hours on mine now and I’m still delighted with it. Is it worth double the price of a Z2? That’s a tough one… Going by the specs the Z2 should be pretty similar and its price gives it an advantage. However, its dangerous comparing based on specs alone – manufacturers tend to have different methods of calculating specs. I would say if you can justify the cost of the infocus you would be very happy with it.

    One other thing – perhaps the size of your screen / room might help you make a decision. The 5700 has quite a long throw, an 80” diagonal screen needs a throw of between 3.8m – 5.3m. I think the Z2 / AE500 have shorter throws, so if space is an issue they may be a better choice. Also, if you intend to have a large screen size, the infocus may be more suitable due to its brightness (however, resolution may become an issue with the 5700 if you go too big). Complicated isn’t it!

    I’m sure that whatever you get, you’ll be delighted with it and wondering how you ever managed with a normal TV. Good luck!

    Peter
     
  12. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Thx matey.

    By the way I live in washington which is probably not far from you....

    did you find anywhere to get demos locally?

    I can only find any dem PJ's in Global HiFi (panny 200) and Sevenoaks (Sim2).

    best regards

    Doc
     
  13. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Thx to Chris also.... I'd already looked at your website :)

    Bet your mates are always knocking on the door!
     
  14. krl25sc

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    Doc - I'm in the exact same position you are at this time - I auditioned an Infocus 5700 this afternoon (actually the first proper demo I have had of a projector) and was very impressed. I would definitely recommend an audition because the dealer said a number of people have seen the "rainbow effect" - I didn't though and he said they had sold two in the last ten days so others obviously don't either. I think the sensible thing to do would be to wait until the Z2 is released (and for me also the Sony HS20 which I understand has an HDMI input) to make a comparison - £1500 is a lot of money but it's so tempting when the 5700 can be taken home right away! I've got a home demo of the 5700 tomorrow so I've got time to think about it. Interested to hear what you do.

    Have you had any recommendations on screens? Have you been quoted any prices? I saw a thread from a few weeks ago that a 10% discount on the 5700 was the norm - but I understand they are in relatively short supply at the moment.
     
  15. docfeelgood

    docfeelgood
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    Krl25sc... it's nice to have someone in the same boat :)

    I haven't got to the screens yet.

    To be honest, if it was the 5700 I was going for, I was going to get everything from Sevenoaks and hope to cut a deal on the screen and ceiling mount. They are selling the 5700 for 3k and I haven't seen it cheaper anywhere else.

    They told me to go for DLP.

    Let me know how the home demo goes... how did you arrange that? and where from?

    That Z2 looks good tho :)

    regards

    Doc
     
  16. Starkiller

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    Hi Doc

    Im in the position as you, But dont buy without viewing.
    chance are you will be happy with what the good people here recommend, but everyones different and what looks good to others may annoy you.

    Ive seen the themescene H56 and recon its pretty good, ive not looked at the 5700 & NEC HT1000 as there too dear for me anyway
    I saw a z1 at the same time as the H56, it was pretty close, but the screen door effect niggled me, but z1 costs 1300 less
    I may wait to see a z2 b4 i take the plunge
     

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