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What Hi-Fi Z3 Review

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Louis Mazzini, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Louis Mazzini

    Louis Mazzini
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    I was flipping through the magazine in WH Smith today (apologies, I'm not 100% sure it was What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision, but I'm pretty sure it was). It had a brief review of the Sanyo Z3 which, in terms of rating, was effectively negative (3 out of 5). The main problem, they said, was the visible "chicken wire effect", a problem which, they advised, you won't get on a similarly priced DLP.

    Now, I don't own a Z3 (I have an 'old' AE500), and I've never seen one in action, but I'd thought chicken wire/screen door was a non-issue on the current crop of decent LCDs (it's totally invisible, to my eyes, on the AE500). Can any Z3 owners advise?

    In my experience, 1024 x 576 DLPs show more in the way of pixellation than 1280 x 720 LCDs show screen door (these days). Anyone agree/disagree?

    My point, such as I have one, is that this little review struck me as another small example of magazine favouritism towards DLP. I remain convinced they play down the problem of rainbows, and I'd have thought it was vastly more important to bring readers' attention to the possibility of those in virtually every DLP review, rather than score what I understand to be a perfectly competent LCD with a rating that I'm sure will put people off buying it.

    As a complete aside, I'm on record here as being one who sees rainbows on single-chip DLPs more often than the kid in Sixth Sense sees dead people (hence, probably, my above observation). But I may become a convert: I saw the Sim2 HT300 at the Bristol show the other day and, through about 20 minutes of Vertical Limit, was entirely unaffected by rainbows, eyestrain or headaches. Maybe DLP has caught up with me...
     
  2. kgulls

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    I too have read the review in What Hi-Fi and agree that it seems almost dismissive of the Z3.
    Since I am ready to take the plunge and purchase my first projector, I was keen to see the Z3 in action at the Bristol show.Spent quite some time watching the demo and left impressed.Admittedly the demo used an external scaler but by most accounts the Z3 does'nt do a bad job itself.
    Would have been nice to see the Sony in action but they were most unhelpful,stating that it was mainly an audio show so had'nt bothered to bring one. :confused:
    Tis true what is often said.Don't pay too much attention to reviews.See for yourself.
    Personally I can see the Z3 addorning my room very soon.
     
  3. Joe Fernand

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    Louis

    As you say DLP and LCD have strengths and weaknesses - though I think when your talking about DLP and the colour separation problem you associate with that technology you do have to consider how many colour segments are in the colour wheel and what speed the colour wheel in any given projector is running at.

    I also loved the fact that What HiFi somehow found some hidden switch in a ThemeScene H57 that enabled them to bypass internal deinterlacing on the DVI Input - which makes the DVI Input the best option with this projector :)

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS Though I do have to agree overall with What HiFi that the H57 is a great unit for sub 2K!!!
     
  4. theritz

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    I had a quick peep at that magazine in the newsagents - No one could describe that piece as a review. If you want a realistic impression of the Z3's capabilities in comparison to other similar LCD models check out cine4home.de.

    Sean G.
     
  5. zAndy1

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    The Z3 is a stunning projector for the money and there is no chicken wire visible on mine I can tell you! Don't worry if you buy one you won't be disappointed

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  6. robfitzp

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    I don't have a Z3 but I would not be put off (or encouraged to buy) any product by a What Hifi review. Sanyo obviously aren't advertising enough kit with them at the moment....
     
  7. hornydragon

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    the Z1 had chicken wire the Z2 could show chicken wire the Z3 well i have not seen one display chicken wire....perhaps they just re ran a Z1 review and changed the "1" for a "3"
     
  8. PJTX100

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    Judging by the excellent cine4home review the Z3 and TX100 seem to display the pixels in the same way. I've seen similar comments about the TX. It is fair to say that close-up the pixels are probably more prominent than most of its peer LCD and DLPs - defocus a little and they'd probably look more like, say, the AE700.
    Either way it's academic, go more than 1.5x screen distance away and you don't see the pixel structure.

    If I sit close to a normal TV I see the pixels as much as the TX...PJ
     
  9. Adrenochrome

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    I Saw this projector at Bristol as well and as i was interested in the deal being offered i asked to view the Z3 minus the Iscan hd. The guys in charge duly took the Iscan out of the chain and let me see the Z3 being fed s-video.

    I Can honestly say this projector is better than the Panasonic 700 that i own.

    Adrenochrome.
     
  10. Member 14847

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    At this relatively low price point I think the main thing to bear in mind these days is the availability of LCD projectors which can natively display high definition material, which DLP machines at this price cannot. With regard to seeing the pixel grid, if I stick my head 6 inches from my t.v. I can see individual phosphors, perhaps I should chuck my t.v. out.

    With regard to the What Hi-Fi review giving 3 out of 5? Good grief, was someone wearing a stocking on their head?
     
  11. theritz

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    Ken,



    ... should be a nice pointy hat with a big "D" on it...... It's galling that these people get paid for writing tat, and that people reading it might believe their biased view. Three Infocus projectors in their best buys......... Mmmmm... there's something to think about......


    S.
     
  12. Bristol Pete

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    I saw it too. No screen door or VB in sight. A very nice PJ.

    Cap.
     
  13. RTFM

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    Ken

    With respect, if we say HD material is 1920 x 1080 then I don't see how the current LCDs from Sanyo, Panasonic, Sony etc with a res. of 1280 x 720 can display HD material at their native resolution.

    A lot of the 1024 x 576 DLPs do a great job of scaling down HD to their native resolution. It looks a darn site better than scaling up standard DVD at 720 x 480 (or 576) to 1024 x 576.

    Jeff :rtfm:
     
  14. Member 14847

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    A quote from the EICTA press release on high definition compliance:

    "The minimum native resolution of the display (e.g. LCD, PDP) or display engine (e.g. DLP) is 720 physical lines in wide aspect ratio."

    On the scaling, fair comment, but I would argue that 1080i scaled to 720p would retain more detail than 1080i scaled to 576p.
     
  15. Mr.D

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    Totally agree I stopped buying What Hifi years ago , the only time I'll even consider it is if I want the crazy special offers page from the Richer Sounds ad. It took them over two years to stop saying s-video was superior to RGB over scart and PAL60 was inferior to NTSC. Not worth the trees in my opinion.
     
  16. johnywh

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    I have a Z3 for a couple of weeks.
    I project on a Dalite HCMW screen 180cm wide and my eyes are about 3,5m away.
    The pixel structure is visible in some very luminous shots - i saw star wars episode I and i could feel it in some scenes in the white background.
    In the majority of the cases i do not see pixels - but saying that the effect is dissapeared is not correct
    bye
    J.
     
  17. Louis Mazzini

    Louis Mazzini
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    I must have missed that room . Something I'd loved to have seen at the Bristol show is a high-def disc running through one of the cheap - eg Z3/AE700 - LCDs. There are a lot of us with these 1280 x 720 projectors who have yet to see them do what they're capable of. I'm looking forward to it. (I saw the Blu-Ray demo - laid on by our freinds at What Hi-Fi - on the Sim three-chipper, and it was superb, but I would like to have seen what it's like on a more realistic machine too.)
     
  18. Louis Mazzini

    Louis Mazzini
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    That's pixel structure though, which all digital projectors can be guilty of, rather than chicken wire/screen door, which is what What Hi-Fi claimed to be so dissatisfied with.
     
  19. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Louis - I'm not entirely surprised you got 20mins happy viewing with the Sim. They have been boasting recently that the prism structure in their optical system, and the quality of the optical system overall has more of a subduing effect with regard to colour break-up artefacts than adding segments to the colour wheel does. The additional segments only came about with the idea of a neutral density filter (basically a 7th or 7th and 8th dark green filter which reduces dithering in dark scenes but effectively adds to the time taken for the colour wheel to be able to spin back to whichever primary colour it is due to display), but was never designed with the intention of reducing rainbows. I think Mitsubishi were the first to make a lot of noise about it, and I have to admit I went along with it too as the HC2000 shows very few rainbows, and switching from 4x to 5x on the unit did reduce them further. However now based on the evidence of more and more projectors with the ND segment, and having seen 4x and 5x, while all appear to be influencers I think optics appears to be the most influential. All goes beyond my technical knowledge I have to admit, but the proof is in the pudding if you ask me. Sim2, Barco, Runco and other high-end projectors with better optics (not just the cheapest glass Carl Zeiss will do for them) simply showed less rainbows but did not necessarilly have ND filters and/or high speed colour wheels.

    Distracting from the point slightly, but if I go off on one about the state of magazine reviews, and AV magazines in general I'm liable to be here until Sunday!!
     
  20. paulw77

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    They were dismissive of the Z2 when that came out as well, basically saying the same thing re : chicken wire. I've had one for 18 months now and can't see it at all.
     
  21. Louis Mazzini

    Louis Mazzini
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    Liam,

    Absolutely. The chap on the Sim2 stand said we shouldn't be "bamboozled" by manufacturers quotes of higher speed colour wheels and more segments, and that high quality optics played a vital role. As you say, the proof is in the pudding ...and the HT300 tasted delicious. I wonder what What Hi-Fi would make of it...!
     
  22. Bristol Pete

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    Have been getting used to a SIM2 30H (recent purchase) via a Pioneer 868 after having LCD for some time. It is simply amazing. Words cannot convey how good the PQ is on a 7-8 foot screen from 17 feet away.

    Cap.
     

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