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What to look for when having a demo?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Punce, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Punce

    Punce
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    In a week or two, I'll be going to a shop for a demo on the AE-100.

    Could someone write a simple checklist of what to test, and how to go about it (must be an 'Idiot's guide' for me to understannd it :( )

    The model number of the pj expected to arrive is: PT-AE100EC

    Does anyone know what the EC on the end might be?

    (I've also noticed an 'E' on the end of the model number on the cinemaheaven website)

    :confused: :confused:
     
  2. gavan

    gavan
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    Hi,

    just bring your favourite DVDs and see what you think of how they look on the projector(s) that you want to test.

    Try and make sure that theres at least one 'dark' one so that you can get a good idea of how the black/grey levels of LCD affect your viewing pleasure.

    Also make sure that you have both PAL and NTSC discs in order to be sure that there aren't any little surprises when playing one or the other kind of signal. See if you can get a demo through component, s-video and composite connections too as there can be quite marked differences. Oh yeah, if you have them then bring discs in the 3 main aspect ratios as well to see how it handles letterboxing etc.


    Scan carefully for dead or defective pixels. Sometimes they are obvious as they are 'stuck' on/off (eg the common 'green pixel' problem) but sometimes they only show up when that pixel is at certain light levels/colours. If you aren't happy with a dead/defective pixel then refuse to buy the unit - it's your money. It may be that you can live with a slightly faulty pixel.

    Just bear in mind that almost ANY projector is going to blow your mind if it's your first exposure to using one to watch a film! It's pretty easy to fall in techno-lust and throw your money away with abandon.


    Gav
     
  3. Punce

    Punce
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    Thanks Gav

    To make a thorough search for dead pixels, what should I do?

    This is what I think I should do - display, in turn, a green, blue, red, black and white full-screen image, and stand close to the screen, and look for odd coloured pin-holes. Correct?

    I don't know how to get those colours though! maybe search some DVD's I own for certain scenes? Or is there a way on the AE100 to display these test cards?
     
  4. Tempest

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    How about Burning a VCD (with Nero perhaps) of a simply slidehow.
    You can then just make pictures on your PC in Red, Green and Blue, plus anything else you can think of....
    Burn your VCD, take to shop and do the test.
     
  5. gavan

    gavan
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    Tempests idea about burning a VCD sounds pretty good to me - if you have the time/knowledge to do it of course.

    What I would do is display 'pure' red, green, blue and then white screens and vary their intensity from fully dark to fully bright. That should show up any defects.

    Maybe if you have a laptop PC you could set up powerpoint or an art package to do this?


    Gav
     
  6. Punce

    Punce
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    Tempest, that's a fantastic idea, why didn't I think of that? Shame on me :blush:

    I just need to find out now how to make a VCD, never made one before, guess I'll have to find that helpful site... vcdhelp is it?...

    If you have any ideas off hand, then throw them this way - cheers!
     
  7. Mr.D

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    Personally I'd aim to put Video Essentials through it.

    Check that the black point and whitepoint are correctly set the look at colour and get it as accurate as possible then take a look at a grayscale ramp and see if can handle a video intensity scale ( look for posterisation) . Look at a frequency response chart to check resolution. Look at a convergence pattern to check panel alignment. Look at a full white frame a black frame and RGB frames to check for dead pixels and general pixel structure ( screendoor).

    This should answer the basic capabilities of the machine transparent from the internal deinterlacer and scaler ( useful if you intend to use an offboard solution such as an HTPC) .

    Have a look at a some real material both 625/50 and 525/60 and have a look at the mixed film/video sourced material on VE to check issues such as 3:2 pulldown detection and field based deinterlace capabilities.

    If you are serious about getting a projector I don't see how you can manage without something like Video Essentials or Avia ( I prefer the former)
     
  8. jrwood

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    I've been thinking of creating a VCD which does exactly this, plus the ability to calibrate your projector.

    I may create a new thread for this, but if anyone has any input for the ultimate calibration/screentest VCD then tell me :).

    Of course this VCD would be a free download, the more contributions/ideas made the better the final product will be.
     
  9. Punce

    Punce
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    Mr. D, thanks for your input, I understood all the words individually, but when they were in that order, it went right over my head :D :D

    Many on this forum have tested out different aspects of the Panasonic AE-100. I just want to run a test at the shop to see if it's a good one.

    James, if you could send me a quick guide on how to make a simple slideshow onto VCD, I would very grateful.
     
  10. Punce

    Punce
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    Just found this link to make a slideshow VCD using Nero!

    http://www.vcdhelp.com/nerophoto.htm

    I didn't realise it was that easy, now then who has some high quality pics (patterns etc) to burn ;)
     
  11. jrwood

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    Oh and this VCD would of course have to have some THX intros! ;)

    I have loads of sound tests too for subwoofer etc, so could include these on the VCD too.
     
  12. gavan

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    Go for it! This is a great idea and would be a fantastic tool especially for people looking to test a potential purchase.

    If you make the disc, please consider my idea about testing for dead pixels as this seems to be the #1 headache-causing-issue for many people.


    Gav
     
  13. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    To test for dead (open) pixels use the projectors picture mute button (if it has one) to display a black screen. Open pixels will show as bright dots.

    Half pixels will show as not quite so bright.

    closed pixels are rarer but can happen, Full white screen and the pixels will show as black dots.

    If you see bloches of colour these are lickly to be dust spots. You may be able to adjust the focus to show them clearly.

    Most manufactuers allow 1 or 2 bright pixels per colour in a circle the height of the panel. and more for half open pixels and ones that fall out side the circle.

    If you find an LCD projector with them all at the edges don't complain buy it.
     
  14. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    To test for dead (open) pixels use the projectors picture mute button (if it has one) to display a black screen. Open pixels will show as bright dots.

    Half pixels will show as not quite so bright.

    closed pixels are rarer but can happen, Full white screen and the pixels will show as black dots.

    If you see bloches of colour these are lickly to be dust spots. You may be able to adjust the focus to show them clearly.

    Most manufactuers allow 1 or 2 bright pixels per colour in a circle the height of the panel. and more for half open pixels and ones that fall out side the circle.

    If you find an LCD projector with them all at the edges don't complain buy it.
     
  15. uncle eric

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    Apart from the good Video advice above. Have a good listen with ALL amplification off.
    Dont forget to switch the salesman off also.

    Take an SPL meter along with you and measure how loud the projector is from around 1 meter.
    Around 30db's is acceptable, 40 plus is not. Projector fan noise is drowned out in many action films but when it comes to quiet scenes like dialogue, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
    Some years ago, I owned a Sony VPLS600 Lcd PJ. This was the loudest single lense device I've ever heard.
    Sounded like a B52 bomber taking off.
    Dont rely solely on specs. If you dont have an SPL meter, borrow one.

    Eric
     
  16. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    also pay close attention to lipsync : depending on what inputs you use this may become a problem or not...
     
  17. Punce

    Punce
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    I would have thought all most of these issues have been checked by others on this forum. All the AE-100s will be the same as regards lip-sync, fan noise etc. I was simply asking for advice about checking the paticular unit, to ensure it's a good example or not.

    But, yeah I understand your points, definitely worthwhile when comparing different pj's.

    Cheers
     
  18. uncle eric

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    :confused: So if they have all been checked, just go and buy one.

    Eric
     
  19. gavan

    gavan
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    He's worried about the individual unit he's about to buy - no point getting the best regarded projector in the world if it turns out there are dead pixels in the middle of the screen when you get it home.


    Gav
     
  20. uncle eric

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    Gavan,
    I know. I was being naughty. :devil:

    Eric
     
  21. Dick Scratcher

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    On the subject of test patterns for burning to a VCD. Nokia produced a tidy little programme for checking convergence, geometry and greyscale. It was called Ntest and was mainly for checking PC monitors, can't see why it couldn't be used as a test disc for a PJ demo. If you're interested in checking it out send me an e-mail and I'll get it sorted.
     
  22. Punce

    Punce
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    I would send you an e-mail if I could, but I couldn't so I didn't :D

    I have sent you a private message though!
     

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