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Which one, AE700, Z3, TX100, TW200H

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by spickee, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. spickee

    spickee
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    Managed to talk the wife up from the TW10H I was going to buy last week to being allowed to finance and get up to about a grand.

    Looking at four really as I see Rainbows.

    Epson TW-200H
    Panny PT-AE700
    Hitachi PJ-TX100
    Sanyo PLV-Z3

    All are around the same price. Brightness and contrast isn't too different.

    I'm initially going to be feeding it, DVD (component probably), Xbox (component from HD pack with NTSC hack), Sky via component. PC via VGA using powerstrip and native resolution.

    All these are probablys as the kit is in different rooms and I need to cable back.

    I will be getting an Xbox 360 when they come out and probably be getting Sky HD when that arrives.

    The PJ will mostly be used for films and gaming, no general TV watching as that is in the lounge and screen placement is so far a non starter.

    Warranty needs to be as long as possible, so this puts the Sanyo and Epson at the top of the pile, 12 months in my opinion is crap.

    Ability to show a poor source without killing it, such as a composite input. I know this is a difficult one, but reading what people say about the Z3s scaler I would rather know that if I can't afford to upgrade everything immediately then this won't be a problem. Also a bit concerned about people mentioning the need to introduce audio lag. This isn't acceptable in my book.

    Leaning towards the Epson due to it's baby brother and the warranty, anyone convince me otherwise.
     
  2. gingerone

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    I have the Z3 and have not experienced any audio lag.
    I would recomend the Z3 but I'm biased!
     
  3. CrispyXUK

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    z3 is very nice
     
  4. bluetone73

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    Looking at the epson tw200 specs, i notice it does'nt have a HDMI or DVI port.

    I think to get the best quality picture from the forthcoming Xbox360, you will need a digital input.

    Possibly also the 800:1 contrast ratio is slightly lacking as well in the epsons price range (~£1090).

    As i'm in the same boat as you, i'll tell you my thinking on the subject.

    I've (almost) decided upon the sanyo Z3 for several reasons.

    1) 3 year warranty, you're right, anything less is taking your chances a bit
    2) plently of high quality inputs (including HDMI)
    3) Native Resolution to match the forthcoming xbox360 (and PS3), sky HD service and HD dvd's
    4) apparently it has very good lens shift range which will make positioning it a lot easier.
    5) Price vs. Performance, at £998 from a certain UK supplier with a free dead pixel check is quite good for a 1280x780 projector.

    some reviews that i've looked at which have helped me decide on this

    http://www.guidetohometheater.com/videoprojectors/305sanyo/
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv-z3.htm
    http://www.projectorreviews.com/review.asp?reid=22&page=1

    I'm not blind to the fact that the sanyo has its problems as well, the 'predator' problem (apparently fixed in latest firmware), its hardly the brightest projector around, which means no good viewing if theres a more than a tiny amount of light in the room (I plan on controlling the light tho..) also the fact that its contrast ratio isn't the claimed 2000:1 but a bit lower in reality.

    Unfortunately in this price range and this resolution you really do have to pick the lesser of several evils.

    The panasonics lacking warranty + vertical banding problems (seems random as some people complain, some don't) has put me off.

    Not sure about the TX100, but i don't think its received as much attention as the Z3 and AE700 which makes it hard to bring it into the equation and evaluate it.

    I'm not made of money and if i can save £100 and get a projector which is just as good and if not better than its peers, i'll put that £100 towards the xbox360 or a load of DVD's!

    Hope this helps a bit.

    When you do decide, tell us which one you went for if you could and why, it would help a lot of people.....
     
  5. gingerone

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    I think the main contenders are the ae700 and the Z3, the 3 year warranty and the reliability swayed me in the end.
    The panasonic would actually have been easier to place but once I had the sanyo I was so impressed that I kept it.
    The brightness is'nt really an issue as most people watch projectors in the dark anyway and once set up the blacks are nice and deep.
     
  6. spickee

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    Looking at the Epson, I really can't decide whether the digital input side of things is that huge. Manufacturers are continually coming up with ways round copy protection etc so I have to assume that something will come along.

    The Z3 is concerning me slightly on the output brightness. I would love to know that I can watch during the day without having to blackout the room completely, but with optimum viewing being at night.

    Spending a grand I want to get it right. The three years warranty has thrown me at the Epson and Z3 but I know the number of people that rave about the panny it has to be in with a shout.

    This is hard. Don't think I'm going to be able to get a demo anywhere round here either so it's a blind buy on other opinions.
     
  7. bluetone73

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    whatever you pick, if this is your first projector, i'd imagine you'd be blown away with the image

    but like i said before, if you really can't decide, i'd go for the cheapest and use the money you've saved on something else

    with the xbox360 likely to be around £300 and £45 games, i'd imagine you wanna get saving now!
     
  8. gingerone

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    There are'nt many projectors that will look very good in a light room especially at this price point.
    I'd go for the projector that is going to look best overall and that is going to be the Z3 or the panny.
    The brightness level on my Z3 is a lot lower than specified as I use the theatre black mode and it still looks good in the daytime with the curtains closed.
     
  9. spickee

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    Gingerone, that is the sort of answer I was after.

    Having read a lot of comments in other threads from people who have obviously converted their garages etc. The room must be totally dark, yes in the ideal world it would be, but wives being what they are they demand some compromises.

    My biggest problem now is siting the projector and which room it's going in.

    Got the lounge with the awful corner position for the TV as it wouldn't go anywhere else. Imagine a square room with four doors off it, one is a patio door and stairs going up in it as well. Damned awkward if you ask me. I can either sling the screen at an angle across the corner, doing this will limit the screen size, not a huge issue, it'll still be buckets bigger than the 32" TV, or move the surround speakers and put the screen over the patio door, this is possibly the better solution, but it does mean lots of wiring changes for the speakers and probable carpet lifting. Never popular.

    Second option, we have a nice long dining room with a couple of comfy chairs. Currently this is the adhoc cinema room when I get to borrow a projector from work but the seats are just too close to the screen max distance you can get is about 7ft from the screen. Short of a major move around in here we are kind of stuck with this configuration. Secondly the sound system in this room is crap, no mincing words here.

    I could turn the room round and put the screen on the opposite wall thus giving a viewing distance of about 3-4 meters screen size is not an issue that can be as big as I can get. Again this means a furniture move and some rearrangement but is doable.

    I can't afford to buy an expensive second sound system at the minute, but I do need a new DVD player to feed the projector with progressive at the least. So I might be able to wangle a sound system and still keep the wife sweet, but the budget will only be about £200, any suggestions on this.

    In the lesser of two evils boat now. mmmmmm!
     
  10. Mark_a

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    Richer Sounds are doing a pretty good Panasonic 5.1 AV amp/speaker set up for about £190 which might fit your bill. Or at least they were a month ago when I was last in there. I bought one for my GF's living room. It's not earth shaking but what do you expect for £200? My speaker system cost me £1600 four years ago, plus another £400 for the Sony AV amp. Incidentally Panasonic do a matching DVD player to go with it, also available from RS I believe.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  11. spickee

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    Think I'm settling onto the Panasonic SCHT530. It's under £200 online. Going to have a look at Richer, looking at the Toshiba SD63HK, that's quite pretty as well.

    Going to have to take a mosey down to Richer I think.
     
  12. spickee

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    Just to not about that Panasonic speaker setup, it is in Currys for £90. Think it's the same one.
     
  13. Mark_a

    Mark_a
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  14. gingerone

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    I use a samsung hd850 dvd player with my projector and it is connected via HDMI with excellent results. The player only cost £90 as well so can't complain.
    If I was you I'd use the dining room and rearange it.
    I sit about 4 metres away from my screen and the screen is 80 inches diagonal 16:9 and it is a very cinematic experience.
    The projector sits just over 3 meters away from the screen.
     
  15. cyberheater

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    Just to let you know so you don't experience the shock. The PJ might be warranty for 3 years but the bulb will not. Most likely around 90 days.
     
  16. spickee

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    90 days is better than some warranties though.

    Still umming and ahhhing a bit as to whether the Z3 is going to be bright enough, sure I'm being paranoid but I keep reading the reviews and the Panny just seems to get better reviews, but then it's only a 12 month warranty.

    Anyone know anywhere near Milton Keynes that has a demo room with a Z3 and maybe a similarly priced DLP just to check for my own peace of mind that I really don't get rainbows and have made a daft decision based on lack of sleep or having the image too big. Keep hankering back to the Mitsi EX100U with great contrast, output and 5000 hours on the bulb.

    Mr Indecisive here.
     
  17. gingerone

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    In real terms the panny is'nt any brighter than the Z3, once you've calibrated the pj the brightness rating does'nt mean a great deal anyway.
    There's not a lot between these machines other than the Z3 is known to be a bit more reliable and it has a 3 warrranty.
     
  18. spickee

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    Ok Ginger, you've taken my fears away, just waiting for my local supplier to come up with a finance package if they can. Otherwise I think Ivojo will be the winners as their apr is the lowest of everyone else I've looked at.
     
  19. Frankeh

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  20. spickee

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    Frankeh, that sort of review just puts me back a step.

    There's me thinking I've got it all sorted and the Z3 is the winner then you come along with that and put me back to square one.

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

    Thanks anyway, just wish there was somewhere to go an demo these local to me.
     
  21. PC_112

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    spickee, I was in your position until some days ago.
    It is very annoying when you are looking for the best your money can buy and this "best" simply does not exist.

    I went with the z3 mainly because it is cheaper where I live.
     
  22. Mark_a

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    Yeah, I think that's what's persuaded me in the end. Pany 700 or Sanyo Z3? In the end the Sanyo's £200 cheaper so really it's a no-brainer. I'll be ordering one in the next week or so. Got an electric 2.65m screen coming on Monday and a Tosh 52" RPTV coming on Thursday. Need to let the dust settle a bit before I buy the projector and have three things to set up all at once I think.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  23. cyberheater

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    What's the cheapest place you can get a Z3 for?
     
  24. Mark_a

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  25. mazzymx6

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    I fancy both of these pjs and there doesnt seem to be much difference between the two.

    However, when i read the review (that Frankeh posted the link to) I noticed that it said something about the fact that the Z3 had a system that would stop dust blobs

    Since both pjs are v similar in my eyes the fact that the z3 might not suffer from dust blobs may swing me to buy the z3.

    But I wanted to see what your real life experiences were

    Is the z3 really blob free ?

    Does the AE700 get blobs ?


    Thanks for your help guys

    maz
     
  26. gingerone

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    I've had my Z3 for nearly two months now and I have'nt seen any dust blobs yet.
    Saying that my mate has had his Z2 since it first came out and he has'nt had any dust blobs either.
     
  27. spickee

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    Well I got it.

    Set it up with my crap £15 open box Limit surround system from Richer Sounds (this was in the room anyway, soon to be replaced)

    Should have waited till it got dark really as the sun shines in like a laser onto the back of the screen. Switched it all on and was non plussed initially, with any of the lamp levels. Got a bit of fluctuation in the light levels as well, thought this must be down to my heath robinson cabling and mixture of composite cables running component. Turned it off and went out to get some food and came back to give it another go.

    This time the sun had dropped behind the houses, fired it up, everything else the same. What a difference. Wow. This time I was blown away. Talk about incredible. With the ambient level dropped it was much better.

    Had a bit of Star Wars, good but needs to be darker in the room.

    Then it started getting dark outside, the image came up.

    Moulin Rouge, colours were incredible, black were as close to black as I was going to get last night without fiddling.
    Two Towers, wow and wow again. You could see the pores on Galadriels face. This is what home cinema is all about. Just Wow.

    Then the missus came home so thought I'd better put something on for her, bit of MI-2, the opening shot with him on the rock, just incredible. Even managed to get into Pure Cinema mode here and extend that bulb life, shadow detail just got better, it lost a little bit of punch but otherwise it was better.

    Am I glad I bought this projector?

    Hell yes it has blown me away.

    Is it bright enough?

    In a dark room, with almost no ambient lighting, yes. With light spill from the screen this needs sorting but for now I'm not going to be allowed to paint the dining room a nice deep colour.

    How does it look?

    Resolution is out of this world, with an image 8ft wide at a distance of 7ft from the screen there is a very small amount of screendoor, take it slightly out of focus and it was perfect. Can't wait to get a progressive scan dvd player and also hook it up to the PC and throw some native 720p stuff at it.

    Would I recommend it?

    For the price and the warranty hell yes. The picture is out of this world considering this is an LCD. If I hadn't suffered from rainbows I would have gone DLP for increased flexibility in day to day use, but then I would have lost resolution as I wouldn't have been able to afford a 1280 x 720 DLP projector.

    My next mission is to find cheap-ish component cables, get a better DVD player and amp setup as this one is not all that, mount the PJ on the ceiling and get new curtains to kill the light coming in.

    If you want home cinema and can dedicate a room then this thing is awesome.

    Disclaimer

    I bought this PJ blind and from everything I read on here and other sites. I didn't audition the others in my original list and am sure the Panny would have blown me away as well, but with only a 12 month warranty it just wasn't enough for this sort of investment.
     
  28. dapex

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    Well, thanks for the comments and its been really useful to me, I am worried about the lack of power on the lamp because i have a fish tank with has 300w lights on all evening, my current really really old PJ has 1000 lumens and i can watch that with pretty good ambient light.. I may need to see the Hitachi up and running....

    Cheers
     
  29. Rickyj @ Kalibrate

    Rickyj @ Kalibrate
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    Find something to put around the fish tank during a film ;)

    I have a 7ft wide, 6ft tall vivarium in the same room as the proj, and have managed to use a roller blind to keep the light out when watching a film before 8pm in the eve. :thumbsup:

    Ricky
     
  30. spickee

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    Got the next stage in my setup yesterday. Xbox HD lead from LikSang.

    Got home, softmodded the xbox, selected 480p. Spun up PGR2 and wow, someone put my eyes back in their sockets. Talk about crispy images, absolutely stunning. Played for about half an hour then switched to Forza, again, wow.

    Had a bit of a play with the lamp settings and things, went for the Powerful mode, turned the lamp brightness down, sharpness to -2 and closed the iris a little. Bright enough for a partially lit room, with more noise coming from the xbox.

    If you are wavering on buying one of these then don't, get it, dapex, cook the fish and enjoy the PJ. You won't look back.

    Just trying to cobble enough cash together to get a decent DVD player and new amp and speakers then I'll be away.
     

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