Hi and welcome to the forums, i think that this decision pretty much comes down to how you intend to set it up as i believe these projectors are very much identical in terms of performance. The advantage of the Z2 is the lens shift function which means you can place the projector off centre to the screen and still project a perfect image without the need for keystone correction.
The AE500 has the advantage of smoothscreen which pretty much eliminates screendoor, but does not have any lens shift.
I have the Z2 and the lens shift is very helpful as i have not ceiling mounted it.
Others on this forum may be able to give you a fairer comparison if they have seen these side by side
No sde unless you stick your nose to the screen, the pixels are just so small on my screen which is 7ft wide. There is very slight vertical banding but only in scenes and on the areas with a light blue sky or light grey. The vb really is nothing to worry about and you only notice it if you look for it.
Demo is definitely the way to go, just make sure that when you demo that both machines are using the same inputs and dvd player as this can effect things.
on a 5-6ft screen, screen door shouldn't be a problem on either of those PJs, depending how far back your viewing position is.
I'm in the same boat as you trying to decide on which one to go for. I'm currently an AE100 owner and want to upgrade. My mate recently acquired a Z2, and the PQ is very impressive (better than my AE100 as you'd expect!) but he has 2 dust blobs on it, a red and a green one (almost looks like a set of traffic lights) and we've just trolled through countless threads on how to fix it.
It seems like there's a problem with the Z2's at the moment with dust finding its way inside, and it's a bit of a bitch to clean properly, especially if it's ceiling mounted. He'll probably give it a clean in the next couple of days.
I might just go for the Panny instead. I've then been through the AE300/AE500 decision. After much reading I've come to the conclusion that as I'm running my HCPC through VGA with Powerstrip, it looks like the AE500 would be the best one for me overall. Correct me if I'm wrong?
Depending on price i would go 1280x720 pj, especially if you can take advantage of the xbox hd resolution. Games that output 720p really look amazing when blown up to 7ft, infact i now use my pj far more for playing games than actually watching movies
Screen door really isn't a factor at any sensible viewing distance. The Z2 lens shift is VERY useful. Think carefully about where the projector is going to be positioned. If you're having to offset it by a significant degree, the Z2 is likely to be your best bet.
Z2 seems to be more dust prone, but this is a user-serviceable issue (no dust blobs for me yet *crosses fingers*).
My own experiences this week with Sanyo customer services is outstanding. The unit turned up with purple blobs when displaying pale colours. Sanyo asked for it back immediately. The fault was reported yesterday and a new unit arrived at 9:30 this morning. The old unit was collected this afternoon!
Top marks for service to our dealer, Sanyo and the UK distributors.
I thought that you meant - Ivojo but we must be banned on mentioning it, very suprising if we are as the service i got from them when i got my Z2 was excellent.
Is it the case that we are banned from mentioning them mods?
I paid £1150 for the ae500 shipped. They are very evenly matched, in the end it came down to the fact that the ae500 was almost £200 less. I had also seen a couple of people mention problems with dust blobs which really put me off the Sanyo unit although it is probably just bad luck.
The lense shift would have been handy but in reality it does not let you offset the projector that much as I understand there is no horizontal keystone on the Z2. I will be mounting it on the ceiling straight on anyway.
Well i will be mounting it on the ceiling but i like my screen to be lower than what ive seen in mags. I h8 looking up at a screen, much rather look straight forward. So i will need to shift the image down i supose. Carnt have the projector hang to low or ill bump me head
Slight correction to the above post - the Z2 lens shift is +/- 1 screen height and +/- 0.5 screen widths (ie total travel of 3 screen heights and 2 screen widths). Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is probably way over the limits of digital keystone, and you don't get the annoying grey polygon of the uncorrected area.
Oh and on the subject of the dealer that must now remain nameless...HUH???!!!
Ahhhhh! *sound of penny dropping* I notice that Nexnix, av-sales etc are sponsors of this site. The nameless one is not. Komplett isn't either though...hmmm, the plot thickens.
Just reread forum rules.
I think it might be that people have been badmouthing some dealers and avforums are covering themselves from legal action.
So i will be able to drop the picture 1 screen hight with no digital correction ? Thats about what i will need i think..... Looking at how it will be the lens on the Z2 will be level with the top of my screen. Sound ok ? The throw distance is gana be about 9-11 foot