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Z3 review by HDTV Expert... and what PJ do I go for, now?!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Sigismund, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Here :)

    Well, my second Z3 is boxed and awaiting courier collection. A refund is being sorted and I'm now projectorless... again. So, what do I do now? Go immediately for a Panny AE700 and hope against hope I don't end up with a flickering bulb, VB and/or other associated problems? Or do I do a Sean and wait for the more expensive Sony HS50 - with the possibilities of pixel cropping?

    I liked the Sanyo - it comes with a three year warranty, easy lens shifting, solid image quality and is firmware updateable. The crunch at the moment is the lock up problem, which I understand is being addressed.

    Now I've experienced at first hand the Z3 I'm a little hesitant to go over to the Panny without demoing it first - I'd hate to end up with an image I feel is "inferior"!

    I'm very tempted to go for the Sony, despite its reported shortcomings... but that means waiting... and perhaps waiting...

    The only other choice is DLP - but I feel that with the Sony being reported to be in many ways equal to more expensive DLP PJs I again feel that I would be better waiting - and I have no experience of rainbows, which would mean me getting demos...

    So, the question is, do you think I should

    a) Stop procrastinating and buy a Panny AE700 now

    b) Procrastinate a little longer and buy another Z3 when they're fixed

    c) Procrastinate even longer and go for the more expensive, but possibly flawed/superior HS50

    d) Get my finger out and go and demo everything

    Suggestions welcomed ;)
     
  2. mattwakeman

    mattwakeman
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    To a certain extent I am in the same position. Money reasons mean that it is my brother who will be stumping up the cash and this has made me even more wary about which projector to recommend to him (perversely I would be less concerned if it was my own money at risk!).

    For a long time it has seemed to be a straight shoot out between the Panny 700 and the Z3 with the balance tilting towards the z3 with the recommendations of people that have seen both. But then the Sony turns up. Problem sorted I thought. My bro would have no objections to spending another couple of hundred if it was worth it but now AV seems to be aflutter because of lost pixels and underscan problems.

    Buying technology really shouldn't be this much of a hassle should it?! So I too await on the Sony all the time knowing that the z3 would be a great projector for the money...and it is available now...this isn't really a helpful post to you is it mate! Maybe someone else will come along and help us both out :lease:
     
  3. dazca1

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    I am new to projectors so I dont know a lot of the technical stuff, but after reading that review I would be happy to buy the Z3.
    At the moment I am undecided at what to buy (did want DLP until reaserching LCD, they're not as crap as i'd heard) although the hs 50 does sound nice it only has a 1 year warranty, the Sanyo has 3, this a factor for me when buying.
    Will there be much difference in the performance between the 2 or 3 machines if you want to include the Panny????
    You seem to get a lot more for your money with LCD, DLP with the same spec will cost 2-3 times as much, are they 2-3 times better???? IMO no
    Like I said I am new to pjs but I've read up on quite a lot of info, and IMO for the kind of money you have to pay these machines I dont think people will go far wrong with any.
     
  4. markbingo

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    Well I bought my AE700 without seeing it first. I know that was risky, but they were so new, I couldnt find anywhere that could demo it too me.

    Despite what i've read on this forum about people having issues with theirs, I can honestly say I have got zero problems with mine. Perhaps I have been lucky, who knows.

    The lens on the Panny was what sold me, as it made my installation much neater. The Z3 was in a very close second place.

    Obviously if you can see it in action first, then that would be a good idea, but sometimes life is just too dull, and you need to live by the seat of your pants !

    If I were you....... I would get the panny NOW !

    Mark
     
  5. ptuxford

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    I purchased a AE700 off this forum sight unseen, and I will admit that I was not fully comfortable with the amount of discussion about VB etc. I too was not able to demo a '700 anywhere.

    After demoing the Z3 (and a number of DLPs) I was extremely disappointed with a dull and soulless picture of the Z3, so when a slightly used 700 came up i jumped on it. I can honestly say I have never seen a screendoor,VB lines or any of the other problems that seem to dominate discussion at the moment. The flexibility of the zoom is a huge positive, as we have now settled on a screen size much smaller than I could have previously anticipated. The picture is bright and balanced, even when used agaist a painted wall.

    My only complaint about tht 700 would be the lack of sharpness in the picture with the smoothscreen technology, although without it I may be making the same complaint about the screendoor if it was not there ! :laugh:

    If you can get your hands on one I would recommend it over the Z3, especially as a first projector. FWIW, the only real competition that I saw in that price range was the 4805.
     
  6. Comer

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    I must have missed a previous post/thread, what is wrong with the Sanyo?
     
  7. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    Aha - Comer the astute ;)

    What's bugging me is that now I've had to power off the unit a number of times I'm concerned that some sort of "damage" has taken place - i.e. to the longevity of the bulb. Ken at Ivojo has assured me that won't have happened, but I still have a doubt. Interestingly, I'm starting to think I should perhaps simply keep the Z3 and have the firmware update done, now :rolleyes:

    I assume you're happy with your unit and are confident no damage will/has taken place?

    Mark
     
  8. Comer

    Comer
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    I've only had mine lockup 3 or 4 times and never since I set the overscan to 2%. I also believe that it's not the shutting down with the power switch that damages a lamp, it's turning it on too soon after. I leave it for about an hour.

    I am very pleased and only the Sony would tempt me, but with the 10% overscan and problems with 50hz I'm gone a bit off. had I known that it would come out at such a good price I may have waited. Also the moving iris and only 1 year warranty scares me a little. The Z3 is an excellent stop gap for the next year or two

    You must have very good dealer that will give u a refund when a firmware update is available as a fix.

    Conor
     
  9. Kopite4Ever

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    if your happy with the pic quality of the sanyo then id wait till they fix it personally. a more wiser option if you cant wait is to demo DLP and see yourslef if you like them. the problem with waiting and getting a sony means that it could be flawed and your back to stage 1 again and could wait another period of time to find another projector to hit the market. this again my struggle and its a never ending search for perfection.

    also there are to many horry stories over the AE700. people who get good units are absolutly over the moon as it does give a great image but others who get the duff units are rightly complaining. too much chancing in that department in my opinion. overall from my findings the Z3 is the better of the 2 apart from this dreaded lock up on the most important input IMO. id wait and use component for the time being untill this problem is resolved.
     
  10. Sigismund

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    Hi all - just wanted to say, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and thought I'd let you know where I am with pjs and stuff :)

    I decided, after demoing a Mitsubishi HC900 and Sony HS50, to go for a Sony. Paid for it, and kept ringing the retailer to see if they had any info on receiving stock. Time passed and I started to get itchy pj fingers! Finally I had some good news... stock was expected the week before Chrismas. I was still a little perturbed - the Sony is a brand new model and is not only more expensive than the Z3 and AE700, but also seems to have a reputation (already!) for having "cropping" issues. I began to wonder whether I should to stick with the devil I know! That demo kept me wanting one, though :)

    Tuesday 21.12.04 came and after another call to the retailer I was told my HS50 would be received (by them) on 24.12.04. I could, however, go and pick it up and it looked like I would have another PJ for Xmas! But then I noticed a Panny AE700 being advertised on the Hardware forum, and another chooice was to be made... should I wait for the Sony and pay circa £1500.00 for the privilage, or put an offer of asking price for the three month old Panny, which was up for £700.00? Well, we're about to have our whole house redecorated, and I simply couldn't resist the AE700!

    It's now been in my possesion for a almost a week, and I'm pretty happy... yes, I notice the odd appearance of vertical banding but for me this is pretty much the only issue I have with the unit, so overall I'm very happy and I think, given my experiences so far, that the cine4home review of both PJs is quite accurate, as are the Projector Reviews opinions of the machines.

    My own opinion is that I prefer the Panasonic's image/colour renditioning, and its version of vertical banding - I'd rather have none, of course, but I think the Panny's vb is slightly less obtrusive than the Z3's. Lens shift isn't an issue for me - at the moment the pj is in our front room, but when the house is gutted/redecorated I'll have a dedicated home theatre room, and both PJs would fit in without problem.

    So that's it - I was excited at the prospect of becoming an HS50 owner, but I'm quite happy, for the time being, with the Panasonic AE700. For me it's a matter of neither the Z3 or AE700 being able to completely eradicate my "upgraditis", but the Panny holds my itchiness at bay a little better than the Z3 did. I'll probably still end up with a Sony HS50... unless, of course, the new Z4/AE900 put the new boy firmly in its place :D

    Merry Christmas everyone,

    Mark ;)
     
  11. Ekko Star

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    and an AE700 at that price, the 3 wise men suddenly became 4......
     
  12. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    :) Yep, it's amazing how all these PJ "flaws" suddenly seem not quite so important when the price is more reasonable!

    So, do you have your HS50 yet? I assume not as Ihaven't seen any posts to suggest you're in a state of ecstacy ;)
     
  13. PJTX100

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    The 700 and the Z3 go head-to-head, together with Epson/Infocus/NEC/Toshiba, in the Feb 2005 (?) edition of Home Cinema. The 700 came out on top, with the Z3 2nd. Slightly disappointed the Hitachi PJTX100 wasn't in the lineup - for the money I can't believe more people don't seem to consider it in their shortlist. I'm certainly glad I did! :thumbsup:
    ...PJ
     
  14. Ekko Star

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    Thing is you pay the price for ironing out the flaws.

    Most of these PJ's are great products and it is the very marginal differences that get blown up on these forums. But it is the small margins that make the greatest difference sometimes.

    My HS50 will be around about mid January. Worth the wait as I get it at a far more reasonable price then. :)

    The AE700 is a mighty PJ in it's own right.
     
  15. PJTX100

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    Yet there's continuing noise around lamp flicker on the 700 yet I haven't heard of any systematic issues with the TX100 so far which is significantly cheaper?...PJ
     
  16. Ekko Star

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    Lamp flicker is associated with the lamp and not generally the PJ. Sometimes it is best to run the lamp in high power mode for about 10-15 hours and then take it back down to low lamp.

    The TX100 is an ok machine but it is one generation behind the current products now.
     
  17. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    PJTX100 - You wouldn't be ever so slightly biased towards the TX100, would you :D

    Every PJ is likely to have its little foibles... from what I've read - I've never seen the Hitachi in the flesh - the TX100 has vertical banding, dust problems, lens shift issues, black "fakeness", shading issue, poor film de-interlacer... and probably a few more "issues" I haven't mentioned.

    Of course, just like the AE700 and Z3, the Hitachi will also have its good points, but in all likelihood the TX100 would seem to have more issues if it were more popular! At its price point, though, it seems it's a couple of hundred quid cheaper than either the Z3 or AE700, it is an attractive purchase and according to Cine4Home, at least, is on a par picture wise with the Panny and Sanyo :)

    The Hitachi is the PJ I originally wanted to buy, but it was out of stock and this lead to me getting the Z2 (faulty), two Z3s, almost an HS50 and finally an AE700. I suspect I would have been happy with the TX100... but if I had to continually clean out dust that would have bugged me! ;)

    The one thing that does impress me with the Hitachi is its ability to be tweaked - again this comes from reading Cine4Home. There is definitely a part of me that wishes the TX100 had been in stock when I was looking to buy new, but I'm happy with my lot... for the time being :eek:

    Mark
     
  18. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    PJ still needs a little tweaking, but I took a few screen shots last night...
     

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  19. peter123

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    wow of the px100 is that good i wonder how good the screenplay 7200 is??
     
  20. PJTX100

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    Me? Now what makes you think that? ;)
    Agreed
    Extremely rare to see this in my experience, it's no weaker in this dept than any other LCD in its peerset.
    Again, having seen all the dust discussions going on about many other machines as well as the TX100 this is just a problem with the technology and thankfully it only affects the minority by the looks of it. I wonder if ceiling mounting helps 'cause dust tends to settle?
    Not heard that one, thought it was a strength of the TX100, came as a godsend for my installation being able to optically move the picture both vertically and horizontally with no distortion and without having to resort to digital correction
    That's a good one ;) Again, blacks from what I've seen are very good
    :confused: New one on me.
    Not heard that nor seen any evidence of it.

    I just think that for a WXGA machine the price seemed extremely competitive, and I can't understand why it doesn't get a mention more often. I can only speak from my experience and I would say it's definitely worth looking at. But I think I'd probably be just as happy with the Panny, if a little poorer! ;)

    ...PJ
     
  21. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    I dunno... perhaps I'm psychic? :D

    Other way round for me... I bought a three month old AE700 for £700.00 :smashin:

    So come on, post some pics so we can compare :)

    All the best mate,

    Mark
     
  22. PJTX100

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    Sounds a bargain! Mine cost £600, that's what I told the wife anyway... ;)


    Your pics look great. Will give mine a try later (when kids asleep!), only digital stills camera I have is a fairly low spec jobbie on my video camera, but I'll have a go and see if they do it justice. Attack of the Clones was it?

    Cheers...PJ
     
  23. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    It's amazing - I took about 30 shots and none of them really do the image justice, for some reason they all look a bit on the bright side to me, and they definitely look darker "in the flesh".

    The photos come from

    Spidey 2 Superbit R1
    AOTC R1
    Van Helsing Ultimate Edition R1
    LXG R3

    I've got a few more over on PhotoBucket and I'm adding to my album over there all the time :)
     
  24. UrbanT

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    You can check my TX screenshots on my website, although the TX is now uninstalled :)
     
  25. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    I'm looking forward to the new HS50 screen shots :thumbsup:
     
  26. UrbanT

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    They'll come, but probably not until next week. So far, its superb, and thats from someone who loved the TX :)
     
  27. Sigismund

    Sigismund
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    ... and that's the first time I've "regretted" my decision to cancel my order for the Sony - I really struggled at the time ;) Ah well, I guess I can feel happy/smug in the knowledge that in a few months time the HS50 will be cheaper, more plentiful in supply and, with any luck, tweaked by Sony to clear up the little cropping issue. UT - you've made me quite jealous :p

    I'm looking forward to any thoughts/feelings you have towards your new toy... will these be forthcoming soon, too? :)
     
  28. UrbanT

    UrbanT
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    Whoops, maybe I shouldn't have said anything :rolleyes:

    More than happy to give you some thoughts, what would you like to know?
     
  29. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Thanks, slow internet connection at the moment, will have a look later! Presume you used the TX100 for quite a while before changing, what's your opinion of it?
    ...PJ
     
  30. UrbanT

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    I'll write a proper review over the next week or so, before I put some new screenshots up.

    I suppose its like every upgrade, you just get a little bit more here, and a little bit more there. The blacks are superb, its unbelievably quiet (important as it sits a few feet from my head), has great colours and no discernable artefacts (VB, SDE etc) that I can see.

    The 3 issues for me are:
    . the size, a real problem for anyone who has shelf or ceiling mounted their last projector right at the back of the room
    . the overscan issue on HDMI, although this really is a non-issue unless you want to stare at your desktop all day
    . you can sometimes see the auto iris at work, if you hop very quickly from a very dark scene, to a very bright one. Its rare, and not annoying to me.

    What is very interesting, is that I've been amazed at the quality of blacks. The starfields in AOTC, or the inside of the Witch Kings helmet in ROTK really are black. It occured to me that all this blackness may have meant I have been missing out on detail, so for the first time played these films on my TV through a Sony 900 DVD player, RGB linked. I couldn't believe how dark and lacking in detail the TV picture was (Panasonic PL30 36"). I had to check the TV and DVD settings to make sure there wasn't a problem. Quite amazed. :)
     

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