1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Z4 or PT-AE900 - My Decision

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Zag, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Zag

    Zag
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    916
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Poole
    Ratings:
    +47
    At last finally made my upgrade decision between the Z4 and PT-AE900. It could of gone either way but finally made my mind up and went for the Z4. Should have it delivered on Friday with free pixel check and delivery from discounttv.

    Ivojo have run out of Z4's until Monday and ShootandShow wanted £35+Vat for pixel check and delivery. My choice of retailer was made easy however if shootandshow's premium had been around £25 I would of gone with them because of their good reputation and my own proximity to them. In the end the £40+ saving swung me towards discounttv.

    Anyway on to the reasons why I chose the Z4 over the PT-AE900. My set-up includes a 84 inch Fixed BW Carada Screen in a light controlled room, dark walls with seating about 1.8 Screen Widths away. Main use of the PJ will be movies but secondary uses will be XBOX360( not long now) and Freeview.

    After reading all the available reviews it was very close but for my set-up the main reasons why I chose the Z4 over the 900 were as follows:

    Z4 sharpness and image cleaness. - Good for movies but I reckon the extra sharpness over the 900 will make the XBOX360 720P graphics look even better. AVBUZZ which favour the 900 mentions the picture of the Z4 has less noise.

    ProjectorCentral review - very glowing write up on the Z4 and looking back at previous PJ head to heads, pretty reliable. The ProjectorCentral comparison between the 700 & Z3 was more or less spot on, no reason not to think they're right again this time. ProjectorCentral's opinion is that the Z4 produces the more 3D image, so even though the absolute black level of the 900 is better, for the majority of scenes with a mix of dark and bright areas the ANSI contrast appears superior on the Z4. How accurate this review is will only be found out in time though.

    VB- Early reports of a few 900's in the US with VB. Resevations that Panasonic have done anything to address this. i.e Will they take a unit back with bad VB??? A few Z4's may also have VB but at least more can be done if that is the case.

    Features - Panel Cleaning and Automatic Shutoff and Auto Lens cover. No more messing around with lens caps close to the ceiling. Good feature for my set-up.

    Warranty - Z4 3 year Warranty and 90 days on Bulb. 1 year warranty on 900 and no cover for bulb. ( Can't believe that there's no bulb cover on the 900 though... :thumbsdow )

    Squibbly factor - This man has really done his research. 18 months of hard labour and he's finally taken the plunge on a Z4. ;)

    Z4 concerns - Dynamic Iris speed. Not as transparent as the 900's but this can be tweaked or fixed dependant on selection mode. Not too worried by it. Colours not quite as good as 900's don't think I will ever notice.

    To conclude, at the end of the day there's probably very little in it, picture quality wise. Some people may prefer the extra lumens, lack of screen door and absolute black level of the 900. Others may prefer the sharpness, features and greater piece of mind that you get with the Z4. With time it may be concluded that the 900 has a slight edge on movie picture quality but even if that is proven it will be a close run thing. I still think the Z4 will be the better choice for XBOX 360 graphics with my set-up.

    There you have it, it was a hard decision but I just couldn't live with the Rainbows and fairly obvious screendoor of my H30 any longer..... :D

    Hope this helps some of you out. Toughest choice I've had to make in a long time.

    Zag
     
  2. rdundas

    rdundas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,455
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Grangemouth
    Ratings:
    +91
    Sounds like excellent reasoning, though personally I would have factored in Good support from a reputable and knowledgable PJ retailer (I worry over any retailer that puts "discount" in their name ) and waited till Monday and spent the extra £40. I have not seen much support help from the company you mention on this forum, but IVOJO and TMF etc. are there for us and I wish more would support them. I spent extra with a brilliant retailer and it paid for itself instantly, when he brought it round, helped me fit it to the roof, and realised I had strung a DVI cable and the Sanyo has HDMI and he said no probs, jumped in the car and travelled a round trip of around 70 miles and arrived back a couple of hours later with an adaptor and completed the install.
    Happy I didn't try and "save" some money buying from the cheapest. Thanks again to Joe from TMF.
    Hope your purchase goes smoothly though, it is a cracking PJ IMHO

    Cheers
    Ray
     
  3. Mant

    Mant
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    You made a good choice there Zag, as rdundas has said its a cracking PJ and i've been very pleased and impressed with my Z4, it has been a huge improvment over my DLP IBM badged InfocusX1 and thats just with using SVideo! (waiting for long enough HDMI cable at a resonable cost).

    After checking out some HD trailers on the Z4 (via VGA from PC) of some of the HD Xbox360 games, like yourself ill be looking forward to its release and playing titles with this kind of sharpness, colour and quality at 110"+ on my wall \o/ marvelous!!
     
  4. benji_m

    benji_m
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Messages:
    707
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Ratings:
    +6
    We are a reputable and knowlegable PJ retailer, and long standing forum sponsor :)
     
  5. Ptenisnet

    Ptenisnet
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    486
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +29
    IIANM discounttv is the same as royjowett. Benji is the man there & I can vouch that he's very helpful :thumbsup:


    Zag,

    Did you manage to demo both PJs? On paper, I am leaning more towards Z4 but my woory is the auto iris. Let us know how it goes as there have been mixed views on this - some don't see it & others are really distracted by it.


    -----
    Nik
     
  6. rdundas

    rdundas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,455
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Grangemouth
    Ratings:
    +91
    In that case I stand corrected. I had not noticed the name before. Again good luck on buying a cracking PJ
     
  7. PJTX100

    PJTX100
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,129
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +562
    Out of interest why didn't you consider the Epson TW600 and the Hitachi PJTX200?...PJ
     
  8. squibbly

    squibbly
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Messages:
    329
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    Zag, Jenjewak

    I've demoed the Z4 with two films now and could not see the dynamic iris move either on Pure Cinema or Living. Not one bit. Nada.

    Check ROne's comment on my Z4 observations thread. I don't think it's an issue for normal viewing. From what ROne's said it has been an issue when he's been tweaking it (correct me if I'm wrong here ROne), but then the screens used to tweak would be more likely to show it up (white screen then black screen etc). ROne is also a videophile who knows his stuff, so is probably more sensitive to it. Me, I'm a film buff and get turned on by those big moving pictures projected into my living room.

    Squibbly
     
  9. dapex

    dapex
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,082
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +11
    LOL, it really sounds like your flogging a dead horse already. i think to many the only choices are the z4 and the 900 because of the dominance of the predecessors. dont worry though, i am waiting for the TW600 and the TX200 :cool:
     
  10. dunamis

    dunamis
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    198
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +5
    I think the main choices are the z4 and 900 because no one seems to know where the heck the TW600 and TX200 have got to... :eek:
     
  11. wyrdness

    wyrdness
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Messages:
    278
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +16
    Benji is selling the TX200 (and I must say that I'm tempted). What I'm waiting for is reviews of the TX200 and the HC3000 (and UK pricing for the HC3000). I've no idea which projector I'll end up buying, except that it won't be an Epson.
     
  12. ROne

    ROne
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2000
    Messages:
    778
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +7
    That's because in these modes it is hardly working, hence the 1200:1 CR from these settings which is nada more than the Z3!

    The Dynamic Iris is a mainly an issue if you want 7000:1 out of the projector, which I would massively advise against to ineffective control of the contrast and bonkers colour balance.

    If you are prepared to use on one of the lower iris modes you will not see it unless you look for it - however once you notice it, its hard to unlearn it.

    Due to the complex way a film is shot sometimes there are light/iris movements inherent in the picture that could be misconstrued as dynamic iris movement.

    If ... IF you want too see how it works, load up AVIAS black bars only screen, as you switch to it from the menu you will see the iris more or less go down to its smallest aperture. In the dynamic modes this can be very scene dependant and there is some sort of averaging going on which is different per preset.
     
  13. squibbly

    squibbly
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Messages:
    329
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    And there was me thinking I was immune/ insensitive to it :) .

    I thought Living was one of the ones that utilises the iris more fully! I obviously am not reading your tweak posts carefully enough. Which is the best one to test sensitivity to the iris on? Dynamic? I'll give that a go tonight. I'll also try your tweaks. Have you measured the CR you're getting on living with the current tweak, by the way?

    Squibbly
     
  14. ShortNick

    ShortNick
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +6
    Bought my Z4 from discounttv.co.uk Excellent service and a top class PJ. Massive improvement over my Z1. Next day delivery as promised and free pixel check. Same price as the rest of the Net (!!). And by the way, it fits the same ceiling mount (LMP) as my old Z1
     
  15. Zag

    Zag
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    916
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Poole
    Ratings:
    +47
    Unfortunately there is Nowhere to my knowledge within a 4 hour drive that has the 900 and Z4 both on demo. Living in the Southampton area my options are limited. Always always better to demo a projector especially DLP as I found out only after buying one that I was slightly sensitive to the rainbow effect.
     
  16. wyrdness

    wyrdness
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Messages:
    278
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +16
    You might be able to get a demo of both at Krish in Chiswick (www.krishav.co.uk). They told me that they'd have both on demo by the end of the month. They're very close to the end of the M3, so it shouldn't be a long drive from Southampton (probably 1 to 1.5 hours).
     
  17. Zag

    Zag
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    916
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Poole
    Ratings:
    +47
    Cheers wyrdness. I'll remember that in future. That would of been well worth a drive up if they've got both on demo.
     
  18. iaTa

    iaTa
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    237
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +14
    They have got both on demo - went there this morning and their Z4s arrived yesterday :clap:
     
  19. ROne

    ROne
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2000
    Messages:
    778
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +7
    It can be a bit confusing, I did a list in the tweak thread comparing subjectively how I believe the iris to work.

    On the living setting It doesn't seem to hunt and doesn't close right down.

    On the Dynamic,Vivid and Powerful it really smacks the iris down way too much.
     
  20. stallpot

    stallpot
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    you could try the HC300, it kicks them both into touch but with a slight hike in cost.

    I have seen the Z4 and the HC3000 side by side. The Z4 wouldnt know what black was if it was sitting in a black hole.

    The HC3000 makes an impresive black that is only marginaly lighter than the absolute black available in the room.

    The images are equaly as sharp and both acheive fantastically rich colours, but LCD cant make black, by a considerable margin.

    Z4 dont beleive the hype (but its not to bad for the price)
     
  21. rdundas

    rdundas
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,455
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Grangemouth
    Ratings:
    +91
    I have a Z4. I think the blacks are great in my cinema room and overall I love the projector. That is not "Hype" that is my "opinion", which, like you I am entitled to and it is no more or less valid than your "opinion" It is not "hype" just because you do not agree
     
  22. PJTX100

    PJTX100
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    8,129
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +562
    Yeh, right. Of course we'll all give your future opinions on projectors serious consideration after this deep and meaningful insight...PJ :rolleyes:
     
  23. DEANO-B

    DEANO-B
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    514
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Leeds
    Ratings:
    +1
    Yeah - great unbiased early post mate - lets wait for the reviews to come in to see how great the HC3000 is and how crap the Z4 is :D

    Where did u see the 2 PJs side by side??
     
  24. stallpot

    stallpot
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I saw them at shoot and show in Horsham, sussex.

    I have given a little more detail on some other threads, but what it comes down to is both PJ were being fed from the same dvd player on to the same greyhawk screen, in a resonable dark room. dark walls, flooring furniture, with a bit of light from a poorly fitted blind at the back of the room. So same environment and conditions for each pj, blanking one image off to watch the other.

    using a starfield seen from attack of the clones the Z4 did not produce as dark a black as the HC3000, thats a fact I have witnesses. Comparing the black bands below the image with an area of screen that was not projected onto (ie the absolute black available for the conditions) the HC3000 produced a black only marginally lighter. The Z4 was Considerably lighter more of a grey.

    In all other respects both PJ's were very good, little bit of screen door on the Z4 and a couple of rainbows on the HC3000.

    A note on the Rainbows I think the HC3000 has gone some way to removing rainbows but not all the way. Obviously I your highly sensitve to rainbows you may not agree.
     

Share This Page

Loading...