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Projector questions (ie. Panny PT AE 700)

Discussion in 'Displays' started by PaulDF, May 23, 2005.

  1. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    I've been doing a lot of research on PJs in the last while and I'm almost ready to take the plunge. I pretty much had it narrowed down to the Panasonic model, but had yet to even see a high def pj in person.

    Yesterday my wife and I went to see some demo models and they happened to have the Panny set up! I am no expert in video but I'll tell you what we thought.

    The picture looked quite good, no pixel structure visible unless I got within 12-18 inches or so. No screen door effect that I could see. And the picture looked good from any angle (very cool).

    But we did notice that the colors were not very vivid/vibrant. This could very well just be a setup/calibration problem. Perhaps this is what is meant by a "soft" picture?? This is the main reason why I am posting this thread... I want to know just how vibrant the colors really should be with a (or this) front projector...

    The salesman suggested the problem might be with the DVD player (Bose) or the movie itself (Incredibles).

    I also had a look at the HitachiPJ-TX100. It seemed to have quite bright and lively color (watching Star Wars) but I also immediately saw the so-called screen door effect (which I had never seen before but managed to recognize!)

    Unfortunately, the store did not have any high def sources hooked up to either pj, so I am really curious about just how the Panasonic would look with a high def source.

    I have also read a lot about vertical banding with the Panny. I didn't see anything like this in my short (approx. 20 min.) viewing time.

    Also, later in the day I walked through a lineup of RPTVs and the pictures all looked terrible... (not high def) Made me think if a pj had even close to the same vibrant color I've seen on some high def sets, I know I would never regret buying one.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I don't have the Panny 700. The incredibles is not the problem for sure. It may be setup. I would use a silver/gray or gray screen with this projector then properly calibrate using DVE. HDef will be a significant step up in PQ over standard dvd.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    I'm a little surprised by the color deal you experienced. It is a pretty darn nice projector from what I have seen of it. Maybe beware of the retailer's ability to show off a projector on this one. I mean, if it was hooked to a BOSE DVD player, well, I dunno. I'm immediately suspecting the DVD player here is all.

    For all we know the dang thing could of been hooked up via svideo or something horrid like that.
     
  4. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Thanks Neil, I plan to project onto my wall for now until I find what size screen works best for us. And my walls just happen to be a light siver/grey color. I thought the color might work well... I have DVE and AVIA and was fully planning to use them.

    I checked the connection and it was component. I agree with the inability to show off the projectors true quality. And BTW I never intended to purchase there, as my local dealer gave me one of the lowest quotes but will have to order one in for me.
     
  5. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

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    There's a cinema setting on the AE700 that gives everything a grayish cast - colors don't "pop" in that setting, IMO.

    I'd bet it was that, and/or the DVD player (it's certainly not the DVD, if The Incredibles was playing!)

    I have an AE700, with a B&W filter that improves the contrast and gives better, deeper blacks. The setting to use is Video - calibrate w/ Avia, and you'll be amazed at the color, contrast, and blacks, with the filter. HDTV is terrific, VB is minimal (some individual units have it worse than others, but on most, you have to look for it to see it).
     
  6. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    So the common concensus is that the colors should be quite vibrant, if the room is dark enough, and if it is calibrated properly?

    What is involved with the B&W filter? Cost? Does it have to be professionally installed?
     
  7. frankinG

    frankinG Stunt Coordinator

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    I personaly have my 700 looking better than any display I have seen in the stores I t takes time to obtain the picture quality you want and trial and error is the only way. A set up disk should be used initialy then personaly tweaked to give you the results you prefer.

    The incredibles should be vibrant but not overly saturated. My experience with this projector is that it works best in a totally darkened room. Any ambient light seems to wash out the picture contrast.

    Everyone has different tastes in there perception of the perfect picture. I have mine showing on a 106" draper onyx screen and the results are very satisfying.

    I prefer a low contrast picture and have my projector set up this way. The dimmer picture also prevents me from having temporary blindness during those extremly bright scenes.
     
  8. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I have the Panny 500 and on my web site you can see my screen shots and see for your self the vivid colors these Panny LCD's can put out! www.prosteering.8k.com (if your PC monitor is adjusted pretty good)
    Finding Nemo on my Home page is a composite of a true screen shot and a room shot. But that is what Nemo really looks like on it!

    Wes
     
  9. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Thanks guys, and Wes I like your site... I have looked for screen shots before but not found a whole lot of them. The colors do look pretty good.
     
  10. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Considering the cost of the Panny 700 in Canada ... it may be worth considering the Sanyo Z3 ($1k less) or the BenQ 7700 DLP (Same price or slightly less)

    Similar performance with the Sanyo for less $$ and much better performance with the Benq for the same money.

    Regards
     
  11. Duane_T

    Duane_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, thanks for the tip on the 7700, but isn't the MSRP something like $3,200 US? I found it on one Canadian site so far, but for nearly double a Z3.

    I've been trying to decide between Infocus 4805/Optoma H31 or Sanyo Z3/Panasonic AE700, with about one month left to decide.

    Paul, sorry I didn't mean to hijack your thread, but I'm looking at PJs in the same range.
     
  12. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    The BenQ 7700 has a Canadian SRP of $4000 ... it is expected to have a street price between $3500 and $4k ...

    The Sanyo Z3 sells for about $3K ish Canadian ...

    Oh Oh!! ... I see Panasonic Canada lowered the SRP to $3300 ... meaning a street price of about $3K ...

    Finally more in line with the US pricing ...

    Regards
     
  13. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Duane, no problem. I am still open to other options, if the cost is considerably lower for the same performance, or if the performance is considerably better for the same $.

    There are just a lot of options out there.

    BTW, the average price here for a P700 is $2700 CAD. The Sanyo Z3 looks to be about the same. And The 7700 will be more for sure. I was also trying to avoid DLP.
     
  14. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Aside from Rainbows ... or the potential for them, what other reason would you have for avoiding DLP?

    Versus the likelihood of seeing vertical banding ... poorer black levels ... and non uniform color in LCD.

    Regards
     
  15. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Yes, the rainbows were the only reason I was avoiding DLP. Just my luck my wife will already be annoyed about me spending $3G, and then it gives her a headache. Or possibly visiters getting headaches. We do not have a lot of free time to be demoing DLP pjs in order to find out if we see rainbows... (I'm quite impressed she came with me to check out the models we did...)

    I've read that LCD has made impressive improvements in black levels and colors. I don't know first hand, just what I've read.

    Basically, what I want in a projector is HD capability, a great image, and vibrant colors. Screen size 100" - 150". Throw distance of up to 18'. The Panny seems very versatile, (should have) a good image, and is HD capable for the future.
     
  16. frankinG

    frankinG Stunt Coordinator

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    I beleive that the benq 7700 is a fine projector. Is it light years ahead of the high end lcd projectors? Certainly not. Price wise it is very competitive unit and If I was getting into dlp projectors this one would definetly be on my shopping list. I will tell you from personal experience that the scaler in the 7700 is inferior to the ones found in the panasonic and sanyo lcd projectors. But when teamed up with the dvdo i scan scaler, it is one heck of a projector. This only applies with standard dvd sources, not high def. Like everything else there is always a compromise with any technology you choose. I have had friends with very high end dlp projectors that now have lcd units because they say it is just plain easier on the eyes to watch over extended periods of time. This might not be the case for you personaly but a couple of hours with a dlp projector throwing a black and white image,( casablanca ) eg. will tell you if are sensitive to rainbows. The black and white movies will make it much easier to see them. The sony 51 has excellent black levels, no vertical banding from what I could see, and good colour performance. The grey scale performance is kind of all over the map but I will bet that the average viewer would not notice anything. Modern lcd projectors rival many dlp units much higher in price. For the money, the panny 700 is probably the best all around projector I have ever owned. And all this for a couple thousand dollars. Any dlp unit which will better the panny is at least double the price in the 4000$ range. Remember that these are just my own opinions and every one has a different one. As for contrast ratio, anything 2000 and up will look very similar in a totally darkened room. The blacks on my panny are great on my calibrated unit. There is always better but you have to pay substantialy more than 2000$ to get it. I tried many different screen sizes with the panny and my 106" draper onyx was the best compromise between picture quality and the total available light output from the projector.Let us know how you made out.
     

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