Confirm my projector choice...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by SamNavy, May 1, 2006.

  1. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, I've been "homeworking" for few months now and just this week have narrowed it down to the Sanyo Z4 or Panny 900U.

    Almost exclusively for DVD viewing
    Throw dist= 12'
    Viewing dist= 11'
    Room is light controlled, paint is dark tan/brown, carpet light brown, black leather sofa, red oak furniture... very dark.
    Screen size: not decided... around 100" 16:9, but don't want it to seem like the front row at the megaplex, so whatever seems right when I get the projector placed. WAF is important here. Screen will be fixed DIY with blackout cloth.

    The projector will be mounted dead center laterally and I have several feet to play with vertically, ie. very flexible mounting options with no ceiling fans or anything to get in the way. I understand both models are fairly flexible with their mounting ability, but like I said, I'm under no constraints. It'll be mounted upside-down to a shelf on the back wall that I build.

    The electronics will be directly under the screen with the power/component/svideo/composite cables running under the floor and up the back wall to the projector. I'm not going HDMI/DVI now, just the basics... plus, do you know how much a 25' DVI cable is???? OMG!!!
    Electronics are an Onkyo 602 running just 5.1 and an Onkyo 6-disc with all Klipsch speakers and a 12" 250watt Dayton DVC DIY sub.

    Now that you know all that... One of the big online companies has the Sanyo for $1679 with a free lamp and 92" pulldown screen (the screen could be a good testbed while I build my DIY screen, and the lamp goes for $350). They also have the Panny for $1819 with a $400 rebate and $300 BB card (with free shipping for both, that brings the Panny down to $1419... and unless the BB card is a gift certificate, it's probably more trouble than it's.)

    So, for all intents and purposes:
    Sanyo= $1679 w/$350bulb and $?screen
    Panny= $1419w/$300BB card

    It looks like win/win. Who want's to sway me one way or the other?
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I assume you've read reviews on both projectors? They both sound like very nice projectors. I just don't like Panasonic's short 1 year warranty. My comment is about your equipment in front below your screen. I recommend you put your equipment rack in rear of room, if possible. The lights on equipment will be distracting when viewing, and it allows you more flexibility placing your center channel speaker and screen height. Plus, depending on your room length, it may allow you to use shorter cales to projector.
     
  3. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    I just got my Panny today. I LOVE it!

    I purchased with my American Express card to DOUBLE the warranty.

    Check out monoprice.com for some better pricing on HDMI cables.

    Good luck!
     
  4. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice about relocating my equipment... I'll do just that.

    I've read every post in every forum about the sub $2000 street price 720p units. The 7700, HD72, 900U, and Z4 (The Usual Suspects) were all pretty much the same when it came down to picture. People argue back and forth about the pro's and con's of each and what it comes down to is that they're all pretty much the same FOR WHAT I'M GOING TO USE IT FOR. I have no brand loyalty so I'm going with price.

    I'm sure once set-up and calibrated, whatever choice I make I will be delighted for years.

    My dilemna still remains:
    Sanyo= An extra bulb and screen would be nice (I could always sell the screen locally to even out the cost)...
    Panny= but the $250 price difference will buy me a new bulb in a few years, and I get free movie rentals in the meantime.

    Who's got something that will push me one way or the other?
     
  5. timNGY

    timNGY Stunt Coordinator

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    I, like you and many many many people, had it boiled down to Z4 and 900 a few months ago. I decided on the 900 because of less SDE (Panny's Smoothscreen) and better out-of-the box picture (as noted from many reviews). One thing to note about the 900 is the picture is a little soft, but I'm still very happy with my choice. This was my first projector coming from the RPTV world, I don't think I'll go back.......

    Agree about not placing rack below screen, very distracting with all the cool lights. As to an HDMI cable, I got DVIGear cable for around $150, 7.5meter. Monster Cable HDMI is way overpriced, if that's what you were looking at. Good luck.
     
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i just ordered a 5 meter HDMI/DVI cable from PCCables for $35 shipped.
    i've been using component/RGB breakout cables from them for the last 5 years now and they work just fine.
    if it were me, i would not spend any more than you need to on these things- and definitely avoid Monster-sized prices
     
  7. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm very familiar with the "Monster" markup and would not purchase any of their products... but I sure wish I was on their marketing team.
    At $35, I will absolutely check out PCCables... it may even sway me to upgrade to a new DVD player just to see the difference.

    Keep those ideas coming... I'm pretty sure I'm going with the Panny after a few more days of stewing over it, but I'm open to suggestions.
     
  8. Josh Matthews

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    I've had both in my home and you really can't go wrong with either. I have a Z4 and I love it. I originally bought the Panny and I loved that one too. Unfortunately, the unit I got started exhibiting some pretty severe vertical banding, so I returned it. I asked the dealer to check out the new Panny before sending it and they ended up telling me that all the units they had in stock were showing what they deemed to be unacceptable vertical banding. The Z4 was my second choice, so I went with that. I'm not trying to scare you on the Panny with regards to the VB. The tech guy who checked it out when I returned it agreed it was quite bad on that particular unit. Also I think maybe I'm just more sensitive to it. Just make sure to go with a reputable dealer, on the off chance you get a bad one and need to exchange. Also, a lot of these places will check the pj out for you before they send it, which can save headaches.

    As for comparing the Z4 and the Panny, what you read in the reviews is pretty much true. The Z4 is a little sharper, whereas the Panny exhibits less SDE. One thing to note, from my experience, is if you go 100" diagonal at 11' viewing with the Z4, you're going to see SDE. I'm at about 90" from that same viewing distance and there's no SDE. SDE on the Panny was really not an issue at all for me at any size. The picture on the Panny is a bit softer, but it is really not a big deal. I'd probably agree that the panny pic looked a bit better out of the box.

    The biggest piece of advice I can give you is just go ahead and pick one and pull the trigger. Once I got mine, I wondered why I hadn't bought it sooner. You will truly be thrilled with either one.
     
  9. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    Josh, thanks for solidifying my decision...
    I love this forum. I've made my final decision on the Panny.
    I'm currently selling my latest toy... an '01 Aprilia Falco (Italian crotch rocket motorcycle for those who don't know) and as soon as I have a buyer with check in hand, I'm ordering the projector. Thanks for all the advice. I'm still working on relocating the equipment rack... not really a problem, but I want it to be perfect... and I'm just giddy over the thought of actually now buying this thing after literally months of research.

    I'm also doing my research into web-hosting for personal website. I'd like to get all these pictures I've been taking of my projects out to others to learn from, but the sheer numbers and packages of webhosters are staggering. As soon as I've got everything up and running, I'll be sure to get out pics of the final "assembly" of the room and what your advice and my hard work has paid off with. Thanks again for all the input.

    Please, share more info if you've got it. I haven't purchased yet, so I'm still open to any suggestions, but you're going to have to come up with something good to sway me from the Panny.
     
  10. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    I agree. Good post, Josh. The Panny has been known to exhibit some vertical banding. Mine does not, as far as I can tell. If yours does, return it for a new one. I've put about 80 hours on my AE900 now, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It is truly an amazing machine, but you wouldn't go wrong in owning the Z4, either. Another great projector.
     

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