New Panasonic PTAE-900 Review

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jay Mitchosky, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Seems this review was just posted today on Panasonic's new LCD projector. Very impressive. [​IMG] I'm gearing up to complete my theater and this is my front runner. Great performance and installation flexibility. And at a price point that won't kill me when it comes time to upgrade. Suh-weet.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Sweet. It amazes me that a chaeper pj than what I bought can outperform it in all areas after just a couple of years.
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Did you see the review of the Sanyo Z4? Looks like they prefer it to the Pana 900.
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Then, of course, there is the Epson 500, but that will cost you more. Then again, it did beat the Sony VPL-HS51.
     
  5. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    There were trade-offs one way or another. The Panny had more accurate color, flatter grayscale, and no visible pixel structure, the latter at the cost of a slight softness that was only noticeable in side-by-side. Depending on the average picture levels and makeup of the image one had a black level advantage over the other. If I recall the Panny was regarded as having better black levels (that could also be achieved with the Sanyo but to the detriment of other picture qualities). Both offer excellent installation options with long throws and lens offset which is terrific. About frickin' time. Either way you're getting amazing performance at an unbelievable price. DLP single chips are going to have to nose dive in price to compete. It will also be very interesting to see how Sony responds with the HS52.

    That we're seeing this from LCD blows my mind.
     
  6. Rick Westfall

    Rick Westfall Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm thinking now is the time to get a Panny 700 or Sanyo Z3 [​IMG]
     
  7. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    I'm wondering if I can pick your brains over my interpretation of available lens offset on the PT-AE900. Their spec sheet doesn't do anything for me, but the review from Projector Central indicates the following:

    1) Range calculated based on neutral position with lens lined up with center of projected image (vs. top or bottom edge).
    2) Offset above or below neutral is indicated as "a little bit more than one screen height."
    3) Total shift range "from end to the other equalling 2.33 screen heights."

    Tell me if my math/logic is correct here: An 87" wide 16:9 screen is 49" high, which would yield a total offset range around the neutral position of 2.33 x 49" or 114", which would be a total of 64" outside the main image border (114" - 49"), or 32" above the screen and 32" below. That's a whack of shift range if I'm reading and calculating correctly, more than I was led to believe from previous reviews I had read of the 700.

    In my theater the top edge of the screen is positioned (or rather will be, I have a mock up in place now for reference) 20 3/4" from the ceiling, which places my siteline at the main seat 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the screen. As 20 3/4" is well within the 32" shift range available it seems I can fully flushmount this projector to the ceiling - and to boot well away from the extreme setting which helps avoid resulting image compromises. Am I reading this right?

    It's odd. After all this time wondering why there weren't more projectors that offered both a healthy throw distance (the 900 can sit back more than 20' from an 87" wide 16:9 screen) and a useable range of lens shift above the screen to facilitate flush mounting or close to and here we have two that are strong performers and ridiculously cheap to boot.
     
  8. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi Jay

    I have been recommending the AE-700 for some time for PARTICULAR applications. Specifically for clients that are worried about rainbows, and for throw distance / placement issues. I am assuming that the ae-900 will be a beefed up 700 so that is a good thing.

    For overall color fidelity, I solidly recommend DLP technology. Please consider this technology also.

    Regards

    Gregg
     
  9. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Hey Gregg

    It's funny that you mention that as DLP (at least single chip DLP) tends to be regarde as having less accurate colors than LCD. And for the 900 it has been receiving consistently good reviews re: color fidelity.
     
  10. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Not by anybody in the industry
     
  11. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    That's a bit out of date, as the 900 has smoothing integrated in the lenses, as well as dynamic iris, both of which are what make me really like this machine so far. It's still in my busy schedule here somewhere to spend some time with a filtered/calibrated 900 and a modded H79, so I'm very curious to see what I think about these in comparison.
     
  13. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Gregg:

    Like Jay, my brain has stored the "common knowledge" that LCD color saturation and fidelity is superior to DLP+color wheel designs.

    Can I bother you to provide a little more commentary and inject a little expertise into my "common knowledge"? [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  14. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    At this price point, Gregg?

    On a semi-related subject, what type of screen material tends to be used with these projectors (ie. gray vs. white, gain)?
     
  15. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi guys

    There are are very few companies that make LCD projectors. This is done for a variety of reasons....including a rational for betamax.

    Jay, you do bring up a good point as you integrate price into the decision factor.

    Screen material is based on a variety of factors: including room color and reflective surfaces, screen size, projector type, and light output.

    regards
     
  16. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Understood. I'm just interested in the trend where people are turning with these newer projectors. I have absolute light control in my theater but also plan to host Superbowl parties and such. Having the lights off for the latter would be impractical, so for now I've settled on a Da-Lite High Contrast Cinema Vision screen. It is a 1.1 gain but with a slightly gray surface to help absorb ambient light. My dealer will switch the screen if I'm not happy with it so I have nothing to loose but it seems to be a good fit for my application.
     

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