Newbie Has 2?s re: Panny AE100

Dave Simpson

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 18, 1999
Messages
445
Hey guys, take it easy on me here; I'm an utter newbie concerning pjs. I'm carefully considering the purchase of a Panasonic PT AE100 projector, and cheaply fixing up my empty basement for my stuff. I've got two simple questions: other than a progressive-scan player and component cables, will I need to purchase any other equipment (I've got all the audio gear I need. For the moment
)? Please note, the pj will be used for dvd playback and X-Box use only (no cable, vcr, sat), which leads to my second question: is a projector susceptible to burn-in from video-game use, as RPTVs are? Or can I play to my heart's content? The X-Box consideration will be a deal-breaker for me, as I only have one digital receiver (can't afford a second right now) and as we all know, half the fun of the X-Box is playing in 5.1, right?
Thanks for any help, fellas. Cheers!
DS.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
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May 12, 2001
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If you have a progressive DVD player, I would strongly advise that you find a "transcoder" to convert component to VGA ala RGBVH. Its not just a cable that converts the component cable to VGA, it does something electronically. Best way to use the AE100 is through the VGA port and setting it to WIDE. Go to the AVS forum and find mancubus. He can answer your questions and he's in TO too.
 

JohnnyG

Screenwriter
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Dec 18, 2000
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Dave, I think the only thing you'll need to consider is that the AE100 has only one set of component inputs. If you want to connect both a DVD and the X-Box through component, you'll need a switcher. If your receiver has component video switching you're all set.

LCD is basically immune to burn in, although I've heard talk of pixels 'weakening' over time. Don't know if this is fact or fiction though.
 

Dave Simpson

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 18, 1999
Messages
445
Thanks for the replies, fellas! I kind of figured I might hear from one or both of you
. Chris, how much dough might I be looking at for one of these transcoder units? Any idea? As for Johnny's remark, were I to use a transcoder, the issue of a single set of component ins would be rendered moot, correct? Otherwise, I'm not opposed to swapping out cables as the need dictates (the pj would not likely be celing mounted); no component switching on my aging Yammie receiver. Thanks again, guys! Cheers.
DS.
 

Andrew_Ballew

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
294
AE100 owner here- I just send the progressive signal in through component. No transcoder here.

It is STUNNING! To me the improvement from using a transcoder is not worth the added cost. To others it may be, but trust me- the image without it is equal to or superior to any RPTV DTV I have seen or owned.

Cheers

Andrew B.
 

Dave Simpson

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 18, 1999
Messages
445
BTW Johnny, can you tell me what the cost of a replacement bulb for the AE100 is? And do you suppose I might encounter any difficulty getting my hands on one after several years? Cheers!

DS.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
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May 12, 2001
Messages
3,975
Dave and Andrew,

Andrew have you seen the AE100 when it is set to WIDE went running an input via the VGA port? How do you like your projector in general?

Well, I've only seen Mancubus's interlaced DVD inputed via iscan through VGA and the ae100 set to WIDE and it was mind-boggling. I am still trying to determine how I can purchase an AE100 myself without selling my TV.
 

Andrew_Ballew

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
294
Andrew have you seen the AE100 when it is set to WIDE went running an input via the VGA port? How do you like your projector in general?
No

And I am not going to argue with anyone about it being superior. I am sure it is. If I saw it, I might not want to go back.

But-

being on a budget it was much cheaper to just buy a 25 foot python component cable for $50 and wire my progressive scan DVD direct to the PJ. And the results are so good that I see no reason to spend money that I cannot afford on a transcoder. Once again- will the transcoder make the image look better? I am sure. But I see no need for improvement. I am already more than satisfied, and for once feel no upgrade bug in regards to this PJ. I just got through watching K-pax and my jaw is still on the floor in awe of the picture quality.

This little PJ is amazing!!! Very detailed image even through component, beautiful colors, and it is very uniform from corner to corner. My screen size is 45" x 80" and I see virtually NO screen door with a touch of defocus. Just a smooth, 3-dimensional image. It is very, very quiet, is lightweight and unobtrusive, easy to use, and only cost $1350!!!! Should I go on and mention it a 16:9 panel, HDTV compatible, 5000 hour lamp in econo mode....etc. etc.

Can you tell I like this PJ?? The only real flaw I can see is slight vertical banding, especially during scenes that pan quickly from left to right. This is not just an AE100 issue, though- it affects all LCD technology and is more noticable on cheaper panels, like that in the AE100. But for the price, and considering how easy it is to overlook this flaw, it is not a hinderance in my book.

Some people have had quality control problems with thier AE100's, but I have run mine for over 100 hours now in 3 weeks and it has been perfect.

Andrew B.
 

Mark Amayao

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 13, 2001
Messages
156
can someone go in depth about this vertical banding? ...... initially i was shopping for the plus piano projector .... but i have been running into this panny ae100 a lot .....

how much is this projector goin for? .......

comparison? ......
 

Dave Simpson

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 18, 1999
Messages
445
Andrew,

and only cost $1350!!!!
Okay Andrew, 'fess up, brother. How the heck did you get this pj at this price?? 'tho your personal info doesn't indicate where you live, I'm assuming somewhere in the US, but even after currency conversion, your price is still a good grand cheaper than what we're looking at here in Canada, and we still have to add on a further 15% tax in Ontario. So what of it, mate? Is there something the rest of us don't know? Cheers!

DS.
 

Chris PC

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May 12, 2001
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Thats cool about the different input. I have to say, I haven't seen the input you are talking about either, so I can't compare and argue which is better, I am only going with what I saw and what people say who have seen BOTH. Apparantly the transcoder has to be very good anyways, or you lose quality, but its supposed to be very good picture quality. The interlaced via iscan that I saw is burnt on my brain because I have an interlaced player myself, plus no intention of getting HDTV, since I have regular cable TV now and I'm less interested in TV. I have VHS and laserdisc right now too. An iscan is a good idea for me personally.
I agree, this little projector is incredible. When I first sat down in front of the screen and the owner asked me what I wanted to try out, I handed him Apocalypse Now and when we watched the seen of the mission briefing, with all the close ups of the characters, I was in awe of the detail I was seeing. I could barely see anything objectional, it just looked awesome. I was stitting 1.3x screen width away and sometimes I saw screen door, but I'd say I saw it less than 20% of the time and it was limited and localized, never largely uniform over the entire picture.
The thing that totally blew me away, was the closeups NEVER seemed to have screen door. When you saw Mila Jovovich's Face or Bruce Willis's face in Fifth Element, or Martin Sheens face in Apocalypse now, the detail on their faces was so incredible, that you couldn't be distracted by screen door that might be elsewhere in the picture, because the focal point of the movie always seemed to be totally full of fine detail and absent of screen door. I did see screen door sometimes, like on the scene where they took the hand and recreated the fifth element, Mila Jovovich's character, the the brutal guard guy, who was also in Blade Runner, his face had some screen door, but again, that was when viewed from 1.3x screen width. You are always drawn to the high detail portions of the screen and they almost always appeared free of screen door. in fact, during those close ups, I stood up and walked toward the screen and I couldn't see screen door on high detail closeups of faces even when I was less than 1.0x screen width away. Amazing. In my room, the potential AE100 setup, I will be 2.0x away and I doubt very much that I will see any screen door.
I did notice the vertical banding, but if I was left with that kind of picture degredation, I couldn't care less. It was easier to see on certain scenes, and it was sometimes wider spread, but you could ignore it so easily it was a non-issue for me. I find that my eyes and brain only focus on things that are uniform horizontally, and the vertical banding was pretty minimal. Also, I believe the guy who gave me the demo has reduced the vertical banding from the level that I saw, and if that is true, then it would have to be practically invisible, or at least, not an issue for 99% of people.
I need some advice here about buying an AE100. If I bought an AE100, I would be using the following sources: 1)interlaced DVD, 2) vhs, 3) laserdisc (until I sell it) and 4) regular cable tv all through an iscan. I'd be pushing my budget over the max and I'd be very tempted to sell my 32" JVC TV to recover some of the cost.
So would you guys ditch your only TV completely in favour of the AE100? It does mean I would ideally need to have the lights off even when watching cable TV. I can acheive absolute darkness in my room, but I'm not sure I'll like having to turn the lights off to watch TV. Is anyone using their AE100 in place of their TV?
 

JohnJB

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
102
Assuming the European variant of the Panny AE100 has the same basic specs as the North American, as a UK based potential buyer (for info. best price I can find is US $2K inc. del & tax) I have a question:

Am I right in assuming that the throw distance & maximum projection size are connected i.e. 1.2 metres between projector and screen gives 40 inch picture and 7.4 meters gives 200 inch picture (based on 16:9 image)

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Trevor_J

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
277
Also, I believe the guy who gave me the demo has reduced the vertical banding from the level that I saw, and if that is true, then it would have to be practically invisible, or at least, not an issue for 99% of people.
Chris, you're right, I was able to reduce the vertical banding significantly. I don't even notice it anymore unless it's a really bright scene with even colours and then I have to look for it. I watched A.I the other day and I didn't notice it. I also watched some cartoons on Cartoon Network and didn't notice it. I've find that I do notice it the most when I'm playing my Xbox, and again, unless I focus on it it's not a problem.

I've figured that the banding I was seeing was a result of the cable I was previously using. Since I've gone with a better cable that banding is gone. What I'm now left with is the banding on the green panel itself. I verified this by going through the service manual and displaying the colours from the different panels. All the panels are even except for about 10-12 stripes (that's a guess, I'd have to check to be certain) in the green panel.

I'm even happier with this PJ since the day I bought it and I believe I have now tweaked it to the max given the current tools available to me. I couldn't be happier.
 

JohnnyG

Screenwriter
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Dec 18, 2000
Messages
1,522
Dave, Canadian list on the bulb is targetted at $549. At this point, it's not even something that I can order though. Mind you, I just did some math and at my house, this bulb would last for about 4 years. Not bad!

That killer price on the AE100 is on units imported from Japan. The problem is, if there are any warranty issues, the unit has to be shipped back to Japan. I can't explain why there's such a huge pricing discrepancy between Japan and North America, but I have made Panasonic Canada aware of it.

I wonder if the AE100's RGB input supports sync-on-green? If so, the RGB out from a Malata DVD player would work without the need for a transcoder.
 

Andrew_Ballew

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Messages
294
Okay Andrew, 'fess up, brother. How the heck did you get this pj at this price??
From Japan. Model is TH-AE100, identical to the PT-AE100. I think the seller I got it from is actually a sponor of this forum. I am not sure if I am allowed to tell you on this forum his web address, but I will give you a hint....
www.pr*cej*p*n.com
fill in the vowels......
He (Kaneda) is on vacation starting Sunday, and won't be back until May 6 or 7, so try him then. I did all his vacation booking for him- pretty cool. I have done a LOT of business with him and his service is incredible. Last time I checked he only has one AE100 left at the moment.
You can also get good prices on Ebay, but not as good as Kaneda's.
As far as vertical banding goes, I am positive what I am seeing is not a result of the cable I am using- it is in the LCD panel itelf, visible on the test patterns in the service menu. You can only see it during bright shots that pan quickly, such as an outdoor scene. If you choose not to look for it and just enjoy the movie, you will hardly notice them at all.
Cheers
Andrew B.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
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May 12, 2001
Messages
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Hey trev, there is a post on AVS about some guy reducing the vertical banding on some projector, he even posted proof and it was impressive. He went into the service menu of his Hitachi CP-X275W:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=135347
If you want to tweak your PJ further, this might be available to you if you haven't already done these adjustments. Maybe you can't do them on the AE100 but if you can, than cool. No idea so you can check it out

So all other things are going well with the AE100? Did you tweak or lessen screen door any more? Figure out the variability of screen door from left to right? Move your seating back any? Your setup was 99% perfect as it was and you probably have gone past the tweaking stage and are actually sitting down with the popcorn and watching movies straight through without testing

JohnnyG,
I agree that there is risk with ordering from Japan. I would rather buy from someone locally if I could afford it, but I may take a risk and order from over there some day if the price difference is still what it is now. Good point to complain to Panasonic that their price in Canada and NA is too high. Hope it doesn't make the price over there go up, but I can't blame you and would rather you did complain. If the price difference was less, I'd buy from here for sure, and you'd be a prospective place for me to buy from aswell. Its all pie in the sky as I can't afford it right this second anyways. It is very likely in my future though.
 

Trevor_J

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
277
Chris,

thanks for the link. That definately explains why my banding was improved with newer cables. Hopefully someone will find a way to dig deeper into the service menus and I can get rid of the slight banding I'm seeing in the green panel currently.

I actually haven't tried tweaking the screen door any further. The last thing I was working on was contrast, black level and shadow detail. I think I've probably gone as far as I can go in that regards so I'm just about ready to tackle the screen door issue. I think the problem with the screen door uniformity is related to the very slight rake I have in my projector mount. I plan on taking it down and exending the screws a bit longer so the rake isn't necessary. I'll let you know how things turn out.

In the meantime, if you do run across the method of getting into the service menus on this projector let me know in case I miss it.

Thx.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
3,975
I'm not sure what you mean by rake, unless "rake" means it the projector is angled down too much. It would be interesting though, if you found a way to make the screen door on the one side become as minimal as it is on the other side. As it is, its hardly noticable, but you know what I mean. If, for whatever reason the screen door really is less on the left, and yet the picture is still sharp and clear on the left, then there might be a way to match the right side to the performance of the left side. Who knows. Anyways, enjoy your projector
 

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