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Panasonic PT-AE500 Projector Review (1 Viewer)

Brajesh Upadhyay

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 11, 1998
Messages
787
The VB issue has been blown out of proportion by some, especially at avsforum. Yes, it's visible in sky scenes & white/light backgrounds, but I've seen VB in other LCD projectors in the same price range. Bottom line is that it's subtle & the AE500U's PQ is terrific 95% of the time.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
3,975
Brajesh,

Yep. Its weird. It is subtle for some, and others complain its really bad. I admit some people could be blowing it out of proportion, but but for others, they are reporting based on having seen AE100's and L300's and they claim the 500's vertical banding is much worse. Hopefully in the long run things are taken care of a little more. I may take a chance with one, but not sure.

I continue to follow what others are experiencing, whats happening and how things are going in terms of people fixing any problems.
 

Jay_A

Grip
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
17
Thanks Adam and Chris for your info ;) Anyways Chris nice to hear from you maybe we could exchange info since we live in the same area :)
 

chris_clem

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Messages
345


I'm assuming this refers to me since we live in the same area (although Chris_PC has been MUCH more helpful :D ). If you need any more help you can just post here or drop me an email/private message.:)
 

Larry Horwitz

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
8
Thanks Adam for an excellent review of the Panasonic AE500 projector. On the basis of your review and comments on this forum I purchased the Pansonic and am delighted with it.

In attempting to use the DVI-D input, I have been unable to get the proector to produce any output. The ATI Radeon in my HTPC produces the correct sweep rates at the correct resolutions, and the analog outputs of the card, when fed to the Panny's subminature D analog 15-pin port work fine at 1280 X 720, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 resolutions. When I replace the anlog cable with a DVI-D cable from the same video card output port, and drive another HDTV LCD panel I have here, the DVI-D output looks great. When I take the very same DVI-D output and connect it to the Pansonic AE500 the projector does not display any output (other than a blude screen with a flashing "DVI" in the upper right corner. I know it is being driven with the correct resolution(s) and sweep rates, and switching the cable back to analog gives me a very decent picture on the Panny. It just does not like DVI-D.

Since the cable and signal source appear to be working, I am left wondering if HDCP is the issue, or if the Pansonic is defective. It is remotely possible that the Pansonic needs a stronger digital drive signal than my other LCD HDTV, and thus the TTL transceiver/driver in the Panasonic is not getting enought drive voltage, but this is extremely unlikely.

Are you aware of a service mode for the 500 (described briefly by another person on this thread). Perhaps I may find some additional information if I could determine what combination of buttons or what sequence needs to be carried out to get it into the Service Mode.

Thanks again for your excellent review and great recommendation, and also for any guidance you may provide.


Larry
 

Larry Horwitz

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
8
Thanks Bob for your excellent suggestion. I just signed up as a new forum member on avsforum, and posted an inquiry much the same as the one here.

I when through that forum (and this one) quite carefully before posting, and get the impression that my experience is very uncommon. I have not seen others complain of the same problem, and the Panny owner's manual also makes no mention of HDCP.....it only shows up in the brochure and advertising literature, so perhaps it is a total non-issue. That leaves me with the unfortunate conclusion that the projector may have a defect. I will know better after I get some other people's replies.

I have seen some forum comments and references to EIDE2 mode on the Panny 500. I have not been able to find any reference to it whatsoever in any of the literature, and eventually found the "Service Menu" on the projector with all the additional menu items and still find no reference to it or any other method to play with the DVI port so I am really stalled.

Thanks again for your suggestion.

Larry
 

Adam Barratt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 1998
Messages
2,345
Real Name
Adam
Larry, the EDID mode can be selected from the 'options' menu, but is only available when using the DVI connection. According to the Panasonic's manual EDID1 should be used for all conventional video formats: 480P, 576P, 720P, 1080i, while EDID2 should be used for all non-video resolutions (800x600, 1024x768 etc.).

Either setting seems to work fine with 1280x720 on my own setup (although this is using a non-EDID DVD player, not a graphics card which is a little different), so this may or may not be of help.

EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) allows a monitor and graphics card to 'talk' to each other and should (should being the operative word) allow the graphics card to output the ideal refresh rate and resolution for a given display. Hot Plug Detection is required for DVI and this should allow the EDID query to occur whenever a new display device (such as the AE500) is plugged into a PC. If you're not getting a picture this hot plug EDID query may not be occurring (or it may be occurring and the projector is simply providing the card with inaccurate information: this seems to be quite common). Try forcing a query by turning the computer off and restarting with the AE500 already on.

Alternatively, if this doesn't help, you could try switching to an analogue input such as component or s-video and back to DVI to try re-synching the projector (my AE500 hasn't liked 'on the fly' resolution changes in the past but re-synching has usually fixed any problems).

Other 500 users have successfully used Radeon GCs without any problem, using the card's default 1280x720 resolution, so your problem is a little puzzling. How old is the card's driver? It might be worth downloading the latest Catalyst drivers from ATI and seeing if this helps. HDCP won't be causing this problem.

Incidentally, for those interested I have now totally eliminated all visible banding (by random chance essentially, and it was the flicker adjustment that fixed it in the end). Using a custom resolution on the Momitsu 880 (set-up instructions linked from my equipment page) into a band-free AE500 I am now more than pleased with the picture!

Adam
 

Larry Horwitz

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
8
Thanks very much Adam for replying. I've spent another several hours with 2 computers, 2 DVI-D cables, and 2 video cards, and have briefly seen the DVI port working after rebooting the computer when the cable is connected and the projector is turned on. Your suggestion was totally "spot-on" regarding a restart of the computer with the projector turned on. I have enough permutations of hardware to see that the Panny is not quite as tolerant of input to the DVI-D port as my other HD displays. To add an additional piece of confusion, I have installed the so-called "Omega" drivers for the Radeon when I was previously unable to get the Radeon "All in Wonder" card (2001 vintage) to work with the older or the newest Catalyst drivers when connected to my Samsung HD LCD panel. It became even more complex since I then installed Powerstrip and eventually got it all to work. Now when I use the Radeon card I have non-standard 1280 by 720 settings (different sync polarity for H, different V sweep frequency, etc.). I would not be surprised if a standard new Radeon card worked fine. Mine has been buggered up with a lot of custom tweaking for the Samsing, and I do not want to remove it since it works well with the screen it is always connected to.

I will eventually get a working DVI-D connection established. Now I am mostly convinced that this is NOT an HDCP issue. I was originally concerned that the DVI-D port was restricted to copy-managed content. It is most reassuring to fdinally see the DVI-D connection working although I cannot easily switch resolutions or get it to restart all the time.

The literature for the projector is this HDCP specific area is confusing. The marketing brochure describes HDCP compliance but the Owner's Manual does not mention it. Since HDCP is a digital layer / protocol very unlike the analog copy protection systems used on older products, I assume that it is strictly a DVI-D port method and has no bearing whatsoever on the "Video" or component or analog RGB / computer inputs of the 500.

I'm glad to hear that the banding issue has been put to rest. The complaint worried me as I placed my order for the Panny since several people had reported it. For whatever reason, this has ***NOT*** been an issue with my unit, although I did find that a small amount of tweaking in the flicker adjustments in the Service Mode di make a slight improvement, noticeable only on extremely stationary and very solidc olored images and then only occasionally.

Thanks again for all your advice and especially that great review of the projector. It sold me on it, and I am still a very happy camper.......

Larry
 

Peter_AFS

Auditioning
Joined
Aug 20, 2004
Messages
4
Hey, new guy here! After a lot of research I'm looking to get one of these, and I have a question: When watching 4:3 material, does the Panasonic have black bars on the sides or grey? Thanks!
 

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