Panny 900 service menu useful to get rid of VB?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Bart_R, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi everybody,

    Here's the deal: I recently (30 december) received my first PJ, a Panasonic PT-AE 900. Now, it was all very impressive surely, until I started noticing some little things. First there were these thin lines running across the screen from top to bottom, like a faint grid, in bright and solid color patterns (for ex. in desert/sky scenes in 'Lawrence of Arabia', and in light blue sky/water scenes in 'Finding Nemo'). I only noticed this after a week or so, since my screen (i.e. the cloth) until then was only loosely hanging from my wall [so creases/lines were visible regardless of PJ-problems) and the films I had watched thus far were either fairly dark ('Chronicles of Riddick') or (deliberately) grainy ('War of the Worlds'), so practically nothing serious could be distinguished or correctly pinpointed.

    Anyway, once I noticed the thing I interpreted as Vertical Banding I tried to correct it by using some flicker adjustment settings I copied from a site. It does seem to help somewhat but it comes at a price, since the image gets more flickerish (and hence less comfortable for the eyes). I ordered a second 900, hoping it would have less VB, but it's virtually the same, if not worse, while the image itself is slightly grainier. So that's no good. I also noticed that there's a touch of "haloing" (thin shadowlines around objects/people on screen, particularly when in an "environment" of high contrast). (Furthermore, I'm slightly bothered by the lack of detail on faces in shots further away than close-ups (which look spectacular); these images look fuzzy and disappointing. But this is [probably] beside the point and just me being picky).

    I've read somewhere that these problems are far more apparent (for the Panny 900) when using the analog/component input, as opposed to the HDMI-one, but unfortunately I'm not in the position to verify this.

    What I'm now anxious to find out is what the service menu can do for me, and also what I can do to the service menu. In (professional) reviews I keep reading that you should stay out of these menu's and call a maintenance guy to help you with this. Why is this, exactly? Can you do permanent damage to the projector or something? What if you just record the standard/original settings in case things don't work out, so that you can always get the PJ back into its primary state. Or isn't it that simple?

    Is it even useful to get into that menu at all? Obviously, I ventured there already (not knowing this was actually the famed "service menu") while tweaking the flicker settings, but I'm now thinking about the "panel adjustment" menu. Presumably, one can greatly diminish VB while doing something to these panels (something Sanyo's z4 enables you to do for yourself, or so I read). Is there perhaps anyone here who can give me some insight into these matters?

    I'm now considering ordering the Z4 (if the site still allows me to do this, which I doubt), to (at least) see how it compares to the 900. While undoubtedly good bang for buck, the money spend on the 900 is still a big expense for me, so I'd like it to be the best it can be (and I'd like to get the best PJ available for my needs. If I'm better off spending about the same kind of money on a z4, then perhaps that's the way to go. The one thing going against that is I'd like to sit fairly close to the screen)

    Thanks for listening/reading and for any advice or insight you can give me.

    Cheers. [​IMG]
     
  2. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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  3. Bart_R

    Bart_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Reginald,

    I had already stumbled upon that first link, and now I've waded through a handful of pages, but I haven't found anything I can use (mentioning the service menu). And since the thread is over 100 pages long, it might be very time consuming to find out if there is indeed anything useful there.

    The Z4-thread was enlightening to see that this PJ also has VB-problems. I'm now getting confused over terms though. Are Screen Door Effect, Fixed Pattern Noise, and Vertical Banding all different phenomena? On wikipedia they say FPN is the same as SD, but on other sites it is mentioned as something else. Yet I have also heard that VB is a type of FPN. Either way, I'm seeing rows of lines in bright color patterns. It is especially noticeable in horizontal pans. I'm assuming it's VB, but I'm not sure anymore. Whatever it is, though, I'd like it to go away [​IMG].

    I think I'll ask the site where I bought my Panny if they'd be so kind to send me a Z4 (after already sending me a second 900). If they won't I'm afraid there's no choice but to duke it out with the Panny, and try to tune and upgrade it the best way I can, so I won't be annoyed with it (even though that's a bit strongly stated) for years to come...

    Anyway, I realise this is a fairly new PJ so there won't be much hands-on experience to speak of, particularly when it comes to the service menu, but maybe someone can help me with my general question(s) concerning this menu (can it do harm when doing tweaking in it?).
     

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