Sony HS10, Panny AE300, or Sanyo Z1????

Gordon Groff

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Hi all!

I am building my HT and have the screen/drywall/painting/wiring/floor done and have designed the PJ mounting area around the PJ that I had decided on - Sony HS10.

I just got a shock. Last night my wife and I visited Larrylll, a very nice gentleman who we hooked up with thru the AVS forum and saw his HT with a Sanyo Z1. It was a jaw-dropping beautiful picture!!! Projected onto a white wall from a coffee table. It was a much better picture than I had imagined we'd end up with. LOR picture was better than at the "real" theater. Also better than some very pricey setups we've seen at A/V stores. All this from a LITTLE $1500 PJ!! Amazing!!!

Anyway, I just checked and my PJ mounting location would work with the Z1 throw length (at full limits of mounting and zoom) and would be fine with a Panasonic AE300.

Soooo, I am reopening my decision process to those two projectors. I have little interest in HDTV (don't have it now and don't plan to pay the price in the foreseeable future) and NO interest in HTPC. 90% of the use will be for DVD with maybe occasional SDTV viewing on it for fun (My screen comes down in front of our family TV). So for my usage, the extra resolution of the Sony probably would not be too beneficial.

At a savings of $1000 and $500 respectively, what opinions do y'all have about going Sanyo Z1 or Panny AE300 instead of the Sony HS10????

Thanks!
Gordon
PS- While learning from Forums is great, going to actually SEE something is immensely more valuable!!! Anyone in the Lancaster, PA area who would like to hook up, let me know!!
 

Kelley_B

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as an owner of a L300u, I'd say if you enjoyed the Z1 and weren't bother by the screendoor then go with the Z1. The only problem with the Z1 is the fan filters are not all that great and dust gets in pretty easily. Other then that they have an awesome warranty and beautiful picture. Personally I got the L300u because I sit practically on top of my 110" image
 

Gordon Groff

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Personally I got the L300u because I sit practically on top of my 110" image
Thanks for your reply, Kelly! One thing I've learned in this instance is the importance of actually seeing the PJ in action! I would not have even considered the Z1 simply because I assumed it would not be in the same league as the Sony 'cause of price.

From your post, you imply that screendoor is more visible on the Sanyo Z1 than the Panny unit. Is that so? We did not notice any screendoor, but we did not get up and move close to the screen either. We were about 14' back from a 96" wide (110 diag?) image. It seemed SUPERSIZED!

I would LOVE to see a L300u in action!!
(BTW, what's the correct model number for the Panny unit? I see AE300 one place, L300U others).

I've read so many posts on forums that the Panasonic unit actually delivers a superior picture to the Sony unit (better contrasts and blacks) for DVD viewing that I feel I must check it out. Especially now that I see what the Sanyo Z1 can do.
 

Parker Clack

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Gordon:

There is a really good comparison here between the 300u, HS10 and Z1.

From the stuff that I have read the 300u is the best of the group. And its still under $2,000. So you know the 300u is the commercial name and the AE300 is the consumer name.

Parker
 

Gordon Groff

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From the stuff that I have read the 300u is the best of the group. And its still under $2,000. So you know the 300u is the commercial name and the AE300 is the consumer name.
Very cool, Parker!!!

I just did some surfing on this and ran the distance calculator for the PT-L300U and found it was too short a throw for my room.
Earlier today, I did a similar thing from specs posted over on the AVS "specs for hot PJ" thread. According to that, I was OK. I think I found the issue here. Using the Projector central distance calculator, the L300U is 12.9' max throw for my 106" dia. screen (already installed). The AE-300, however, has a throw distance of 10.3' - 16.0'!!! Yea!! I guess that might be the difference between the "consumer" version and the L300U. Looking around, briefly, I did not find any dealers for the AE-300 yet, but I have to believe they're out there!

Thanks for your input and the link, Parker!!

(Boring explanation follows)
I need a minimum of 14.1' because I created a finished recess in my ceiling between joists for the PJ mount w/ a bulkhead on one side for all the connections (110vac, component, S, DVI, etc... I have a low ceiling (7'3"), so need to put the mount up between joists. It's pretty cool, looks good and IS cool 'cause I also ran a 4' diffuser from my supply-side air system to blow conditioned air into the recess so heat would not build up there. Anyway, I designed my room around the HS-10 and it's throw length because I believed that it was the "da bomb" from my forum searching when I started remodelling the room.

I'm pretty psyched that the Panny AE300 will work there. I also thought the Sanyo Z1 might work, but according the Projector central calculator, it can only go to 12.7'. Bummer. I need to learn to use the zoom ratio specs better.

Thanks again!

Gordon
 

Neil Joseph

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If I am not mistaken, the AE300 is available in Japan. I do not know if this will ever be available in the US except online. There are a few members here that have it.
 

Parker Clack

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Gordon:

The AE300 is available only in Japan as far as I know. I am checking to see if the 300U has the same throw ratio as the AE300. I will get back with you on this.

Parker
 

JonathonSan

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I have had a Z1 for about a month and a half now. I love the picture this PJ throws, big, bright and beautiful. No problems so far that are not inherent to all LCD. I can make no comments as to comparing this and others as I bought it sight unseen. It does have the best warranty 3 year parts/labor and if you buy the Studio Experience clone you get a 500 hour/120 day bulb warranty.

Here is a link to anothers view of all three that has seen them.

Z1 vs 300
 

Gordon Groff

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That's pretty amazing, JonathonSan! A great review by Sushi who saw all three of these PJ's side by side on the same screens, getting the same feed. He thought the Z1 was the best choice! Cool! Both it and the Panny beat the Sony. Very interesting!
Gordon
 

Robert James Clark

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If you were that impressed with the Z1, why not go ahead and get it?
If you're not bothered by the screendoor of this unit, there is no reason to go up in price (except contrast).
The price is amazing, the warranty is great.
It does have a few minor issues such as dust blobs and color spotting, but if you've already seen it and love it, stop torturing yourself! You can always sell it...
 

Gordon Groff

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If you were that impressed with the Z1, why not go ahead and get it?
I would if I could, Robert! Only problem is, it does not fit. I need a longer throw PJ that can give me a 106" diag. mounted 14.5' away. The Z1 (and Panny L300U) can't be any further than about 12 -13' to give up that size.

So, I'm stuck with the HS10 as the most affordable option with for good-quality LCD. I am very concerned that the Sony's lower contrast and worse black levels will not make me happy after seeing the Z1 in action. I hope I'm wrong 'cause that's probably the way I'll have to go.

I have been fantasizing lately about the Sanyo PLV-70. Any of you guys seen that one? I've even started working on the WAF by telling her how nice it would be to have a PJ that is bright enough to view regular TV during the daytime and with the lights on, while ironing, reading, whatever. I know I like to read the Sunday paper while watching NFL and I think the PLV-70 would work out great for this if you can believe this review: http://www.thebigpicturedvd.com/bigequipment17.shtml

Only problem is 5.5 Big Ones!!


Gordon
 

Douglas_H

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Gordon,
I have seen all three of these projectors side-by-side at the same time and on different screens.
They all have their strengths and their own weaknesses.

All 3 are a lot of projector for the money. You cannot go "wrong" with any of them. As you have realized,
many times the theater room is the deciding factor. Seating distance to the screen, etc.

My overall rating from 3rd to 1st:
Z1 - really surprising little guy.
Strengths: Great picture, lowest price.
Weaknesses: lots of light leakage, most visible screen door of the 3.

PT-L300U(same as AE-300):
Strengths - Great contrast/shadow detail, at 1.5x screen width screen door not a factor. VERY quiet.
Weakness: scan lines and to a lesser degree banding.
Not a strength or weakness - short throw.

HS-10:
My pick of the 3.
Strengths: Great color saturation, hi-res, power focuszoom, screen door same as the Panasonic.
Weakness: Availability. Slightly less shadow detail than the Panny(depends on the source). A bit noisier than the 300

Like all other gear, I think PJs need to be evaluated as a whole. Awesome color is meaningless if you need to mount it above your head and the fan is like wheat combine. Also, these are my impressions only. I have tried to evaluate a projector through someone else's eyes, not an easy thing.
If you are not too price sensitive and it fits your room, the HS-10 will give you lots of quality time. I also would not dismiss HD so readily. Have you seen HD on an HS-10 or other projector? Going from DVD to HD is a far bigger difference than exists between any of the 3 projectors you are considering.
I'm willing to bet that HD on an HS-10 will make you a believer. Maybe not.
HTH
 

Gordon Groff

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Thanks for your comments Douglas_H!!! I really needed a pep talk to restore my faith in the HS10.

I guess I read too many reviews that saw all three together and liked the other two better.

Leaving HDTV out of the picture for a moment, from your comments, the HS10 had acceptable contrast and shadow detail. That is my major concern. The Z1 I saw seemed positively brilliant. The scene in LOR where Bilbo is sitting against a tree in a forest looked like you could walk into the forest. I am somewhat obsessive in that I would have a problem accepting anything less after I was so impressed w/the Z1.

The advantage to the HS10 for HDTV is noted and appreciated. I would love to have that capability, even if I don't have any plans at this time to use it. I HATE my cable company and feel I'm paying too much already, much less spring for their digital and HDTV content (what can you expect from a govt-sponsered monopoly!). I may look into satellite or maybe see what I could pick up OTA sometime.

Thanks for your comments!
 

Parker Clack

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Gordon:

If you can afford the PLV 70 I would get it. The pictures on Jeff's site are a real selling point. He loves this projector.

Parker
 

Kelley_B

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One reason why I didn't go with the HS10 was the fact that it had so many problems during the time when I was purchasing, especially the lamp bug.

It doesn't really matter what projector you get now, Z1, L300u, HS10, etc....they are all awesome units.

BTW - The AE300 is the Japanese model code, and the L300u is the North American model code.
 

Gordon Groff

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BTW - The AE300 is the Japanese model code, and the L300u is the North American model code.
Thanks Kelly. The reason I was looking for the AE300 is that the distance calculator at projectorcenter (I think) showed that it had a longer throw than the L300U. That was not correct, it has the same throw - which is too short for my room setup


Gordon
 

Parker Clack

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Gordon:

Another thought would be to look into the PLV 60HT. It is the previous model to the 70HT and is a very nice unit. You can read more about it here. The great thing about it is that it is about $2,000 less in price too.

Here is a comparison between the PLV 70 and the PLV 60HT so you can see their differences.

Parker
 

Scot Kight

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Easy answer. BIGGER SCREEN!

(Ok maybe thats not terribly helpful, but the l300u does look great on my 119" screen)

I'll measure the distance to the projector tonight, but it should be right around 14' from where it is sitting and it has some more room for adjustment.
 

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