Z4 vs. Panny 900, plus a screen ?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jay_Via, May 15, 2006.

  1. Jay_Via

    Jay_Via Stunt Coordinator

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    With the recent good deals on projectors, and the near completion of my basement HT room, Im just about ready to decide on a projector.

    Right now, i can get a Z4 with a free extra lamp and a free 92" Draper Luma screen for about $1700.

    Or i can get a 900 for about $1300, but still have to buy the screen and will only have 1 lamp.

    Seems to me the Z4 might be a better deal, esp if i can buy it now and get the screen in time for football season (6-8wks ship time).

    However, i dont know if thats a good screen for the Z4 or not. The room is 13x27 and will be completely light controlled. Any thoughts?

    Thanks
    Jason
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    That's a tough choice. The Pan. 900 is only $1300 now? A 92" screen is too small for a room that big. What is your seating distance? You can make your own screen and save a lot of money, by the way. The only thing I don't like about the Pan. is the short 1 year warranty.
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    The Z4 is a bit more tweakable than the AE900 from a calibration perspective.

    Regards
     
  4. SamNavy

    SamNavy Stunt Coordinator

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    Jay, Jim above makes very good points. I had this same question about two weeks ago, it's the first link below. It's a pretty hot topic. Check out these threads I found for you using the search function:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...d.php?t=234014
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...highlight=900u
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...highlight=900u
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...highlight=900u
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...searchid=26384

    First, where did you find the 900u for $1300, the lowest I've seen it is $1400 w/rebate? Also, for a 13x27ft room, a 92" screen is pretty small. I don't know what you're viewing distance is, but you could/should go way bigger than that depending on viewing distance. I also don't know what kind of quality that screen is, but it can't be all that good for free. With lamps going about 2000hours or so, you can watch three or four movie/games per week and still get three years out of a bulb. For my money, I'd get the Panny 900u at $1300, build my own screen for about $100 that matches the room, and still have enough left over for a bulb (in a couple years).
    I've already decided to buy the Panny. It also just got a great review in the latest edition of Sound and Vision.
    Do you have any mounting dilemnas? Is is a ceiling or table mount? Are there any ceiling fans or such in the way?
    And definitely tell me where you found $1300, that extra $100 will pay for my cables.
     
  5. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    Perhaps, but the Panasonic makes up for that with a pretty sensational out-of-the-box picture and excellent placement versatility.
     
  6. Jay_Via

    Jay_Via Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys, thanks for the input.

    I believe i was mistaken on the price of the 900....i must have used the price of the Z4 (1649 was the cheapest i found) and subtracted the Panny rebate...OOPS!

    the room is 13x27, however, the ceiling height is only 7 ft, and i dont want the bottom of the screen to be too far down, which is why i picked a little bit smaller of a screen size. Im still open to changes though.

    Im planning on having 2 rows of seats, which can be any distance from the screen (room is wide open). I was planning on setting the distance based on how good the picture looked at different viewing lengths.

    More than likely im gonna end up with the Z4. Im gonna read a few more reviews/articles on them, but being as this is something im planning on having for several years, the extra bulb will help plus if the screen is halfway decent, that wont hurt either.

    We'll see!!

    Thanks again.
    Jason
     
  7. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    My ceiling is only 6'8" tall and my screen is 106" diagonal(52"X92"). I wouldn't even consider any screen less than 106" diagonal in your situation.
     
  8. JohnnyZ

    JohnnyZ Extra

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    Your viewing distance should be 1.5 to 2 times the screen WIDTH. The Z4 offers great flexibility with it's zoom plus vertical and horizaontal lens shift. A half decent screen (Optoma Grey Wolf) is had for $150 and offers a 1.8 gain and decent black levels. I don't seen attaining those features and uniformity with a home built screen. Remember, you are actually looking at the screen surface, not the projector. What's your planned input source?
     

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