Please suggest replacement for Sanyo PLV-Z2 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Had my Z2 since Nov. 2003. Not happy with the contrast/black levels. Plus it has a serious problem at the moment (see the thread I started a few hours ago about the fan making a racket, no one's answered it yet). I may be able to fix the problem with the fan making a racket, but I'm still not happy with the picture when watching movies. Sports always have decent lighting, so contrast isn't an issue, but I find some movies all but unwatchable with the Z2.

I have DVDs (not Blu-ray yet), and an HDTV card (MyHD 120) that outputs 720p (1280x720), natively.

My throw distance is very close to 9' 8", and that's not changeable right now.

Whatever I get should have way better contrast. Color accuracy isn't paramount because I'm partially color blind, I'm not apt to have complaints about minor color inaccuracies. Of course, one day I'll probably get a Blu-ray player.

I'm willing to go new or used, want good bang for the buck. Really appreciate some suggestions, I haven't kept up with the technology. What's out there on the new and used market (that would work for me)?
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post #2 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 09:57 AM
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What is the budget?
Do you want 3D?
Will you be gaming with the projector?
Ceiling mounting or shelf mount (do you need lens shift)?

Non-3D and Cheap New
Mitsubishi hc4000 ($1100), Viewsonic Pro8200($750), Benq w6000 ($1500+), Epson 8350 ($1000)

Refurbished Epson 8700ub for around $1600 has the best contrast other than JVC's if you want to spend that much. The DLP's are sharper though.


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post #3 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

What is the budget?
Do you want 3D?
Will you be gaming with the projector?
Ceiling mounting or shelf mount (do you need lens shift)?

Non-3D and Cheap New
Mitsubishi hc4000 ($1100), Viewsonic Pro8200($750), Benq w6000 ($1500+), Epson 8350 ($1000)

Refurbished Epson 8700ub for around $1600 has the best contrast other than JVC's if you want to spend that much. The DLP's are sharper though.

Hmm, budget? Well I have cash but little income, trying to get up to speed investing, it's kinda uncertain right now. I could spend 5 grand, but would prefer to spend 5 hundred.

3D, well, I don't know. How's that working out? Are there PJ's that are doing a real good job with that?

I have never gamed with my PJ. I have some computer games, no console, have done almost nothing with the games, haven't touched one in a few years. I'm busy enough without another thing like that, however I admit I'm curious to know what the experience is, that's why I bought the games I have.

No ceiling mount. I have homemade bookshelves opposite the wall that has my screen hanging from it. One shelf section is dedicated to the PJ, nothing else, to allow for maximum ventilation. There's a hole cut in the back of the bookcase to accommodate cables going to the PJ.

Guess I don't need lens shift, although my Sanyo PLV-Z2 has it, pretty sure. I could adjust it without it, but do use that adjustment. For horizontal I just reach up and give it a little push, but I do use the vertical adjustment wheel to move it up or down depending on if the picture shown is 16x9 or 2.35:1.

Are PJs designed for 1080p as good at 720p as PJs dedicated to 720p? If so, a 1080p has more forward compatibility, so to speak (i.e. if and when I get a Blu-ray player. AFAIK HDTV isn't 1080p yet, right?

You mention that DLPs are sharper. When I got my Z2 in late 2003, people were saying that some people had issues with DLP, that they experienced eye strain, or something like that. Some did, some didn't, a phenomenon that wasn't fully understood. Is that still an issue?

Thanks for those suggestions. I'll look into each and every one!
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post #4 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muse View Post

I could spend 5 grand, but would prefer to spend 5 hundred.


The Viewsonic Pro8200 is a good 1080p projector for under $1000, but no 3D.


Quote:


3D, well, I don't know. How's that working out? Are there PJ's that are doing a real good job with that?

Yes, for $1500 the Optoma hd33 does very well. The best projector that has 3D + good contrast for the most economical price point is the Benq w7000 for around $2200 or a refurb w7000 for maybe $1700 (Better black levels than the Optoma hd33).

Quote:


I have never gamed with my PJ. I have some computer games, no console, have done almost nothing with the games, haven't touched one in a few years.

I wouldn't worry about gaming then, mostly hardcore gamers would care depending on what projector.

Quote:


No ceiling mount.

You would have to place the Mits hc4000 or Viewsonic Pro8200 really high, but it's do-able. I would probably go with a Benq w6000 or w7000 (3d) since it can be mounted lower in a shelf much like a Sanyo.

Quote:


Are PJs designed for 1080p as good at 720p as PJs dedicated to 720p? If so, a 1080p has more forward compatibility, so to speak (i.e. if and when I get a Blu-ray player. AFAIK HDTV isn't 1080p yet, right?

Generally speaking, Yes, personally I think 720p video often looks better on a 1080p projector because of the additional pixels incrases the film-like look.

Quote:


You mention that DLPs are sharper. When I got my Z2 in late 2003, people were saying that some people had issues with DLP, that they experienced eye strain, or something like that.

It is much rarer now, this is usually caused by the rainbow effect. On a Benq w6000 or Benq w7000, only a handful of people out of 100 would see it often enough to be bothered (maybe 1 in 10), but on a Viewsonic Pro8200 or Optoma hd33 which have even slightly better color wheels only about 1 in 25 would be bothered by it. When buying a projector, you just have to make sure you always buy it from a place that allows returns just in case.

I would look at the Benq w7000 (3d) refurbished projector or a w6000 (same without 3D). Don't buy it yet though because they are about to release a fixed firmware. Otherwise if you just mainly want darker blacks (more contrast), look to the refurb Epson 8700ub. Even though JVC's have the best contrast, I probably would not buy a JVC in your case depending on how many hours you plan to use it per year (JVC's are more trouble sometimes operational wise).


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post #5 of 38 Old 04-22-2012, 11:07 PM
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I may have missed it but what size is your screen? Knowing that together with your throw may exclude some pjs.

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post #6 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane T View Post

I may have missed it but what size is your screen? Knowing that together with your throw may exclude some pjs.

The screen itself from edge to edge is 7 feet x 4 feet. The total tip to tip diagonal of the screen I calculate using the pathagorean theorem to be 96.75 inches. When I'm running a 16x9 picture there's about 10-12 inches on each side that's not used. I'd say about 1 foot total of the vertical dimension isn't used. So, I'm utilizing about 5 feet x 3 feet, the PJ's lens is 9' 8" from the center of the screen.

The screen is hanging on a wall, angled so that the bottom is against the wall and the top sticks out about a foot. This has two benefits:

1. A right angle from the surface points slightly down, meaning that dust will not settle on it.

2. A right angle from approximately the center of the screen points pretty much at my head when I'm sitting in my viewing chair.
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post #7 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

[color="Navy"]Even though JVC's have the best contrast, I probably would not buy a JVC in your case depending on how many hours you plan to use it per year (JVC's are more trouble sometimes operational wise).

I just determined that the last 4 years I've used my PJ about 500 hours/year. Total since I got it about Dec. 1, 2003 is 4458 hours. I'm not sure how long it will last. It's got some kind of issue with one of the two fans' blades on again off again impinging on something. I thought I had worked that out yesterday, but turning it on today to garner the hours of use, I see (hear!) that the fan issue has not gone away.

Thanks for running all that stuff down for me!
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post #8 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 06:52 PM
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With coderguy's initial suggestions for the 96"-100" screen your describing:

The Mitsubishi and Viewsonic would almost fill your screen zoomed all the way in.

The BenQ has a longer throw and would need to be a smaller image.

Both Epsons will fill a 98" screen at full zoom.

Check out the projector calculator in coderguy's signature for zoom ranges, offsets, etc on more pjs.

I've never used full zoom on a pj and don't know how it affects the pic but maybe Coderguy or someone else could say more on that.

Will you be able to move the pj farther up or down the shelf if needed? I don't know how much adjustment the DLPs on the list have, if any.

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post #9 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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The shelves are vertically spaced by 13.5 inches, so that's the quantum leap or drop in height possible. Could go up or down by that amount. If down, it would clear my head but not by much.

What's "full zoom?" Would that be fully flaring out the image? A bad idea? It's not terribly important to me to fill that whole screen, it looks OK using the 3x5 linear feet I'm using, my distance from the screen being barely more than 9 feet between my eyes and the screen. I figure most people looking at LCD's and plasma displays have much smaller subtended images. I've seen people looking at 52" screens from 20 feet. That's relatively tiny compared to what I'm doing.
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post #10 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 08:36 PM
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Projectors have a zoom range, so say pj X will throw a 100" image from anywhere between 10' and 14'. I don't know for a fact, but have heard here that generally the best pic comes in the middle of the zoom range. I don't know how much difference there is, but maybe someone else can give more details.

Plus, the closer the pj is to the screen, the brighter the screen will be. Coderguy's calculator will actually show the brightness increase the closer the pj is to the screen.

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post #11 of 38 Old 04-23-2012, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muse View Post

I just determined that the last 4 years I've used my PJ about 500 hours/year. Total since I got it about Dec. 1, 2003 is 4458 hours. I'm not sure how long it will last. It's got some kind of issue with one of the two fans' blades on again off again impinging on something. I thought I had worked that out yesterday, but turning it on today to garner the hours of use, I see (hear!) that the fan issue has not gone away.

Thanks for running all that stuff down for me!

Did you try the light oil and graphite trick a memeber just talked about for the fans? Seems to work great and makes the fans better than before? A couple of drops of light oil topped off with some puffs of graphite on the fan bearings does the trick.

If not try a LCD with inorganic panels, like I got a Sanyo Z2000 for $500 off ebay with just 500hrs on it. Pretty good looking projector for colors and blacks are decent.

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post #12 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Did you try the light oil and graphite trick a memeber just talked about for the fans? Seems to work great and makes the fans better than before? A couple of drops of light oil topped off with some puffs of graphite on the fan bearings does the trick.

If not try a LCD with inorganic panels, like I got a Sanyo Z2000 for $500 off ebay with just 500hrs on it. Pretty good looking projector for colors and blacks are decent.

I haven't tried the oil/graphite treatment yet.

I am looking at a similar deal on a Sanyo Z2000. Says 424 hours on the bulb and "filter time" of 560 hours. Don't know what to make of that. Maybe a 2nd bulb. Time on PJ has to be more than 424 hours! What does "filter time" mean? I don't think my Sanyo PLV-Z2 has that.

How does the Sanyo Z2000 compare with the other suggested PJs? No 3D, obviously, and it was introduced in 2007, a while back. Has 1080p. My throw distance is 9'8", so Projector Central's spec of 10-20' has me concerned. Does that mean I'd have to use a compromizing "zoom" setting?

Contrast spec of 15,000:1 makes it sound like great contrast compared to my Z2's 1300:1. Is it really "night and day" comparison? I've only seen my Z2, so even anecdotal explanation would be reassuring!

Projector Central's "comments" by Z2000 owners has several by people who say the blue polarizer crapped out on them. I have no idea what that means, but it doesn't sound good. I have to think this thing would come with no warranty.
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post #13 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 12:58 PM
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Good catch I saw that. There's a option to set the warning time for cleaning the filter. It goes 50 100 200 up to 500. The 560 means he went past the 500 hrs setting. He must have reset the lamp at one time .

All these LCDs can have some trouble with polarizors, I mean not everyone. The panels are inorganic which is great because earlier ones like yours develop color problems usually around 2000 hrs. You have been lucky.

Oh it's a great picture alright, contrast and blacks are very good, better yet the colors are great the picture can look very natural. Plus the video is super clean, lastly the image it extremely sharp.

Getting a new PJ will cost but you do get a warranty, or gamble on a low priced used one.

My setup has the lens 11' from a 106"diag screen and there a bit more zoom left. Check the calculator they're usually correct so 10' may not work for you if you have a 106"

The Epson might fit better.

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post #14 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

Good catch I saw that. There's a option to set the warning time for cleaning the filter. It goes 50 100 200 up to 500. The 560 means he went past the 500 hrs setting. He must have reset the lamp at one time .

He must have either reset the lamp or replaced it.
Quote:
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All these LCDs can have some trouble with polarizors, I mean not everyone. The panels are inorganic which is great because earlier ones like yours develop color problems usually around 2000 hrs. You have been lucky.

Not sure I've been lucky. Could just be that I don't notice the colors being off. I'm partially color blind, "total green blind" or what they term deuteroptic. The green cones in my eyes are missing. I see colors but they look different to me than people with normal color vision.

What are polarizers? That's different from the panels?
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Oh it's a great picture alright, contrast and blacks are very good, better yet the colors are great the picture can look very natural. Plus the video is super clean, lastly the image it extremely sharp.

Getting a new PJ will cost but you do get a warranty, or gamble on a low priced used one.

It's the gamble that has me nervous. I'm inexperienced (and partly color blind), I might not be able to detect problems and even if I did this listing has no return policy, just ebay buyer protection, whatever that is.
Quote:
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My setup has the lens 11' from a 106"diag screen and there a bit more zoom left. Check the calculator they're usually correct so 10' may not work for you if you have a 106"

The Epson might fit better.

My screen in 4x7 feet, so the diagonal has to be I figure 96.75 inches. Is that not big enough for the Z2000?
- -
Edit: I'm not worried about not utilizing all of the 4x7 foot screen. I'm only using 3x5 feet of it now, it's what I'm used to, seems OK. If I can use significantly more I may like that a lot, but I don't feel compelled to use the entirety of the screen.
- -
Based on Coderguy's remarks maybe the refurbished Epson 8700ub for around $1600 is the best bet. I figure middle of the zoom range ("sweet spot") identified at Projectorcentral would use a little less of the area I'm using now (about 70 diagonal inches, whereas I'm using about 75 diagonal inches now), so I can tweak that a bit to flare it out to 75 inches, maybe still get a real nice picture, use eco mode, probably. The room is very light controlled. The spec of 200,000:1 contrast is mind blowing. Sounds pretty good contrast wise. Coderguy says it's not as sharp as the DLP projectors.
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post #15 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 02:54 PM
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"My screen in 4x7 feet, so the diagonal has to be I figure 96.75 inches. Is that not big enough for the Z2000?

Based on Coderguy's remarks maybe the refurbished Epson 8700ub for around $1600 is the best bet. I figure middle of the zoom range ("sweet spot") identified at Projectorcentral would use a little less of the area I'm using now (about 70 diagonal inches, whereas I'm using about 75 diagonal inches now), so I can tweak that a bit to flare it out to 75 inches, maybe still get a real nice picture, use eco mode, probably. The room is very light controlled. The spec of 200,000:1 contrast is mind blowing. Sounds pretty good contrast wise. Coderguy says it's not as sharp as the DLP projectors.
"

96" diag that would work for the sanyo. The Epson price is good plus a warranty a very popular projector. Read Art's review at projectorreviews.xxx

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post #16 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

"My screen in 4x7 feet, so the diagonal has to be I figure 96.75 inches. Is that not big enough for the Z2000?

Based on Coderguy's remarks maybe the refurbished Epson 8700ub for around $1600 is the best bet. I figure middle of the zoom range ("sweet spot") identified at Projectorcentral would use a little less of the area I'm using now (about 70 diagonal inches, whereas I'm using about 75 diagonal inches now), so I can tweak that a bit to flare it out to 75 inches, maybe still get a real nice picture, use eco mode, probably. The room is very light controlled. The spec of 200,000:1 contrast is mind blowing. Sounds pretty good contrast wise. Coderguy says it's not as sharp as the DLP projectors.
"

96" diag that would work for the sanyo. The Epson price is good plus a warranty a very popular projector. Read Art's review at projectorreviews.xxx

I'm seeing a review there for the Epson 8700ub, this is obviously the review you mean. It's pretty extensive:

Epson Home Cinema 8700UB Projector Review
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post #17 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 09:12 PM
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If you've been black level starved this one will fill the gap, plus the warranty deal and epson has a good record for being fast on a fix or replacement. Let us know how you like it when it arrives.

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post #18 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If you've been black level starved this one will fill the gap, plus the warranty deal and epson has a good record for being fast on a fix or replacement. Let us know how you like it when it arrives.

I'll definitely post the outcome.

Black level starved is what I am, also what's probably part and parcel of the same problem, not being able to make out details in "dark" scenes. I could not get far into Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it looked so washed out on my Sanyo PLV-Z2, it was just depressing.

Maybe I should hold off on making a decision until I have a chance to check out the 3D capable projectors. I used my Z2 a 1/2 hour tonight and the fan wasn't an issue. Maybe it has some life in it still.

Thanks everyone for the help! You guys are great! I'm definitely going to step up to a better PJ soon, there's no way I'm satisfied with the Z2. I'll post the results here.
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post #19 of 38 Old 04-24-2012, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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An Amazon thread has me wondering if the Epson 8350 wouldn't be a better idea than the 8700ub. The obvious differences I'm seeing in the specs at projectorcentral is that the 8350 has 2000 lumens and the 8700ub has 1600 lumens. The 8700ub is THX certified, has a better spec for contrast. There's an anamorphic aspect to the 8700ub's lens. Aside from being cheaper a couple of posts assert:

1. The image quality isn't worse, actually is better
2. The 8700ub's bulbs don't actually last 4000 hours but only last 500 hours

Epson 8700UB vs Epson 8350
- -
Sam Good says:
Funny, I had a similar dilemma when I bought the 8350 (and was very happy with it), then I read a lot of reviews on how the 8700UB was "the" projector if you watched movies. I have a dedicated home theater so the light is always controlled in the room, as you know the 8700UB is less bright but placement of either projector was not an issue.
I went out and got the 8700UB since I only watch movies in that room. Now I was in a position to compare them both side-by-side. WoW , the less expensive 8350, one was a much better viewing experience. Who would have guessed! They both have a wonderful picture if you don't have the other to compare, but next to each other, I kept the 8350.
Here's why....With the 8700UB the picture was darker and '"dull", the 8350 makes the picture "pop" on the screen, kinda like the difference between watching the old TVs and the new Plasma TV. Secondly, the picture on the 8350 was a bit more sharper...especially during transitions, I think the extra technology processing the higher end 8700UB gives the final picture more artifacts. As for the "Higher Black Levels" , I think I found was more GEEK talk to justify a Higher end projector.
Good Luck.
- -

Dave Erickson says:
There is a very serious lamp issue with the 8700UB, which is rarely discussed on line. While, it's rated at 4000 hours, I have yet to see more than 500. Epson is aware of this design flaw and will supply customers with free lamps for two years, but after that, the cost of a lamp ($300) will make my yearly operating costs around $1200 (I go through a lamp every 3 months). At that cost, I'll have to replace the projector when the two year warranty is up. To Epson's credit, the lamp arrives the day after I call tech support, and you are required to return the burned out lamp. It's not hard to replace, but it's annoying.
- - -

The last post in the thread adds this:

Susan says:
Felickz, the life of an incandescent light bulb is shortened by turning it off and on. The impedance (resistance) of the filament is less when it is off, and cold, than when it is on and hot. So when you first turn a bulb on there is an "inrush current" that is higher than the current the bulb is supposed to operate steadily with. The more it is turned off and on, the shorter the bulb life will be. There are "soft start" products to operate bulbs, and now they even have "soft start" bulbs that limit the "inrush current" to below the regular operating current and let it slowly come up to what the bulb uses regularly. This eliminates the jolt of the inrush current and the shortened lifespan of the bulb because of it. A bulb that is rated at 4000 hrs should last 4000 hrs if left on steadily, less than that if not.
- -
Muse says:
I had heard that the bulb in my Z2 was apt to last a lot longer if I did not turn the PJ on and off a whole lot. For this reason I have attempted to minimize on/off cycles as much as is practical. For instance, if I want to eat a meal in the middle of a long program (e.g. a 4 hour sports broadcast), I don't just pause the timeshift (I ALWAYS timeshift my HDTV programs), I leave the PJ on while the program is paused. Same with movies, of course. Although there are 4458 hours on my Z2's bulb (the initial bulb), and all but about 20 hours in low lamp mode, I am unaware of any loss of picture quality and have made no adjustments to the PJ to compensate.
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post #20 of 38 Old 04-25-2012, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Muse View Post

Susan says: Although there are 4458 hours on my Z2's bulb (the initial bulb), and all but about 20 hours in low lamp mode, I am unaware of any loss of picture quality and have made no adjustments to the PJ to compensate.

Sorry, but this lady needs a vision test. 4458 hours on the original bulb and no difference in light output?

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post #21 of 38 Old 04-25-2012, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Sorry, but this lady needs a vision test. 4458 hours on the original bulb and no difference in light output?

It wasn't Susan who said that (I quoted her off a thread), it was me. And, yeah, well dig... I bought the PJ in late 2003, so a gradual decline of brightness might not be detected. It's not terribly dim. I have the iris stopped down, which is said to be better for sharpness/resolution, something like that, but does diminish brightness. Maybe the fact that it seems reasonably bright has to do with the fact that my throw is 9'8", not 12', not 15', plus my screen is pretty bright white, I haven't gotten around to painting the screen with the gallon of paint I got at Home Depot, color Misty Evening.


BTW, I have been getting pretty regular vision tests. My eyes are pretty darn good. Yeah, a tiny bit of cataract stuff going on, nowhere near where they'd consider surgery, and I think that's mainly in my left eye.

Any comment of those ideas about the 8350 actually being better than the 8700ub? I figured maybe that guy was in error. Maybe he was wowed by an overstated picture.
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post #22 of 38 Old 04-26-2012, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Muse View Post

It wasn't Susan who said that (I quoted her off a thread), it was me. And, yeah, well dig... I bought the PJ in late 2003, so a gradual decline of brightness might not be detected. It's not terribly dim. I have the iris stopped down, which is said to be better for sharpness/resolution, something like that, but does diminish brightness. Maybe the fact that it seems reasonably bright has to do with the fact that my throw is 9'8", not 12', not 15', plus my screen is pretty bright white, I haven't gotten around to painting the screen with the gallon of paint I got at Home Depot, color Misty Evening.


BTW, I have been getting pretty regular vision tests. My eyes are pretty darn good. Yeah, a tiny bit of cataract stuff going on, nowhere near where they'd consider surgery, and I think that's mainly in my left eye.

Any comment of those ideas about the 8350 actually being better than the 8700ub? I figured maybe that guy was in error. Maybe he was wowed by an overstated picture.

Good to hear your eyesight is fine.

One question. How did you manage to get 4458 hours out of a bulb rated for 2000 hours? The projector is supposed to blink a yellow light indicating a replacement is necessary.

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post #23 of 38 Old 04-26-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Good to hear your eyesight is fine.

One question. How did you manage to get 4458 hours out of a bulb rated for 2000 hours? The projector is supposed to blink a yellow light indicating a replacement is necessary.

That yellow light, that's on top of the PJ, right? It sits on a shelf, I may not have noticed it blinking.

Honestly, it seems bright enough to me, even with the iris minimized, which it has been since the beginning. However, the front of the lens is 9'8" from the quite white screen and the room is in virtual complete darkness (windows have venetian blinds and I have black velvet curtains that I draw shut). Even in daytime, it's almost pitch black in there.

It might help that the PJ is on a shelf with lots of space around it, so it gets good ventilation, plus I clean the filter and dust bunnies periodically. I do occasionally use it with the room approaching 85 F, but usually a lot cooler. When running at those higher temperatures the fans go into hyper speeds, but usually they are at the lower speeds.

I just made an adjustment, being tightening the screws holding the fan that was rattling and striking some surface. I managed to tighten all the screws and I dabbed contact cement on them, so they shouldn't loosen again. It'll be my backup PJ when I get the replacement.
- - - -
Here's some information I saved on the Z2's bulb life way back when I got it:
- -
Z2 bulb life - the nitty gritty -- 11/21/2003
--------------------------------------------------------------
shrugger
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Location: Northern Virginia, USA
Posts: 49

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Muse
What's the scoop on the bulb life for the Z2? I know that Sanyo doesn't provide life expectancy figures in the specifications. 1000 hours is a figure someone got somewhere. Is this the least bit realistic? Why so short? Many PJs have bulbs speced at 3000 hours. Is it really not possible that the Z2's bulb will last this long? Especially if used in low lamp mode? As I understand it, the PJ keeps track of hours and after X amount of hours you are informed somehow that you should replace the bulb. What happens if you do not? Is there any danger if the bulb fails? Presumably the bulb gets dimmer with time, but that effect starts happening almost immediately. I haven't seen a curve. Is there anywhere you can see a curve? If you're not unhappy with the brightness of your PJ, why not keep the bulb until either you are unhappy with the brightness or it blows out?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sanyo generally does not provide bulb life figures, and I can't really blame them. Everyone's lamp life numbers are pretty bogus, because there are so many variables involved outside of their control- ability to dissipate heat where it's installed, pollutants, average length of time used per sitting, "hot restarts," etc.

Bulb life is largely a marketing gimmick at this point in the technology- witness the X1 bulb life numbers being changed from 3,000 to 4,000 right when they went into a big production run (using the exact same bulb).

Each Sanyo operating region prints their own product literature, some of them have put specs to bulb life (3,000 in low lamp mode)- but I wouldn't put any more stock in these numbers than anyone else's.

Every projector using a UHP lamp is using a bulb made by Phillips. They all use the same basic technology in slightly different form factors.

UHP lamps (like the Z2) are generally rated at up to 4,000 hours, while UHM lamps (like those used in the AE500) are generally rated for 1,000-2,000 hours. Don't take my word for it- check projectorcentral's bulb FAQ.

Note that Panasonic rates the AE500 at 2,000 hours. At most, Sanyo rates the Z2 for 3,000 hours (when they could easily claim 4,000).

Panasonic, like most manufacturers, rates at the very top end of the scale. Sanyo, is far more "honest" than most companies. Think of them like Onkyo in the amp world. Unfortunately, their very honesty is held against them, because it becomes some sort of conspiracy to hide data when a few people post about bulbs dying at 500 hours. Every bulb can die in 500 hours if it's in a bad batch or not treated properly by the user, but since Sanyo doesn't publish specs, everyone treats these few examples as the gospel for Sanyo bulb life and refuses to listen to those with very different experiences. AAARRGHHHH!!!!!

On the question of replacing bulbs- it is possible (though rare) for bulbs to explode when pushed too far. If they explode- your projector is history. And- it is rare for people to be happy with the brightness level of the bulb after a couple thousand hours. So, my advice is- why put up with a poor picture and the risk of destroying a $2,000 piece of equipment to save $300 on a new bulb that should last you 1-3 years?


Sick of the bogus Sanyo bulb life garbage-
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post #24 of 38 Old 04-26-2012, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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At the moment the two PJ's highest on my list are the Epson 8700ub and the BenQ w6000. I'm not sure the BenQ would be a good fit with my 9'8" throw distance and 96" diagonal screen. However, it would fit better on my bookcase because it's about 2" less depth than the 8700u. I could have the Epson stick out more, maybe with a plate extension on the shelf, and I could cut a hole in the back of the bookcase to allow the Epson to stick out the back a couple of inches. I'm wondering if the BenQ would be too bright for my situation. I think it's 2500 lumens and the Epson is 1600. Even the 8700ub has twice the lumens of my Z2's 800. Would the Epson be too bright? I would use it in eco mode, same as my Z2. Coderguy says the DLP projectors are sharper and also less trouble prone, however the 8700ub has a reputation for great blacks and contrast, evidently better than the BenQ. Haven't seen either. All my information is more or less "anecdotal" but that's nothing new. I usually buy stuff based on anecdotal information.

A lot of people report problems with the Epson's lamp dieing far sooner than the manufacturer's spec, being 4000 hours, I think. I think they used to provide an extra lamp, but I haven't seen that at the places I see it for sale, new or refurbished. Auto iris problems have also been commonly reported, necessitating a replacement PJ.
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post #25 of 38 Old 04-27-2012, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I just ordered a refurb Epson 8700ub from Visual Apex, was encouraged to do so in The official Epson 8700UB thread here, a thread I discovered yesterday. MississippiMan said I should get all over it, and I did! Thanks everyone for the help, I couldn't have done it without you.
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post #26 of 38 Old 05-03-2012, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Got my refurb 8700ub today, and for all the world it looks brand new. Got my new Panasonic 220 blu-ray player a couple of hours earlier. Managed to set everything up, latest firmware in the player, set the Epson to Eco mode and popped in a DVD (don't have any blu-ray discs yet), The Departed and watched the first 1/2 hour. I'm super impressed with the deep blacks, I'm just not used to that. So much better than my Z2. My Z2's borders were parallel to my screens, but the Epson so far is not. I think that must be something I can configure, I'll get to that tomorrow and start tweaking, reading the manual, etc.
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post #27 of 38 Old 05-04-2012, 08:41 AM
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You made the right choice if you were after black levels.

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Sam Good says:
I went out and got the 8700UB since I only watch movies in that room. Now I was in a position to compare them both side-by-side. WoW , the less expensive 8350, one was a much better viewing experience. Who would have guessed!

There is no comparison PQ-wise between an 8350 and 8700ub (the 8700ub is better), and the 8350 he had obviously had better convergence and the 8700ub had defective convergence or another problem. This is an ongoing problem with LCD, you have to know how to spot image issues. Some LCD's come defective and you could get one that looks worse than a $200 projector (which is what it sounds like happened to this person quoted above). This has nothing to do with a valid comparison between a working 8350 and working 8700ub that both have the same QC attributes.


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post #28 of 38 Old 05-04-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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. This is an ongoing problem with LCD, you have to know how to spot image issues.

How can I spot issues with my "new" 8700ub (refurb)? For instance, convergence issues?
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post #29 of 38 Old 05-04-2012, 02:07 PM
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There is a convergence test pattern in the menu if I recall correctly, or you can just look at text to get a general idea. If you see a large blue, red, green streak or any combination thereof displaced around the text like a HALO when you are say 6 feet or so from the screen, then it may be effecting the quality of the image. If you cannot see it from seating distance, the effect is probably there but much less.

You can also download the free AVS Rec 709 test disk and burn it with a regular DVD burner (it will play in your bluray) as it has some test patterns, you can buy Spears and Munsil or HD DVE test disks as well.


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post #30 of 38 Old 05-05-2012, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

There is a convergence test pattern in the menu if I recall correctly, or you can just look at text to get a general idea. If you see a large blue, red, green streak or any combination thereof displaced around the text like a HALO when you are say 6 feet or so from the screen, then it may be effecting the quality of the image. If you cannot see it from seating distance, the effect is probably there but much less.

You can also download the free AVS Rec 709 test disk and burn it with a regular DVD burner (it will play in your bluray) as it has some test patterns, you can buy Spears and Munsil or HD DVE test disks as well.

Thank you, great and comprehensive suggestions, I'm judging from the researches I've done in the last week or so. One question that I have is whether you consider the Disney WoW disk in the same league as the DVE and Spears and Munsil disks for checking out the quality of a projector.

Thanks again, and particularly for suggesting the 8700ub (your first posts above were the first I'd seen that mentioned it). Watched an entire movie last night and the difference in my experience is tremendous. What was lacking is no more lacking. This, and the only tweak I've made so far is to turn on Eco mode. It's in the default THX mode. The screen is white, the throw small (9' 6"), diagonal about 94", it's plenty bright! Plus this thing cost me less than my old Sanyo Z2. And I think it's probably somewhat quieter, not that it's an issue because I am using my Etymotic ER4S earbuds, which are sound insulating.

My blacks are so much blacker, it's phenomenal. "Black starved," is what I was. I'm going to paint the ceiling and adjacent walls some shade of dark grey, which will improve the blacks/contrast significantly in brighter scenes.
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