HS20 vs Z2 vs AE500 status report - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 97 Old 12-03-2003, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's been 3 months since CEDIA. From it, we learned that there was three new contenders for best LCD PJ. Here is my take on the status of those projectors.

As you can guess, this "review" includes the Sanyo PLV-Z2, the Sony VPL-HS20, and the Panasonic AE500U (L500U). Primarily, my opinion is based on the feedback I've read here utilizing last year's specs vs. performance as a guide to make some educated guesses about unconfirmed performance differences which still remain between these units. Assuming you understood what I just said, here we go. (If not, who cares. I'm full of it anyway).

Resolution:
The resolutions of these machines are basically identical. Yes, the HS20 has some extra resolution, but for source material that is less than 1080, the extra resolution could be considered useless. DVD, 480p, and 720p material will all look as good or better if confined to 720 lines of horizontal resolution (e.g., using straight-thru mode). The step-up to 768 lines will not improve these source resolutions -- while it may even hurt them. (If this was not true, then 1:1 pixel mapping would not be so coveted by HS20 owners)!

If the HS20's scaler is REALLY good, then 768 lines may make a marginal improvement while displaying 1080-lined source material. If not, mapping 1080 down to 720 will probably produce equivalent results. The only place the extra lines truly come in handy are for computer resolution(s) that utilize 768 lines. (In this regard, Sony appears to remember that digital projectors were born as computer peripherals. And, they recognize that many owners want the leading edge of computers to provide the source material for their computers).

The edge goes slightly to Sony, but for non-HTPC owners this edge is negated and they become pretty darn equal.

Brightness:
Last year, the HS-10 was rated at 1200 lumens; the Panasonic 300U was rated at 800 lumens; and the Sanyo PLV-Z1 was rated at 700 lumens. But this didn?t appear to tell the real story. In a review from Projector Central, the following conclusion was made:

Quote:
When it comes to lumen output, believe it or not the PLV-Z1 is the brightest of the three machines after calibration. Though it is rated at only 700 ANSI lumens, we measured actual lumen output in high brightness mode at 646, and in low power/cinema mode it came in at 503. That is somewhat brighter than the after-calibration readings of either the L300U or the Sony HS10, both of which have higher lumen ratings as per manufacturer's specifications. (More reason to ignore published specifications!)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This review is certainly not -- gospel -- since the modes being compared were not specified. However, I strongly believe that it refers to each particular machine's best mode for viewing video -- where color and contrast are held more important that brightness. Certainly, Projector Central said (in the HS10 review) that the HS10 could output near 1000 lumens -- but that was without the filter and Cinema mode. And, most people reported that this mode was pretty disappointing in terms of color accuracy and contrast. Also, the picture was "washed out" looking.

Certainly this year could be different. The filter is no longer required on the HS20 but the Sanyo's and the Panasonic's ratings also went up slightly. To me, the real indicator is that the HS20 is only rated -- by Sony -- about 15% higher than last year. If we use the review above and the manufacturer's own ratings from last year to project this year's performance, it seems likely that the brightness of all three machines will be VERY similar again (though the HS20 might prove to be slightly brighter this time). That could be significant for some, however this forum seems to point out that it takes more like a 50%+ gain before you should start bragging about brightness improvements.

The addition of MLA -- included only on the Sony -- should also boost brightness ratings. But the small shootouts (which have included the HS20) have not mentioned that the HS20 was brighter. To me, this is significant -- because, if the HS20 were noticeably brighter, I think it would have been clearly noticed by now! (The exception would be where Tom Huffman measured his HS20 significantly brighter than his HS10. Still the measurements are in doubt -- because the scale appears wrong. More importantly, he did not conclude that it was brighter than the Sanyo or the Panasonic). In fact, no one has reported this.

Here's something else I'm considering: The Sony uses a 180W bulb vs. ~130W bulb in the other two machines. With the extra heat/light that a 180W must produce, I have to wonder if polarizer failure might be more likely on the Sony LCD panels. Sure, a good cooling system could counter this additional threat, but it has been reported that venting issues were the cause of many HS10 problems (including bulb failures?). As support for this statement, here's a March 10, 2003 quote from ProjectorCentral.com:

Quote:
NOTE: By the way, we have found no evidence of product reliability problems with the HS10. Following our request last month for user feedback on this product, a small army of HS10 users wrote in to describe their experiences. The vast majority of users reported no problems at all. Overwhelmingly users were delighted with the unit. Of those who did have problems, almost all of them were found to be related to ventilation and overheating problems in the user's environment that were under the user's control. After discussing these issues with the owners, we received updates back from them saying that correcting heat dissipation and intake vent clearance issues resolved their problems.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part of the issue with venting on the HS10 is that exhaust heat could get back into the unit!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Continued Quote:
The lens of the HS10 is recessed into the bezel a couple of inches. Covering the lens is a plastic lens hood that is flush with the front bezel and provides a continuity of the faceplate. The lens hood keeps dust out of the light engine. It also prevents hot fan exhaust from being sucked back into the unit through the lens opening?without the hood in place some of the heated exhaust exiting the front bezel makes a U-turn and goes back into the projector.

The HS10 exhausts heat out the front bezel. The good news is that it can be mounted closer to a rear wall without worry of too much heat build up around the unit. The downside is that since the heat is directed into the light path of the projected image, the heat itself could conceivably induce a slight shimmering effect in the projected image when ceiling mounted. If you encounter this situation you may want to attach a deflector to mitigate the problem. If you do, take great care not to inhibit the flow of air from the exhaust vent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

These observations about the HS10 combined with the knowledge that the HS20 uses the same case, lead me to believe that cooling may not have been improved this year. Yeah, the new unit is quieter -- so the fan must be different. But, do you believe it cools better AND is quieter? (I'm skeptical, but we can certainly hope).

That said, I would expect all three machines to be fairly equal in brightness -- with the POTENTIAL for the HS20 to become the winner. However, the AI modes on the Z2 and 500U may be an equally dynamic method for increasing the excitement of the picture and ultimately offset the value of the HS20's extra brightness in most light-controlled environments.

The Sony may have the advantage, but the Sanyo may run cooler and last longer. Both seem like good candidates for the winner. (Panny sounds like it's too loud in bright mode, so it loses here).

Contrast:
All three machines are rated at 1300:1 contrast. None of the comparisons have shown that one is better than the other in real world tests. However, the HS20 and the Z2 have the IRIS feature which does provide greater flexibility. Loser Panasonic without IRIS.

Color saturation and accuracy:
Everyone says the machines are great in this regard. No winner/loser.

Fan Noise:
The Sanyo and the HS20 have been reported very quiet. The 500U has been reported somewhat noiser -- since AI must be used to create it's best CR. Loser Panasonic.

Smoothscreen technology:
Panasonic is the only one that has this. However, no one has reported that it helps -- now that all machines have a 720+ line resolution. No advantage.

Lens shift:
Only Sanyo has this and it provides greater flexibility in mounting. Could be a real advantage for Sanyo! However, if you can mount perpendicular to the screen, this feature is unnecessary.

Powered Zoom and Focus:
Sony is the only one that offers this. Advantage Sony (especially if you display varied formats and don't have an elaborate masking system).

Inputs:
DVI for the Sanyo and Panasonic. Sony adds HDMI. Advantage Sony -- if you want two digitally inputted devices (outboard switch unnecessary). This could become particularly advantageous if HD-DVDs force the use of digital interfaces. Advantage Sony.

Price:
The Z2 costs about 2/3rds what the Sony costs. I expect the 500U to be similar to the Z2 -- but it's not released in the U.S. yet. Clear advantage Sanyo. It's here, It costs less.

Warranty/Reliability:
Panel misalignments reports seem to be cropping up all over the place for the HS20. Though I only recall 1 machine from each brand being sent back, the HS20's panel alignment complaints seem like a bad omen. Still, it's too early to tell, but Sanyo has the best warranty as the best cushion. Advantage Sanyo. Disadvantage Panasonic.

Conclusions:
Certainly, there are other elements to consider but these are the most important to the average consumer. Furthermore, I think the average consumer doesn't use a HTPC to drive their projector. They will input DVD, HDTV, and SDTV. Certainly, many will add video games and use computers, but I would guess this is the exception.

With that in mind, it seems apparent that the Panasonic leaves the most to be desired -- especially with only a one-year warranty. I have a lot of respect for this company, the quality of the products they've released in recent years, and the price competition they've created as a result. But, in this case, I can't see any way for the 500U to win this race. They lost too many of the battles above and didn't win any! (FYI: I would pick the L300U -- if not for these units).

That leaves the Z2 and HS20 to vie for top honors. Certainly, the HS20 has better (digital) inputs, the potential for a marginal improvement on 1080 source material, and an unconfirmed possibility to produce the most brightness. However, the later two advantages will be marginal -- at best -- and a switchbox can be purchased if necessary. Still, if you display a wide variety of input formats (16:9, 4:3, PC, games, etc), the motorized zoom and focus could really come in handy. Also, the fact that the native resolution more closely matches the computer world means the HS20 is probably is the best choice as a computer peripheral, home theater, and gaming screen. So, if the extra price doesn't bother you (and with all those toys, it probably doesn't), this unit is probably going to be the best choice.

However, I want something to use as a MOVIE THEATER. Sure, I also want to watch HDTV on it occasionally while being ready for HD-DVDs when they are released. For day-to-day TV viewing (SDTV/HDTV) and playing games, I think the price difference would be better spent on a large CRT TV (or rear projection TV). That way you don't have to waste expensive bulb time on "everyday" enjoyment. Also, you can sit and talk in a light-friendly environment.

So for me, the price savings from the Sanyo -- combined with the better warranty make it the better bargain. Add to that, the flexibility of the lens shift, the fact that the Z2 has AI -- and -- the IRIS (HS20 only has IRIS), I think the Z2 presents itself as strong competitor. In fact, so strong, that I think my money will be better spent on the Z2.

As I said at the beginning, I'm full of it. I really don't know what the heck I want for sure, but I think I'm getting close. So, I wanted to get some thoughts down on paper. Then, I decided to share them with you. Let me hear what you think!

gp

Edited to correct conversion errors. I created this in Word. Apostrophes, quotes, and double quotes pasted into this editor as questions marks!
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post #2 of 97 Old 12-03-2003, 11:40 PM
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I'm with you in most regards, but for me, I've set my sights on the HS-20.

Unfortunately for me, the z2's shorter throw ratio would put it smack dab in the middle of two lights or two heating vents. The hs20's longer throw allows me to place it furhter back. Also, it appears that the Sony is more "future proof" ie DVI w/ HDCP and HDMI.

But all-in-all, each of these machines looks good.
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post #3 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:14 AM
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Three Wise men were debating over how many teeth a camel have.

The first Wiseman argued passionately why, philosophically a camel would have a certain number of teeth.

The second Wiseman disagreed, for it was very clear from his philosophical perspective that a camel should have a different number of teeth.

The third Wiseman declared they both must be wrong because HIS philosophy clearly showed the number of teeth a camel should have.

A herder overheard the wise men, who had been arguing for hours and slipped quietly away to a tent where he happened to have a camel tied up – where he counted the number of teeth.

It turned out all three wise men were wrong.


GreggPenn, your analysis is useful, enlightening, entertaining, well thought out, and appreciated. However, it is based on assumptions and philosophy (and ignores the Epson TW200 :P hehe). We need (more!) objective measurements! I don't want to be a Wiseman!

-Allen

It's hard to love Martin Logans and 2.35:1 CIH at the same time...
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post #4 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:19 AM
 
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Gregg,

It is almost clear from your opening words that you clearly have chosen the Z2 and that you undoubtedly have ordered one already. Your opinions don't seem balanced in any way. In other words, you are not coming across as objective at all. You are coming across as an apologist for the Z2 all the way.
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post #5 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Without the machines in front of me, there are only two ways to choose the winner. Using emotion or using logic.

Fergy,
I do not have a Z2 yet and I tried to be as realistic/logical as possible -- taking the most relevant points I've read so far into consideration. If you think I've interpreted something incorrectly, please point out my error. If you think I've missed something very important, please point it out. I invited everyone to do so.

A sentence or two about how I'm biased is not very helpful. Saying that I was clearly for the Z2 from the start shows you're more biased than me. (I'm guessing you own an AE500/HS20 and didn't like the fact that I didn't pick your machine as the clear winner)?

akm3:
The camel is just to damn far from my house to go count his teeth. And, if I could, I'm sure he'd bite me anyway!
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post #6 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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No, I don't have anything yet. I do have a short throw lens for the Sony but ebaying it is no problem. However, as akm3 said, we need objective measurements, not philosophies. In reading your comments even before I got to the third paragraph it seemed clear that you were setting out to slam the HS20 in order to justify in your mind the purchase of the Z2. Again, objective measurements as in a shootout is necessary when you make these assertions. Because, you see, I'm trying to justify the extra $1000 and I need a clear objective measurement to pay that extra amount.
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post #7 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:45 AM
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This thread is not a status report, but instead a very personal and significantly biased review.

There is nothing wrong with a biased review (and the bias in this case comes from reaching all sorts of conclusions without data and also deciding what's important), but calling such a thing a status report is another matter.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #8 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fergy
Gregg,

It is almost clear from your opening words that you clearly have chosen the Z2 and that you undoubtedly have ordered one already. Your opinions don't seem balanced in any way. In other words, you are not coming across as objective at all. You are coming across as an apologist for the Z2 all the way.
I agree. It seems like the whole text is an excuse as to why the author bought a z2 instead of a HS20. The "facts" in the text doesn't make any sense as the author has not even seen the pjs in question! Speculation is not to be confused with facts and the author comes across like someone who needs to justify their purchase of a projector they fear might not be the best of the bunch.

"Panasonic PT-AE500, Sanyo Z2 and Sony VPL-HS20. Did I make the right choice?" would have been a better title.
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post #9 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GreggPenn
Resolution:
The resolutions of these machines are basically identical. Yes, the HS20 has some extra resolution, but for source material that is less than 1080, the extra resolution could be considered useless. DVD, 480p, and 720p material will all look as good or better if confined to 720 lines of horizontal resolution (e.g., using straight-thru mode). The step-up to 768 lines will not improve these source resolutions -- while it may even hurt them. (If this was not true, then 1:1 pixel mapping would not be so coveted by HS20 owners)!

If the HS20's scaler is REALLY good, then 768 lines may make a marginal improvement while displaying 1080-lined source material. If not, mapping 1080 down to 720 will probably produce equivalent results. The only place the extra lines truly come in handy are for computer resolution(s) that utilize 768 lines. (In this regard, Sony appears to remember that digital projectors were born as computer peripherals. And, they recognize that many owners want the leading edge of computers to provide the source material for their computers).

The edge goes slightly to Sony, but for non-HTPC owners this edge is negated and they become pretty darn equal.
I commend you for getting all this stuff down. Looks to me like you have tried to be fair even if people disagree with you.

Why would the extra resolution be useless for resolutions below 1080? People have shown here before that upscaling DVDs to more pixels helps in general. Now, if there is some issue with the HS20 because of the 56Hz limitation, then maybe that is the reason you are getting at.

I don't think I agree with the following statements if I'm understanding them:
Quote:
The step-up to 768 lines will not improve these source resolutions -- while it may even hurt them. (If this was not true, then 1:1 pixel mapping would not be so coveted by HS20 owners)!
I don'th think this is true for 480p material unless you are talking about the 56Hz issue again. I just don't see how the quest for 1:1 would mean that 480p to 768p would not be an improvement over 480p to 720p. Lots of people post that doing a 50% upscale or downscale is easier than other amounts, but I've never seen anybody back it up with data about why this would actually be better for video. 1:1 is coveted because then you can use a great scaler to go all the way to 768p. If people didn't feel that correct 768p was better than 720p for some material then they probably would just put some extra big masking borders on their screens and scale everything to 720p.

I haven't followed the quest for 1:1 that closely, but I would guess that 1:1 at 48Hz from the Bravo D1 wouldn't work that well or a lot of people would be using it. Has anybody tested that one?

The extra pixels on the HS20 are about the difference between sitting at 15' and sitting at 16'. Does that matter in your setup? It doesn't matter in everybody's, but would in some. Unfortunately, Sony hasn't made getting all those 768p pixels ideal.

Also, downscaling has been reported here to be much easier than upscaling and I haven't heard of any problems with the downscaling on the HS20.

--Darin

This is the AV Science Forum. Please don't be gullible and please do remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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post #10 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fergy
Your opinions don't seem balanced in any way. In other words, you are not coming across as objective at all. You are coming across as an apologist for the Z2 all the way.
I thought his "review" was accurate. What did you find "unbalanced"?
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post #11 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 05:01 AM
 
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A review is only accurate if the person has viewed all the machines in question. Anything less is opinion and conjecture. Right now, I want jus' the facts ma'am. It is clear within the first 3 paragraphs of the "review" that Gregg has an ax. Even Gregg referred to it as a "review" and spoke of it as his opinion from comments and views held by others.

I don't mind Gregg sharing his opinion, but I would like to hear from people who have seen all three machines together in the same environment. Darin has seen the AE500 and the HS20 together. The only machine missing of the three in a shootout is the Z2. So, when can we get shootout results for these machines someone?
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post #12 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 07:43 AM
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Just as a general observation, I find the whole comparisons and stuff on these 3 pjs (and the last gen 3) to be quite funny. People need to quit analyzing EVERY TINY aspect and just BUY something and enjoy it....and this is coming from a guy who over analyzes stuff all the time. I mean I am sure I speak for other Pj woners who find all the "so who wins the battle this eyar" threads funny. We are there watching whatever projector we bought and others are here getting all stressed wondering which one to buy. I'd hate to see the car or house buying decisions of these people...must take a year to decide on a car.

All 3 Pjs will throw out an image pretty much equal. I doubt the difference between the three will be noticeable to 95% of the people out there unless they are being displayed side by side. Anyone who says otherwise is most likely leading you on.

What's sad about all this is that people have so much backing and love of what they bought that they will get into arguments with owners of the other projectors. Who cares? I own the z2. I love it. If a person says he prefers the HS20 or whatever else then good for him. I don't care. If a person says he find the Z2 to not look that good then good for him. I don't care. I am not going to suddenly stop liking my Z2 and want a HS20 or whatever else just because some guy I don't know may think it is better. For my scenario the HS20 is not worth the extra bucks. Good for those where it is worth the extra cash.

That's my 7 cents....and good luck to those who will continue to wonder which pj they want for another 3 months thinking there is a huge difference between the 3 and they must get the "best" one. I'll be enjoying my z2 as will fellow z2 owners...and HS20 owners will enjoy their HS20s and AE500 owners will enjoy their AE500s.

ROB
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post #13 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 09:18 AM
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Good job Rob!!! If an individual sat down in a room where they couldn't see the projector and watched a good movie; I'll bet that they couldn't tell you the name or model of the projector.

Pixlar
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post #14 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 09:38 AM
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As someone who's in the market for a new PJ and has been lurking this awesome forum for a couple of months, I'd like to offer some words of encouragement for Gregg or anyone else who would like to post something similar.

For the vast majority of us who are not rolling in cash, spending several thousand dollars on a piece of home entertainment equipment is a tough decision. The better we can understand the strengths and weaknesses of all the available products, the more confident we can feel about whatever decision we eventually make. This is especially true in the case of HT projectors where it's often very difficult to demo and compare all the competing products in person. There is certainly a wealth of such information available on these forums, but after reading thousands of posts and sifting through all the noise and flames, it's nearly impossible to keep it all straight.

What Gregg's post attempts to do is collate as much of this info as possible into one big summary. The conclusion is not particularly relevant, since the best choice of projector will obviously depend on everyone's unique criteria, but it's still helpful to hear what factored into his decision. What's more important is how comprehensive the post is, in terms of touching on all the issues and factors that have been raised on the forums so far for each product. This makes weighing the pros and cons much simpler for people like me.

That said, I think there were still some issues I've read about that Gregg's post failed to touch on. These include things like scaling quality (recent issues have been raised re: the HS20), image artifacts (like VB and FPN), calibration flexibility (heard the HS20 may have an advantage here), etc. Hopefully people here can follow up by adding more points like this rather than arguing about bias, which really isn't helpful to anyone.
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post #15 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 10:29 AM
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Rob,

Well put...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Which of these three projectors you choose should depend soley on your individual criteria. What features do you value?

I don't think we're going to get any answer as to which projector performs the best from a technical standpoint until we start seeing shootouts with *accurate* measurements of all three units, by the same individual(s), in the same environment, at the same time.

That being said, I agree with the sentiment that it would probably be difficult to visually tell any significant difference between any of these, unless they were displayed side by side. I own the HS20, and am completely ecstatic with its performance. I'm sure the Z2 and AE500 would impress me as well. I chose the HS20 because it fits the most of my needs! I needed longer throw, ability to display native 1024x768 resolution, multiple digital inputs and the ability to go brighter if needed. The HS20 offers these things, and was still within my budget. That made the purchasing decision fairly easy.

I think, as Rob alluded, that people should not agonize over this decision. Just figure out how much you can spend, see which projector has the most features that you value and BUY ONE! I can almost gaurantee you will not be disappointed, no matter which unit you choose.

Now, please excuse me... I need to go figure what movie I'm watching with my kids tonight... ;)

--Scott
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post #16 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 10:32 AM
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OK - Greggs status report/summary/review is somewhat biased, and based on assumptions rather than facts. BUT - it is very helpful.

Nobody has seen all these PJs in person - and even if they did - different room environments, screens, sources, calibrations, etc. - would make comparisons less than ideal.

Thanks Greg.:)

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post #17 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 10:36 AM
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What this does leave out is throw....

I'm sitting at 13 feet back and I want a 100' diagonal 16x9 screen...

With the Z2's short throw, the pj's not going to get much farther back than the couch....which means the Z2 is not really suitable for rear shelfmounting in a room more than 13' deep
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post #18 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 10:56 AM
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For the record, I want to be clear I really did enjoy the "Reviews", I think they really do sum up a lot of perceived strengths and weaknesses of the units. And for someone ordering today, who doesn't have access to the units in person, it is about the best reasoning one could do to narrow down the units.

I came to similar conclusions!

All I was saying is now to be SURE we need to put all three units (and the TW200) side by side and see if our inferences are true.

Gregg, please don't be offended I do appreciate the time you took to compare and contrast these machines!

-Allen

It's hard to love Martin Logans and 2.35:1 CIH at the same time...
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post #19 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 11:16 AM
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I liked the 'status report'

Entertaining and informative.. but I'll wait to see real world comparison of all 3 beside each other before I decide. Hopefully I'll get to do this with my own eyes at RitzAV in Beltsville, Md. If not, I'll just have to use your guys posts a tool for deciding which projector will suit me best.

Dae
Z2 does look like the winner so far.... :0)

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post #20 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 11:21 AM
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Gregg -
Great job in collating the info! Having a conclusion is probably what is throwing people off, but I don't mind (you are not claiming to be the lead editor/reviewer for "ProjectorAuthority.com"). Other than that, thanks for posting it. :)

Later,
Bill
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post #21 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:38 PM
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Here are some problematic issues for me that make this an advocacy piece, not a "status report."

* The much brighter HS20 lamp and likelihood of higher usable light is something many would value, especially for, say, a Super Bowl party. That is dismissed as being non-existent. Yet I believe it exists. The argument about how we "know" the Sony isn't really much brighter is horribly strained, devoid of data, and anecdotally, I'd say it's wrong. I saw the HS-20 at CEDIA and think it's probably appreciably brighter than either of the other two.

* Smoothscreen is dismissed as irrelevant due to the higher resolution of the projectors all around. Yet many value what it does. Others hate it, true, but it's not irrelevant.

* The lack of iris on the Panasonic is a negative, yet there is not any evidence I've seen that say the others have a better C/R at all, let alone because of the iris. None of these are light canons, by the way, and attenuating output with the iris will darken the picture even in a dark room. Many might never find that interesting.

* There is some long piece on the HS20 will have heat issues, which is based on heat issues that >>might<< have existed with the HS10 but might not have. These are different projectors and therefore without data, the statements are not particularly helpful to anyone.

* The Z1 had mediocre cooling and ran quite hot. The Z2 uses a totally different design that provides a more challenging exhaust path. It is not easily presumed to be cooler and, in fact, might not be. Yet I would not be so bold as to suggest it has a heat issue absent any data.

* The HDMI input on the Sony might be the only one of any of the projectors truly designed for video with the right "levels".

Look, I don't care what anyone buys. And if this thread was the: "The New Big Three: How I chose the Z2" it would be fine. But the title is wrong and implies an unbiased scoresheet on the three. The above is not that.

Sorry.

Mark

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #22 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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First of all, let me apologize to anyone who thought I was actually reviewing these projectors. Because I already used the word review, let's say I'm reviewing the reviews. And, yes, I'm forming opinions about them while trying to be as objective as possible. If you never come to a conclusion about what people are saying here -- then why read about this stuff in the first place?

Also, I am not biased towards any of these manufacturer's or products. In fact, I distrust them all equally! :) Seriously, I commented that I would have picked the L300U last year and would choose from the other two this year -- depending on the application. How much more unbiased can I get?
Geeeeeeez.

That said, I'll try to explain the comments that were questioned....

Quote:
Why would the extra resolution be useless for resolutions below 1080? People have shown here before that upscaling DVDs to more pixels helps in general. Now, if there is some issue with the HS20 because of the 56Hz limitation, then maybe that is the reason you are getting at?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are a couple of reasons I made this statement. 768 is not an even multiple of 480 or 720. I can't escape the fact the 1/4 HD projectors were reviewed well because of the "even" scaling ratios. This fact is also evidenced when I scale still images on my computer. Images which I scale to 1.5 or 2 times or .5 their original size look much better. Why shouldn't I take these two real-life examples and assume it's true in the projector world?

While I probably won't buy a HTPC, I've read and tried to understand the discussion regarding 1:1 pixel mapping. Combined with discussions regarding DVD DVI outputs, it simply sounds like 720p is producing the most favorable results. Otherwise, there's talk of overscan, flickering, having to make custom screens, etc. Furthermore, everyone keeps saying how disappointed they are (in Sony) for not providing 1:1 @ 60Hz.

Finally, though I'm skeptical about scaling from 1080 to 768, I decided to at assume that the extra 7% of (horizontal) resolution available will make at least "some" difference. For scaling lower video resolutions up (480 or 720), I can't see how "faking it" to the uneven ratio required to get to 768 is going to matter -- especially at the SMALL percentage increase (over 720) that we're talking about.

The brightness factor:
Personally, I think the brightness/MLA issue is the biggest deciding factor that could change my mind. And, I'm dissappointed that his comparison has been ignored so far -- because it seems pretty universal that people like a brighter picture. They think it's more engaging and become more wrapped up in the movie. And, I acknowledge that additional brightness has to be created without significantly sacrificing contrast/blacks. (On the HS10, this was the trade-off in bright mode). On the HS20, I'm still hoping that significant improvements have been made in this area. It could be a real deal-MAKER.

Bulb Life:
In my original post, I forgot to mention bulb life. Though this is a "mythological creature", someone recently pointed our attention to the bulb FAQ info at ProjectorCentral.com. That info states that UHP bulbs (as used in the Sony/Sanyo were designed to significantly outlast the standard metal halide bulbs still found in the Panasonic 500. Disadvantage Panasonic (and you have to wonder about their longest bulb-life claims armed with this info). If we find that PJCentral is in error then this would be significant! (I'm waiting on a reply from them regarding the issue. Evan already replied that he will research the matter).

Assuming this information is not refuted, that leaves the HS20 and Z2 equipped with the best bulbs. And, between the HS10 and the Z1, the HS10 is the only unit which has a mile-long post regarding the "bulb-issue" and a whole paragraph from ProjectorCentral trying to explain how the unit is not flawed. At the very least, it would be safe to assume that extra care should be taken with the HS20 (mounting location, ventilation, etc), to avoid similar issues. (I can see the comments about do this for any projector coming...).

FPN/VB:
I didn't post on this because it sounds like the most likely issue to vary from machine to machine. However, my personal take would be that the Z2 and AE500 are probably going to be similar in this regard since they use the same LCD panels. It sounds like the HS20 may be the winner in this regard -- especially if panel convergence weren't an issue. But, we're failing to hear about enough "good" HS20s to help support this possibility.

There are two or three things I'd hoped to gain by posting my views. First of all I WANT to know when I'm wrong. It will help provide the necessary information to make a wise, informed purchase decision -- for an EXPENSIVE product I may not see before purchase. Also, I think a lot of people are trying to make the same decision for similar reasons. Consolidating conclusions in one place may be helpful for all those interested in these three projectors. Consolidating the issues (which need to be researched) may provide a great feedback tool for those lucky enough to actually seen and compare these units.

For those who appreciate my getting this stuff down on "paper", thanks. For those who disagree with any points I've made, I'm still waiting to hear why....

Later.
gp
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post #23 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Rogo:
Even though my last post appears after yours, I was writing it at the same time as you wrote your reply. (So it does not take your comments into consideration).

I want to read your points more thoroughly and respond, but I'll have to wait until later to do so.

Thanks for the all the feedback!
gp
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post #24 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fergy
A review is only accurate if the person has viewed all the machines in question. Anything less is opinion and conjecture. Right now, I want jus' the facts ma'am. It is clear within the first 3 paragraphs of the "review" that Gregg has an ax. Even Gregg referred to it as a "review" and spoke of it as his opinion from comments and views held by others.
Since he was forthcoming about calling this a "review" I don't understand your axe. Plus, I took "review" as a review of what we have learned up until this point. There are multiple ways that word can be used.

It is possible to review some features, etc. without ever put your hands on one of these.

Even if most of us disagree with at least one thing in there (as I did) it doesn't look to me like this was anything other than Gregg trying to bring a lot of thoughts together.
Quote:
I don't mind Gregg sharing his opinion, but I would like to hear from people who have seen all three machines together in the same environment. Darin has seen the AE500 and the HS20 together. The only machine missing of the three in a shootout is the Z2. So, when can we get shootout results for these machines someone?
I had all 3 of these at my house last weekend, but the HS20 had a long throw lens on it and so the images were quite a bit smaller and I don't think we did do any real comparing that is very relevant. I pretty much let other people control the machines and just had fun.

--Darin

This is the AV Science Forum. Please don't be gullible and please do remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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post #25 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:12 PM
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I approached choosing with the assumption that the 3 projectors will create a very similar picture.

So the deciding factor for which one to choose are the physical limitations of your viewing environment: Projector->screen distance, ambient light, projector mounting location, viewing distance, projector->ear distance.

So parameters such as lumens, throw ratio, resolution, fan noise, lens shift are in my opinion the important things to use in making a decision. If the machine doesn't fit well into your environment you won't be happy with it.

- JP in TOronto
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post #26 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by darinp2

I had all 3 of these at my house last weekend, but the HS20 had a long throw lens on it and so the images were quite a bit smaller and I don't think we did do any real comparing that is very relevant. I pretty much let other people control the machines and just had fun.

--Darin
Did you post a comparo??

- JP in TOronto
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post #27 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GreggPenn
Quote:
Why would the extra resolution be useless for resolutions below 1080? People have shown here before that upscaling DVDs to more pixels helps in general. Now, if there is some issue with the HS20 because of the 56Hz limitation, then maybe that is the reason you are getting at?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are a couple of reasons I made this statement. 768 is not an even multiple of 480 or 720. I can't escape the fact the 1/4 HD projectors were reviewed well because of the "even" scaling ratios. This fact is also evidenced when I scale still images on my computer. Images which I scale to 1.5 or 2 times or .5 their original size look much better. Why shouldn't I take these two real-life examples and assume it's true in the projector world?
Gregg,

You are talking about completely different scaling issues here. 0.5 or 2.0 in any one direction makes total sense to me for better scaling and this is one reason the 1/4 HD is valued. Going 1 pixel to 4 or 4 to 1 just makes logical sense as good scaling if you picture it. However, you are using this to say that 1.5 or 0.666 is better. That is completely different. Now, if 1.5 looks better on your computer than 1.6 that is finally some evidence that 480 to 720 has a scaling advantage over 480 to 768. The 2.0 case does not provide any evidence toward that. It just shows that whole multiples are good, not partial multiples that have a 1/2 as part of the factor (1.5, 2.5, 3.5). I know you mention 1.5 in your example, but you also mentioned 2 that should have scaling advantages. I would be interested in hearing any results from a 1.5 vs 1.6 scaling of regular images on your computer. Might be interesting.
Quote:
Originally posted by Rogo
Look, I don't care what anyone buys. And if this thread was the: "The New Big Three: How I chose the Z2" it would be fine. But the title is wrong and implies an unbiased scoresheet on the three. The above is not that.
Mark,

I know that tone can be misinterpreted here and I don't disagree with your statement, but I read it as more of an attack than as a suggestion. It is a little semantics issue, IMO. I try to give people some space when they try to be fair and just use the wrong words or don't quite understand something, if they are being reasonable about it. I may not always do that, though. Gregg seemed to post this to get our input on what we thought of his current take on things and I think some of the tones that came back seemed a little harsh from where I sit.

--Darin

This is the AV Science Forum. Please don't be gullible and please do remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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post #28 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JPinTO
Did you post a comparo??
For the most part, no. Would have been a waste of space for the Z2 vs HS20. I didn't really compare them. Three of us did compare the AE500 and Z2 at the end of the night. I posted some thoughts around here somewhere. Basically, it looked like they had about the same amount of FPN. The person with the Z2 decided that the smoothscreen wasn't the advantage he thought it would be from close to 1.0x viewing ratio because he saw scanline artifacts on the AE500. I didn't see them sitting further back though. In the end I think he decided that the Z2 was the better choice. Then he saw my Sharp 11k the other day and is trying to decide if it is worth 4x the price. He definitely preferred it by quite a bit, but I'm not sure which way he will go. He posted that if he could only have one projector he would spend the extra money, but the Z2 might be a nice holdover while he waits for technology improvement.

--Darin

This is the AV Science Forum. Please don't be gullible and please do remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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post #29 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by darinp2
I pretty much let other people control the machines and just had fun.

--Darin

Darin, shame on you!

Clint Roberts
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post #30 of 97 Old 12-04-2003, 02:01 PM
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Eventually, I would (or not) disagree with Greg's review/report/whatever.
But no doubt Greg has added much more value to the AVS community than "some useless people" who simply says he's biased, or he is trying to justify his purchasing decision (even not having done this yet)

Rlindo just said the right thing. I collect the info, and I do MY judgment. I don't care what others think. If someone is somewhat biased, this doesn't mean he's lying or he's trying to influence others. It is (mostly) because someone values and beliefs are not the same as mine.

Greg, thanks for your help. ;)

Luck
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