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post #1171 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MickB View Post

The next promo should be a free bulb, plus the $200, plus blockbuster. That will clinch it for me.


Ok...I will buy another one if Panasonic gives a free bulb, plus the $200, plus blockbuster, plus a microwave, plus 0% financing on any import car or truck. That would clinch it for me. Oh yea dont forget, free checking.

Can someone tell me in the service menu, what the "special" setup does over the normal?

Thanks,

Steve.
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post #1172 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 06:19 PM
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Rebates!

Let's see, First, there is the $200 rebate, why? Well first of all, consumers just love rebates. At least it seems to get people to go out and spend money. (Think of the millions of people who chase $1.50 mail in rebates on food!)

As to blockbuster, this rebate is more like those packages of rebates when you buy a computer - you know. Sign up for this and save $X amount... Not quite the same, but it's about perceived value. No doubt the $300 rebate costs Panasonic far, far less than $300, maybe half or less. So for those that rent, they see $300, and Panasonic spends a lot less.

However, in general, the word is that Panasonic US, is supposed to drastically increase their HT sales over the next with the 900u, compared with the old 700u sales levels, and I'm sure they are feeling huge pressure from plasma displays, - especially their own, since they claim to be #1 there. A year ago, a really good price on a 50" plasma was $5K. Today, its just under $3000...

Anyway, doesn't matter. Prices will always fall on projectors, traditionally you can see price erosion on most models at least every 60 days, be it lower prices, free ceiling mounts, free lamps, or rebates. If you want to make sure you get the best price on a piece of technology, don't buy technology. What fun!

-art

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post #1173 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 06:34 PM
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Greetings,

Just a heads up for those of you still on the fence, as to which to buy. I received my Z4 eval unit yesterday, and am working on the review. Spent time this afternoon shooting DVD and Hi-Def source photos with the Panny 900u and the Z4 projecting side by side.

I'll try to have the preliminary review up on my site late Sunday nite, but it will be a work in progress and take about a week, and by that time, maybe the Epson 550 will arrive for review.

But, here's a tidbit or two, between the Z4 and the Panny. Some of these thoughts you have heard from others.
1. The Z4 does appear slightly sharper on many things, although you can use the sharpness control on the Panny, but Sanyo seems to have the edge here.
2. Shadow detail, black levels, so far, all Panasonic. Not big differences, but I played with Panny's Cinema 1,2, and 3 settings and the Z4's Creative Cinema and Pure Cinema modes. Panasonic wins.
3. Highlights - took some images of both, where the Panny has more shadow detail, and is not losing highlight detail in the same scene. The Sanyo is losing at both ends.
4. Vertical banding. Detectable on both projectors, more noticeable on the Sanyo, but neither projector had what I would call a problem with VB - unless you are looking at a perfectly gray area with no detail or noise (like a background screen). I figure if you have to stand 2 feet from the screen to find some VB - who cares. Of course this may vary from projector to projector.
5. Pixelization. Slam dunk, the Panny LCD panels have almost invisible pixels. -comparable to DLP, anyway. Personally, I think this is one of the most significant differences between the projectors. I like to sit pretty close and the pixels on the Z4 would drive me crazy.
6. Color - edge to Panasonic. If you do a really good calibration I figure it will probably be a tie, but 99% of owners will plug in and go, and that gives the Panny the edge. Oh yeah - I like to talk about "sunny days". Shots on sunny days (like sunlight hitting a face, definitely look "sunnier" on the Panny.

Lastly - Perspective. These two projectors are so close overall, that any number of other differences may be your deciding factor. If you were looking for perfection (100%) you might say one is an 88 and the other a 90. Not a 72 and a 94. -art

So, drop by my site late Sunday and hopefully I'll have plenty for you.

-art

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post #1174 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 07:34 PM
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Art,

Can you give me your impression of the dynamic iris' between the Z4 and the 900? From what I have read thus far, the Z4's iris seems a bit wild in comparison to the 900. If the two are as close as you say they are, I can save a significant amount of money buy purchasing the Z4 or the Hitatchi vs. the Panasonic.

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post #1175 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 08:00 PM
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I keep seeing reviews saying that the Z4 is sharper than the 900. Can some of this difference be perceived sharpness because of the clearer pixel grid on the Z4?
Art?

Mike
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post #1176 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presenter View Post

Greetings,

Just a heads up for those of you still on the fence, as to which to buy. I received my Z4 eval unit yesterday, and am working on the review. Spent time this afternoon shooting DVD and Hi-Def source photos with the Panny 900u and the Z4 projecting side by side.

I'll try to have the preliminary review up on my site late Sunday nite, but it will be a work in progress and take about a week, and by that time, maybe the Epson 550 will arrive for review.

But, here's a tidbit or two, between the Z4 and the Panny. Some of these thoughts you have heard from others.
1. The Z4 does appear slightly sharper on many things, although you can use the sharpness control on the Panny, but Sanyo seems to have the edge here.
2. Shadow detail, black levels, so far, all Panasonic. Not big differences, but I played with Panny's Cinema 1,2, and 3 settings and the Z4's Creative Cinema and Pure Cinema modes. Panasonic wins.
3. Highlights - took some images of both, where the Panny has more shadow detail, and is not losing highlight detail in the same scene. The Sanyo is losing at both ends.
4. Vertical banding. Detectable on both projectors, more noticeable on the Sanyo, but neither projector had what I would call a problem with VB - unless you are looking at a perfectly gray area with no detail or noise (like a background screen). I figure if you have to stand 2 feet from the screen to find some VB - who cares. Of course this may vary from projector to projector.
5. Pixelization. Slam dunk, the Panny LCD panels have almost invisible pixels. -comparable to DLP, anyway. Personally, I think this is one of the most significant differences between the projectors. I like to sit pretty close and the pixels on the Z4 would drive me crazy.
6. Color - edge to Panasonic. If you do a really good calibration I figure it will probably be a tie, but 99% of owners will plug in and go, and that gives the Panny the edge. Oh yeah - I like to talk about "sunny days". Shots on sunny days (like sunlight hitting a face, definitely look "sunnier" on the Panny.

Lastly - Perspective. These two projectors are so close overall, that any number of other differences may be your deciding factor. If you were looking for perfection (100%) you might say one is an 88 and the other a 90. Not a 72 and a 94. -art

So, drop by my site late Sunday and hopefully I'll have plenty for you.

Art,

Is the difference small enough that once you had either one home and up and running that you would soon forget about the slight advantage one has over another? In many enthusiast hobbies, differences are only apparent when one can go back to back in very short order. I kind of hope PJ's are the same.

Also, are black levels satisfying? I insist that any LCD I buy be noticeably better than my X1 at black levels and hopefully at least as good as an H31 or 4805.

Greg
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post #1177 of 6453 Old 11-04-2005, 11:49 PM
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I spent about an hour at a local dealer couple days ago and I must say, I wasn't thrilled with the 900. However, I suspect there is something wrong with their setup. They must be running it thru a zillion switchers or using miles of crap cables. I brought in several DVDs (Bad Boys II superbit, Seven, Gattaca, Rushmore). The picture looked low rez, like some cheap jpeg. Being new to PJs, I thought it's just the way DVDs look when blown up to 92"diag. I spent the whole time fiddling with the menu and picture adjustments and still wasn't happy. No screen door though....very impressive.

The menu text looked like it had convergence problems. I thought digital projectors didn't have this problem. You can see the white letters/line broken up into R, G, B when you get within 4ft. I adjusted the keystone and manually focused but no deal. Can somebody tell me what maybe be wrong?

Then today I spent at another store about 1/2hr with an uncalibrated BenQ 7700. I touched the remote for a total of about two minutes. Otherwise, I was simply enjoying the picture. DVDs were clean and 720P material was GASP!!!! Awesome! Like looking at a 92" Trinitron! Black levels were strong and shadow details on Episode III reminds me of my RPTV. It was fed by a single DVI cable from a Samsung DVD player. But I see rainbows

The Panny can't be that bad. I'm gonna go back sometime and ask them to hook up a DVD player directly.
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post #1178 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 05:44 AM
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Art, I agree totally with your comments about technology and prices. I understand why it happens. My beef, and I think most of us would agree, is that the rebates came in the first month of introduction, and that leaves (probably) Panasonics most loyal customers, with a bad taste in there mouths. Had this happened after a few months of being on the market, I would have no hard feelings.

I think the policy could/should be to grandfather, for a 30 day period, these various incentives to people that make the effort to call in.

Sorry...I know this thread is to be about the projector. Which, by the way, I'm enjoying very much. We're having about 10 people over tonight for "Revenge of the Sith"!!!

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post #1179 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bing View Post

I spent about an hour at a local dealer couple days ago and I must say, I wasn't thrilled with the 900. However, I suspect there is something wrong with their setup. They must be running it thru a zillion switchers or using miles of crap cables. I brought in several DVDs (Bad Boys II superbit, Seven, Gattaca, Rushmore). The picture looked low rez, like some cheap jpeg. Being new to PJs, I thought it's just the way DVDs look when blown up to 92"diag. I spent the whole time fiddling with the menu and picture adjustments and still wasn't happy. No screen door though....very impressive.

The menu text looked like it had convergence problems. I thought digital projectors didn't have this problem. You can see the white letters/line broken up into R, G, B when you get within 4ft. I adjusted the keystone and manually focused but no deal. Can somebody tell me what maybe be wrong?

The Panny can't be that bad. I'm gonna go back sometime and ask them to hook up a DVD player directly.

There has been quite a bit written with reviews and observations on this unit within this thread that would answer some of your questions. Two that come to mind are the flat picture and convergence. The flat PQ is most llikely the panny being fed a 480P signal. Contrary to what some have heard, the panny does not do a superior job on upconversion. I would trust a respected player like a Pioneer 59avi or a Isan HD scaler to produce a terrific pic (I'm using an Iscan and the image rocks). On the convergence issue, it has been reported in this thread that using the hor/vert joystick adjustment to one of it's limits can push convergence off and would be noticable on the menuu.

Those are two of your observations (that come to mind) that have been addressed in earlier posts in this thread.

Ron

PS: I also think a comparison has been done between the 7700 and the Panny either within this thread or another thread...the search engine should produce the information. (you can also search within a thread...like this long master thread).

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post #1180 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 07:26 AM
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5. Pixelization. Slam dunk, the Panny LCD panels have almost invisible pixels. -comparable to DLP, anyway. Personally, I think this is one of the most significant differences between the projectors. I like to sit pretty close and the pixels on the Z4 would drive me crazy.

What is "pretty close" for you? Can you confirm your screen size and seating distance? With your experience at what point do the pixels on the Z4 disappear? I've been seeing 1.3-1.5x pretty consistently in reviews. This is really my only concern with this projector. You hit the nail on the head that with performance overall being so close that there will be other factors that may sway one's decision - for me it's the vertical lens shift on the Z4.

You also mention VB on both units but nothing of the Z4's ability to adjust for it - presumably this will be addressed in more detail on your formal review?
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post #1181 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 07:58 AM
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Also, are black levels satisfying? I insist that any LCD I buy be noticeably better than my X1 at black levels and hopefully at least as good as an H31 or 4805.

I'd also like to know this regarding the AE900/4805. I'm looking to get a bigger picture that'll be smooth at ~1.4x width for a 2.35:1 screen. I'd like to improve color saturation, also, while at least matching contrast/blacks and color accuracy.

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post #1182 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bing View Post

I spent about an hour at a local dealer couple days ago and I must say, I wasn't thrilled with the 900. However, I suspect there is something wrong with their setup. They must be running it thru a zillion switchers or using miles of crap cables. I brought in several DVDs (Bad Boys II superbit, Seven, Gattaca, Rushmore). The picture looked low rez, like some cheap jpeg. Being new to PJs, I thought it's just the way DVDs look when blown up to 92"diag. I spent the whole time fiddling with the menu and picture adjustments and still wasn't happy. No screen door though....very impressive.

The menu text looked like it had convergence problems. I thought digital projectors didn't have this problem. You can see the white letters/line broken up into R, G, B when you get within 4ft. I adjusted the keystone and manually focused but no deal. Can somebody tell me what maybe be wrong?

Then today I spent at another store about 1/2hr with an uncalibrated BenQ 7700. I touched the remote for a total of about two minutes. Otherwise, I was simply enjoying the picture. DVDs were clean and 720P material was GASP!!!! Awesome! Like looking at a 92" Trinitron! Black levels were strong and shadow details on Episode III reminds me of my RPTV. It was fed by a single DVI cable from a Samsung DVD player. But I see rainbows

The Panny can't be that bad. I'm gonna go back sometime and ask them to hook up a DVD player directly.

I wouldn't be surprised if like you say, it might have been badly setup. Probably even on purpose and aggravated, so that they may sell you the more expensive projectors. I have seen that done before with some other products.
Maybe you could also bring in a notebook with DVI output (and HDMI adapter) and play some DVDs (and maybe some WMVs if it's fast enough). VGA could do too.
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post #1183 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 10:44 AM
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STOP! This is not a deals forum!
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post #1184 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bing View Post

I spent about an hour at a local dealer couple days ago and I must say, I wasn't thrilled with the 900. However, I suspect there is something wrong with their setup. They must be running it thru a zillion switchers or using miles of crap cables. I brought in several DVDs (Bad Boys II superbit, Seven, Gattaca, Rushmore). The picture looked low rez, like some cheap jpeg. Being new to PJs, I thought it's just the way DVDs look when blown up to 92"diag. I spent the whole time fiddling with the menu and picture adjustments and still wasn't happy. No screen door though....very impressive.

The menu text looked like it had convergence problems. I thought digital projectors didn't have this problem. You can see the white letters/line broken up into R, G, B when you get within 4ft. I adjusted the keystone and manually focused but no deal. Can somebody tell me what maybe be wrong?

Then today I spent at another store about 1/2hr with an uncalibrated BenQ 7700. I touched the remote for a total of about two minutes. Otherwise, I was simply enjoying the picture. DVDs were clean and 720P material was GASP!!!! Awesome! Like looking at a 92" Trinitron! Black levels were strong and shadow details on Episode III reminds me of my RPTV. It was fed by a single DVI cable from a Samsung DVD player. But I see rainbows

The Panny can't be that bad. I'm gonna go back sometime and ask them to hook up a DVD player directly.


If you were auditioning the 900 at Advance, then I suspect you are correct in thinking the zillions of switchers and miles of crappy cable is effecting the picture quality (because they do have at least a zillion switchers!)..... I would do as others have suggested and take a laptop and feed it an HD and DVD sample and see how it looks then.
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post #1185 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Stop the deals/pricing posts now. Last warning.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #1186 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Matty View Post

Also, are black levels satisfying? I insist that any LCD I buy be noticeably better than my X1 at black levels and hopefully at least as good as an H31 or 4805.

Greg

I want to know this too.


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post #1187 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 12:44 PM
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1. Is there some kind of translation guide for the Japanese model's OSD?

2. can the japanese models take a US firmware?


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post #1188 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 01:05 PM
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Does anyone know if the AE700 uses the same bulb as the AE900? I am trying to decide between purchasing either the Z4 or the AE900, and I read on another AVS thread ("AE700 lamp--STILL no one has these in stock? its been weeks "), that the bulbs for the AE700 are on severe backorder. If premature bulb failure is indeed a problem with the AE700 (and if the AE900 uses the same bulb), that would tip the scales in favour of the Z4 for me.
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post #1189 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {Godlightsoul} View Post

1. Is there some kind of translation guide for the Japanese model's OSD?

2. can the japanese models take a US firmware?

I don't know if the english manual is available somewhere, I found the manual for the AE700 on the UK Panasonic site but not the AE900 one (the AE700 manual is not even on the US site !) :
http://www.panasonic.co.uk/customer-...134154&fmt=pdf

I suspect that the firmware is upgradeable with the serial port. It would be really nice if Panasonic provides the software to do so when future firmwares become available, but I kinda doubt it.
Otherwise, the protocol will have to figured out.
Anyway, I wouldn't count on that yet.
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post #1190 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 03:53 PM
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The AE900 lamp is a different model number than the AE700's, so they may not be interchangeable. As has been discussed previously on this thread, the AE700 manual is almost identical to the AE900's. You can download the AE700 manual from the Panasonic website, but you have to go to the "Business and Professional" section. I would expect the menu commands are in the same locations for both the Japanese and U.S. models.

Enjoy!

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post #1191 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 07:11 PM
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Hi im looking to upgrade my projector somtime in the beginning of the year i currently have an Optoma EP719 which isnt really a HT projector. Im looking at either the ae900 or the hs51 im sure either would be an amazing difference in my projector but i can find lots of reviews on these projectors but nothing really compareing them much. Which one really has better contrast and vb sd all that which one is better has anyone seen both of these? also which would you guys recommend is it really worth it to spend the little more for the hs51 or should i stick with the ae900 i'll be projecting roughly a 100" image for info lol the room is complete light controled and nice and dark.
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post #1192 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chayto View Post

I don't know if the english manual is available somewhere, I found the manual for the AE700 on the UK Panasonic site but not the AE900 one (the AE700 manual is not even on the US site !) :
http://www.panasonic.co.uk/customer-...134154&fmt=pdf

I discovered some guy auctioning japanese AE900's claims to include a PDF of the manual. So it does exist, but maybe it is not commonplace.


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post #1193 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSRC View Post

The AE900 lamp is a different model number than the AE700's, so they may not be interchangeable. As has been discussed previously on this thread, the AE700 manual is almost identical to the AE900's. You can download the AE700 manual from the Panasonic website, but you have to go to the "Business and Professional" section. I would expect the menu commands are in the same locations for both the Japanese and U.S. models.

I still can only find the manuals for the AE100 and AE500 on the US site.
So I went looking around the world a bit more and I actually found the AE900 in english on the Canada Panasonic site :-)
Here it is : http://www.panasonic.ca/PDP/Operatin...00u-oi-eng.pdf
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post #1194 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 08:23 PM
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Cool, pages 66-68 of the manual give the discrete commands that can be used with the serial port (there are likely other, undocumented, ones)
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post #1195 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 10:55 PM
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If you were auditioning the 900 at Advance,

hey! another Winnipegger! Cool!

Yes, I was at that dreaded store. I could say a lot worse things about them but I'll be civil here. Now that I think about it, if a major retail outlet that tries to be upscale can't get their s*** together to setup a winner of a PJ that the Panny is reported to be, then they don't deserve my biz.
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post #1196 of 6453 Old 11-05-2005, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chayto View Post

I still can only find the manuals for the AE100 and AE500 on the US site.

You're not on the "Business and Professional" website. The 700 and 900 are considered part of the "Professional" lineup. Here's the page, just click on "Operating Instructions".

Enjoy!

Mike
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post #1197 of 6453 Old 11-06-2005, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by madpoet View Post

Stop the deals/pricing posts now. Last warning.

If MSRP can be discussed, why are manufacturers' rebates not allowed? I'd understand if a was a store specific rebate, but it appears to be from Panasonic and available everywhere.

Brian
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post #1198 of 6453 Old 11-06-2005, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post

If MSRP can be discussed, why are manufacturers' rebates not allowed? I'd understand if a was a store specific rebate, but it appears to be from Panasonic and available everywhere.

Brian

If I remember the info, it was talking about Japanese street prices or refering to the cheaper market etc. Madpoet has not said anything about the rebate discussion, which had gone on previous to that post.

Since it's hard to determine tone of posts, I assume you weren't being confrontational to the mod's request. ....cause the bottomline, we are all guests on this site. House rules apply, no debate needed.

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post #1199 of 6453 Old 11-06-2005, 10:02 AM
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Cool re: the serial commands....They look very much like the serial commands/structure for my panasonic plasma display (big suprise). IMHO, serial control is definately the way to go if you can swing it. IR is great, but serial is so much more flexible.

Does anyone have a source for the DIN 8-pin -> DB9 cable? It wouldnt' be hard to build one, but buy is always good too

It looks like I'll be getting my AE900 very soon....been sittin on the fence re: the 900, Z4, and HC3000.....a good friend of mine got a chance to play around with an AE900 a week ago (hes a dlp guy, has a sp7200) and he was very impressed. His previous LCD experience was with X1, Z1, AE300 and some presentation projectors, so the new LCD tech in his opinion has come a very long way.

Anyway,

Rich
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post #1200 of 6453 Old 11-06-2005, 10:14 AM
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No, not confrontational, just seeking a clarification. I wasn't sure if manaufactures rebates are OK to mention or not.

Brian
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Reply Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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