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AE100 is a "VGA only" machine  

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
The mystery why great picture via VGA is over. It is a deliberate design feature. The proof is on page 49 of the manual.

According to Panasonic there are three levels of picture quality:

AA = "Maximum picture quality can be obtained". It occurs only with 856x480 or 640x480 signals via the VGA port.

A = "Signals are converted by the image processing circuit before picture is projected". It occurs with any HDTV signals via the s-video/YPbPr ports.

B = "Some loss of data occurs to make projection easier". It occurs with 1152x864 or 1152x870 signals via the VGA port.

It is not an accident. Panasonic designed this projector for VGA signals. They probably took a PC projector, grafted a doubler, an s-video port, and an YPbPr port then labeled it "Home Theatre". Maybe the AE100 is ahead of its time. Right now, however, I find it difficult to find OTA/satellite HDTV and DVD sources that are 856x480 or 640x480 VGA-based. A HTPC is not wife friendly enough so I hope this post will spark a discussion leading to many innovative, inexpensive, and user-friendly solutions.
post #2 of 18
I think that the quality is great using 1280x720 (720P) through the VGA port. Many HDTV decoders will support this.
post #3 of 18
Actually, it is not a VGA machine--- It's a WVGA machine. (Wide VGA). The native panel is 856x480, making it ideally suited for 16:9 DVD playback. Because of the 480vertical resolution, it also handles VGA signals natively by creating a 640x480 window within its WVGA screen.

I would give the unit a "good" for S-Video and component inputs. Those are what the manual gives an "A" for. It looks good, and for most viewers, the resulting picture will be enjoyable.

But, if you can feed it a native resolution via HTPC then you will get a EXCELLENT picture quality (Manual rates AA ). You have to decide whether ultimate picture quality is preferrable to convenience.

I plugged in a VGA signal from a Dreamcast game console. The 480P it generated was fantastic! :D :D For gamers, it will yield great results from the XBOX & Gamecube via their HD VGA boxes. PS2 sucks because it's 240i or something cr@ppy like that. It isn't very good, but that's not the AE100's fault.

The Viewsonic VB50HRTV apparently also has a 852x480 scaling mode. It may work well on an AE100 for S-video & TV souces. I plan to hunt one up and try it out.

Li On has hooked up an interlace DVD player to his DVDO iScan and he reported that the resulting picture was excellent. So, if you want convenience+picture quality, the DVD+Iscan combo may be preferrable to a HTPC setup.

As Pultzar stated, the unit apparently has (I haven't tried it myself) excellent downconversion from 720P.

As more people get this unit (probably when Panasonic USA gets off it's butt and starts selling them) then I'm sure more input will arrive as to how to get user friendly sources that give the AE100 it's much loved 856x480 signal. Stay tuned! :)

- JP
post #4 of 18
jpinto,

I just ordered the Viewsonic VB50HRTV from Central Direct for $185.11 can$ shipped to Ontario. It was the best price I've seen in Canada so far.

Here is a link
http://www.cendirect.com/main_en/tec...rt_no=JO573410
post #5 of 18
Thanks for the link!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
My current plan is to connect a Dish 6000 with OTA set at 1080i via the components port for an "A" picture and a HTPC via the VGA port for an "AA" picture with DVDs. No reason to connect the Dish to the VGA port since the AE100 will product an "A" picture with either port.

The Dish receiver will be hung from the ceiling on top of the AE100. I'll have a very short components cable thus avoiding the cost of a $200 cable and possible interference problems. I'll need a 35-foot VGA cable between the HTPC and the AE100. The Cat 5 cable sounds good.

This will be my starting point until someone suggests a better solution.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by PSue
My current plan is to connect a Dish 6000 with OTA set at 1080i via the components port for an "A" picture and a HTPC via the VGA port for an "AA" picture with DVDs. No reason to connect the Dish to the VGA port since the AE100 will product an "A" picture with either port.
I think you need some help! Since when do we trust manufacturer picture quality rating system? Have you check this thread? http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=121528

And you're right, HDTV 1080i via the AE100 component port gives a crap picture!

regards,

Li On
post #8 of 18
I must be in the twilight zone here because these posts are the exact opposite of the results I had when reviewing this machine. First of all the PQ of HDTV at 1080i, connected thru component video inputs, from a Toshiba DST 3000, looked way better than it should have from such a low pixel count projector. DVD was also looked excellent from just a low priced progressive scan DVD Player the Panasonic RP56. For $1400 this machine rocks and is totally off the charts. This projector is a tremendous gift for folks on a limted budget. I have no idea how posters here are having such bad results but they are totally opposite from the astounding performance I witnessed with this machine.
Lenny Eckian
post #9 of 18
Well just got my AE100 today. Hooked it up to a interlaced DVD player via composite input and shot it against a wall, and I'm actually happy with the PQ.

My screen should be here tommorow.

My Panny RP56 should arrive tommorrow and I'll probably be even more happy with PQ via component.

My Dish 6000 w/OTA module should be here by the weekend and I'll more than likely be even happier via RGB and 720P or 1080I.

I also have an iScan Pro on the way to hook up my Tivo and Dishplayer via RGB 480P.

I am against the HTPC route due to conveince factor and the fact that I hate the idea of hooking a 'winblows' machine to my gear.

As far as I am concerned for $1400.00 this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. One thing you really need to remember here is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This being my first PJ I will more than likely want better quality at some point in the future. But for now I'm in the game, and if I get bored with it or want to upgrade I can always sell it on ebay.

If you look at Li On's original posts you will see him mention that he did not like the picture via component inputs but most people would. I was origianlly planning on dropping $5000.00 on a sony 57xbr RPTV. I've only dropped about $3000.00 altogeher and I've got a PJ, Screen, HD Sattellite receiver with OTA and a desent scaler (iscan) to hook up my Tivo and dishplayer. :)

P.S. My wife was also amazed by the composite interlaced signal shot onto a wall. It can only get better from here. :)
post #10 of 18
Could someone please post the different Powerstrip settings you are using to get the best results for the AE100?

I'm also looking for PAL settings too.



(I would appreciate it very much if they could send the clipboard contents, so I could make simple shortcuts to change from one to another)

I would be eternally grateful!

Regards,

Punce
post #11 of 18
Doesn't anybody have a concern with dust blobs on this LCD? At $1500, this is a great way to get in the game, but I wonder if dust blobs should be a concern...
post #12 of 18
Mega-
Dust plagues all LCD projectors, as well as DLP projectors and will require cleaning once it builds up to an untolerable level.
Lenny Eckian
post #13 of 18
Quote:
The Dish receiver will be hung from the ceiling on top of the AE100. I'll have a very short components cable thus avoiding the cost of a $200 cable and possible interference problems.
Please let me interject something here. I've used inexpensive (about $25 from pccables) 25' and 35' cables (both component and RGB) to connect my Dish 6000 to all of my projectors. I have never experienced any visible signal degradation by doing so.
I think this is one of many issues discussed on these forums which becomes exaggerated and creates undue alarm where it is not warranted.

Bob Wood
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
The AE100 is my first projector. After living with it last evening, I came to the following conclusions:

It is a bargain and I recommend it.

It is not perfect. There are screen door and faint vertical lines but good enough.

Here is how I rank (arranged as better or worst; not absolute values) picture quality from best to not so good:

Budget neighborhood theater.
Dish HD via VGA
Dish HD via components.
DVD via VGA with a HTPC (Athlon 1.1, Gforce2, PowerStrip)
DVD via components with Pioneer player (not progressive scan).
Dish SD via VGA.

The picture quality is greatly influenced by the source signal. The best is PBS’s HD demo channel via the Dish with OTA module. It was nearly as good as a budget neighborhood theater.

The one wish I have is for a better line doubler behind the component ports. The improvement in DVD image via VGA port is so significant that using a HTPC is a hassle you might reluctantly accept.
post #15 of 18
DVD was also looked excellent from just a low priced progressive scan DVD Player the Panasonic RP56. For $1400 this machine...

Where can i buy this projector for this price?

Ibsen
post #16 of 18
from the far east, **********. No US warranty so beware of high shipping charges for service.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Huey
from the far east, **********. No US warranty so beware of high shipping charges for service.
Hi Huey,
I am quite used to do this kind of deal once i live in Brazil !!!
I will have to send to USA and ask for a friend who is pilot to get the projector there and bring to Brazil !!!
You you think you suffer can you imagine the brazilians!!!

Ibsen
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by PSue
Here is how I rank (arranged as better or worst; not absolute values) picture quality from best to not so good:

Budget neighborhood theater.
Dish HD via VGA
Dish HD via components.
DVD via VGA with a HTPC (Athlon 1.1, Gforce2, PowerStrip)
DVD via components with Pioneer player (not progressive scan).
Dish SD via VGA.
Have you tried Dish SD scaled with the HTPC?

-Mike...
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