Panasonic PT-AX200U vs. Sanyo PLV-Z5 shootout article - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 81 Old 11-08-2007, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Seen the new article on Projector Central? Panasonic PT-AX200U vs. Sanyo PLV-Z5 shootout. From demo-ing both in my HT I think it is spot on.
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post #2 of 81 Old 11-08-2007, 04:59 PM
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Yep.. read it..

This is why it's important to know what features you NEED for your specific setups!

Dark room... Sanyo gets the edge.

Panny everywhere else.

Both do what they are supposed to do rather well. So choose accordingly.

The Truth IS out there!
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post #3 of 81 Old 11-08-2007, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forkdeath View Post

Seen the new article on Projector Central? Panasonic PT-AX200U vs. Sanyo PLV-Z5 shootout. From demo-ing both in my HT I think it is spot on.

I don't know...I don't dispute the outcome given I haven't demo'ed the two, but Projector Central just keeps losing credibility in my book.

I find it odd that Evan Powell can heap glowing praise on the AX200 and then come to find it inferior to the Z5 in 5 of out 7 categories.

Also, in that same AX200 review, he keeps mentioning how great it is that it does 1080p/24, when the AX100 had the very same capability. It is no different at all in that regard. It just tells me that he's not being objective when considering the relative strengths and weaknesses of these products.

I'm starting to view fall as the season when leaves change, the weather cools, days get shorter, and Projector Central crowns the latest LCDs king of home theater projection.
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post #4 of 81 Old 11-08-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-bo View Post

Dark room... Sanyo gets the edge.

Panny everywhere else.

I would word it

Light room... Panny gets the edge.

Sanyo everywhere else.

But generally they supported the widely agreed about specifics of these projectors.
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post #5 of 81 Old 11-08-2007, 06:13 PM
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I read that article also kind of strange if you ask me, I put a Z5 in a friend of mines house cause thats what he wanted, I am still running a Z2 into the ground which won't be long. I like the Z5 and strangely enough didn't think it was 5 times better than the Z2, actually I didn't think it was 2 times better than the Z2. Light room Panny, no doubt but who doesn't want to be entertaining watching a football game with a crowd with a bit of light on so you can see who you are talking to. I know some people want total darkness but I have done about 8 and all wanted some light in the room. Have done a couple of panny 700's 900's and as much as I hate to say it they were much brighter than the Z5 and my Z2 so its what you mostly watch. Yes in total darkness the Z5 was nice and I love my Z2 but really like having those extra lums so guessing its panny the next time. Not ready to go 1080 yet but that new Sanyo looks pretty interesting.
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post #6 of 81 Old 11-08-2007, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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brianbes, I think you agree with the article. The panny is better in a bright room, while the z5 has the edge in a dark room. The argument is what is assumed people would want it for. Some people are buying for sports, parties, movies, ambient light conditions and greater flexibility. Others are buying to maximize the dark room experience mainly for watching movies.

Noah, I think projector central has given both these projectors heaping glowing praise. I think it is objective. Before I started my in home demo of the 2 projectors I was heavily biased toward the Panny based on reviews I read. I was so certain it was the projector for me, but I would always wonder if I did not see for myself (buyers remorse). Now I really see how they each offer different qualities.

The flexibility of the Panny had me sold. Then I really started evaluating my needs and situation. I have a small room, I mainly watch movies, many of which at this time are standard definition DVDs. Due to the limited size of the room I seldom have people over to watch the pj with me. If I have a party the projector would be more of a side room attraction rather than the main attraction. It is mainly for the exclusive use of my family. For these reasons the Z5 won for me. Mainly for the excellent picture in a dark room watching movies on standard def DVDs. For me the picture had a little more pop and less distraction (noise). While I may still see some screen door from time to time, the noise is not there like on the Panny (standard def DVDs), also, the small room can heat up quick which I think the Z5 will help minimize that, I can't freeze out the house to cool 1 room. Also, for me I really liked the layout of the remote, more of a bonus than a factor. My son and I watch Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys on it every chance we get and it looks great even with a small lamp on.

Sending the Panny back was still difficult, it was not like it was a night and day easy decision but I am positive it was the right choice for me. Now if I can just get my hands on the new 1080P Panny cause the review is absolutely glowing! I need more money.
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post #7 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 05:40 AM
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forkdeath, thats why those articles have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sounds like in your situation the Sanyo will work just fine and hey again I am partial to Sanyo as I have a Z2. If your room is totally dark and you require no light, I think the Sanyo is gonna have a better picture. Once light enters the picture the panny is gonna be the better choice which is why when people ask me which to buy I ask them what are they gonna be doing with them and how are they watching. Then I make them go to this board and read the threads, go to projector central and read the reviews and decide for themselves.
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post #8 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j-bo View Post

Yep.. read it..

This is why it's important to know what features you NEED for your specific setups!

Dark room... Sanyo gets the edge.

Panny everywhere else.

Both do what they are supposed to do rather well. So choose accordingly.

How about screen size factor ?
Would Z5 brightness fill OK a 77" screen in a room with ambient light ?
Whereas AX200 could be too bright ?
Also is this true: "the smaller the screen the less visible pixels are" ?
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post #9 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah View Post

I find it odd that Evan Powell can heap glowing praise on the AX200 and then come to find it inferior to the Z5 in 5 of out 7 categories.

Funny thing... Just 2 months after a launch AX200 is actually same price or cheaper in Poland than Z5 !
In Germany professionally tuned & tweaked Z5 sells for over $200 more than AX200.
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post #10 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 08:14 AM
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Another thing to consider is how close you are sitting to the screen. If you sit very close then the panasonic smoothscreen will eliminate screen door.

Also Sanyo's poor history of honoring it's warranty (although it may have been an aberation with the z2) is something to consider.
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post #11 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 12:37 PM
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Ugh, I thought I had been decided upon the AX-200, now I'm back to uncertainty. From what I can find, the Sanyo is about $200 less, though I'll be curious to see what happens with the Panny once the current extended warranty offer ends at the end of November. One vendor, who shall not be named for fear of bannination, is offering the AX-200 for the usual price bundled with a bunch of cables (that I do indeed need), perhaps $100 worth. Overall, the price difference is a minor factor.

My situation:

Medium sized room, about 20' (wide) by 18'. The PJ will be on a shelf at the back of the room. There's some flexibility in the seating distance, but about 10' seems like a good estimate.

I'm not 100% decided, but screen will be 92" or less. The ceiling is too low (7.5') to support any more than that, and coming from a 28" CRT, is plenty big.

Primary use will actually be as a big monitor to play PC games on, almost exclusively at night (after the wife and kid, soon to be kids, are asleep), so light isn't generally an issue, but secondary use will be movies, possibly during the day, and perhaps the occasional football game when the in-laws come over. The windows are poorly covered, so daytime will be rather bright.

Right now I don't have any HD sources other than my PC. I have an older progressive scan DVD player that I'd probably use the component out with. I did have a question regarding upscaling DVD players - would I be getting basically the same thing if I were to play DVDs via my PC (DVI->HDMI)? I'll probably upgrade my Dish Network to HD, but I don't forsee getting Blu-ray or HD-DVD anytime soon due to the cost (and the fact that I rent movies, not buy them, unless it's for my kid).


So the smoothscreen of the AX-200 appeals to me... I think. I don't want to see SDE - that bothered me a lot when I saw the early generation DLP/LCD projectors (circa 2000). Now the "shootout" review states you won't see the Sanyo's if you're further than 1.4x screen width (which for a 92" screen means 9.3 feet). If that's true, then I guess I should be OK.

But the better contrast and sharpness of the Sanyo appeals to me - again - I think, especially for PC games with lots of dark areas and text.

But especially the statement that the Sanyo does a better job with 480 signals is what made me hesitate with my AX-200 decision. While I'll have a 720 signal from my PC and probably some DishHD channels, most of the movies will be standard DVDs. Is the noise difference that noticeable?


Whew, sorry, going long here. Long time lurker, first serious post.

So now I'm pondering if I should do what forkdeath did and get both at the same time, then return the one I like less (if I can convince the wife to let me spend double for the short term). Is that considered "ok"? Am I likely to have to pay return shipping (though the aforementioned AX-200 vendor has the nice advantage of the ability to return it to a local outlet)?

Thanks for any advice/comments.

I'd better head over to the screen forum and get THAT decision out of the way in preparation...
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post #12 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 01:47 PM
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In my case, I have a Da-Lite High Power screen (gain = 2.8). The AX200 would be too bright and the Z5 would be just right (it has about the same output, in it's best mode, that my Panny L300 had - which worked great with some ambient room light). It was at the top of my list for a 720p PJ.

BTW, my HP screen is a 106" diagonal 16x9 and I sit 11' from it, the PJ would be 12.5' from the screen, on a shelf.

Since I've upgraded to HDTV service, I will probably wait and get the Sanyo Z2000 , once the teething pains (and my finances ) get ironed out.

- Claus {non-Santa model}
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post #13 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 02:57 PM
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There are two things that always concern me about a Panny projector, VB and short bulb life(<1000hr). For some reasons from AE700 to AX200U, Panny models have been plagued by these two problems.
The most serious problem we see on Zs is polarizor dying and Sanyo not honoring warrantees. But those complaints were three years ago and mostly from owners with over 2500 hrs on the PJ. It is hard to feel sorry for somebody who's already gotten more than 2000 hrs out of a Z in less than three years.
I like Panny brand a LOT more than Sanyo, but VB and short bulb life have been keeping me away from Panny PJs.
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post #14 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 03:05 PM
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77" should not be a problem if the Z is within the recommended distance from the screen, actually it should be plenty bright. I have a 110" screen so the lums are a factor. Don't know if I would say would the AX200 be to bright cause you can choose a low lamp mode which should add hours to the bulb. Less visible pixels and even on my Z2 are not a problem if your sitting the proper length away from the screen. Hell I am only 13' from a 110" screen and the screendoor doesn't bother me at all. Again, if your watching with no ambient light the Z will be fine. As I said I usually watch with 2 can lights over my sofa dimmed, can read the paper, if entertaining can actually see who you are talking to and remember I have a large screen so the lums are a big factor. I ruled the Z out the next time because I know what I need so doesn't matter if the Z has a better picture it needs to have a better picture in ambient light and guessing it doesn't compared to the panny.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geezerpl View Post

How about screen size factor ?
Would Z5 brightness fill OK a 77" screen in a room with ambient light ?
Whereas AX200 could be too bright ?
Also is this true: "the smaller the screen the less visible pixels are" ?

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post #15 of 81 Old 11-09-2007, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Smeglor, if you have the means, and time, to get them both in house then at least you will have 1st hand experience to make you decision. You will not wonder if you made the right choice. It worked out well for me. My cost to this approach was $60 for return shipping. I also had to be careful not to go over 4 hours of use on the returned unit else 15% restocking fee.

However, from reading your situation it sounds to me that the Panny fits best. Your primary reason is for games, and you need a bright projector for daytime viewing on occasion. Your second use was movies. Sounds like you need much more flexibility than me. My critical priority was movies in the dark, while my pj will be used for games, ambient light, and sports with friends, these items are definitely a far second on my list. My room is half the size of yours and I have a high power screen, I think your longer throw distance may require more lumens. The only item I hesitate about is the noise on the Panny for standard def DVDs. For me it kept drawing my attention. I kept noticing it which distracted from the movie. You, and many others, may not be bothered by it. Also, since movie watching is a 2nd priority for you the noise may not be an issue at all.

Again, nothing beats 1st hand knowledge. View them both if at all possible.

forkdeath
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post #16 of 81 Old 11-10-2007, 12:26 PM
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Regarding the superiority of the Z5 over the AX200 in terms of black levels, I haven't seen anyone addressing the following notion, which is important:

In their best picture mode ("Cinema1" for the AX200, and "Pure Cinema" for the Z5), the AX200 is 2-3 times brighter than the Z5.

Now, in order to compare black levels, you need both projectors to produce the same amount of light at 100 IRE signal.

ProjectorCentral DID NOT use a ND2 filter on the AX200, in order for both projectors to produce the same amount of light. So, in reality, the AX200 can have equal or better contrast than the Z5, but because the AX200 is so much brighter, its dark scenes seems washed out in comparison to the Z5.
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post #17 of 81 Old 11-10-2007, 01:11 PM
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Well I guess the question they ask at Projector Central is "Which pj has the best black levels?" and not "Which pj has the best black levels if we use this filter on AX200?"...

//P
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post #18 of 81 Old 11-10-2007, 01:17 PM
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Quote:


Well I guess the question they ask at Projector Central is "Which pj has the best black levels?" and not "Which pj has the best black levels if we use this filter on AX200?"...

They have to equal the lumen output of both projectors before they can draw any conclusions. The AX200 is 3 times brighter than the Z5, which means its blacks are 3 times grayer for a given screen size.

If you can pop a $30 ND2 filter on the AX200, and make its blacks the same as the Z5, then people should know this.
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post #19 of 81 Old 11-10-2007, 01:34 PM
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So what do you suggest they do when it is time to measure both pj's brightness? Should they equal the lumen output for that test as well? And fan noise? Stuff some cotton in the exhaust? Projectors are a new thing to me, so what do I know, but it seems a bit stupid to have a shootout between to brands and then add som peace of extra kit to even out their performance.

C'mon...its a shootout. They open the boxes, hook the pj's up, calibrate and then judge which one they think is the best performer in a number of categorys. Simple as that...

My 2 cents...

//P
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post #20 of 81 Old 11-10-2007, 04:32 PM
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Quote:


So what do you suggest they do when it is time to measure both pj's brightness? Should they equal the lumen output for that test as well? And fan noise? Stuff some cotton in the exhaust? Projectors are a new thing to me, so what do I know, but it seems a bit stupid to have a shootout between to brands and then add som peace of extra kit to even out their performance.

C'mon...its a shootout. They open the boxes, hook the pj's up, calibrate and then judge which one they think is the best performer in a number of categorys. Simple as that...

You are wrong. You can't allow yourself to make a comparison when one projector has 3 times the lumen rating than the other, just like you can't allow yourself you make a comparison between two sound systems, when one is 3 times louder than the other. First, you have to equal the intensity, then you can compare.
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post #21 of 81 Old 11-10-2007, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones_Rush View Post

You are wrong. You can't allow yourself to make a comparison when one projector has 3 times the lumen rating than the other, just like you can't allow yourself you make a comparison between two sound systems, when one is 3 times louder than the other. First, you have to equal the intensity, then you can compare.

If I'm wrong the whole concept of shootouts is pointless since more or less all different brands and models will vary when it comes to performance and will perform accordingly in different test categorys.

//P
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post #22 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 12:06 AM
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Quote:


If I'm wrong the whole concept of shootouts is pointless since more or less all different brands and models will vary when it comes to performance and will perform accordingly in different test categorys.

Usually the differences in light output are not as dramatic as between the Z5 (king of dim) to the AX200 (king of bright).
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post #23 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 05:55 AM
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I watched the Directors cut of Troy (HD of course) last nite.
Except for a couple of slight changes in the setup I had the 200u running the lowest possible light out put and it was nothing short of spectacular.
I'll never go to a theater again!
The only thing I really want to see now is that 720p/24 thing...I'd like to know what that looks like!
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post #24 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 07:33 AM
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The bulb life seems to be a crapshoot as most of us know. I did have a panny 700 I did for a friend, the projector really isn't that old as he got it when they started clearing them out for the 900 and he got 1540 out of the bulb. I have over 2200 on the Z. He was a bit disappointed but put those hours on the projector in less then a year and a half and his kids are constantly playing video games probably switching the thing on and off like a regular TV so to tell you the truth I wasn't that surprised. I am no expert and maybe panny has a history or shorter bulb life but a lot has to do with how many times you are cycling the thing on and off. I don't deny my kids their x box, watching tv or a dvd when they want to but I trained them from the start to not go and turn that proj on and off 4 times a day. Before they turn it off if I am home they know to ask me if I am gonna be watching so I don't go down there an hour later and turn it back on. Its better to let the thing run another hour then to constantly turn it on and off cause the bulb takes more of a hit by doing that. If I am not home they know if they are gonna go back down an hour later that I would rather they leave it on for that hour. We also have to remember that these things have come down so much that when you spent 2500 bucks and ate a bulb a year and a half later it hurt a lot more than it does now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GodobeHD View Post

There are two things that always concern me about a Panny projector, VB and short bulb life(<1000hr). For some reasons from AE700 to AX200U, Panny models have been plagued by these two problems.
The most serious problem we see on Zs is polarizor dying and Sanyo not honoring warrantees. But those complaints were three years ago and mostly from owners with over 2500 hrs on the PJ. It is hard to feel sorry for somebody who's already gotten more than 2000 hrs out of a Z in less than three years.
I like Panny brand a LOT more than Sanyo, but VB and short bulb life have been keeping me away from Panny PJs.

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post #25 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree with peppelito. The comparison is of the 2 products as is. Some are brighter than others, some are sharper than other, etc. Adding additonal equipment clouds the comparison.
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post #26 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 10:26 AM
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Quote:


I agree with peppelito. The comparison is of the 2 products as is. Some are brighter than others, some are sharper than other, etc. Adding additonal equipment clouds the comparison.

That's silly.

A ND filter ("Neutral Density" filter) is not an "additonal equipment that clouds the comparison", on the contrary, it allows you to equal the lumen output of both projectors. A difference in lumen output will cloud the comparison.

Of course, when you specifically want to compare the brightness levels between two projectors, you will not put a ND filter on any of them, because this will cloud the comparison. The brighter projector can light up larger screens (In order to comply with the standard brightness for projection, you need the projector to produce 12-16 lumens, per square-foot of the screen, or in other words 12-16 Foot Lamberts).

But, when you want to compare overall image quality between two projectors, you need to first calibrate both to give the same amount of lumen level (and you need to use a screen size that allow both to reach 12-16 foot lamberts), and only then you can draw conclusions about overall image quality, conclusions that are not clouded by difference in lumen output.

The AX200 is 3 times brighter than the Z5. So, if for example, the Z5 gives 14 Foot lamberts on the screen (which is great), then on the same screen, the AX200 will give (14x3=) 42 Foot Lamberts, which is crazy bright. Dark scenes with 42 foot lamberts will look washed out in comparison to the 14 foot lamberts of the Z5, even if the contrast (and dynamic iris quality) of both the Z5 and AX200 is the same.

If, on the other hand, the AX200 gives 14 Foot Lamberts on the screen, then on the same screen, the Z5 will give (14/3=) 4.6 Foot Lamberts, which is crazy dark, it will look so dim you won't be able to watch it (but will have amazing blacks though).
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post #27 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones_Rush View Post

That's silly.

A ND filter ("Neutral Density" filter) is not an "additonal equipment that clouds the comparison", on the contrary, it allows you to equal the lumen output of both projectors. A difference in lumen output will cloud the comparison.

Of course, when you specifically want to compare the brightness levels between two projectors, you will not put a ND filter on any of them, because this will cloud the comparison. The brighter projector can light up larger screens (In order to comply with the standard brightness for projection, you need the projector to produce 12-16 lumens, per square-foot of the screen, or in other words 12-16 Foot Lamberts).

But, when you want to compare overall image quality between two projectors, you need to first calibrate both to give the same amount of lumen level (and you need to use a screen size that allow both to reach 12-16 foot lamberts), and only then you can draw conclusions about overall image quality, conclusions that are not clouded by difference in lumen output.

The AX200 is 3 times brighter than the Z5. So, if for example, the Z5 gives 14 Foot lamberts on the screen (which is great), then on the same screen, the AX200 will give (14x3=) 42 Foot Lamberts, which is crazy bright. Dark scenes with 42 foot lamberts will look washed out in comparison to the 14 foot lamberts of the Z5, even if the contrast (and dynamic iris quality) of both the Z5 and AX200 is the same.

If, on the other hand, the AX200 gives 14 Foot Lamberts on the screen, then on the same screen, the Z5 will give (14/3=) 4.6 Foot Lamberts, which is crazy dark, it will look so dim you won't be able to watch it (but will have amazing blacks though).

You seem to know what you are talking about, but I still think that a shootout should be performed using no extra equipment. In an indepth review of a product, sure...use any equipment you wan't to boost performance. In a shootout you take what you have and make the best of it so to speak...

Let's end this debate and agree that we disagree...

//P
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post #28 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 11:29 AM
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You seem to know what you are talking about, but I still think that a shootout should be performed using no extra equipment. In an indepth review of a product, sure...use any equipment you wan't to boost performance. In a shootout you take what you have and make the best of it so to speak...

I'm aware of the limitation of a simple shootout. The bottom line of what I'm saying is that people who want to buy the Z5 over the AX200, just because they've read in a simple shootout that the Z5 has somewhat better black level, should know that the AX200 might be very easily tweaked to give similar performance.
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post #29 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 12:17 PM
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I may be misunderstanding but I read on the AX-200U forum that "An nd filter will not improve/affect the contrast, greyscale tracking, or blacks, nor will it get rid of the white crush."

So how would an ND filter help?

Sorry if this is a stupid question; I'm a newbie, trying to learn the ropes.
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post #30 of 81 Old 11-11-2007, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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If I bought a brighter projector then I am expecting to watch a brighter screen, now how that affects black levels is what I want to know. Take em out the the box, tweak em, compare em, but don't cloud by adding equipment (filters, or anything else). These projectors have different lumens, compare them as such. In real use I not going to constantly be adding and removing filters depending on what I want to do (play games, movies, tv, etc..) To me that would be silly.
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