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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I must be crazy, purchasing another projector - well you know how it is ...


Anway thought this would be worth a buy, at almost a quarter of the cost of my toshiba mt-7 a year ago (£3800), I took the plunge with the z1. I've only had one evening with the z1 but its enough to find some useful info out.


First of all I am running the MT-7 in 1280x720 component converted from a HCPC (running theatertek 1.5) through a radeon via the key digital transcoder, (the mt7 has problems running pure rgb from the computer.) I have had this machine for almost 12 months now and I have reached its tweakability limit.


The MT-7 has a useless de-interlacer and I wouldn't recommend running on anything less than progressive. The computer set up I use gives 720p through the component which gives a decent picture quality and the best you can get with this unit.


I'm about 75% happy with the MT-7, a strange unit never really that popular even though at the time it was a cheaper alternative to the sony 11. The MT-7 is very strong in the smoothness of its image there is virtually no screen door even at 1.2 x screen width. I use a grey screen. It has 400:1 contrast and does a half decent interpretation of blacks, its colours are vibrant but do need a hell of a lot of messing about with to reach a useful compromise.


Anyway I thought I'll try this z1 to see how it shapes up, I set up with the above but was able to in VGA-RGB without tearing which afflicted the MT-7.


Very impressed, it beats the MT-7 in just about every area apart from one major one (which I'll come to later.) The z1 is quite a lot shorter throw than the MT-7 and whereas I previously had a 70" width screen I now have a 80-95" width for the same 13feet distance the projector is away from the screen.


The initial thing that made me swallow hard when I first revved up the z1 was the brightness, supposed to be 700 lumens, but I tell you its brighter than the mt-7 at 1000 lumens. I set-up my HCPC (I have no interest in using a DVD player.) to the 940 x 540 rez for 1:1 pixel mapping.


I did a basic avia check, which only needed a small lift of brightness and contrast (saturation wasn't tweakable in the PC mode but was close enough). The settings on the z1 are amazing - you get gamma, white balance, fleshtone setting, 4 different colour temp settings, you can store all of these in 4 memorys and there are also some pre-sets provided.


I put on the first move (R4 spiderman), this was a very tricky disc on the MT-7, I couldn't get the colours to look correct across the whole of the movie. No problem with the Z1, it look a hell of a lot more natural than my toshiba. Dark scenes while still a little gloomy (I do think this was the intention) had an extra amount of detail in them and ramping the gamma up lifted even more.


I also tried vanilla sky R1 which isn't a brilliant disc but I like to test the bad ones first, the colours are quite subdued but the picture still had more intensity lift than the MT-7, brighter in the bright areas and lots of shadow detail.


The black on this machine is I think good enough (coupled with my grey screen), I can safely say I don't need more black. I'm sure opinions will differ on this though. I'm not a black level freak.


Flesh tones for me the hardest part to resolve looked great and whereas the MT-7 looked heavily saturated this just looked pure without undue emphasis of one particular colour. (This machine seems quite well balanced out of the box.)


Worth noting the colour purity from corner to corner was superb no green smear towards the edges and 100IRE looked very smooth and unpoluted.


Now for the not so good.


Screendoor, not a massive problem but don't kid yourself its there. Having come from the 1280x720 MT7 this a definate downgrade, a peg up from the AE100 but not as good as the HDTV rez panels. You can de-focus and make it managable, but anybody who says its not there is wrong, whether its and issue with your perception is another matter. Having said that, its the worst thing about the z1, but manageable.


Fan noise: There is a cinema black mode which uses a low spin fan (the normal mode is quite noisy) which is very quiet but as reported on some other reviews - does occasionally spin up and this is very bad. Constant noise is one thing but a changing pitch is another. It did only do this to me once in 3 hours, so keeping the room at a low temp might help.


For me this projector takes the AE100 and improves on the concept (although having not seen the AE300 I can't comment on the official product.) of a reasonably priced quality product that makes an embarresment of last years higher end LCD's, and to be honest some of the DLP's I have seen.


My product had one dead pixel in the bottom left hand corner, which was a sigh inducing let-down because I didn't see it at first, but it's out of the way. The lens-shift feature is nifty, and you can move the projected image about 50% it's height up or down and I didn't notice any drop in quality although it's early days.


As I have seen the AE100 and played with it I would say its a worthwhile upgrade if you're on the upgrade path but otherwise it might be worth hanging another year to see what happens with the AE200,AE300.
 

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Great review ROne. Were you using PAL disks?
 

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ROne,


I also have the Z1 and I love it. You mentioned 940 x 540 rez for 1:1 pixel mapping. Can you post your powestrip settings to acheive this? I am a newbie and need some powerstrip settings as the ones I use at 940 x 540 make the picture worse than watching it in native card resolution such as 800 x 600. The power strip settings I have tried are from another post in this group (lion?) and made the picture worse over the native card resolutions. Im in PAL land also if that makes a difference and Im using a Radeon 9500 graphics card.


I was all set to buy the HS10 and had a demo of a unit. I am glad now that I purchased the Z1 as I cant justify the increase in dollars of the HS10 over the Z1.


Regards

D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nickoff, Spiderman was PAL, Vanilla Sky was NTSC.


Vtrade, I used the posted Lion settings - all I can advise is you keep trying. You must get the settings in Powerstrip exact which might take several go's as the projector will keep autolocking to each change. Then set-up the timings on the projector. Bear in mind that the preset under power strip is for 940x540 is already there and just needs tweaking.
 

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The Z1 is indeed amazing.

The two main flaws are lack of good deinterlacer and too few pixels to minimize screendoor.

But rumors say Sanyo will release a new mid-range HT projector between the Z1 and the PLV-70. It might use 1280x720 panels.
 

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Tried Li on powerstrip settings again and this time made final adjustments on the projector side (as Li on said!!) and it work perfectly. Nice, Nice pic :)


Rgds

D
 

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Tried Li on powerstrip settings again and this time made final adjustments on the projector side (as Li on said!!) and it work perfectly. Nice, Nice pic :)


Rgds

D
 
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