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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have narrowed down my choices to these 4 PJ's:Z1, X1, M20S, AE-200, which are all priced at around $1600 give or take. I have a limited budget since I will have to also purchase an av-receiver and speaker system and DVD player. I have decided to go with a panasonic progressive scan DVD player, and a Yamaha receiver, and the Energy Take 5 speaker sysetem. Just have to decide on the PJ now. My next move is to view all these units and make a decision. Unfortunately that is easier said than done. In a perfect world I could go to a retailer and see all of these units in action in the same room side by side, which would make the decision a lot easier.

Any comments? I will be using the PJ for satellite television and DVD watching.

Cheers Doug
 

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At least you should try to demo a decent LCD projector and a decent DLP projector. Once you decide on which technology it gets easier to narrow things down. Personally from what I've read here, I'd go with the Z1 for that price without looking back. But I'm an LCD kinda guy.
 

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take the ae200 out of your list. There is no point in getting it when the Z1 can be had for around the same price.


BTW, I have the z1 and it is one hell of a pj
 

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For the X1 at least you can consider saving some money

and not getting a progressive scan DVD player as it will be a pain

to connect and most likely not produce a better picture

than the built in faroudjia processor. (I'll be getting the

right adapter next week, to try, but I'm guessing I will

not see a better picture). And actually, s-video seems to

be the same (if not better??) than component on that system,

so you can save $$$ on cable too)


I haven't seen the other pjs, but I recommend the X1 !
 

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I've seen the X1, Z1 and the 20X together. The 20X is brighter than the 20S but I think the rest is pretty much the same. I liked the Z! but I could see the "screen door" from about 10-12 feet and a 4ft high picture. Softening the focus a bit eliminated it but also softened the picture. The colors looked good but it was a little dark. The X1 had rainbows, not too bad buth they were there in bright/white scenes. The picture was sharper and brighter. The 20X had the best picture of all and I thought it wasn't a DLP because there were no rainbows. Nice clear and bright with good colors. If the 20S is VERY similar except for the brightness I'd go with that one. The 3X color wheel IS VERY IMPORTANT! You may not notice but your wife/kids/company may and let me tell you, it's like an acid trip when it gets bad. Colors EVERYWHERE and it also gives people a headache.
 

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Maverick1, I've been looking at some of the same projectors. I'm kind of leaning towards the z1. The major thing holding me back is the potential for the screen door visibility as I plan to sit at less than 2 times screen width.


The X1 is also nice but seems to have rainbow effect issues. I would rather deal with screen door than with rainbow. The last thing I want is for a guest to get a headache. I'm also not too excited about the 4:3 ratio.


You might want to check out this thread on the M20 series. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=m20x . It seems like there might be some reliability issues with this PJ.


It seems that all projectors in the $1500 to $2000 have their weaknesses. I'm about ready to just bite the bullet and buy the Z1. I'm ready to start watching some movies!
 

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It's interesting that some people exclude the X1 because of the 4:3 ratio. It was an issue with me as I thought a low end PJ couldn't handle regular TV stuff. That was until I got my X1. I have a load of VHS and Beta videos that I am now watching on my X1 with great effect. I would have missed out on a lot of great stuff if I'd gone with 16:9. Remember rear projection TV are very fixed and bulky so choosing one of these has different parameters. With front projection and a 4:3 screen you can easily mask to achieve any format. Most movies are 1.85 or 2.35 so even with a 16:9 projector you'll still get black bars top and bottom. With a 16:9 projector you'll get black bars on the sides when you watch 4:3.

Concerning rainbows: yes, some people are sensitive to them. Thankfully I'm not and so far neither has anyone else that's seen my X1. Also don't confuse headaches and fatigue with rainbows. It seams that the headache and fatigue problems have more to do with motion artifacts. The Plus Piano has this issue but the X1 does not, for me, or any other poster that I've read who has one. I couldn't watch the Piano for much more that 30 minutes especially if there was a lot of movement on the screen. I watched my X1 last night for over 5 hours with absolutely no ill effects. I encourage you to view all the projectors your considering for yourself to see if there are any problems.

Some people are LCD guys but for me you can't beat DLP for contrast and overall image quality. As far as 2x or 3x colour wheel situation is concerned, all things being equal, the higher speed the colour wheel is the better. However, the scaler/deinterlacer is also very important and the X1 has one of the best in the Faroudja 2200. It's this that makes the image so sharp and smooth with no motion artifacts. S-video cabling is just fine, making hookup easy and economical and as _dl_ pointed out you don't need a progressive scan DVD player. You'd be hard pressed to find a DVD player that can outperform the X1. Even VHS video hooked up with a composite cable is great!

Check it out, if rainbows bother you stick with LCD if not you'll be very happy with the X1.
 

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I'm also torn between the AE200 and PLV-Z1, but since the AE200 is $240 cheaper (enough for an RP82 and a couple of DVDs!), that's the way I'm leaning at the moment. Also helping with that lean is the intermittent fan-noise issue with the Z1 (which I know people have suggested can be fixed with a firmware update, but no one has really confirmed that yet).


Someone else just posted an issue with the Z1 displaying DVDs that are wider than 16:9 (say 1.85:1 or 2.35:1). Apparently the Z1 puts the whole image inside the bounds of the screen with these wider movies, thus making a smaller image in the middle of your screen instead of filling the screen.


Does anyone know how the AE200 handles this?


Thanks,

Colin.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cfoster

Someone else just posted an issue with the Z1 displaying DVDs that are wider than 16:9 (say 1.85:1 or 2.35:1). Apparently the Z1 puts the whole image inside the bounds of the screen with these wider movies, thus making a smaller image in the middle of your screen instead of filling the screen.


Does anyone know how the AE200 handles this?
:confused: :confused: Thats what any projector does!!! A 1:85 or 2.35 image are exactly the same width, it's the height that varies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I really appreciate all your comments and I think Scott you may be right, in that most of the projectors in the $1500-2000 range do have their individual issues. What I might do is just bite the bullet and spend a little more and get either the Sony HS-10 or the Panasonic AE-300. They both have a DVI input for direct HDTV viewing with no change in the signel. Hopefully the price of the Sony will come down to the $2300-2600 range shortly. I like the high resolution of the Sony and it's brightness, and I also like the short throw lens and 5000hr lamp life of the AE-300.

So far, are there any negatives or drawbacks with the Sony or Panasonic? Anyone know what the lamp life is of the Sony? Any reliability issues with either PJ?

Cheers

Doug
 

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Comparing the HS10 to AE300 at this point (IMO - in no particular order):


AE300

plus:

- 5000hr lamp

- smooth screen tech (absolutely NO screendoor)

- great color, black and shadow detail

- throw distance (IMO)

- very quiet

- cheaper

neg:

- lower resolution

- nobody has 1:1 pixel mapping yet (afaik)


HS10

plus:

- high resolution

- 1:1 pixel mapping achieved

- better picture for HDTV?

neg:

- noisy

- throw distance (imo, some might see this as a plus)

- contrast and black level as good as AE300?

- 3000hr lamp life


Someone else might be able to add more to these...
 

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I was in the same boat. I had the PG-M20S and it was O.K, I ended up returning it. I don't have a HTPC, so I couldn't extract the best from the projector. Rainbows were bad for me. They got better when Component Inputs were used, but couldn't stand the headache. The colors were also too dull on any other input than component in my system. It does have a pretty solid scaler and Noise Reduction system, which was cool


I now have the AE200, which is great. The lamp life is excellent, noise is much lower than the sharp, and Overall presentation is better.


The Sanyo wasn't out at the time, but would definetly consider for a few bucks more.
 

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Quote:
It's interesting that some people exclude the X1 because of the 4:3 ratio. It was an issue with me as I thought a low end PJ couldn't handle regular TV stuff. That was until I got my X1. I have a load of VHS and Beta videos that I am now watching on my X1 with great effect. I would have missed out on a lot of great stuff if I'd gone with 16:9.
Not everyone watches a lot of 4:3 material like you do. they watch like 90% dvd. Why in the world would they want a 4:3 pj if that is what they will sue the pj for? And how would you miss out if you had gone with a 16x9 projector? Because your 4:3 image for videotape would be smaller? Don't see your point.


I can watch 4:3 material on my 16x9 projector just fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cfoster
I'm also torn between the AE200 and PLV-Z1, but since the AE200 is $240 cheaper (enough for an RP82 and a couple of DVDs!), that's the way I'm leaning at the moment. Also helping with that lean is the intermittent fan-noise issue with the Z1 (which I know people have suggested can be fixed with a firmware update, but no one has really confirmed that yet).


Someone else just posted an issue with the Z1 displaying DVDs that are wider than 16:9 (say 1.85:1 or 2.35:1). Apparently the Z1 puts the whole image inside the bounds of the screen with these wider movies, thus making a smaller image in the middle of your screen instead of filling the screen.


Does anyone know how the AE200 handles this?


Thanks,

Colin.
Don't go for the ae200 over the z1, even if it is slightly cheaper. Seriously. the Z1 has better resolution, better contrast (which is so important to how good an image looks. trust me) better colour reproduction and it has more things to adjust in terms of how the image is presented. IE, gamma, and individual colour temp. it is easily worth the extra. trust me.


as for your concerns...first, the fan issue is not universal! I haven't had it happen. second, I have no idea what you are talking about with the dvds being displayed. they are displayed fine.


I checked out the link you posted and the guy is talking about non anamorphic dvds. of course those won't be displayed the same way as anamorphic dvds. i take it you don't have much knowledge of 16x9 display devices because if you did, you'd know how non anamorphic dvds are displayed.:)

Quote:
So far, are there any negatives or drawbacks with the Sony or Panasonic?
Of course there are issues with both of these projectors! No projector is perfect.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rlindo
Not everyone watches a lot of 4:3 material like you do. they watch like 90% dvd. Why in the world would they want a 4:3 pj if that is what they will sue the pj for? And how would you miss out if you had gone with a 16x9 projector? Because your 4:3 image for videotape would be smaller? Don't see your point.


I can watch 4:3 material on my 16x9 projector just fine.
I watch only DVDs but I'm happy with my X1 set in 16:9 mode. For the few full screen DVDs I have, it is nice to have the full screen 4:3 mode available (though I bought a 16:9 screen so I have to zoom to see it, or set the native mode (equivalent to side black bars))


Note though that on the X1 there is screendoor visible for me (see my pictures thread), watching from 11' away a 80x45" picture (even if I make it smaller, I still see it now that I noticed it actually...)). I don't know if it is even worse on LCDs ? but if you have the money you can consider getting and XGA pj instead...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rlindo
The Z1 has better resolution, better contrast (which is so important to how good an image looks. trust me)
100% agree on the contrast issue. It's sort of like airconditioning in a car when you live in a hot climate. If you've never had it, you learn to live without - but once you've got it, you can't image life without it.

I think that's why the CRT crowd covet their units (stroking them in the dark and chanting "My Precioussssss...") and cringe at the sight of an LCD image.


Kevin
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rlindo
i take it you don't have much knowledge of 16x9 display devices because if you did, you'd know how non anamorphic dvds are displayed.:)
Ah. I just re-read the post, myself. A small misinterpretation of what he was talking about on my part. Sorry.


I hear what you are saying about the Z1s better features/stats for "just a little more money," but I keep reading posts from AE200 owners gushing about their results. If my jaw will hit the floor no matter which I choose (especially when the technology is dropping in price so quickly) do I really want/need to spend any extra?



Re: the fan issue.


I know it's not universal and that's the problem. I don't want to roll the dice and see if my PJ is blessed with wonky fan issues. It does make sense to me that this is a simple firmware fix (run the fan 5% faster all the time and the problem goes away with no noticeable increase in noise) but I'm still waiting for confirmation that firmware is absolutely what the problem is. (This would also explain why some people have it, and some don't.) Do you know your firmware version?


I would say I'm a month off from making a choice between these two, so these issues have some time to resolve themselves.


Thanks,

-Colin.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rlindo
Not everyone watches a lot of 4:3 material like you do. they watch like 90% dvd. Why in the world would they want a 4:3 pj if that is what they will sue the pj for? And how would you miss out if you had gone with a 16x9 projector? Because your 4:3 image for videotape would be smaller? Don't see your point.


I can watch 4:3 material on my 16x9 projector just fine.
I never suggested you can't watch 4:3 material on a 16:9 projector. I simply stated that you wouldn't get as large an impact as you'd have the 4:3 displayed at the height of the 16:9 image with black bars on each side. With a 4:3 display you get constant a width display with masking requirements at the top and bottom only - no side masking.

I'm also not sure where you get your figure of 90% DVD watching. When I starting looking into a projector I envisioned using it strictly for DVD use and I was going to keep my RPTV for tape watching and regular TV. It was only when I bought my X1 that I realized that the internal scaler/deinterlacer was so good I could easily watch my 4:3 material on it at full size. This, to me, is one of the outstanding qualities of the X1 - you don't have to compromise; I'm selling my RPTV. At the price point, the X1 is a very robust all-around projector worth considering by anyone, and rejecting it simply because it has a 4:3 format is very unfortunate.
 
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