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If you're an OWNER of the Panasonic AE-300, this is the place to post your reviews, comments and information about the projector based on your ownership experience.


OWNERS: We'd appreciate it if you'd also check out the AE-300 information thread to help provide information to those who are interested in this projector.


If you're not an owner of this projector, and your question doesn't specifically relate to something posted here by an owner, please post in the general AE-300 thread.
 

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AE100 vs AE300 side-by-side Comparison


Tonight myself & another AVS Forum member did a side-by-side comparison of the AE100 and AE300. Both were on at the same time, each projecting onto half of a screen.


We wanted this to be a "practical" test, so each projector was configured in the same way that they they would actually be used. This meant the AE100 used the Audio Authority 9A62 transcoder, and defocused for 2.0X viewing. The AE300 was connected using the component inputs, and was sharply focused. Both were driven from the same progressive scan DVD player.


CONTRAST - IMO, by far the biggest deficiency of the AE100 is lack of contrast. The AE300 clearly improves on this, and this difference is noticeable even when not side-by-side.


COLOR - As good as the AE100's colors are, AE300 has more saturated colors that are evident throughout the color spectrum - the colors on the AE100 looks washed out by comparison. This was a surprise to me, since I don't recall anyone mentioning this before. I believe that no amount of color calibration on the AE100 will allow it to achieve this level of color saturation.


FAN NOISE - The AE300 is significantly quieter on the low speed. We did not compare the high speed.


COLOR UNIFORMITY - There was noticeable color uniformity shifts on the AE100 (especially the purple on the upper left corner). The AE300 had no such problems - with the DVD player turned off, it was a uniform grey display.


BANDING - There is still faint vertical banding, but less than on the AE100.


SCREEN DOOR - The AE300 has no screendoor and a sharper image. The AE100 when defocused and viewed at 2.0X also has no visible screendoor but the image is softer.


CEILING MOUNT - Can they use the same mount? Yes, I was able to use my AE100 ceiling bracket on the AE300 as well, even though the 300 is a larger unit.


REMOTE CONTROL - AE300 has a larger remote. Both remotes appear to operate both projectors for simple functions such as power, menu, cursor keys, etc.


THE "TEMPORARY HORIZONTAL SCREENDOOR ON VERTICAL MOTION" ARTIFACT - I am going to reserve judgement on this, since I have only used the AE300 for about 5 hours, but so far I don't find it an issue at all.


SCALING ARTIFACTS - Did not notice any on both projectors.


ZOOM & THROW DISTANCES - They appear to be identical. At maximum and minimum zooms, we got the same image heights.


BOTTOM LINE - I have used the AE100 for about 300 hours. The AE300 improves on the AE100 in almost every category, even though these improvements are more incremental than revolutionary. For viewing DVDs, the AE300 produces a picture that I much prefer over the AE100.
 

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Nice review


What about blackness? seeing details in blackness, and just not black details out? and the opposite, lots of white, without smearing the white?, this 2 things are the biggest drawbacks of the AE100 I think, is the AE300 any better on those? and does NTSC look as good on the AE300 as the AE100 (no scaling problems?) and PAL? and did you test the VGA input? (as an owner of the Nintaus 9769 I am curious of this)
 

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I can't do a side-by-side anymore. However, that night we did test the AE300 with the transcoder. With a progressive scan player, the AE300 definitely looked better via component than transocder (the opposite of the AE100). Colors were noticeably better.
 

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I am very impressed by both the black levels as well as shadow details. That is, the blacks look really black and the shadow details show up very nicely. It is better than both the AE100 and TW100 I had previously (IMO).
 

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I also feel that the shadow detail on the ae300 is excellent! The blacks don't really strike me as inky black, but they don't really bother me that much either. I don't have any other pj to compare it to, but I don't believe any other lcd pj is going to give much better blacks. Now that I've got a screen (matte white) I'm even more impressed by the vivid colors and punchy image that this pj produces. On brighter scenes it really does look 3D! Even my parents commeneted on how "3D" the image looked while watching LotR, without having heard that buzzword before or knowing that it's the holy grail of home theater. Darker scenes do suffer a little from the not-perfect black level, but at least the shadow detail is there aplenty. I realize that I could have improved black level by going with a gray screen, but I'm willing to sacrifice some blacks for a punchier image on bright scenes. And I can relax knowing that I'm not going to miss any important detail in those shadows.


The only downside is that I'm noticing the horizontal scanline artifact more often now that I've got a screen and black felt on the walls. This is sorta bumming me out since I'm otherwise completely drawn into the beautiful image. Has anyone gotten more ideas on what causes this artifact / ways to diminish it? All I've learned is that it seems to be a problem only on "medium" shades of colors - any area close to pure white, black, red, green, or blue doesn't seem to display this artifact.


--

Mike U.
 

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>>Does PAL look better then NTSC on the AE300? on the AE100 NTSC is much better


Until yesterday, I would have said yes. But, today I watched some of Apocalypse Now Redux R1 version and the quality was stunning. According to the manual, 625i gives AA quality. I've only been feeding it interlaced up to now.


It would be nice to hear a comparison from those who are feeding it a progressive signal.


Xander
 

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Anyone feeding the AE300 with progressive PAL and NTSC? what looks better? This has probably been answered before.... but is this scanline artifact random, or can you scan back and repeat it again on the same scene?
 

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ndjr, the scanline artifact is not random. If you go back to the same scene you can see it again. However, it is still my opinion that the artifact is very subtle.


Has anyone had a chance to play around with an HTPC or external scaler yet?


I am very satisfied with my AE300-RP82 combo but not so happy with my laserdisc player connected through SVideo. I haven't even tried digital cable (non-HDTV) since I believe the results will be pretty bad also.

I am looking into getting an HTPC (or perhaps a scaler) for Christmas but would like to confirm that I will get an improvement over what I have right now.
 

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LMCid,


I can answer the s-video question: It is much better to run such a source through iscan and then into the VGA port. I cannot say that it is entirely pleasing though. (Garbage in-Garbage out) However it did make the difference with whether the wife could live with the projector for use in viewing Tivo material.


I can also say that I could see absolutely no difference between interlaced dvd via component and the same dvd player run through the iscan. This means that I will keep my current setup and add an iscan or vb50 for NTSC viewing.


David
 

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Joseki,


Thank you for the information. I wouldn't expect much from regular TV either (garbage in - garbage out). However I would expect at least a watchable picture through Laserdisc. I think I will try to play around with my home PC which has SVIDEO inputs and a Geoforce card before making a decission on whether to go with an HTPC or an ISCAN. Any suggestions?


Also, I can confirm what you said about the interlaced DVD through component. A few times, I toggled my RP82 between interlaced and progressive and have not seen any difference. However, if I change the aspect on the TV from say 16:9 to S16:9 the picture seems to look a bit sharper and almost eliminates the horizontal artifacts. I think you (or someone else?) mentioned this in another thread. It was suggested that the projector perhaps matches the native resolution of the source and makes a pixel perfect match with the S16:9 and S4:3 aspects. Has this been confirmed?. If it has, I would expect that an HTPC would definitely help improve the picture through DVD even more. Have the powerstrip settings been posted yet for this projector?
 

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Here's my experience using the AE300 with an HTPC. I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful reviews and discussions. It has helped me get off the fence, just in time for the holidays. I'm just a neophyte at this hobby, so bear with me.


I decided on the AE300 for a couple of reasons. I don't have access to HD sources, so the best source I would have would be through DVD's. I figured the AE300 resolution resolution would be good enough. This is my first projector also, so I didn't want to spend too much money on it.


My sources consists of a Shuttle SG40 barebones, with an AMD 2000 athlon, 80 gig maxtor hard drive, 256mb RAM. I use the onboard VGA for regular computer stuff. I'm archiving (and decrypting) the DVD's onto my hard drive, and play it through MyHD with the latest drivers. The MyHD card outputs at 1920x1080i to the projector without any problems. I'm not sure what the projector scales it down to, since its instruction manual is in Japanese, and my Japanese is a little rusty. The sound comes off the S/PDIF on the MyHD and goes to my Outlaw Audio 1050/Rockets. My screen is the Joann Fabric blackout cloth, and we watched it in the living room at night.


I played some HD material obtained from this thread, and got great visuals from ithttp:// www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=193352

It makes me sad that I won't have HD in my neighborhood for some time. The ae300 had no problems projecting the image. The colors seems vibrant, and no screen door was seen if you sat about 1.5x from the screen. The computer and projector was quiet enough together, but I'm thinking about building a endtable/hushbox to keep the wires out of the way.


The DVD output was excellent. Not as nice as the HD material, but good enough for now. Again, the picture quality was very nice. I did notice the motion artifact that has been mentioned previously. I would have missed it, if I didn't know about it ahead of time. I watched Monsters Inc. (my three year olds movie of the month), and The Fifth Element (Superbit). No artifacts that I could see.


frank
 

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Thank you Mukaidaf for the information and review. I probably would have missed the motion artifact also if I didn't know about it ahead of time.


I have a couple of questions:


1- Have you compared a standalone DVD with your HTPC?


2- Have you tried getting pixel perfect mapping using Powerstrip?
 

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1- Have you compared a standalone DVD with your HTPC?

----my standalone DVD is a Playstation 2 :) I'm waiting for a cheap SACD.DVA player.


2- Have you tried getting pixel perfect mapping using Powerstrip?

----haven't used powerstrip yet, i'm happy with the MyHD card. i probably need to justify the purchase too.


frank
 
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