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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just had the shootout at AV-Sales (UK) looking at VW11HT, TW100, AE100, Z9000 and the Piano. Here are my views:


Firstly, I'd like to point out that none of the PJ's were set up all that great and so make of my findings what you will. I believe that all the PJ's there can look much better than they did, but this is not to say they looked bad, in fact I liked them all in different ways! We often had screen sizes that where different from one another and although at the beginning of the night the VW11HT, TW100 and AE100 (plus a Plasma that no one took any notice of) were all being run from an Extron DVS204 scaler (I think that was the model) at RGBHV. Strangely enough, all PJ's were seeing a different resolution, none of which matched their native panels! So they all had to re-process the picture!


My immediate impression was that I liked the Epson the most, but I thought the Sony was very smooth! After about 10 mins I started to realise that the Sony's smoothness, which I had first thought may be lack of definition, was actually just simply a stunningly film-like smoothness with as much detail as was on the DVD's! The Epson kicked butt when it came to contrast and blacks (for LCD), but it suffered from the worst digital artefacts I'd ever seen on a projector (like a first generation Plasma, only worse)! The AE100 had a very similar picture to the Epson, only as would be expected, with less resolution. It too suffered from the artefacts but to a lesser degree. I was really shocked and disappointed as the artefacts made the Epson un-watchable for me, which is a shame as this is what I was interested in pursuing!


However, as I had never heard anyone mention these artefacts before (for the TW100 & AE100), I assumed that the scaler was the culprit and when at the end of the night the Epson was given a simple S-Video feed the artefacts seemed to disappear and the unit looked very nice!


Marks FLD filtered AE100 was an improvement over the un-filtered version and gave a great performance for the dosh, especially through the VGA, via his HCPC. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to test DVI as AV-Sales had been let down with the cable! Another very good budget performer was the Piano cutesy of Philip. This was a stonking picture, amazingly, not too far off the Z9000, which with a SRP of £9000 against the £2200 of the Piano is no mean feat for this "LITTLE" beauty!


It became apparent that DLP does deliver a livelier picture, with more punch, contrast and deeper blacks, but sadly, I for one could not live with the rainbows, even from the gorgeous Z9000! This is a real shame, because the Z9000 was simply breathtaking in every other aspect, and at the unbelievably low price Technophobe paid for it (EU model) £5200 would have me saving now! For anyone looking to buy one of these, I would definitely suggest also budgeting for a scaler/deinterlacer, as when fed directly from the Extron the picture became 30% crisper, with fine detail popping out from every pixel! Obviously these scalers do offer a good performance when delivering the correct signal to a PJ and it's a shame we did not get a chance to set each PJ up with the Extron separately and see what they could all really do! Interestingly, when the Sony was given its native res, it showed the picture tall and thin (like a 16:9 ration on a 4:3 TV) and we could not rectify this? This was a real bummer as it resulted in the Sony being packed away to let the Piano or Sharp have a go! It's not that I didn't want to see these, as these where a great addition to the night, it's just that I felt the Sony had so much to offer!


Most people did not like the VW11HT, practically dismissing it, saying it was too washed out. I know what they were complaining about, in that room, set up how it was it definitely had less punch and perceived contrast to any of the others, but I truly believe that this LCD gave the most film-like and detailed, artefact free presentation of them all! The detail on Mr Phoenix's lace embroidered collar and each individual strand of fur on Mr Crowe's battle attire where displayed with such precision and zero chroma crosstalk, beating etc. The others did not compare at all (DLP's not on at this point). I must concede though that the Sony did show edge tizzing (like composite video) on other material that the other didn't, but this seemed to dissipate - dodgy connection perhaps (one was a little dickey)?In a completely darkened room and maybe with a grey screen, I believe it would have looked stunning to all!? If I had to choose one of the PJ's right now, on what I saw that night, the Sony would be the one!


In reality however, I would check out the Epson again, as I still think this can be set up to look excellent. I had totally counted it out due to the severe artefacts (like highly compressed NTL - bad solarisation), but when I saw the S-Video feed minus artefacts, my faith was restored and I really want another chance to see it shine! One point, we could not get a component signal (from Tosh 210 or 220) to sync, the picture rolled (BEWARE)! I would also like to give the Sharp a go in my home (who wouldn't) to see if I could live with the rainbows. I was not expecting to see them as I could not with the Marantz at Bristol (well only very occasionally) and if I did not have an issue with them, this would be the one hands down! Actually, I'd still look at the Sony and Epson again just to make sure as I feel the Sharp got the closest to what it can ultimately do and the others did not!


The Panasonic and Plus are both exceptional machines and it would be hard to pick between them. The Plus has all the DLP advantages, but the AE100 can be driven by a HCPC/Scaler and the blacks can be improved (screen/filer). I think for £900 less, I'd go for the AE100 and spend the rest on another toy! One quick note about the Piano, it seemed to have less rainbows (Fifth Element SB) than the Sharp!??


Well I'm rambling so I'm off (I'M ACTUALLY ILL). If anyone want's any more specific questions, I'll do my best to give you by views!


Bye for now


Kane
 

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Thanks for the great comparison.I wonder why the rainbows on the Sharp were more obvious to you than on the Marantz...interesting.
 

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What kind of screen did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I saw the Marantz at a show only being fed via S-Video at about an 8ft wide picture. The Sharp was about a 4 - 5 ft wide picture! I could just detect rainbows with the Marantz in a few cases, but it was about twice as bad with Sharp! I have know idea why? The Piano was about the same as the Sharp at first, but during some movies it was about as good as the Marantz, with it only being noticeable if really looking hard! Maybe the material makes a difference? Maybe a PAL v's NTSC thing (refresh rate)?


The screens were Draper tripod types (very basic). Matt white with zero gain.
 

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Kane,


If you did run the Sharp with a 50Hz input, I would guess that the Sharp would adjust its color wheel speed down accordingly.


But at the NTSC normal rate of 300 color sequences per second the Sharp could be 6X for PAL and 5X for NTSC. I have never seen the Sharp's PAL performance advertised in this manner though.


Just a thought.


-Mr. Wigggles
 

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Just for clarification, it is possible to connect an HTPC to the Plus Piano using the DVI-D interface. It provides direct access to the panel at 800x600 native resolution.


Rumor has it that this is how Plus is adding HDTV 1080i/720p input capability soon. I believe they are unveiling the update/new model at the home theater show in New York City which is happening soon.
 

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Two points in regard to your review of the Sharp z9000:

I concur with you description of the image, it is truely stunning in 480p and hi-def. As far as rainbows, I have 650 hrs. on my z-9000 and I or my family or guest have never identified seeing anything like a rainbow. From what I understand, some individuals are more sensitive to them.

I would recommend that any one interested in this projector, you have to demo one to determine if you may be sensitive to rainbows. If you are not (which I believe will be the vast majority of viewers) this projector will meet or exceed your expectations.
 
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