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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading all of the positive reviews, I decided to sell my trusty old 400Q and take a chance with the new Panasonic AE100 and I must say that I’m VERY glad I did.


First off I’ll admit that I was always pretty satisfied with the performance I was getting from the Sony with a few exceptions and a concern or two. The exceptions were fan noise, a rather soft image and some motion artifacts during fast vertical pans. The concerns I had were mainly due to reports of reliablility issues and the cost of unwarranted repairs. Luckily I was able to sell my 400Q(Still under warranty) for a little more than what the AE100 cost.


I’ve had the AE100 since last Thursday and so far have only been viewing DVD’s on it, first using the S-video output of my old Toshiba player and later via progressive component output of my new Panasonic RP56.


One thing is for sure, interlaced sources don’t look very good on this projector. But once I got the RP56 hooked up, it looked excellent. I can only imagine what the VGA input will look like.


There’s really no other way to put it, the AE100 is superior to the 400Q in everyway possible.


Fan Noise: One the 400Q it could be very distracting during quiet passages. Compared to the 400Q, the AE100 is silent.


Pixel Structure: To be honest, they’re both about the same. The 400Q has the delta pixel arrangement and to my eyes, the AE100’s pixels seem to be spaced closer together. The resulting pixel structure is about the same only the Panasonics image is much, much, much, much sharper. I prefer to use the term “Pixel Structure†instead of “Screen Doorâ€. If you’d seen some of the earlier examples of the dreaded “screen door effect†you’d know exactly why they called it that. The pixel structure on both the Sony and Panasonic are noticeable if you’re looking for it, but by no means does it intrude on viewing enjoyment.


Contrast: This is where the AE100 really pulls away from the aging Sony. It's really no contest. In the past, I had opportunities to view the Sony 10HT and had even considered upgrading but there just didn’t seem to be enough of an improvement to justify the difference in cost. And the contrast performance of the 10HT seemed to be no better than the 400Q. On the other hand, the contrast performance of the AE100 is excellent, especially considering the cost of the projector.


Motion artifacts: The Sony has a very decent internal doubler, but it causes the picture to be somewhat soft and during fast vertical motion or pans it reverts back to a semi-interlaced mode which to me could befar more distracting than the pixel structure ever was. Using the progressive signal from the RP56, the AE100 produces a very sharp, stable image and does not suffered from any interlace type artifacts as far as I can see.


Brightness: Again, the AE100 is much brighter than the Sony.


Colors: I always felt very satisfied with the color performance of the 400Q, that is until I saw the AE100 fed by a progressive component signal. The combination of the brightness and contrast levels really go a long way to lending some punch to the picture.


Lamp life/cost: The 400Q’s lamp life was spec’d to 3000hrs, but in reality it would become very dim at around 1200hrs. The AE100 is spec’d to reach 5000hrs in ECO mode and if it makes it to even 2000 hours, I’d be pleased.


Size: The AE100 is much smaller and lighter than the 400Q.


Overall Picture Quality: Night and day difference. The AE100 produces an unbelievable picture for it’s retail price($3000) and at $1484 delivered, it’s absolutely incredible.


Bottom line: I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision and will be happy with this projector for a few more years or until the next super value comes along.



Anthony
 

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Anthony,

I had a chance to A/B the 400Q against my AE and could not agree with you more. great review.

kev
 

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Anthony,

I'm really glad you posted this. I am a 400Q owner (3 years +) and have had some of the same concerns, particularly about the motion artifacts. Hearing from owners of the 400Q that they are so happy with the AE100 makes me want one even more.


Hugh
 

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I have really taken a look at the AE100 lately as well. The problem is I just purchased a VPL-CX1 not more than three months ago. If I could have held out a month or so more then I would have been ready to buy when all the hype for this projector was coming to the boards. For a few hundred less I could have had a projector with 3000 more hours on the bulb, sharper picture, and most important of all...a ceiling mount mode. The picture on my CX1 does look really good but I agree on a soft picture, especially with back ground objects or people. I would love to see an in person demo of the AE100 as screen shots don't do any projector justice. I will say if I could easily sell my Sony for about 1400.00, I would turn around and get the AE100. my few cents regarding entry level units.


David
 

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Hi,


The AE100 has the same interlace-scanline-effect in vertical motion objects. In fact every LCD projector I saw has the same motion artifacts including the newest Epson TW100 720p model.


On the other hand, I do agree that the old Sony 400Q suffers much more seriously from such motion artifact than the other LCD projectors! Maybe due to the delta pixel arrangement?


regards,


Li On
 

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Anthony, great post. I have the exact same comments you have after upgrading from my Sharpvision ZW99. There is literally a night and day difference between the two.


I sold my Sharpvision and bought the AE100 on the chance that it would be an improvement and I got much more than I expected. If I did a straight trade I would have been happy, but after the sale of the Sharpvision and the purchase of the AE100 I had money left over! The proverbial cherry on top!
 

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Hey Li-on, and you are right...I need to get back into this forum!


I just entertained the thought of selling my 10HT for the AE100...Do you think, with your experience with both projectors, that it would be a good thing to do? I have my 10HT SMART calibrated with a CC filter, and was wondering if the black levels, color, brightness, etc, are better than the Sony.....sorry if this has been asked before, but no biggie, eh?


Terry
 

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Hi Terry,


The AE100 has more screen door than the 10HT. Other than that, the AE100 has a overall much better picture IMO.


If you can sell the 10HT at a decent price, then you may consider it. Otherwise keep it and wait for the 12HT! :)


regards,


Li On
 

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sorry to pester, Li On, but here goes...


I know I haven't seen the Panasonic, but I calculated that the panny has over 400,000 pixels per panel, while the Sony has over a million pixels per panel.....This seems to be a big difference, especially if you want/need a screen size of 120". I understand the defocusing trick, but if you have half the resolution, will it look really screen doory? Have you tested/compared on a screen size of around 120" with these two projectors? This is the last question (for now :).....thanks for your prompt replies!


Terry
 

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Terry,


Your 10HT properly calibrated/tweaked (Smart 2 w/ CC filter) should look great with no screen door at 1.5 x screen width viewing distance. Resolution is much greater and this fact alone would convince me to keep the Sony. I've seen both and appreciate them both. On a large screen especially, the 10HT offered a better PQ to me. My advice: see both and compare in person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nicoff,


The throw distance of the AE100 is quite a bit shorter than the 400Q. I had to cut a hole in my ceiling to get into the attic area above my theater room so that I could move all the cables and power. It's really not a big deal, now I just need to repair the sheetrock :rolleyes:


Li On,


If the AE100 has the vertical panning artifacts, it must REALLY be to a far lesser extent than the 400Q's, because I can't see them anymore. But I'm not complaining :D


Terry,


I suspect when viewing DVD's on a 7' screen from about 12 to 14 feet, that the AE100 and calibrated 10HT would be comparable. But when it comes to HDTV and/or a larger screen, the calibrated 10HT would be preferrable.

I would definetly hang on to the 10HT for now if I were you.


That being said, I do view my AE100 on a 7' wide screen from about 12 feet(front row) and couldn't be happier with my purchase. I definetly got more than I was expecting and I had somewhat high expectations. The price is truely unbelievable for what you get.


Anthony
 

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This may seem farfetched, but ... could it be that LCD projectors use re-interlacing to suppress comet trail problems? It has long been said that LCD takes time to change from light to dark, and by deliberately darkening every other scan line every 60'th of a second, seemingly faster light dark transitions can be achieved.


Going to higher resolution, namely 768 instead of just 480 rows of pixels, then helps hide the interlacing artifacts.


Video hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
 
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