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Upgrading from X1 to PT-AE700E

954 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ChrisDuncan
Is this going to be much of an upgrade for me, its twice the cost, will I get a better quality of picture with the panny in 16:9 (hdtv and dvd, and games)?

a few questions

what are the black levels like on the panny vs the x1?

is the panny ok in low level ambient light?

what is the switch on time for the panny?

are there any other options I should consider being released in the next 2 months?

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wow, not many responses, I use to get so many responses quickly.

of the people who have read this post does anyone have an opinion?
You will give up your faroudja and DCDi, rainbows, the noise of the X1 and some nice features, but the pana is in another league price and feature-wise. I still haven't seen the AE700 in action although I had one in my hand. Build quality looks nice, lens-shift mechanism is arkward IMO, but otherwise of good and solid build quality. ON/OFF-CR-wise it should beat the X1 easily if colorfilter tuned, otherwise they are not that far apart, as the AE700 is reportedly capable to produce around 1k @ D65. But if you don't care about correct colors and D65 you could use it in dynamic mode and get close to the 2k spec. ANSI CR wise the X1 will win, LCDs simply cannot cope with DLPs ANSI abilities yet. The Pana will be much more silent and give you true HDTV resolution with all the LCD quirks and a few other quircks (not the best analog inputs...) but is said to produce a very nice HDTV image without much visible SDE. If you look into the AE700 threads you will find that some love it and some are disappointed.

In your case I assume you feed your X1 480i with your DVD-player? With the Pana you will need a good progessive DVD player with digital output to allow the PJ to show his strength. EVERY PJ works best in low lewel ambient light. If you are happy with the X1 and don't need 4:3 you could look into the SP4805 which is a rather attractive PJ for DVDs and some say HDTV as well right now. Many prefer the SP4805 DVD image over the Pana. The SP4805 is probably not the best for PC games resolutionwise.

In short, chances are you could like the Pana (if you can stand the usual LCD quircks like VB etc), but to answer this you really have to take a look yourself. Hope this helps.
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For HDTV, the panny will beat the 4805 because of higher resolution and better color reproduction.

VB and SDE are minimal at close seating distances and non existant at normal seating positions.

Blacks on the AE700 (can't really compare to X1 cause I dont have one to compare side by side) could be better but with a little tweaking and a free filter...blacks should be good enough. For me that is.

I had an X1 for two weeks when they were giving the trial and the blacks were also lacking on that projector so maybe its just me being picky.

If you will be using the projector's HDMI input for HDTV...the Zenith DVB318 is a great DVD player to use component upconversion to 1080i - More info on firmware can be found in the DVD player section
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I wasnt really to impressed with the x1 after building my htpc, it was ok for dvd, but once I started using the htpc for dvd and games, I saw a marginal improvement over standalone dvd, but it did appear a little less defined than my crt monitor, which is to be expected.

so, Im watching SD via a dvico fusion tuner, so would like to get the best out of this, whilst not HD requirements are still above X1 native resolution.

is it true my HTPC should handle what the faroudja use to in the X1? I have a radeon 5800 pro with dvico card, a 3200 athlon and a gig of ram.

this VB issue scares me off a bit, whats the point of going LCD if everyone sees VB, is it as annoying as rainbows are to some?(of which I see but I dont personally find annoying)

I use VGA input direct to the projector. I mostly watch DVD, SD TV and some PC games.

So will the panny be a fairly noticeable step up from the X1? ie is it worth twice the money? (here is OZ)
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Xcited1 not everyone sees VB or is bothered by it, and not every AE700 shows it to the same amount. It is something individuel, some can't stand it and some even don't notice it. And with all the talk here it goes under that the majority has a) absolutely no problem with it and b) does not know what it is at all. With the AE700 the VGA input is not stellar if I remember a posting of KBK correctly. Infact you should use the digital input.
Xcited1, Peter is right, not all AE700 owners see VB. A lot also depends on the stability of your AC power. Another alternative is the Sanyo Z3. It has (reportedly) less potential VB than the AE700, has more SDE (at 1.3 x screen width, or less), and doesn't have as good, film-like, picture as the AE700 (may just be nit-picking). Here in the states, the Z3 is available at a slightly lower cost than the AE700.

Either of these PJs are better than the X1, IMHO. The 4805 may be better for viewing DVDs, but it has a noisier fan and more SDE (similar to your X1).

I hope this helps (and doesn't muddy the picture :D ).
Xcited1, the Panasonic is a step up, and some would say a BIG step up over the X1, anything less would be strange, given it costs twice. And yes despite it's 'flaws' (show me a single PJ without 'flaws') it is in my opinion worth the extra expense.

You will really have to take a look yourself to decide if the PJ is right for you. Let me add that IMO almost all PJ purchases nowerdays are gap stop purchases, untill the next generation of better beast surface. Digital projection is still not mature yet but in it's infancy...

In two years latest you will probably buy a new PJ anyway, and these machines will be MUCH improved...
i would say big improvment for the following reasons

true widescreen native res

quite a bit brighter

little/much less sde

have both, love both

i wold have waited for a true 1000+ 720p dlp projector at around $2000-2500 from infocus, but i couldn't wait any longer *itch* *itch*

if asked would i buy the panasonic again given a choice, i say yes

things i don't like about the 700

dynamic mode is bright, but colors a little inaccurate

cinema mode 1 which is supposed to be the hollywood calibrated setting sucks imo, it's barely watchable even with the lights off and pitch black imo.

the picture is definitely punchy, but it could be sharper imo, maybe screendoor on my x1 fools my eyes, not sure but i believe it to be a little more sharp. video mode works well for sdtv imo.

if you're scared about spending twice as much, maybe look into the optoma H31, it's a grand, considered a good upgrade by several x1 owners and it's dlp.

hope this helps a little bit

/edit oh, and don't put too much stock in the whole VB thing, it's really not that big of a deal imo. i've seen it a few times, but it's not bad at all and i haven't even tried to tweak it out yet. like stated above, every single projector in this forum has flaws. it's a matter of which one's you can live with.
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I'm thinking of going this route too. I've had my X1 for about 15 months and use it in a dedicated theater room with a DIY screen that is 9'4" wide (126" diagonal or therabouts; 16:9).

My theater has a black ceiling, dark purple walls and dark carpet with curtains around the screen. With the AE700's zoom capabilities I was thinking I could make a screen which is the same height as my current one but wider (maybe about 13' wide) and pull the curtains back and zoom out for 2.35:1 movies. Maybe even put the curtains on a hinge so I could lower them very quickly instead of bunching them up since they're already close together. Is the AE700 too dim for this?

I actually watch more HD than DVD since I got Voom, so I was thinking that a 720p PJ would be better for my needs than another 480p like the 4805.

I don't particularly go by any guidelines with seating distance or screen size. For me the experience of a big screen and a big subwoofer is what makes it fun, so with that in mind...you think the Panny would work with a huge screen like that? For better picture quality we have a 65" Toshiba RPTV (CRT) in the house, but I always find movies more enjoyable on the big screen even if I am breaking all the "rules" regarding picture quality. I just think it's maybe time to upgrade to something better for HDTV than the X1.
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