Looking for a projector

I already posted a similar message in the Technology Forum, but I thought this might be also a good place. I am sorry for this repost.

Well, I decided to go big screen, and for portability, screen size, and budget
reasons I wanted to get a projector, in particular the PT-AE700U from Panasonic, which is a true HDTV projector with a physical resolution of 1280x720. In Gunghua they only have Taiwanese brands or HP and Epson, at least in the shops I looked at. Did anybody see a good projector store that has a better selection for the HDTV fan?

I appreciate any help.

I bought the AE300 here in Taipei. A lot of stores sell it. Buy PRIMEAV magazine and then thumb through all of the places that carry projectors or advertise the Panasonic projectors. Call them all (let your fingers do the walking) and choose the one with the cheapest price. Or are you looking for a DEMO? Well there is a shop called DEMO on Chunghwa Rd. not far from the intersection with Zhongxiao on the East side of the street south of Zhongxiao Rd. They only carry Japanese imported products. I saw the Sharp z10000 demoed there. Nice guys. Just look like you can afford it, that stuff is not cheap, but they have some high-end equipment. They have ads in PRIMEAV too so you can find their shop from the magazine along with a lot of other shops. I bought my plasma from a guy in HsinYi chu, not far from the old Spring dept. store.

Look around that neighborhood near the DEMO shop in the streets just to the south of there on the same side of the street. I ended up buying mine from some grey market importer that had a shop on Chongqing Rd. and gave me a demo. BEWARE, no one wants to let you demo the product if they do not already have a demo in their shop, because they are afraid that then it will no longer be considered new and no one will want to buy it afterwards, or they don’t actually have any stock they have to buy it from the distributor or grey market guy. They won’t do that just for a demo. However there are some that import them themselves. Or get the demo from the semi-official distributor.

Anyway, good choice, I want that one myself. Will upgrade later from the AE300. Hmm…please post the prices and where you find it. Maybe you can allow me to do a geeky thing and do a side by side test after you buy yours.

I also suggest getting a real screen. Although if you move you can’t take it with you like an AE700. You can go for that paint the wall thing, but a screen is less than NT$5,000. I bought mine from an alleyway off of BaDe Rd. just north of the Core Pacific Living Mall. They have ads in the PrimeAV magazine.

By the way, I think the AE700 is not bright enough for daytime viewing. If you want to use it as your main TV, you might want to consider another. I use mine for DVDs only and the plasma for regular TV viewing.

By the way, every year there is a show at the Asiaworld hotel where all of the companies selling projectors, Plasmas stereos and so on, setup in the rooms and suites for demos and take orders and sell. Great show and well worth the price of admission, but I forgot what month it is.


Thanks for your very extensive reply. Finally I am getting somewhere. I will have to take a look at that PrimeAV magazine you mentioned and at the grey market and demo shops. That sounds like I might get the chance to look at the projector myself before I buy it.

I have done most of my research at www.projectorcentral.com. They have reviewed a ton of those projectors and they recommend the 700U. The street price in the US is about $2.200, and I am wondering if it is similar here. Unfortunately, they have not tested the 300U, but maybe you can tell me how it does on 4:3 resolutions. I am wondering if I can run the 1024x768 on the 700U. It is in lack of 48 lines, but I assume it should be alright, and the interpolation should not mess up too much.

I totally agree with you, that I might not be able to use the projector during the day, but it gets dark here around 18.00 anyway. I was planning to use it mainly for DVD watching and computer gaming, and that will be done at night anyway. And concidering the programming I believe that a CRT or my 19" LCD PC monitor should be enough for watching TV.

I will keep you updated if and where I end up buying the 700U and once I have it, we should definitevly get together and compare the two. I was also thinking about getting a screen, but first I wanted to try out the wall, see how it looks, and if I am not satisfied, I will get a screen. 5,000 does not sound to be too much. How wide is yours? I am thinking about setting the diagonal to ~230cm, which results in a screen width of about 200cm. Maybe I will set is a little smaller, probably depends on the brightness.

Let me know if you find out when this show is, I would be more than interested to go.

ratlung, check out this thread http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=20424&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=benq&start=0

There’s also another one about projectors on about page 9 or 10 of the technology pages and it was started by Gus.

I see the AE700 has similar specs to the one I have (BenQ PE 6800).

You need to be careful with the screens. I’ve seen some very average images at places as a results of the screen. I could be completely wrong however. Personally, I project onto my wall with a throw distance of about 4 meters giving me a pretty damn big picture - roughly 200cm long and 150 high. That’s a great size for watching Friday night footy. Unfortunately my new house doesn’t quite have that kind of throwing distance to play with so my screen size will shrink to around 120cm long :frowning: .

amos, thanks for the link and the suggestions. I am looking at the information right now. Unfortunately, I was not able to find the PE 6800 on an english BenQ website, but what I was able to make out of the chinese webpage is that the PE 6800 seems to have a slightly less resolution (native) and lower light output than the AE700U, otherwise it seems to be a nice projector. How much did you pay for it if I may ask?

I will have to figure out what I am going to do about the screen. My wall seems to be clean, and I will see how the projections look like. Otherwise I will have to do some research about finding the right screen. If it is as you say that there are crappy once out there, the wall should perform as well.
Maybe the room could use some paint too :wink:

ratlung, here’s the specs of mine http://www.benq.com.sg/www/front/BenqMain.asp?MenuHead=131&ShowType=program&FileURL=product.asp&model=PE6800&dataid=11433&GenMenu=&RootId=0

Wow, that panasonic does look nice. At the tme of buying mine l was all set to buy the panasonic ae500 but the benq looked better compared to hat model. I’d buy it for sure. For curiosity, l paid a touch over 60k for my projector but prices have been dropping for a while. l just googled it for 59k on another site. l didn’t take a receipt either so saved some there. When it first came out in December 93 l believe, it retailed for 100k [/url]http://www.myav.com.tw/reviewpost/showproduct.php?product=5&sort=7&cat=3&page=1[url]

Using the wall is fine. l haven’t even painted mine but sport is still awesome to watch.[/url]

amos, thanks for the specs, they don’t sound too bad either, considering that it is somewhat older than the 700U. Actually, I just saw that you mentioned it was released Dec. 93, so that is when the 700U was released as well. I am more intrigued by the DLP technique myself, although I also heard it has some disadvantages compaired to LCD. I think one would be the availability of high resolution DLP chips.

I was thinking to visit the Demo store this afternoon and hope that they have a demo of the 700U somewhere in that area. I haven’t seen a price tag in Taiwan yet, but I know that they change the owner in the US for about US$2200 and in Germany for EUR 1600. I expect it to be in the NT$70K area in Taiwan. I will post some details once I am back home.

I hope that the wall is good enough. I read that if you want to improve the image quality compared to the wall, you have to get a rather expensive screen.

When I purchased my AE300 in Taipei, it was the same price as the cheapest I could find in the USA, maybe even a tad cheaper.

If Demo doesn’t display it, find the Distributor for Panasonic projectors and ask them where you can demo it. Before that Shop DEMO only had high-end not too many low-end units that they were demoing.

Good luck.

Bad typo on my part. Mine was released in December 2002, not 93, I think. I bought it around 6 months ago.

Can’t make this image bigger using my photo server but this is projecting off the wall.

amos, thanks for the image, so far it looks good, but I cannot believe that there is “The simple life” on the wall. What the hell are you watching :wink: Anyway, yesterday evening I went to Zhonghua road and checked it out. I cannot believe that my roommate never told me about it, although he knows that I am looking for a projector.

I also found the DEMO shop. They had the AE700 sitting in the shop. I asked him if he would demonstrate it, but he did not want to. So do I understand correctly, that if it is just sitting out there it is considered new, but if he would hook it up, it is used? At least he told me that if I want to buy one, he would take it out of the box and give me a test drive to make sure the image quality is okay, which I thought was a good compromise. He also suggested to get the Sanyo Z3, he thinks the colors are much better, which agreed with the findings on projectorcentral and my computer magazine, that I received yesterday, which tested recent 16:9 projectors, how convenient. But overall the Panasonic seems to be a nicer package, the light output is higher, and it has this pixel gap reduction, which widens the light beam for each pixel. That might be the reason the color for the Sanyo is slightly better. I was not able to locate the Panasonic projector anywhere else, but I did not ask around much either. I still might take a look at the PrimeAV magazine. DEMO wants 60K which is well below the price in the US (70K) and at the moment also below the price in Germany (68K) So I might get that thing this month. Thanks for all your help guys. If anyone as any other suggestions, comments, please let me know. I will keep you updated

ratlung: You will NOT find any DEMO of the AE700 in the entire Zhonghua Rd area. You have to let your fingers do the walking. Run out and buy PRIMEAV magazine and start calling around. HOWEVER, MAKE IT CLEAR, that even if they give you a demo you might not buy unless the quality of the image and the price is right. I am sure you can find a price cheaper than DEMO. At least that used to be the case as DEMO was high-end Japan imports only and quite pricey. Ask everyone if the goods are ShuiHuo or GongSiHuo. One place you find a demo of the AE700 is by calling the central office of the official distributor for the Panasonic projectors in Taiwan. You can find their number on the AE700 ads in the PRIMEAV magazine. Hurry up0 and buy it so I can do a side by side comparison, better yet, bring it over to my place and you can see what it looks like on a Da-Lite pull down screen as well.

I guess being new to this area I kind of like exploring, and don’t mind the extra walking. But it does not seem to be very successful, so I also started looking for the magazine, but with little success. I will have to find some better book stores.

It would be great to find the projector for a lower price than at DEMO. The couple of phone calls would be worth it. I am also looking for some good cable, DEMO wants 20000 for a digital 15m cable, I will have to check the needed length first though. I mainly want to hook up my computer via DVI to the projector, as well as my XBOX via component (YUV), but that cable can be shorter. If the digital cable is too expensive, I will have to look for a RGB (analog) cable but I am not sure how many of the 921600 pixel will get to the projector at a cable length >10m.

I also downloaded the HD samples from the HDWMV website, I am just not sure if those will play on the notebook. But that will give me some HD content to test the projector with.

Which wall are you projecting the image on ? The wall opposite our sofa has a TV stuck in front of it. If we project it onto a different wall, the speakers are all in the wrong place. And how far away does the project have to be from the screen (placing a screen infront of the TV might be the best idea) to get a decent sized picture ?
Mrs Fluffy saw an ad was asking about the difference between plasma and LCD, so she might be feeling rich enough to buy me a toy.

Well, the exact projection geometry depend on the projector you are using. The ones with 2x zoom lenses give you the most flexibility in terms of set up. But you should consider the local setup before you purchase the projector, otherwise you end up with a too small or too large projection.

Just go to www.projectorcentral.com they have a nice calculater that allows you to compute the projection sizes for different projectors and distances. This is a nice tool for planning.

Thanks ratlung, that’s a great site :thumbsup:, seems to have everything you need to know about projectors. Worth mentioning it again: www.projectorcentral.com
I looked at one calculator and it seemed to suggest that the best viewing distance is less than the throw distance (distance from projector to screen I presume ?), so you do you’ll place the projector behind you ?
Hope I get a huge hongbao :pray:

Yep, throw distance is the distance from projector to screen. And you can place it behind you - of course it also needs to be fairly high so that viewers don’t block the picture, so ceiling or wall mount is probably required.
If the projector is off-axis (i.e. not exactly centered in relation to the center of the screen) you need lens shifting and keystone correction features, else the picture won’t sit correctly on the screen or end up looking trapezoid.

I heard many people do not recommend using the keystone correction. In these cases the pixel width gets changed and that might cause image artifacts, so it is alway best if you can set up the projector dead center of your screen. I also prefer the projector being behind me, or over my head.

BFM, that image on the last page was on the wall above my wife’s head. In my old house, she watched regular cable on the TV and then I had my projector sitting beside the TV projecting onto that wall. Like tech guru Rascal says, hanging from the wall is best. These puppies throw out a bit of warmth. My TV cabinet is quite long though, so I used my computer speakers as audio and placed them behind my ears :slight_smile: , surround sound amos style :sunglasses: . Unfortunately my new place is wallpapered and not a white wall in sight. I’m considering getting a screen but of the ones that I’ve seen so far, IMO, none compare to a freshly painted white wall.

Amazing how many times I’ve told that to friends. Amos has it right, just a nice matt white painted wall.

Perhaps it’s time to remove some of that new wallpaper…

His picture is from his Star World Channel. Can’t wait to see a screen shot of the AFL.