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Topic: How bad is the VB on the AE700?
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Joined: Mar 30, 2005
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I mostly use my AE700 for Xbox gaming, but I've watched a couple of movies on it too (it reports 206 hours of use now). I really looked hard for vertical banding when I first got it (in November), but couldn't detect anything amiss. However, more recently, I was playing Mercenaries (which has manual camera controls) and at one point, by slowly rotating the camera, I finally saw the dreaded VB. It was actually pretty jarring, as I wasn't even looking for it at the time. With my particular projector, the banding seemed to show up more easily on medium brightness scenes with a lot of red/brown than on bright scenes with a lot of sky blue.
Reading posts on here, I realize that I recently started leaving the projector in standby all the time, so that might be the cause of my problems. I adjusted the flicker settings in the service menu and started turning the unit completely off again, so we'll have to see if the problem comes back. For the few times when I have noticed it, I'll rate the problem 4/10 because it is pretty distracting, but until just this past month, it wasn't a problem at all. I guess time will tell if this story has a happy or sad ending (and a whole-hearted recommendation or a cautious one).
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Steve, did you try upgrading the firmware to 1.07?

I'm currently in the market for a projector precisely for gaming. I currently have an Xbox, a Gamecube and a PC but since the Xbox 2/360/Next/WhateverTheyCallIt will have 1280x720 as a requirement for all games I won't buy anything that doesn't have at least this native resolution.

At the moment. I'm looking at Both the Panasonic PT-AE700U and the Sanyo PLV-Z3 so I'd really like to know if the new firmware fixes the VB issues for gaming.

Also, I've read that LCD projectors are better for gaming than the DLP ones. Any insight on that?

Thanks!
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Mr. Green:

I can't answer your question concerning the better choice--DLP vs. LCD--for gaming, but I can address the issue of vertical banding re the Panasonic AE-700U vs. the Sanyo PLV-Z3.

I've been impressed with the specs. and performance of the Panasonic AE-700U since the unit hit the stores. I've spent quite a bit of time comparing the 700U with similar, 1280x720 pixel LCD units, most notably the Sanyo PLV-Z3 and the Hitachi PJ-TX100. Throughout my side-by-side comparisons (conducted in various big-box and specialty shop home theatre showrooms) I've confirmed that the Pan. AE700U has the brightest, smoothest out-of-the-box picture for any given screen size/type.

I've also noticed that 4 out of the 5 AE-700Us I've examined exhibit vertical banding as per previous posters comments.

Perhaps it's coincidence, but the one AE-700U which did not show any trace of VB was connected, power-wise, through a well-known brand name's power conditioner. I suspect that the tie-in between the AE-700U's VB issues re standby power mode may have more to do with the quality of AC current fed to it than a misalignment of panels, etc.

Personally, I do not install a front projector system of any stripe unless I can ensure that the power supply is clean. That being said, I still as yet have not recommended the AE-700U to a customer specifically because of the down-the-road-possibility of VB problems. Otherwise I think the unit's a fine machine for the money.

On the gaming issue, I've heard it said that the DLP PJs are more likely to show colour separation "rainbows" with game feeds than standard video fare. It's hearsay, so take it with a grain of salt.

NB: I have found the 720p native Sanyo and Hitachi PJs to be VB free (with a proper power source).
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I currently use an older Sony (VPL-VW10HT), one of the first 16:9 native projectors and something that I think I paid around $6500 for just a few years ago. In our very darkened theater room, this product has been very satisfactory over the years in spite of its bad rap of low contrast and it has thrown a lot of beautiful images without either VB or screen-door effects (only 1 dead pixel off to the side). I have been planning on retiring it fulltime to our office for presentations and replacing it with the Panasonic AE-700U at home. Although the newer LCD projectors are supposed to be far better in terms of contrast, after hearing of the issues with this particular unit I now wonder if I am falling prey to the "newer is better" hype. Has anyone done a side-by-side comparison of an older model like mine vs. the newer units? If better, is the risk of VB worth the improvement in picture quality?
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I like movies but my kids use the AE700 almost exclusively for the PS2. I have about 300 games, old ps1 games and a bunch of new ps2 titles... they all look great! And HONESTLY I do not think I ever notice VB when playing a game, of course in a game I am focusing on the game play in a movie I focus on VB.

Hmmm... got to look into this one... why no VB on the PS2 and some on the Denon but not always.

I have old firmware.. maybe an upgrade will help.
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