by Hunter Zeng from P.R. China
I am one of the big fans of Projectorcentral.com from China. After reading the comparison of Sanyo Z2 and Panasonic AE500E (it was call L500U on projectorcentral.com, I will use AE500 below), I have a clear picture in my mind to make a decision for my personal home theater (Surely after one year consideration).
My girlfriend and I have interest to see the Hollywood movie (we used a 34" WEGA to see DVD at home) and after several months discussion. I was approved to "GO" from her. I used to plan a DLP unit such as PLUS Avanti or Sharp Z90, but after considering the investment cost, fast moving technology and the latest LCD development. I have to turn back to the LCD territory.
The AE500 was purchased in this January. Before that, I have check through the market and accept its projecting result (No appear "screen door" effect on 3 meters from the screen). I have a big living room in my apartment and I will utilize the existing decoration to have a wonderful meeting spot with families and friends.
My system list:
1. AV Center: Yamaha A1
2. DVD Player: Pioneer DV-K302CD
3. 5.1 speakers: All JBL stuff
4. Projector: Panasonic AE500E
5. Screen: 106" Inlight White Mat
6. CD changer: Pioneer PD-F1007
7. Multi room amplifier: InterM
Not difficult to install the 106" projection screen. My original plan is 100" as it said that 100" is an optimum size for AE500. But my GF prefer more bigger screen in terms of similar cost. The most difficult part for equipment installation is fine tune the picture to be 100% fit and projected on the screen. As AE500 does not equipped with "Len shift" function as Z2 does. So it took much more time to do the adjustment and get the acceptable appearance.
Another tough part is cable layout. In order to prevent from destruction of the living room, my GF's father spent some effort to lay out the cable (component and power supply cable) above the false ceiling. You can see the final view from the attached picture. No too bad. Right? The final installation cost is just USD 100 (China is a wonderful low cost living country).
After hooking up the system, signal is fed. Wow... Man. This is really awesome. I cannot say the result is same with commercial cinema. But my system have pretty close quality with the theater (of cause, within the consumer budget). I think Panny AE500 provide me the best balance between the quality and investment budget. The various on screen setting increase my interest to learn how to adjust the "Gamma" data.
As a matter of fact, there is always lots of money and effort spent behind the crisp and clear home movie picture.
Job list on projection establishment:
1. Select a favor projector which can fit your existing Hivi system and room (base on the learn you can get from internet);
2. Understand the throw distance and the dimension of the projector on hand;
3. A projection screen is recommended. I used to ask my father to make a cloth screen. But it looks like there is gap from the commercial screen;
4. Buy enough component cable, hanging mount, power supply tray, etc.
5. As the lens of AE500 is not locate on the center of the unit. So you should remember to deduct the distance (from center of the unit to the lens) when you are going to align and set the mounting rack location.
Hope my English can be understood by western world.