First, the obligatory details: This is the Panasonic AE4000U projecting onto a 134” diagonal Carada Brilliant White 19’ 6” from the screen (on the back wall) with the seating 14’-15’ from the screen. Three M80s L/C/R are arrayed below and out in front of the screen two QS8s and an EP500 round out the 5.1.
Setup was a breeze and so far the instructions are actually readable though the bulk of the operating instructions came on s CD which thanks to being at work are now a hard copy.
The first thing I popped in was the Blu-ray of “The Fifth Element.” blown away doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction. This is the sharpest most vivid and perfectly coloured image I’ve ever seen, and it takes up 90% of the wall. Then I switched it over to “cinema 1” and it got even better. I’m not prone to hyperbole but the PQ is just so insanely good words really can’t do it justice.
I put in the standard def version of “The Fifth Element” and just thought yuk at first. However, after a while and the mental impression of the Blu-ray wore off the standard def also looked extremely good just not outstanding. Other SD material looked equally good but I can see picking up a lot of Blu-rays at least if they ever release the ones I want on Blu-ray.
Hooked up my computer and found the first glitch. When the computer was powered up the splash screen was formatted correctly but when Windows loaded the image was compressed on the sides and not in 1920x1080. Using my KVM switch to move to another computer that had already been booted up while connected to my HDTV and the formatting was perfect. I haven’t done much searching but did notice someone at AVS reporting this issue but didn’t notice if anyone responded and since I have a workaround that doesn’t present any problems for me I‘m not to worried.
And the whole idea of not using the projector/screen as a computer monitor lasted about 3 seconds. I don’t care if I have to buy 3 bulbs a year there’s just no way I can go back to the Samsung even for web browsing. The image is so bright for the computer I switched it over to eco-mode and it’s almost still to bright.
As if this wasn’t enough shock and awe I fired up Elder Scrolls Oblivion on the Xbox. I didn’t even recognize it the PQ was so much better. The image was sharper, better coloured, better black level, better shadow detail and so much more immersive. The same thing with “Mass Effect.”
At some point during all this I finally realized I had my M80 center up and running. After watching numerous clips I’m use to using for testing my audio calibration I realize how good the front soundstage sounded. The audio now follows the onscreen action better than I’ve ever heard before. Now that there is no screen or wall within several feet of any of my M80s the imaging and tonal quality is beautiful. Absolutely no problems with the sound seeming like it’s to low and doming from under the screen.
So far I haven’t done an picture calibration. I’m almost scared to it looks so perfect, but there is a default button which it says reseats most things back to the factory defaults.
One other possible glitch I’ve found is that the “frame creation” feature doesn’t seem to do anything. Perhaps I was expecting to much but from what I’ve read if it’s turned up to high it makes the image look starkly real. However, I’m not seeing any change. I was just playing around when I noticed this so it could be something else needs to be set. So I’ll be checking this out and also seeing if anyone else had reported this.
I can’t wait to get my curtains. This image is so bright I can read by it in eco-mode. Also the tan carpet is out. Might not even be able to use brown because of all the light. So far all the reflected light from around the room is so bright that I don’t even notice “black bars” when using other then 1.78:1. So for now no need to make any masking but perhaps later once the curtains are up and the carpet is changed.
Meanwhile I’m just going to sit here and