“Panasonic 3D Goodness” Panasonic PT-AE7000 Review
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Tags: 3D 480hz big screen hdtv home theater lcd Panasonic projection PT-AE7000 reviews theater
Panasonic PT-AE7000 ($2999.99) 1080P.3D.LCD Projector
Front Projection systems are still a mystery to most consumers although Home Theater Enthusiasts tend to love this category. Projectors range from a measly few $100 to $200,000 and beyond and most none the wiser to why. Since most of us didn’t get to take the Porsche out for a spin this morning we are going to highlight one of the better value for the dollar competitors. Panasonic released their PT-AE7000 a while back and we thought it was worth a more in detail look.
Nowadays what your video unit looks like, because it is usually a Flat Panel TV, hardly matters. All the manufactures are making the bezels as small as possible making brands almost indiscernible and leaving drool on the floor. This makes un-boxing and admiring the PT-AE7000 just a little bit more fulfilling. Sporting a black outer shell with some simple smooth lines and a slightly textured body the AE7000 has a great look. We are always a fan of showing off the hardware, speaker grilles are optional in our book, and this Projector looks good while fulfilling your big screen desires. The back panel connections are all easy to access and spaced out properly, not too cluttered but still offering a selection of connections we will talk about later. The side of the projector dons a hard button control panel that falls away into the body at a quick glance but is easy to use and identify when you need to. Minus the top and bottom the Panasonic PT-AE7000 is vented on all sides and you will find lens adjustment access via a sliding cover next to the lens. There is something to say about a simple design with curves in the right places and the right color scheme (BLACK), well appreciated.
Panasonic has a great history with us and their Projector Line, back in my retail days I can remember sending a long line of the PT-AE700U pieces out the door. Yet another category Panasonic made affordable ahead of the competition (the other being Plasma). This piece seems to have a similar focus, offering a slew of features for a pretty fair price including of course, for the first time, 3D Compatibility. We were excited to see Panasonic’s first foray into the 3D Projector market, and we weren’t disappointed from the get go. The Manufacturer’s video settings off the bat didn’t bother us too much. The picture was natural with good blacks, but of course you can’t ask the world of a Projector in this price range. We had Panasonic’s new heavy hitter about 14 feet back from our Da-Lite 100″ Screen and the picture was watchable in a fully lit room. Once the lights turned off the true magic of film kicked in. We found the contrast to be to our liking after a little of tweaking we were satisfied with the color reproduction while watching “Sum of All Fears”. This film has some great dark scenes after a Nuclear Explosion that really test the projectors ability for detail when trying to deliver deep blacks. Through a few minor adjustments we dialed in the PT-AE7000u to give us a crisp, natural, and detailed picture beyond the $3000 price tag. The Menu system does the job of giving you the idea that there is a lot you can play with here, and trust us there is for most people. If you are looking to mess with every setting imaginable there should be enough here for you just keep on clicking and we are sure you’ll get bored eventually.
Now for what you have all been waiting for, massive 3D movies in the comfort of your own home. Getting started with 3D is as simple as having a 3D Blu-Ray movie, slamming it in the DVD player as hard as possible and turning on your Panasonic 3D Glasses. It can’t get any easier than that, be aware all Keystone settings will be ignored in this mode so make sure you zero this bad boy in properly. Panasonic boasts a 480hz-driven LCD system that is said to help with the image brightness while using 3D Glasses that traditionally cut down on half the Refresh Rate to each eye (IE 240hz 3D is only 120hz to each eye). We thought the 3D image looked pretty good and their efforts to eliminate some crosstalk (what? right eye image floating into left eye image) have resulted in an improvement over some similar units. Panasonic throws in a Dynamic Iris for their lens, allowing it to adjust to the lighting in a scene and some screen smoothing to battle the effects of LCDs “Screen Door” effect. Both of these have appeared in the Panasonic lineup before but they are introducing a new Red-Rich Lamp said to increase ” the luminous efficiency of the projector to achieve brighter images with excellent color purity”. Not much to say there, the projector looks good so we will check that off as “working”. Throw in 3 HDMI connections and a few Analog Video connections and this is a fully loaded light box!
After years of working in one of the few retail companies that loves projectors, we have installed and replaced more projectors than we would like. This results in a general belief of buying the right piece the first time, setting it up and forgetting it (not literally, watch a movie). We are firm believers in quality driven, fairly priced projection systems, and Panasonic seems to have the same in mind. With a smooth cabinet, flexibility, and good video performance the Panasonic PT-AE7000u is a solid unit priced fairly and will make it’s way into a few more of our estimates this year.
|Panel Size:||0.74 inch diagonal (16:9 aspect ratio)|
|Display Method:||Transparent LCD panel (× 3, R/G/B)|
|Pixels:||2,073,600 (1,920 × 1,080) × 3, total of 6,220,800 pixels|
|Lamp:||200 W UHM lamp|
|Contrast Ratio2:||300,000:1 (full on/full off)|
|Resolution:||1,920 × 1,080 pixels|
|Lens:||Powered zoom (× 3)/focus lenses (1.35:1–2.70:1), F 1.9–3.2, f 22.4–44.8 mm|
|Screen Size (2D):||1.02–7.62 m (40–300 inches)|
|Screen Size (3D):||1.02–5.08 m (40–200 inches)|
|Optical Axis Shift3:||Vertical: ±100%, horizontal: ±26%|
|Scanning frequency – RGB:||fH: 15 kHz–74 kHz, fV: 24 Hz–85 Hz, dot clock: 154 MHz or lower|
|Scanning frequency – YPBPR (YCBCR):||480i (525i), 576i (625i), 480p (525p), 576p (625p), 720
(750)/60p, 720 (750)/50p, 1080 (1125)/60i, 1080 (1125)/50i,
1080 (1125)/24p, 1080 (1125)/60p, 1080 (1125)/50p
|Video / S-Video:||fH: 15.75 kHz, fV: 60 Hz [NTSC/NTSC4.43/PAL-M/PAL60]
fH: 15.63 kHz, fV: 50 Hz [PAL/PAL-N/SECAM]
|HDMI:||HDMI connector × 3, HDMI™ (Deep Color, x.v.Color™4, CEC5 ), HDCP compliant, supports HDAVI Control Version 5|
|COMPUTER (RGB) IN:||D-sub HD 15-pin (female) × 1 (RGB/YPBPR × 1)|
|COMPONENT In:||RCA pin × 3 (YPBPR/YCBCR)|
|TRIGGER IN/OUT:||M3 × 2, 12 V, max. 100 mA (input/output/3D transmitter output selectable using on-screen menu)|
|VIDEO In:||RCA pin × 1|
|S-VIDEO In:||Mini DIN 4-pin × 1|
|SERIAL IN:||D-sub 9-pin × 1 for external control (RS-232C compliant)|
|Keystone correction range:||Vertical: approx. ±30°|
|Power Supply:||100–240 V AC, 50/60 Hz|
|Power Consumption:||285 W (0.08 W in standby mode)|
|Dimensions (WxHxD):||18-17/32″ × 5-13/32″ × 13-19/32″|
|Weight 1:||Approximately 19.2 lbs|
|Operating Temperature6:||0°–40°C (32°–104°F)|
|Operating humidity:||20%-80% (no condensation)|
|Supplied accessories:||Power cord (× 1), Wireless remote control unit (× 1), Batteries for remote control (AA type × 2) ,Lens cover (× 1)|
|Footnotes:||1 In dynamic mode, with dynamic iris on.
2 In cinema 1 mode, with dynamic iris on.
3 Shift range is limited during simultaneous horizontal and vertical shifting.
4 Effective in Rec. 709 picture mode.
5 CEC is an abbreviation for Consumer Electronics Control. Operation may not be possible with some connected equipment or settings.
6 When [HIGH ALTITUDE MODE] is set to [ON]: 0°C – 35°C (32°F–95°F)