I’m fresh back from CEDIA, and wanted to fill you folks in on the PT-AE8000 projector, which Panasonic was nice enough to bring by our place more than 2 weeks ago. Sadly, they didn’t let me hang on to the PT-AE8000, or you’d be reading a full review by now, instead of a blog talking more features, than performance.
Although in the brief time Panasonic had it in my theater, there was no time to do a side by side comparison with the Epson, JVC, and
Sharp projectors I had at the moment, as they wanted to go back and forth between the PT-AE8000 with a PT-AE7000 they also brought. Alas, they had to show the PT-AE8000 projector to someone else, later that day, limiting my time.
So, what have we here? Click for link to specs/brochure
Like many projectors this fall, the new Panny projector is essentially evolutionary. That translates to improved performance, but a projector that basically “looks and cooks” like the older PT-AE8000.
Here are some of the key aspects that separate the PT-AE8000 from the older projector:
Start with a claimed 20% boost in brightness from 2000 to 2400 lumens. Lamp wattage only increased 10% so I expect the latest lamp (pulse?) technology is being used to find the extra 10%. (One of the new Epson’s gets a boost, in brightness without a lamp boost or new panels – so, similar in that regard.)
Contrast spec is way up, and the black levels did look really good. 3D in particular was most impressive. Panasonic, like everyone else is refining its 3D performance. Panasonic is actually correcting for the inherent offset of the glasses…it’s a long story, but they are correcting for the slight distortion of angle. The example showed a person riding a stationary bike. With the Panasonic’s correction the pedal arm seems to move in a perfect circle. Comparing it directly to the 3D on the older PT-AE7000, on that one, the depth changes, so the pedal seems to arc closer at points. Hard to describe, but I’ll figure that out by the time I review it. Point is, the difference was very real, and much better with the PT-AE8000. Let me finish by saying that the PT-AE8000 seems to correct for something that never “felt” quite right.
I did watch in 3D, the entire opening section of Hugo, pausing on the closeup of Ben Kingsley’s face. It really did look great. Excellent 3D.
Looks like Panasonic is giving us a new model that is solidly better than last year’s. No improvements huge enough to rock our world, but a visibly better projector for sure.