Panasonic PT-AE3000U Projector Review

Menu

Panasonic has continued with the same, successful, very good menus that have worked well in their previous home theater projectors. There are minor changes, and of course settings and controls for new features. I like that Panasonic puts just about everything on their main picture menu and the advanced menu found inside that menu. On the downside, the menu size is very large, which blocks a good chunk of the entire screen, making it a little tough to see the effects of what you are adjusting. You can, however select different positioning for the menu. (I normally like putting menus in the lower left corner.)

At the time of this posting, I have all the menu images shot and resized, but, in an effort to get the review up quickly, the menu section will be finished and up in the next 48 hours.

Remote Control

Panasonic has given up on the learning remote that they provided with previous models, and gone back to a very nice, basic remote control. Range seems good, but not great. The backlight is nice and bright. The keys well spaced. I did find that I would often hit the aspect ratio button when going for the Menu (and not looking), but I suppose that an owner, will, with practice, not have that problem for long, if at all.

The image of the remote control and a description of layout and functions will be added shortly.

Lens Throw

The PT-AE3000 can be placed as close as 9.9 feet, or as far back as 19.8 feet from a 100 inch diagonal 16:9 screen (as measured from the front of the lens). This provides about as much placement range as is found in any home theater projector. If you plan on a different sized screen, you can use these numbers to figure out the appropriate distances. A 90″ screen would have distances 90% of those listed above for a 100″ screen, and so on.

Note, that if you are planning to go 2.35:1 screen and use the anamorphic lens “emulation” (or “pseudo anamorphic lens”) features, because it involves zooming the lens, to set that up properly you will no longer have the same placement flexibility. Rather, you won’t have all that same placement flexibility if you plan to watch more than just Cinemascope movies. You’ll definitely be limited to a narrower zoom ratio if you still also want to watch HDTV or regular TV. According to Panasonic, if you go with a 100″ 2.35:1 screen (for both cinemascope and HDTV), then the closest you can place the projector – measured from the front of the lens – is 10.4 feet, and the furthest from the projector screen would be 15.8 feet. That’s a lot less depth, so some who want to shelf mount in the rear, may not be able to place the projector far enough back for a rear shelf, if their room is fairly deep.

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