Panasonic PT-AE2000U Home Theater Projector Review

The PT-AE2000U is finished in a dark gray, and is basically a moderately large rectangular box. From a styling standpoint, it certainly won’t win any awards. Fortunately the vast majority of us hardly care at all, what the projector itself looks like, only how good the projected image is. Facing the front of the PT-AE2000U, the large lens is center mounted. Also on the front to the right of the lens, is a barely visible infra-red sensor for the Panasonic projector’s remote control.

That lens is motorized, for both focus and zoom, always a nice touch. (It’s great to be able to stand a foot from the screen when focusing, so that you can be sure you have it as sharp as possible). It offers a 2:1 zoom ratio, which for a 100″ diagonal, 16:9 screen, allows the front of the projector to be as close as 9 foot 10 inches or as far back as 19 feet, 8 inches.

Moving to the top of the PTAE2000U, you won’t find the traditional control panel, but there are two rotary dial controls, one each, for horizontal and vertical lens shift. More on the lens shift in the General Performance section. Also, along the front edge of the top, are three indicator lights – the usual power/standby, temperature, and lamp indicators.

There is a control panel, and like with the older PT-AE1000U, it is on the left side (if looking from the back), hidden behind a spring release door. Other than being hidden from normal view, it is typical of control panels on most projectors: Power and Menu buttons, the traditional four arrow keys in a diamond layout, with a center Enter button. Then, further to the right, Input Select, and below it the Return key. On the far right, are the controls for the motorized zoom and focus.

That takes us to the back of the PT-AE2000U. Here things are a little different than the PT-AE1000U, as the new Panasonic has added a 3rd HDMI input, which for those lacking an AV receiver with switching (or an HTPC), can be a real plus – one for satellite/cable, one for a hi-def DVD player, (or maybe two, if the Blu-ray, HD-DVD war doesn’t end), and perhaps a computer with an HDMI output.

After the three HDMI’s, there’s still the usual complement of other inputs, including two component video inputs, one standard (analog) computer input, and the usual composite video and S-video inputs. Lastly, an RS-232 for command and control, by a room controller, computer, etc.

 

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