Posted on December 29, 2007
In the original review of the Panasonic PT-AE2000U projector, I got to work with a pre-production version. As is expected, pre-production units often exhibit some issues not found in the full production versions. Why?
Typically those pre-production projectors are built a couple of months before full production begins. With most home theater projectors having a model life of about 12 months, a lot of fix’in can be done in that time between samples and final production projectors.
In the full review, these were the issues I discussed:
Unevenness of the color balance, across the screen. This is something that virtually all 3 panel projectors suffer from, including LCD, LCoS, and even 3 chip DLP projectors. That said, the shift should be rather slight, measuring various points on the image (a couple hundred K in color temperature is pretty normal, and not normally visible when watching content. The pre-production Panasonic’s were significantly greater than that, enough that getting good measurements was difficult.
Pre-production projectors typically aren’t quite as bright as full production versions. I had predicted an extra 30 to 75 lumens.
Out of the box color (grayscale balance) on the pre-production PT-AE2000U was not as dead on, as the full production PT-AE1000U. I predicted that the full production version would be better, even though the first projector wasn’t bad. The problem with the pre-production model lies in the color shift problem While my measurements taken around the middle of the screen looked pretty good, they were different in the top center, the left, the right, etc.
OK, Here’s the scoop on the full production model.
First, the evenness of the color (as seen in this image of a gray screen is now very good, and typical of a well made 3LCD projector). This is no longer a problem.
Next: Brightness – Instead of the 30 – 75 extra lumens, the production version measured out at 402 lumens in Cinema 1 mode, up only 14 lumens(talk about insignificant). Let’s say that 14 lumens is about the margin of error, and certainly if you had two otherwise identical projectors side by side, you’ld be hard pressed to spot the brighter one (afterall, it measured only 3% brighter).
Thanks to the background color consistancy of the production projector, I am now confident of the color accuracy. Out of the box color is very good, and after adjustment, I ended up with these settings for Cinema 1:
Red Contrast -1, Green Contrast -1, Green Brightness -1. Blue contrast, and Red and Blue Brightness remain at 0. (Green Brightness of -2 also works.)
That is both excellent overall, and very consistant from bright to dark!
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