Panasonic PT-AE3000U Projector Review
When it comes to touring the physical layout of the PT-AE3000, it’s pretty much a redo of the PT-AE2000U projector. There are very few differences between them. Overall, the projector is a larger, flat finished, dark gray, rectangular box. It won’t win any design awards, but then, in a dark room, you won’t be looking at the projector itself. True, it’s cool to have a sexy looking projector – like the new Mitsubishi HC6500 and HC7000, but what really counts for most of us, is what ends up on the screen! One cosmetic change is to a silver trim ring around the lens. The older Panasonic’s had gray trim. Here’s what we found:
From the front, the PT-AE3000 has a centered 2:1 motorized zoom lens, which is almost completely recessed (except for the lens ring). Also in the front is an infra-red sensor for the remote control. Below are two screw thread adjustable front feet.
Moving to the top of the Panasonic PT-AE3000U, all you will find are two recessed, manual lens throw adjustment “wheels”, one for vertical and one horizontal. Details on lens shift range will be found in the Lens shift section below.
Looking from the rear of the PT-AE3000, there is a spring released door on the left side, which reveals, when open, the control panel of the PT-AE3000U. The control panel is a very standard affair.
The projector vents hot air out the vents in the front, and takes in air from the vents in the rear.
That takes us to the back of the Panasonic projector, where you will find all the computer’s inputs and outputs.
Open the door on the side of the PT-AE3000U to access the Control Panel and here’s what you will find:
There is a large power button (once for on, twice for off). Below it, is the Menu button. To the right is the usual menu navigation, in a round layout (up, down left right arrows), with a center Enter button. To the right of the navigation area, is an Input Select button, and below it, the Return button (moves the menu back up one level toward the main menu). Finally, there are two buttons to the right for focus adjust, and two below it for zoom in, zoom out. Separate from the control panel, in the lower back corner, is a “hard” power switch, which must be on, for the projector to be powered up by the remote control (or the control panel itself).
Essentially all the basic power, source and menu navigation controls are found on the control panel, as well as the controls for the power zoom and focus.
Kudos, once again, for the PT-AE3000 having three HDMI inputs instead of the usual two. Most people won’t care, but some with more HDMI sources than their AV receiver or HTPC can support, need extra HDMI inputs, and the Panasonic’s three, should do the job, whereas most offer only two HDMI inputs.
In addition to the HDMI 1.3 inputs there is a computer input to the immediate right. That is followed by a pair of color coded (separate R, G, B, RCA jacks) Component Video inputs. Then, of course, the usual S-Video and Composite video inputs (one each). Finally, there is an RS-232 port for controlling the projector from a computer or room control system. There is also a Kensington Lock slot, the rear infra-red sensor for the PT-AE3000U remote control, and the power cord receptacle.
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