Panasonic PT-AE3000U Projector Review

Panasonic PT-AE3000 vs. Sanyo PLV-Z3000

Once again it’s guess time, as I haven’t received my PLV-Z3000 review projector yet. The Sanyo PLV-Z3000, I expect, will be close in price, but possibly more. (That would be surprising since Sanyo normally slugs it out with Panasonic, and never likes to be more expensive, but Sanyo has the lower priced PLV-Z700, so with two projectors in the lineup, the Z3000 may well end up being more expensive than the Panasonic). That’s another “we shall see”. Remember, it often takes a couple of months for prices to settle, in terms of semi-permanent rebates.

Ok, let’s forget price. The Sanyo will have the sharpness advantage, I’m basing that on the fact that even the less expensive PLV-Z700 is sharper. When it comes to brightness, the Sanyo’s are never particularly bright. It should be close, but I’d predict that if there is a winner, it will be the Panasonic by a very small amount.

Both Panasonic and Sanyo have the 96/120fps abilities, and both have creative frame interpolation. Since the Sanyo has a manual zoom (I believe), it can’t match the anamorphic lens emulation, at least it would require getting up to adjust the lens.

Panasonic PT-AE3000 vs. BenQ W5000

Here we have two wildly different projectors. Let’s keep it simple. The BenQ is bright, and can handle larger screens. It’s razor sharp, too, as I like to describe it, particularly when watching HDTV or Blu-ray, with digital source material. All those lumens give it a rich, dynamic image, whereas the Panasonic is a touch softer, and perhaps a touch more natural.

The Panasonic has the placement flexibilty that the BenQ lacks, although the BenQ does have lens shift too. Faster frame rates, frame interpolation, the anamorphic feature are all advantages for the Panasonic. The two are similarly priced, with the BenQ a bit less expensive at this time.

Panasonic PT-AE3000 vs. Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB

More guessing time. This Epson builds on the Home Cinema 1080 UB, and based on specs, should have even better black levels than the older model, which, in a side by side, still slightly bested the Panasonic. The Epson should have a small advantage in brightness in its best mode, but a significant one in brightest mode.

The Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB also has the creative frame interpolation for 96/120fps support. The Epson does not support an anamorphic lens, as it saves that feature for its more expensive, but almost identical Pro Cinema 7500 UB sibling. The Epson has the warranty advantage with a 2 year overnight replacement program warranty.

I’m really looking forward to shooting out these two projectors. I don’t believe the final price for the Epson is in, but I would suspect right around $3000, or a little less, so I’m predicting that the Home Cinema 6500 UB will be a bit more expensive

Panasonic PT-AE3000 vs. Epson Home Cinema 6100

These aren’t direct competitors in terms of performance, as the Home Cinema 6100 is Epson’s entry level 1080p projector, and will start out at only $1999. It should be a step down from the Panasonic in terms of black levels, but there may be a surprise here. As I noted in the review, despite the higher contrast spec of 60,000:1 vs. 30,000:1 favoring the Panasonic, the Epson still beat it out just lightly in black levels. The Home Cinema 6100, by comparison, only claims 18,000:1, but I expect it will easily beat out the older Panasonic, and may be close to the PT-AE3000U. We shall see.

The Epson is also supposed to be 200 lumens brighter than the old Home Cinema 1080 UB, so it will likely be even brighter still compared to the Panasonic, though still not dramatically so in best mode. This Epson doesn’t do 96/120fps or support an anamorphic lens.

Generally, I see some overlap, but the Epson will have appeal as a very good low cost model, with very good performance, and the Panasonic to be more expensive, even better performance, and some of those special features

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