Panasonic PT-AE7000 Home Theater Projector Review

Panasonic PT-AE7000 Projector - Appearance

Time to take a tour of the PT-AE7000 projector’s physical features, including lens, control panel, and inputs. In addition, Projector Reviews discusses the remote control and the menu system.

11/8/11 -art

The PT-AE7000 is a medium sized home theater projector. It’s got clean lines and a dark gray flat finish. The lens is located to the right (if facing the PT-AE7000). It weighs a little less than 20 pounds, and can be operated when ceiling mounted, on table top, or on a rear shelf, in most rooms.

The PT-AE7000 has excellent placement flexibility, and it could be argued, the most, thanks to the Lens Memory feature.

The 2:1 zoom lens provides lots of front to back placement, and the lens shift has plenty of range as well. More on that below.

Also on the front is a covered joystick for that lens shift, as seen in this image. The control is a bit course and tricky to get exactly where you want it, on this demo unit, but eventually I got it just right. (In other words, a minor nuisance, nothing more.) Other PT-AE7000, may, perhaps may have joysticks not as stiff?

Heat vents out the front, making the PT-AE7000 suitable for rear shelf mounting.

There’s an infra-red sensor on the front, as well (note, there is no rear IR sensor, unusual), and below are two screw thread adjustable front feet. (There’s a single center rear foot as well – non-adjustable.)

Moving to the right side, you’ll find the Panasonic’s control panel at the front. The top of the PT-AE7000 is empty but for three indicator lights: Power, Temp and Lamp, and the Panasonic name.

The inputs and other connectors are on the back.

Let’s start getting into some details, starting with the control panel.

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PT-AE7000 Control Panel

The Panasonic control panel, at the front right side, is compact, and is laid out very nicely. Buttons are easy to “find” and feel good.

At the top left of the panel is the power switch (once for on, twice for off), and to its right, is the Input Select button which brings up your input choices.

The navigation controls are right below, the four arrows in a round formation with the Enter button in the center.

Slightly below to the outsides are the Menu and Return button (called back or escape on some other projectors).

Finally, at the bottom of the panel are two buttons each to control the motorized focus and zoom.

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PT-AE7000 Projector - Input/Output

Located on the back, is a healthy selection of inputs and connectors.

Starting from the left, are three HDMI 1.4a inputs (consider HDMI 1.4a necessary for Blu-ray 3D). I’ve always asked manufacturers for a third connector, for those who don’t want to rely on AV receivers or external switch boxes to handle the load. Today, having 3 HDMI sources is common among users (ex: cable/satellite, Blu-ray/DVD, game machine). Kudos to Panasonic for that 3rd one. Three is pretty rare, except on more expensive projectors with expensive external processor boxes.

Moving to the right, next comes a pair of HD15 connectors. The top one is your standard analog computer input, and below it, a Serial port for command and control.

Next over is component video (with three color coded RCA connectors).

S-video (DIN connector) and composite video (yellow RCA jack) come next.

Then come two small jacks for screen trigger, and for 3D shutter out, (for an external, and optional IR transmitter should you need more coverage for the 3D glasses, such as in a large room).

That’s all for the back, folks, except of course, for the power receptacle, Kensington lock slot, and master power switch.

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PT-AE7000 Menus

At the top, is the all important Picture Mode, almost all the controls affecting picture quality are found:

Below are the all important color controls for adjusting the grayscale balance, as well as control for CFI (Frame Creation), dynamic sharpening (Detail Clarity), and the full CMS (color management system).

Here’s a sub-menu from Picture, showing the extensive, and sophisticated gamma control options:

Lens Memory controls let you save settings for one button operation to go from an anamorphic widescreen (ie. 2.35:1), to displaying conventional HDTV (16:9). A great feature for the hard core movie fans that want to elimate letter boxing when movie watching (but get letterboxing with HDTV), by using Lens Memory and a “Cinemascope” shaped screen:

Below, the main 3D menu, with the appropriate options, which include converting 2D to 3D, selecting the type of 3D format (or auto), and more.

Positioning the On Screen Display menu:

Onscreen Display, Lamp Power, and many other features are controlled by this Options menu:

You can control other Panasonic HDMI devices, using Viera-Link, from this Panasonic’s remote control;

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