Panasonic PT-AE700u Projector Review

The balloon photo, taken from D-VHS shows exceptionally vibrant colors. LCD projectors have always been strong in this area, but the Panasonic does especially well on this type of image. (Note: The softness on some of the balloons is due to the particular frame I froze to photograph. The balloons were in motion, so some show that while others, like the yellow were apparently stationary on tha frame. The balloons made up only a small portion of the entire frame.

Noise and Vertical Banding: This seems to be the Panasonic projector’s biggest problem. I have seen noticeable vertical banding on one of the two units I worked with (the 2nd). There is also a significant amount of noise in the picture. The good news is that turning on the noise filter (an absolute must) solves the noise problem for all practical purposes. Any remaining noise is not likely to be detectable during normal viewing. Banding is a different matter. It seems to hard to pin down. Other reviewers have had the same problem, and I’ll guess to say that it tends to be worse on DVI input than component, but haven’t verified. The banding will occasionally be

noticeable, and in some rare cases annoying, but based on other feedback, it isn’t consistant from unit to unit, or rather, the way different people are using their projectors. As a result, note that banding can occassionally be visible, but not a great problem. If a little banding bothers you, you probably want a more expensive DLP projector (they don’t suffer that problem).

Below is a sequence of the same frame shot with five of the different color mode settings (Cinema 1….etc.) I had already calibrated the projector in the Cinema 2 mode – the first image (generally my favorite), so this sequence gives you a good idea of the variance from one color mode to the next!

700u ArwenCinema2
700u ArwenCinema1
700u ArwenCinema3
700u ArwenCinema3

Click to enlarge. SO close

In summary Image quality of this Panasonic Home Theater projector, is excellent. It actually has more “punch” than my BenQ 8700+ on dynamic scenes like the fire truck, balloons and Times Square, but can’t match the DLP’s projector in film like, believeable flesh tones, etc., Still, for the $2000+ that the AE700u commands on the market (half of that of the BenQ PE8700+, it performs exceedingly well.

In overall brightness, by the time you have the Iris / Digital Reality running, the image is much darker than in brightest mode, but it should serve very well on screens to 110″ and with the right screen surface, and room, I would say it can go another size larger. I did view the projector, filling my 140″ screen and found it acceptable in all but the darkest – highest contrast environments. In fact its tendency to enhance dark scenes gives it an edge over most other projectors.

Click Image to Enlarge

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