Panasonic PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector Review

We consider the Panasonic PT-AE8000 compared to other 1080p home theater projectors on the market, including the Sony VPL-HW50ES, Epson Home Cinema 5020, and Sharp XV-Z30000.

Panasonic PT-AE8000 vs. HD8300

Panasonic on the left, HD8300 on the right. Overall, the two images are of similar brightness in that both have their brightest areas measuring about the same. But when you measure the blacks, (using the letterbox area, since it’s easy), the Optoma is definitely, slightly darker. I’d put the Optoma about half way between the blacks of the Panasonic, and the Epson above – with neither difference being really great.

It also has more “best” mode calibrated lumens, although not as bright overall.

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But things aren’t all that rosy when it comes to 3D. The roughly 50% brightness advantage for the Panasonic makes a huge difference. The HD8300 was one of those that I find to be somewhat dim. That’s correctable with high gain or small screens, but, it’s a significant downside to those really interested in 3D and reasonable brightness. Fine for those who don’t find it as dim as some of my friends do. Let me put it this way, on my 100″ size for 16:9, I think the Panasonic gets the job done. (I don’t want a screen high gain enough to matter and significantly narrow the viewing cone or corner brightness). The Optoma though, is a bit rough with some of its dynamic controls, not the best CFI, or iris action.

To summarize, the HD8300 will appeal more to the purist, for the rich colors, and image depth, slightly better blacks, wanting the best possible picture quality in 2D. The HD8300 can deliver on that, and a longer warranty as well. The price difference of $1000 or so will be a big determining factor, but one of these two likely will have a lot more appeal to you than the other, even forgetting price, and that should make choosing somewhat easy.

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Projector People 
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