Panasonic PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector Review

3D Brightness of the Panasonic PT-AE8000

The 400 lumen claimed increase, ( it measured almost all of that) in brightness makes a notable difference when it comes to 3D, compared to its predecessor.

If you try REC 709, for 3D, it’s not likely bright enough unless you have a smaller screen.  You might be sacrificing some color accuracy, but the Panasonic has the lumens for some decent sized 3D viewing.

Really, there are only a few projectors about as bright, in the price range.  The Epson should be right there, the Sony, not quite as bright, but close.  I don’t think the BenQ W7000 or the Sharp Z30000 have a chance against this light canon.

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode)
Zoom out 2178
Mid-zoom 1898
Zoom in 1312

There is a measured roughly 14% increase in brightness if you place the PT-AE8000U at its closest position to the screen, in terms of zoom (wide-angle), compared to having the zoom at mid-point, with the projector 50% further back.

At full telephoto the PT-AE8000 is about 40% less bright compared to wide angle!  That means you are reducing this projector from very bright to about average brightness if you rear shelf mount at the full telephoto range.

PT-AE8000 Eco-Mode vs. Full Power

Color Temp over IRE Range (Pre calibration – best mode):Rec. 709
30 IRE 7060
50 IRE 6730
80 IRE 7032
100 IRE 6695

Changing lamp mode from full power to eco mode should result in the same amount of brightness drop, regardless of color mode. In this case Mike used both Cinema 1 and also Dynamic to confirm his measurments. The 643 lumens measured in Cinema 1 dropped to 402 lumens in Eco-mode. That’s an unusually large, about 40% drop in brightness (essentially the same percentage drop that the PT-AE7000 showed last year.  Dynamic dropped slightly more, but that within our measuring margin of error.  It dropped from 1898 to 1034 A drop of 40% is more than most projector’s eco modes deliver.  I’d say more typical of low power modes are drops of 20% to 30%.

Those numbers are very good for right out of the box.

PT-AE8000, Post Calibration, Best Mode (REC 709)

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration)
20 IRE = 6465
30 IRE = 6665
40 IRE = 6614
50 IRE = 6335
60 IRE = 6395
70 IRE = 6542
80 IRE = 6638
90 IRE = 6705
100 IRE = 6532
 Average gamma = 2.23

In addition to the RGB settings, Mike adjusted the the Gamma settings and the basic controls (Brightness, Sharpness, Contrast…) Those are all reported on the Calibration page. If you aren’t having your PT-AE8000 calibrated, you might try ours.

Mike has written up a good deal about his findings when calibrating the projector. You will find that on the Calibration page as well.

For now, however, a useful excerpt:

Mike’s comments:  Overall, the projector looks really good.  Grayscale is not bad right out of the box, though there’s too much blue and too little red in Rec. 709 mode.  It calibrates fairly well (see graph), but the color temp and RGB balance are not as flat as I’d like to see (note the peaks of red at 40 and 50 IRE in the RGB Color Balance chart and the bumps in the Correlated Color Temperature chart.  None of this is really visible in actual use however.

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