Panasonic PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector Review

Comparing Picture Modes of the PT-AE8000:

We have photographed the same frame, to show you several of the modes, including the calibrated REC 709 which is the “best”.

Of course, the “best” mode REC 709,is  a bit under-exposed, but sure produces fine looking rather natural skin tones.

We went a step further with this PT-AE8000′s calibration than usual, in that we calibrated the CMS as well.

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Comparing Picture Modes of the PT-AE8000

Cinema 2

A nice choice, in the middle in brightness, and a pretty good default picture balance

Normal

2nd brightest measured mode

Dynamic

The brightest measured mode

REC 709

The "best" mode. I saved it for last, so you can see the difference between "brightest" (above) and "best"

REC709 mode

Here (a brighter exposure than above so you can read the menu), are without the CMS calibration, and with, in REC709 mode. The difference in this case is very, very slight.

REC709 mode

Here (a brighter exposure than above so you can read the menu), are without the CMS calibration, and with, in REC709 mode. The difference in this case is very, very slight.

Panasonic PT-AE8000 3D Brightness

Bingo! Now we’re talking. The PT-AE8000 seems to be anywhere from about 50% brighter, to more than twice the brightness of the LCoS 3D projectors from Sony, Mitsubishi and JVC, and the DLP projectors; the Optoma HD8300, and Sharp XV-Z17000, when comparing the brightest modes, and with all of those, you do need the brightest mode, to be, in my opinion, anything but dim.

This plays out in reality as well. No question about it, I’m happier with the brightness of the PT-AE8000 than any of the others, using the same setup, the only one of the others that I might have considered at all close is the Mitsubishi.

All cost more than the Panasonic. How’s that for a 3D value proposition? In fact, the most direct competition for the PT-AE8000 in terms of both brightness and price, will be the new Epson Home Cinema 5010 we’ll be reviewing next. They are both 3LCD, both brighter than all those others.

In fact, the only competitors for 3D in the home that we’ve reviewed so far, that are as bright or brighter, have been the low cost gaming projectors from Optoma, and the Epson model below the 5010, the Home Cinema 3010.

Bottom line: I’m satisfied with the brightness of the PT-AE8000. Simply stated, all of those other similar and more expensive projectors reviewed so far will look dimmer when doing 3D. This Panasonic, on the other hand, does pretty good. You aren’t likely to claim too much brightness (unless a combination of small, and high gain, screen.)

The PT-AE8000 has the necessary brightness when in 3D to do a respectable job in most people’s home theaters. Impressive; that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that about a an ultra high contrast projector! It’s about time.

Thank you Panasonic, you got the basics covered, but don’t quit there, make next year’s brighter still.

Panasonic PT-AE8000 Bottom Line Brightness:

The HD8300 and all of the LCoS projectors but the JVC RS60 managed between 600 and 800 lumens in “best” mode, so they are brighter than the PT-AE8000 projector when they are all calibrated to be their best. But when you just want some good picture quality (or very good, but not calibrated), the Panasonic outshines all of them. And that makes it the big winner for 3D where even the Panasonic’s ample lumens are just enough, in most cases not to be a bit too dim to enjoy long term. Remember the 3D glasses settings. If you feel you need more lumens, go from the medium to light mode, for some more brightness, but also a bit more 3D artifacts such as crosstalk.

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