Panasonic PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector Review

Update 12/9/12:  Note: Until 12/31/2012, Panasonic is promoting a free 3rd year warranty, and with it, a maximum of 3000 total hours, instead of 2000.

The Panasonic PT-AE8000, comes standard in the US, with a two year warranty on parts and labor. They do not offer any form of loaner or replacement program (few do, but one direct competitor does).

Two years is no longer average for projectors in the $2000 to $3500 street price range. There are now more brand name projectors with 3 year warranties.  In this price range range there are a few 1 year warranties, some two years but of late, mostly 3 year warranties. Several brands offer replacement programs, which I find very valuable should you have a warranty issue.

Overall, warranty has typically been one of the few weak spots of the Panasonic projectors.

Although Panasonic’s warranty is 2 years, there is a catch.  The PT-AE8000 warranty in the US has a 2000 hour maximum, so it’s 2 years OR 2000 hours.  Well, a lot of folks put on more than 1000 hours a year, which works out to 20 hours a week.  If you are someone who uses your projector a great deal (more than 20 hours a week) you won’t get two years.  If you use your projector as your primary TV, as so many do, and have it on roughly the usual 40+ hours a week your warranty might not quite make it to even one year.

So, Panasonic owners, if you are leaving the room for a couple of hours – turn it off - save your warranty, save some electricity too!

To put the Panasonic warranty in perspective, here are the warranties of some of the other most popular projectors out there that sell in that $2000 to $3500 range (alphabetical order):

  • BenQ W7000 – 1 year – no replacement (now less than $2000)
  • Epson Home Cinema 5020 – 2 years, 2 years replacement
  • Epson Pro Cinema 6020 – 3 years, 3 years replacement
  • Mitsubishi HC7900DW – 3 years, 3 years replacement
  • Optoma HD8200/HD8300 3 years, 3 years replacement
  • Sharp XV-Z30000 – 3 years – no replacement
  • Sony VPL-HW50ES – 3 years – no replacement
  • Viewsonic Pro 9000 – 3 years – 1 year replacement

Note, all projectors seem to have some sort of weakness that I can bitch about. In the case of the Panasonic, this is one of the few negatives.  If you are fortunate, your projector will work perfectly for three or more years, in which case none of this matters.  Still, the PT-AE8000′s warranty is sufficiently less favorable than several direct competitors.  It’s up to you to decide how much weight to give the warranty program in your purchase decision.  I would really only be concerned if you are a 40 hour a week, or close to it, for then your warranty is barely, or less than a year.  I am not a fan of warranties that last less than 2 years.

Note: Until 12/31/2012, Panasonic is promoting a free 3rd year warranty, and with it, a maximum of 3000 total hours, instead of 2000.

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