Panasonic PT-AE3000 Projector Calibration
We calibrate each home theater that is reviewed. It is a pretty standard calibration, there's always more that can be done by some of the "hi-end" calibrators.
As shown in the brightness measurements, out of the box, the Cinema 1 mode (best movie mode), is a very good 6519K at white. We also measured the various gray level color temperatures. Here are the measurements:
30 IRE (dark gray): 6233K
50 IRE (medium gray): 6340K
80 IRE (light gray): 6447K
100 IRE(white): 6519K
Now that's very good for right out of the box, but drifting toward red as the grays get darker.
In addition to calibrating Red Green and Blue for a correct grayscale balance (6500K), there are a number of other settings that come into play. Typically Contrast and Brightness (white balance and black balance), need to be done first. Color saturation and gamma also need to be adjusted. With some projectors even Tint comes into play, although with most, the Tint control only works with the lower quality inputs (composite and S-video).
Our settings (numbers in parens are the default numbers):
Preset Mode: Cinema 1
Contrast: 1 (0)
Brightness: 3 (0)
Gamma - the Panasonic has separate gamma settings for:
High: 0 (0), Medium: -2 (0), Low-1 (0). We did not adjust High gamma because of negative affects it had on other settings and measurements
Lamp Mode: Standard (unless noted otherwise)
Color Saturation: -6 (0)
Tint: 0 (0)
Zoom at mid-range, All other settings at default
Post Calibration Grayscale
The PT-AE3000U produced truly excellent results, with only a 60 degree temperature shift from white to dark gray:
White (100 IRE): 6503K
Light gray (80 IRE): 6450K
Medium gray (50 IRE): 6491K
Dark gray (30 IRE): 6443K
That covers it all. This is one of a few projectors which is good enough out of the box, that I won't scream "calibrate it, or pay someone to calibrate it". There is always variation from one projector to another, due to the lamp variation (and colors will actually shift slightly as the lamp ages), but because we didn't have to do much adjusting, most of you will find plugging in our numbers will improve the picture of an already good projector.
These are the adjustments we made to Red, Green and Blue for the grayscale balance:
As I predicted, we didn't have to change the color balance any significant degree, thanks to the excellent color accuracy right out of the box.
We also did our "quick calibration" to Normal and Dynamic modes. In these cases, we are not trying for a perfect grayscale balance, but to tweak these settings for a slightly more watchable image. (That might include reducing a strong green if it's way over the top). Over the top greens give you an image with more lumens, yet still leaves the red/blue balance where you want it. It's a good way to pump out more lumens and cut through more ambient light. As they say, though, too much of anything probably isn't good, and manufacturers often seem to go a little to far, detracting from watchability.
For Normal Mode: Blue contrast reduced 0 to -14.
For Dynamic Mode: Blue contrast reduced to -12, and green reduced from 0 to -10.
OK, those are our settings, do with them what you will.