Let's start at the front. The Panasonic projector's new lens has a 2:1 zoom, which means the closest you can place the projector to fill a given screen is half the distance from the screen as the furthest you can place it. One advantage of the lens is that, if you choose, you can probably set the projector on the back wall opposite from the screen.
Most other projectors don't have that much range, and therefore are not likely to work as far back as the back wall. Facing the projector, to the right of the lens is a large knurled knob. Loosening it allows you to move it like a joystick. As you move it, it controls the lens shift (the tilt of the lens) which, in turn, moves the image on the screen. Also on the front is an infra-red sensor for the remote. On the bottom front of this projector are two screwthread adjustable feet.
On the top of the projector by the front is the control panel. A large power switch, sits next to the Input button. There are three LED lights one for status (standby or on), Lamp indicator, and Temperature (for overheating). Next to the input are the Menu button, four arrow keys and an Enter button, for controlling all the menu items.
The back panel has the usual inputs you find on most home theater projectors:
- Component video (3 RCA jacks)
- Composite video
- Computer input (the standard HD15 connector)
- 12volt trigger for controlling a motorized screen
In addition the AE700U projector has an HDMI port for digital input. Digital is available on most HD cable boxes and satellite receivers and in many cases provides superior performance to even the component video signal. While the number of lower cost DVD players (under $300) with digital output (either HDMI or DVI - these two are compatible with each other), is very small, more are hitting the market and within the year, it is likely that most over $100 DVD players will have digital video out (DVI or HDMI). Lastly there is the master power switch, and the AC power.