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Panasonic PT-AE2000U: 1080p Home Theater Projector Review - Image Quality

Posted on October 17, 2013 by Art Feierman
Check out how the Panasonic PT-AE2000U fared in our comparison report. Most impressive, even considering the issues with the pre-production PT-AE2000U, in terms of color unevenness across the screen. Note, that while there is definitely a problem with this unit, it's not as bad as the pre-production PT-AE1000U last year. Still, the deviation has taken its toll in terms of the images I shot, and I will reshoot a number of them when the production PT-AE2000U arrives.

The Panasonic PT-AE2000U Home Theater Projector: Skin Tones

From a standpoint of watching the PT-AE2000U, I found the out of the box performance to, overall, be very respectable in terms of accurate skin tones. The image was a little cool (shift a bit toward blue - and to a slight extent, green).

After doing the best adjustment I could (considering that different parts of the screen were different in color balance), I was able to get some good overall images, but the tendency on some of these, is a definite shift to red in the skin tones.

Not bad at all, although Arwen's flesh tones immediately above definitely bring out that slight shift toward red, especially on the left side of her face, compared to the right. Moving to hi-def, from various Blu-ray discs, here are a number of images.

First up are two images from Aeon Flux. Please note in the second one (night shot), the red tint rather visible in the left side of the screen (and slightly, elsewhere), in buildings that are otherwise supposed to be neutral gray.

James Bond, in the new Casino Royale looks good under any lighting. Here are a sequence of four different shots of Bond, the first outdoors in sunlight, the second in an airport (under florescent lights), the third, a very dark indoor scene, and the last one outdoors again, but in the shade on a sunny day. As you can see, overall, the Panasonic PT-AE2000U does a really good job, and it helps you understand how significant different lighting environments can impact the skin tones. All and all, they all look rather natural, considering the lighting:

There were three viable modes for watching TV/HDTV/Sports. Normal mode is the primary and does an excellent job. Dynamic, is by far the brightest, but as expected, color accuracy is sacrificed for sheer horsepower. Cinema 3 also seems to have about the correct grayscale balance, but is darker and has a higher gamma, (mid-tones tend to be darker). I doubt that most people will use Cinema 3.

From music videos on M HD (MTV's hi-def music video channel - a favorite of mine): Bon Jovi (with Sugarland), and Pete Townsend of the Who, on stage at night at the Isle of Wight. Of course stage lighting plays havoc on natural skin tones, but under the circumstances both look good:

The Bottom Line: Overall, I am most pleased with the PT-AE2000U's skin tone performance, after minor grayscale adjustments. The Panasonic projector produces a "film-like" quality, consistently. A full production version can only be better! Overall, I'll give the PT-AE2000U projector a very slight edge over the Sanyo PLV-Z2000 that I recently reviewed, pending seeing a production AE2000U. I would definitely pick the Panasonic over the Optoma HD80 and HD8000 in this category.

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