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Panasonic PT-AE3000U Projector Review

Posted on November 4, 2008 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Panasonic PT-AE3000U Specs
Price 3499
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution HD 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1600
Contrast 60000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.00:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 2000 hours
Weight 16.1
Warranty 1 year

Panasonic PT-AE3000 Projector Overview

Wow! The PT-AE3000 has been extremely impressive from the moment I first plugged it in. With the previous Panasonic projector, the PT-AE2000U, its price was a very important factor, which allowed us to give it a Best in Class award for the "entry-level" 1080p projectors. The older model though, came up a little short compared to the best of the mid priced 1080p order, notably the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB

This time around, the PT-AE3000 looks extremely formidable, and despite the relatively low price ($2499 selling price), it looks to not only be competitive with other top projectors including the new Mitsubishi HC7000, Sanyo PLV-Z3000 and the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB (all to be reviewed in the next 3-5 weeks), but has some interesting features not found on some or all of those mentioned. The PT-AE3000U is the most feature laden of the bunch!

Perhaps more importantly, the Panasonic has improved significantly in some areas, most notably in terms of black level performance. Panasonic's PT-AE3000 home theater projector is a much better projector than the PT-AE2000U it replaces! It will be interesting to see if the comparable entries from Sanyo, Epson, and Mitsubishi, will be able to match or beat the Panasonic's performance. That should be especially interesting, as the Panasonic will likely be the least expensive of the four major "top of the line" 3LCD home theatre projectors.

PT-AE3000 Projector Highlights

  • Average brightness in both best and brightest modes (but, a slight improvement over the PT-AE2000U)
  • Extremely good out of the box color performance (one of the best)
  • Frame rate interpolation for improved handling of fast moving objects and scenes, to reduce motion blur
  • "Pseudo" anamorphic lens features, including savable memory settings on zoom and aspect ratio - an extremely interesting feature with many benefits, which allows an owner to choose a 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen, without spending the big bucks for an anamorphic lens
  • Power zoom and focus
  • Excellent black levels
  • Very good shadow detail
  • Good sharpness (seems a touch sharper than the older model), but still "average"
  • Excellent price/performance value

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