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Panasonic PT-AE7000 vs. Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector Comparison

Posted on November 25, 2011 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Panasonic Specs
Native Resolution
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
Zoom Lens Ratio
Lens Shift
Lamp Life

This anual shoot-out places the flagship Panasonic PT-AE7000 - click for the full review - against the Epson's Home Cinema 5010 projector, two direct competitors, and no doubt two of the best selling home theater projectors on the market.

It's nice to have two mostly new projectors facing off. I think you'll find them to be roughly comparable, as the dominant 3LCD projectors in the price range. That said, the PT-AE7000 and the Home Cinema 5010 each have some very nice features and strengths that the other lacks. Each also has areas of performance where they excel. Still adding to this projector comparison, but all the main points are covered.

PT- AE7000 vs. Home Cinema 5010 Overview

Start out with two 3LCD projector concepts. Build a light path around the same new, 480hz LCD panels, add two different but similar range zoom lenses, a lot of fancy 2D and 3D processing, a pair of very different warranties, really good black levels in one case, and great ones in the other, and a noteworthy, but not massive difference in brightness.

Then there are the differing features we discuss, the Panasonic PT-AE7000's Lens Memory, for example, or the Epson HC5010's split screen capability.

At this point it would be appropriate to mention that The Epson has a MAP price $300 below the Panasonic, which should yield a $300 lower street price. Remember that there is a second version of the Epson - the Home Cinema 5010e.

That "e" version is the same price as the Panasonic. For that extra $300 you get WirelessHD. Of course, if you don't have a need for WirelessHD, you will save the $300 and go with the regular Home Cinema 5010 projector.

All considered, the Panasonic and Epson projectors have a lot in common, but also some distinguishing features that will help you decide which works best for you. I'll discuss my own preferences, and the whys, as this moves forward.

This time the same image (each one taken during their respective reviews, not "side-by-side": Epson 5010 first.

The Epson Home Cinema 5010
The Panasonic PT-AE7000

I think it makes the most sense to discuss 2D and 3D separately. I believe that we projector owners, are the most likely to fall for 3D. I have. I'll point out that most of my 3D viewing enjoyment has nothing to do with 3D movies. My favorite "stuff" instead, is non-movie content on Blu-ray or HDTV, including content of concerts, travel, science, history, sports and more. But first, I want to address the core differences between these two projectors and what they bring to the party. The two most obvious different features are the Panasonic's lens memory, and the Epson's split screen.

The Epson Home Cinema 5010, Epson in eco-mode so not quite as bright
The Panasonic PT-AE7000

Quite honestly, I've been using both features. I happen to have both 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and 16:9 aspect ratio screens in my theater, and in the testing room. I also wanted to put up a computer source up along side an hdmi source (my fantasy football next to the games). Both features work as advertised, and both bring their own benefits. It may be one of these lights your fire, and makes a critical difference, however for the vast marority, these are features they likely won't use, or won't consider important.

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