Epson Home Cinema 6500UB vs. Panasonic PT-AE3000
These two projectors tied for our Best In Class award, in the $2100 to $3500 class. Please note, for all side-by-side comparison images, the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB is on the left, the PT-AE3000 is on the right.
PT-AE3000 vs. Home Cinema 6500UB - An Overview
The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB vs. the Panasonic PT-AE3000, is one of the most interesting comparisons in this report. First, both projectors are inherently very similar. They both are 3LCD projectors (using the same Epson LCD panels). They sell for about the same price. They have almost identical placement flexibility. Both have very impressive black level performance. Both offer creative frame interpolation features. Finally, both the Home Cinema 6500UB and the PT-AE3000 offer exceptional price/performance.
It will be up to you, to determine which one of these projectors is the better solution for your home theater setup, and viewing preferences.
While they have far more in common with each other, than real differences, there are distinct advantages to each, in a number of areas. Nothing I can think of, overall, makes one truly better than the other, and therein lies the reason they share the Best In Class Award.
Let me start by saying I have a preference. Overall, I favor the Epson for reasons discussed below. It is the one I would buy, for my own use, every time. At the same time, though, another well known reviewer (that I communicate with regularly), favors the Panasonic. Go figure!
Let's start with the physical attributes of these projectors. The Epson is a bit smaller than the Panasonic, and is finished in a gloss white. The Panasonic is finished in a flat dark gray. Both are boxy units, neither will win an award for the projector's styling. The Epson's design has a little more pizazz, but there are plenty of projectors prettier than either of these.
When it comes to placement flexibility, they are almost identical. Epson bests the Panasonic by featuring a 2.1:1 zoom instead of a 2:1. That buys it (for a typical screen size) almost an extra foot of range between the closest and furthest it can be from the screen. That is not likely to make one better than the other in your room. Both have a lot of lens shift, and again, not enough difference to matter in 99% of rooms. While the Home Cinema 6500UB has the slight edge here, it's not likely to be an issue for the vast majority, and not enough to have helped Epson as we sorted out the advantages of each.
I should note that the Panasonic's zoom and focus are motorized, while the Epson's are manual. Both projectors' lens shift is manual. There is one feature, anamorphic lens emulation, that the Panasonic has, in part thanks to the zoom being motorized, that the Epson can't match, but that will be covered below.
When it comes to offering a selection of inputs, the only real difference is that the Panasonic offers three HDMI inputs, to the Epson's two. While few need more than two, I have repeatedly said in reviews, that I think three should be standard - just in case, so that favors the Panasonic.