PT-AE3000U review to post tomorrow night

Greetings all,

Click here, for the PT-AE3000 projector complete review.

OK, sorry for the delay.  As you may have read, we are redesigning our review layout.  We expect most of you will like the new one better.  The PT-AE3000U will be the first projector using the new design.  Unfortunately, there’s a learning curve, and changes are still being made/fixed.  Most of the review has been written, and the images taken and resized, but I’m going to need another 24 hours or so to get it done.  Stay tuned! -art 

Sorry about that. -art

News and Comments

  • Dave G.

    Great review Art! Well worth the wait.

    I do have one quick question though, where did you have the IN83’s iris set for the black level comparisons? Was it fully open, or did you step it down to match the 3000’s brightness?

    Thanks!

    ************

    Closed down to match the AE3000’s brightness, that had the iris down to something like 25 or 33 (can’t recall the exact numbers – they don’t have any direct meaning, but lets say only 1 or 2 steps up from the most closed position, so, while not fully stopped down, close. -a

  • Nicholas

    Art, first let me say thank you for the unbias review of the Panasonic AE-3000U! I do have a situation that I hope you can help me with. I am finishing my basement and putting in a 100″ Elite CineWhite screen and a projector. I am torn between the Epson 1080UB and the Panasonic AE-3000U. I will be using it mostly for movies, but want to use it for watching sporting events on TV when people are over. Of course there will be lights on because who wants to watch TV in the dark. So my concern is with brightness and lumen output between the two projectors. I want something that has pop and wow in color as well for movies. Your opinion on this is much appreciated.

  • Scott

    I cannot seem to open some of your links on the just posted AE3000U review. The links to image quality etc. keep taking me to a page about previous Panasonic projectors.

  • Scott

    The problem with the links is only happenning when I click the next section link at the bottom of the Overview page -If I direct access the various review sections from the main menu page, then it is OK.

  • marc-projo

    Waiting hard for this review! keep going Art

  • Ryan

    What projector would you go with between the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080UB Projector and the PT-AE3000U? Or do you have another one you would recommend under $3,000. I am looking to purchase in the next couple of days and I have no where to look at these projectors. Thanks for your help and great reviews!

    Thanks
    Ryan

  • Midwest Product

    If the AE2000U has been replaced by the AE3000U, does that mean the AX200U will soon be replaced by a model AX300U as well? And if so, are there details available regarding the specs?

    ********************

    Greetings!

    While it is possible, it is extremely unlikely. If Panasonic were to roll out an AX300U this year, they would have certainly announced and shown it at CEDIA. In fact, Panasonic is very consistent about home theater projector launches, you can count on them to release new products in Sep/Oct/Nov each year.

    The thing is the market is now dominated by 1080p projectors, not only in total dollar sales, but in number of units as well, I believe. Sanyo chose not to replace the Z5, last year (720p), leaving it on the market for 2 years before shipping the Z60 a month or two ago. Even Panasonic last year, bringing out the AX200U, could barely claim it to be a new model, as it is essentially the same as the older AX100U, but for the additional performance added specifically for gaming.

    New 720p models will come further and further apart. It’s also hard for manufacturers to make their new 720p projectors noticed by the buying public. They vary, but none of the core 720p lineup (lower cost, there are still high end 720p projectors for $20K… Remember, because they are low cost, and the drive is on to 1080p, advanced features, like the black level performance of the new crop of the top-of-the-line 1080p’s 96/120fps support, creative frame interpolation, etc. stay with the higher end products. To get a 720p projector’s performance up, via features like those, would probably make them more expensive than the entry level 1080p’s and that sure won’t work. And people have been sold on 1080p by the plasma and lcdtv crowd.

    So, while 720p projectors are sure to be around for the next 2-4 years, manufacturers won’t put much focus on them, unless they can figure out how to make them mass market products (ie. $299).

    Bottom line, don’t expect an AE300U, at least not before next fall… then again, ya never know!

  • Midwest Product

    Thanks for the follow-up! I was wondering in particular whether Panasonic would continue the AX-#00U line by moving them up to 1080p resolution, but it sounds from your answer like that would involve a new line of lower-end projector models rather than a continuation of the AX-#00Us.

    I ask in particular because I love my AX-200U for the gaming mode (which, though I had feared it might turn out to be a gimmick, ended up making it it well worth the purchase), but am frustrated that it’s only 720p. I was hoping to see an AX-300U that was essentially equivalent to the AX-200U with the resolution bumped up (especially because the AX line is so much cheaper than the AE line).

    But maybe they’ll just work that gaming mode directly into one of their 1080p product lines, which would solve my problem just as easily. Or I could bite the bullet and manually program in the gamma settings the gaming mode uses and combine it with the quick frame rate option on the AE3000.

    Anyway, thanks again for the response.

  • Tim

    Art/All,

    I am still deciding which projector to purchase and would like to buy one very soon as the theater is ready to go. I am looking at the Panny AE3000U, the Epson 1080UB, the Epson 6500UB, and the Sanyo PLV Z3000. I’d like the best value for the money and expect to watch a good mix of movies and HDTV (sports and shows). I will only have a 92″ screen (elite ez fixed grey???) and can control the amount of light. I would like a good pic with low light as well as complete darkness. I would also like to keep the cost down to under $3k and preferably closer to $2k. Black levels, image sharpness and motion appear to be major factors in my decision. Anyone have a recommendation? PP is giving another $200 off the Panny through Dec 1st but I can’t decide if I should wait for the Epson and/or Sanyo reviews.

    **************

    Greetings Tim,

    Well, brightness shouldn’t be an issue for you, thanks to the small screen and good lighting control. The Panny is excellent, but you may well want to wait for the 6500 UB review, however, they may not have review units out for a couple more weeks (or longer), so a review before Christmas, is iffy. The UB is, the absolute top priority for a review, but Epson is telling me they can get me a 6100 first. As soon as the 6500 UB hits, though, it will move ahead of other review in progress.

    The Sanyo Z3000 is very interesting. I’ve been playing with it since Friday evening. However, I’m not prepared (until tomorrow), to do a “first look blog” because I’m not satisfied with our first set of calibration for “best mode”. It’s dimmer in best mode, than the Panny, but actually a little brighter in brightest mode. Sharpness is very good, but black levels, so far, don’t look up to the Panasonic’s.

    So, I haven’t made my mind up about the Sanyo, and have only watched a few hours of movies on it, (but a lot of football – all day Saturday). it did very well on HDTV, in terms of brightness, and having a lot of pop and wow factor. Stay tuned for the “first look” on that one.

    If the 6500 UB, shows a little improvement in sharpness, and even the slightest black level improvement, it’s likely to be my favorite, although, it may well cost you that full $3K. I’m not up on the MAP pricing yet…

    Hang in there! -art

  • Jeff P

    I thought your review was great. I recently got the Pt ae3000u and started with your numbers to calibrate it. I used the avia test disc, but none of the brightness and contrast setting seemed correct for the projector? In the cinema mode I increased the contrast +20 and the birghtness -14 in a dark room. I noticed that the HDMI (normal) or extended made a big difference in black levels. The above settings are with the extended version on. Should it be on or normal? I have a denon 4308ci and samsung bdp1500 blue ray all connected via hdmi… Thanks

    Jeff

    **************

    Hi Jeff, we do all our measurements and adjustments based on “Normal” HDMI. That would likely explain the differences. -art

  • Andy

    Art,

    From your experience, will PTAE-3000 support Carada BW 2.35 ratio screen of diagonal size 112″ without sacrificing brightness at the far edges and corners?

    Should I knock down the size to 104″ to get a noticable brightness on widescreen. I’ve practically no ambient light in the room and I plan to mount it 12.5 ft from the screen. I’ll greatly appreciate your advise. Thanks,

    ****************************
    Ahh, I’ll speculate:

    You are mounting on the close side of the zoom mid-point so I don’t think you’ll have a brightness issue.

    One thing though when going to 2.35:1, that folks need to consider. Generally, from the the center of the screen is the brightest, with roll off to the sides and top and bottom. This is due to a couple of factors, none less significant than the lens. Any lens, no matter how good, will roll off a little. The Carada Brilliant white has very little roll off on its own, but everything is additive. If you look at my images of movie scenes, you can usually spot the roll-off. However, not only are you seeing the roll-off from the projector lens, a touch from my Carada BW, but also from the lens of my digital camera. The end result is that my posted images show far more roll-off than the eye sees (it’s rather a significant difference).

    The closer positioning, should translate into more brightness, but also a touch more roll-off. Still I think you should be fine. Now, if you went with a screen like my other – a Firehawk – which is high contrast gray – it would be more significant. -art