Superb connectivity and great black levels in a well-priced package
- Good value for money, deep black levels, lots of setup options, good connectivity options
- Not bright enough for large screens, inaccurate default display of colours
Panasonic's PT-AE2000U is a projector that performs well compared to its competition, but it needs some tweaking to achieve the best image quality.
Price$ 6,599.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic PT-AE2000U is a 1080p projector that is well-priced and offers good image quality and versatility. It is only let down by inaccurate colours out of the box; additionally, like most home theatre projectors, it needs to be in a dark room to excel.
Aesthetically the projector is fairly plain. Its black case will be unobtrusive when mounted on a ceiling or at the back of a room. The unit has all the necessary control buttons hidden behind a panel on its left-hand side, although a remote is also included. The remote is a pleasure to use: it's backlit and can be used as a universal remote to control other devices in your home theatre setup.
The PT-AE2000U has plenty of adjustable options during initial setup. Vertical and horizontal lens shift are easily controlled, and zoom and focus are controlled electronically. We find electronic focusing a distinct advantage, because it means you can use the remote to fine tune the image while closely examining it.
A plethora of inputs are included on the model — most notably three HDMI inputs. VGA input and two component inputs and connectors for S-Video and composite are also available.
The projector has seven different image modes, which is more than most home theatre projectors have. Cinema 1 provides the most neutral and natural colours; you can also create your own advanced profile.
The projector allows you to select colour temperature from a range of -6 to +6. We generally found that -1 gave the most pleasing picture and most accurate greyscale. We didn't need to change any gamma settings, although there is a wide range of adjustability here too.
Image quality is quite good in most modes, with an impressive balance between contrast, brightness and black levels. For our comparison we left the projector set to Cinema 1 mode, as this was the most evenly balanced between image components.
Colours from the PT-AE2000U are slightly oversaturated by default, especially when compared to a projector like the Sanyo PLV-Z2000. Red and green are the worst offenders: they are a little too rich and vivid. We found that settings of -1 for green brightness, red contrast and green contrast gave the picture a much more natural look. After making these adjustments, the PT-AE2000U rivalled the Sanyo for image quality.
Black levels from the unit were great, surpassing the Sanyo as well as the Mitsubishi HC4900. This is backed up by a competitive contrast ratio of 16000:1, which gives the Panasonic very lively and rich images with a wide range of colours.
Brightness levels are rated at 1500 ANSI lumens, which is on the high side for a home theatre projector. However, you'll still need a darkened room to take full advantage of the PT-AE2000U. There's also an Auto Iris feature included. This adjusts optimal brightness dependant on ambient light; we didn't notice much of a difference in our tests. The projector struggles when under direct light, but this is to be expected. When at full brightness, the lamp is rated to last around 3000 hours, which is on par with other home theatre projectors.
If you've got a dedicated room for your home theatre, the PT-AE2000U can be easily set up to provide a great image.
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