A Panasonic home theatre projector with Frame Creation technology.
- Superb image quality, lots of useful and innovative features, vastly improved contrast ratio (compared to PT-AE2000U)
- There are cheaper (albeit inferior) HD home-theatre projectors on the market
The PT-AE3000E is easily one of the best home-theatre projectors we've ever had the pleasure of testing. Short of a built-in Blu-ray player and drink dispenser it provides everything the average videophile could possibly want.
Price$ 6,499.00 (AUD)
Let’s cut to the chase: the Panasonic PT-AE3000E is one of the most accomplished home-theatre projectors we’ve laid eyes on. Like the best models on the market, it combines peerless image quality with a boatload of features, all at a price that most non-millionaires can afford. Sporting Full HD 1080p resolution, excellent contrast levels and some of the latest imaging developments (including Panasonic’s Detail Clarity Processor V2.0 and Frame Creation technology), it’s up there with the cream of the crop.
The PT-AE3000E is a refresh of last year’s PT-AE2000U: a decent projector that was slightly let down by so-so contrast. When it comes to connectivity and appearance, the PT-AE3000E is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, with an identical number of inbuilt ports (including three HDMI inputs, a VGA input and two component inputs). However, beneath the projector's hood Panasonic has implemented some very impressive changes that boost performance. First and foremost is a vastly improved contrast ratio, which has leapt from 16,000:1 to 60,000:1. This naturally translates to richer and more vibrant picture quality, particularly when it comes to shadows and blacks. The results are a definite improvement over the PT-AE2000U, which occasionally suffered from over-saturation.
Frame Creation mode is another welcome addition to the PT-AE3000E. When selected, this innovative tool will automatically assess moving images and insert an interpolated image where needed. This acts as an invisible bridge between moving frames, and helps to smooth out pans, zooms and other motion effects. What this basically means is that the image will remain crisper and less jerky during fast-moving video. It will prove particularly useful for fans of action films and those who want to use the PT-AE3000E for gaming (this is further bolstered by the inclusion of Fast Frame Response mode, which is tailor-made for fast-paced video games).
One of the neatest features of the PT-AE3000E is the ability to divide the screen via Split Adjust mode. This is achieved by mirroring a portion of a paused image on either side of the screen. You can then make adjustments to colour, contrast, brightness or gamma and directly compare the results (the right-hand image depicts the changes while the left-hand image retains the current settings). This is a great tool for making minute picture adjustments and should also prove handy for novices with limited calibration experience.
Like its PT-AE2000U predecessor, the PT-AE3000E eschews ergonomic curves in favour of a Spartan aesthetic. In other words, it’s a big, black oblong with minimal trimmings. While not the sexiest projector on the block, it has a certain old school elegance that we found quite pleasing. Its unobtrusive design is well suited to mounting on a ceiling or being perched at the back of a room.
You may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any flaws with this product yet. There's a simple explanation for that: they're aren’t any! When it comes to performance, looks and inbuilt features we honestly can't fault this phenomenal projector — it ticks just about every box a videographer needs.
If we had to complain about something, then we guess it would be the price. Although less costly than the previous generation of projectors (which fetched prices of up to $20,000), there are still some models on the market which are even cheaper. This includes Viewsonic’s Precision Pro8100 — a 1080p projector that retails for just $3999. Nevertheless, if picture quality is your primary concern, you definitely get what you pay for with the Panasonic PT-AE3000E: in this price range, its performance is unequalled.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.