Epson Home Theater Projector Training

Hello blog readers! This is the first of many full training videos we plan to share with you all. This week we had Jeff Paiva, National Training Manager for Epson America’s Home Theater Projector division. Jeff came to Projector People to talk about Epson’s brand new Home Theater line up including the Epson Home Cinema 6100, Home Cinema 700, and Movie Mate 55.

Epson’s Home Cinema 1080 and Home Cinema 1080UB have been (and still are) best sellers for us. By comparison they are some of the nicest on the market. We were excited to learn more about the new line up.

Jeff is always an entertaining presenter, so it’s a great way to start our ‘Watch and Learn’ video series. Watch (or read) and enjoy!

Your Training Cheat Sheet for Epson Home Theater

If you don’t feel up to watching our entire training video here are a few notes from what we discovered this week.

Expected Ship Dates and Other Info
  • The Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 6100
  • The Epson HC6100 will include a 2 yr. advance replacement warranty
  • The higher-priced 1080p HC6500 expected to ship last week of November
  • New models have new industrial design, no longer “chiclets” but more squared edges and slightly larger cabinets for better heat and noise reduction, and for bigger video processors
  • The new Color Light Output specification, developed by the 3LCD consortium, has been adopted by Sony as well as Epson with more to come
About Projector Contrast Ratios
  • Average contrast ratio in a commercial movie theater is 150:1
  • Lights off commercial movie theater contrast would be around 350 to 400:1
  • The highest, true contrast ratio Jeff Paiva has ever measured was just over 400:1 and the image looked holographic from all the detail revealed

Watch:

Jeff Paiva on Contrast Ratio. How is contrast measured in a home theater projector? Epson’s Jeff Paiva discusses the difference between full on / full off contrast ratio and reveals the highest contrast ratio display he has ever tested in his years of experience.

Difference Between Home and Business Projectors
  • Pushing green levels to achieve higher brightness
  • Typically have poor video processors which show artifacts. Can’t handle fast motion video
  • Louder fans on ultra portable projectors because of emphasis on smaller casing
Differences between image on a 720p vs. 1080p projector
  • 3 million vs. 6 million pixels (or 1 million x 3 panels vs. 2 million x 3 panels)
  • Colors appear more saturated in 1080p because there are more pixels to show depth
  • Better black levels in 1080p
  • More detail in the image, and a smoother image since less screen door effect visible

Watch:

Jeff discusses the advantages of 1080p over 720p projection.

Watch Entire Training Video


Epson Training Session from Projector People on Vimeo.

Full Epson Home Theater training video, including all of the things we mentioned in our cheat sheet above. Jeff also demonstrates how projectors create white light, how the new Epson home theater projectors achive their high contrast ratios, and the benefits of 1080p projectors over 720p.

New Coupon Code : $100 off Home Theater Projector Screens

Elite Screen Coupon Code

We don’t want to scare you with our new coupon, but our prices are so low on projectors these days we’ve had to turn our attention to screens. With the help of Elite Screens, we have put together a Hallow-Screen Sale offering $100 instant savings on Home 2 and CineTension 2 electric screens.

Projector Screen Sale Details :

  • Save $100 on select screens
  • Use coupon code “SCREAM100” in the shopping cart.
  • Offer good from October 24th – October 31st.
  • Link to products and details

Happy Hallow-Screen!

Panasonic PT-AE3000U Rebate Added

Panasonic PT-AE3000U

Panasonic has dangled another enticing carrot for those interested in their new PT-AE3000 projector. An extended warranty.

We just received word late Friday that they will be including an additional year warranty (click for .pdf) for a limited time (just as they did on the AX200 and AE2000) when you purchase from an authorized reseller. That brings the warranty period to two years, making it more competitive with Epson (2-year) and Sanyo (3-year).

What if You Purchased Before the Announcment?

If you purchased your AE3000 last week, never fear, you should also be eligible for the rebate which started 10/15/2008. The rebate is valid through the end of December (12/31/08). You can download the form from the Projector People website here.

PT-AE3000 Pre-Orders Accepted

By the way, we are now taking pre-orders on the PT-AE3000. As we mentioned, the price is $2499, and we expect it to ship at the end of October. If you prefer you can also call in your pre-order at 1-888-248-0675. This will get you a dedicated sales person who can answer questions about your specific needs as well as someone you can call and pester about when your order will ship. It will also give you a chance to get your best price on screens, receivers, speakers, mounts, and any other accessories you may need.

Panasonic PT-AE3000 Price Announced : A Shocking $2,499!

Panasonic PT-AE3000U

This morning Panasonic announced their new PT-AE3000U will be priced at just $2,499.

This is a bold and aggressive price point from Panasonic, particularly when you consider that their last home theater 1080p product was considered by many to be the best on the market for the last year. When you factor in the additional features like Lens Memory (makes your screen 2.35:1 CinemaScope with the touch of a button) and the improved 60,000:1 contrast ration (read more about the new features here) this is a remarkable price.

One AV blogger, Duncan Madden at AV Review UK said in his initial write up for the PT-AE3000; “Available this very November, Panny is hush hush about the price, but that flagship moniker should prepare you for the worst.” [complete post ]. And just a day ago we predicted a $3,499 MAP (minimum advertised price) with a lower street price and we said we would keep you updated.

So, as promised, here is your update : with the aggressive pricing coming directly from Panasonic you should expect street prices to stay close to the $2,499 price announced today. There may be dealer incentives as the holidays and Super Bowl draw closer, but dramatic price drops are unlikely in this writers opinion.

Why Go So Low?

Maybe it’s the tough economy. Maybe they are just continuing on their low price entry strategy they started last year when they released the AX200 at $1,299. Or possibly they are just trying to encourage the competition to think of joe-six-pack since its an election year. Whatever the reason, the $2499 MAP on the new PT-AE3000 is sure to be a temptation for shoppers who have been just waiting for the right time to buy a 1080p projector. And that Lens Memory feature is VERY cool.

What About the Panasonic PT-AE2000U

Expect the AE2000U projector to get a little cheaper. It still has an extra warranty and Blockbuster card associated with it that Panasonic has to honor till the end of the month. We did drop our price on it today (you’ll have to add it to cart or request a Quick Quote to see the better price) by a couple hundred bucks, so it’s a few hundred less than the new AE3000 and it will ship today (the AE3000 won’t ship until the end of October).

And what About the Panasonic PT-AX200?

Last year Panasonic blew the doors off the 720p market with their PT-AX200U projector (for home theater and video gaming) in part because if their aggressive price from the get-go of just $1,299. With features like lens shift, zoom, light harmonizer, great 1080p scaling, gaming mode and 2000 lumens of brightness, the AX200U should have been on any perspective buyer’s watch list, and it sold like hot cakes. The AX200 was among ProjectorPeople’s best sellers and should remain a rapid seller with its new $999 price point. Too bad you don’t get that Blockbuster card deal along with it anymore. Oh well, you’ll just have to keep the extra cash in your pocket.

That’s all for now! Come back again soon.

Panasonic PT-AE3000 Projector Reviews : Word on the Street

Panasonic PT-AE3000U slide versus AE2000U

[ image from our AE3000U first look article last week. See more images and read First Look article. ]

Our friends at Projector Central have just posted their review of the new Panasonic PT-AE3000 home theater projector. We previewed the AE3000 just last week, and were also impressed by the quality if the image as well as some very cool new features. Projector Central breaks some of those features down in their thorough review. We are posting some outtakes below along with some of our own thoughts:

Go Wider with Lens Memory

One of the sweetest new features of the Panasonic PT-AE3000 is the new “lens memory” function. This feature allows you to convert the image to a 2.35:1 (CinemaScope) format without purchasing an anamorphic lens (which typically cost a few thousand bucks for a good one). We saw it and it looks fantastic. Here’s what Projector Central had to say:

Lens Memory. Are you interested in Cinemascope 2.35 widescreen format? A lot of home theater enthusiasts who are mostly interested in widescreen movie viewing (as opposed to HDTV sports and 16:9 HD broadcast programming), are considering the wider format 2.35 screens these days since most movies being made are in this format…
Panasonic’s “Lens Memory” system is a clever and exciting solution to this problem. If you have a 2.35 (or 2.4) screen, you can set up the projector with the lens toward the wide angle end, and fill the screen exactly to the format of a 2.35 (or 2.4) movie. Activate the Lens Memory feature, and it will go through a routine to memorize the exact position you have selected for the lens. Then zoom the lens forward so that a 16:9 picture fits perfectly into the height of your 2.35 screen.

Side by Side Comparison for Tweakers

This feature is also included on the PT-AE2000, and it is still a cool tool for videophiles. It’s also a fun way to impress your friends who purchased an el-cheapo-no-featured projector from DollarMart instead of a super valued top-of-the-line Panasonic PT-AE3000. PJC says :

Side by Side image Panasonic PT-AE3000U review from Projector Central

[ image from Projector Central website. See more images and read complete review. ]

Now you can make any adjustments you want to color temperature, color saturation, brightness, contrast, or gamma. The projector will apply the adjustments you make to the image on the right side of the screen, and hold the image on the left side constant. In this manner you can see precisely the effects of the changes you are making. You can finish by either saving or discarding the changes you’ve been experimenting with. For many users, this is a great educational tool that helps you understand the nature and range of the various adjustment controls available to you.

Projector Central concludes their review with a prediction : “The Panasonic AE3000 will be one of the year’s hottest selling projectors… Panasonic has established a formidable price/performance proposition that will be hard for others to match.” No arguments here. Read Projector Central’s AE3000 complete review.

Other Panasonic PT-AE3000 Reviews and Links

Duncan Madden at AV Review UK says : “Available this very November, Panny is hush hush about the price, but that flagship moniker should prepare you for the worst.” For the record the MSRP looks to be about $3499, with a street price yet to be determined. We will keep you posted. [ complete post ]

Dvice.com says about Side by Side comparison :

“I have to ask: why did it take this long for manufacturers to give us such a mind-bogglingly useful feature? Not only would this finally let regular joes make picture adjustments like the pros, but it means home theater owners can do their own before-after demos to friends when they really want to show off their sets (“Just check out that kick-ass color, Dave!”). Get this feature in all HDTVs now!”

The AE2000 (the AE3000’s predecessor) had the side by side comparison feature last year, for the record, but it is pretty cool, no doubt.

And a long read for those who really like to dig in to the details, the UK website AV Forums (not to be mistaken with America’s own AVS Forum) has launched their official forum post on the AE3000 (European version). Most of this is still relevant for U.S. readers, but prices are posted in Pounds or Euros and they have funny accents. [ view the AE3000 post AV Forum here ]

That’s it for now on the new AE3000U around the web. We will have more soon, including what we expect the street price to be and when we think it will be available here at Projector People, and around the web.

Panasonic PT-AE3000 Videos

Remember our YouTube comparison videos. AE3000U (left) AE2000 (right).

See more videos of the AE3000U »

Quick Tip : You may sometimes see this projector referred to (as we do) by the part number Panasonic PT-AE3000U. The “U” designates the product as having a U.S. warranty. If you live in the U.S., that’s the model you want. An “E” typically represents a European warranty.