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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.
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 :
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.
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.