Panasonic PT-AE4000U Coming Soon! AE3000U Price Drops!

Panasonic PT-AE4000U

We have been eagerly waiting to find out the details of the new Panasonic PT-AE4000U. Will it come to America? (answer :yes) If it does, what price will it be released at? (answer : $1999) And how is it different from the PT-AE3000? (answer: according to Projector Central “the AE4000 is in fact a superior projector in almost every way”). So, now we have some answers to share… as well as a new low, low price on the PT-AE3000U.

Panasonic PT-AE4000U WILL Come to America

As we mentioned above, and as we all suspected, the Pansonic PT-AE4000U will indeed be released in the United States. We don’t have solid delivery dates yet, but we know it is coming soon. It could even be available as early as the end of October – we will keep you updated on shipping dates as the information comes in.

We will also have more technical information on the AE4000U and other new 1080p home theater projectors coming soon. You can also stay on top of things on the AVS Forum official Panasonic PT-AE4000U post.

And if you are ready to get pumped up about it, you can read the PT-AE4000U review from Projector Central. They highlight, the Red-Rich Lamp, Improved contrast (now 100,000:1), Improved Cinema mode brightness, Improved color accuracy, Improved Detail Clarity Processor, Improved Frame Interpolation, among other improvments. Here’s an excerpt :

“All of this adds up to a remarkable value proposition: at a street of $1,999, we’ve simply never seen this much performance at this price. Panasonic has been extremely tight-lipped about this product launch. Until now many thought the company was dropping out of the home theater projector market. Today’s announcement makes it clear that they are here to stay. The Panasonic PT-AE4000U will be one of the hottest selling home theater projectors of the fall season, and we enthusiastically give it our highest recommendation.”
You can read the entire review here.

Panasonic PT-AE3000U Price Drops

And some good news for those who want a deal … the Panasonic PT-AE3000U has just dropped in price to a low, low $1699. Even if the AE4000U is better, the AE3000U is still a great projector, and it’s one of those limited time closeout deals that you can brag to your friends about.

If you’ve been holding out for the deal… now is the time to buy a PT-AE3000. If you’re an early adopter and you always want the best available, you’ll only have to wait a bit for the PT-AE4000U.

That’s all for now!

Now In Stock! Panasonic PT-AE3000U Home Theater Projector.

Panasonic PT-AE3000U In Stock!

The Panasonic PT-AE3000U has been a hard to find projector lately, so we thought we’d better post that we now have a plentiful amount in stock and ready to ship. Also worth mentioning is the current special running on the AE3000 which you can take advantage of if you buy before the end of May.

In Stock Now! Projector People Special Offer!

Buy a Panasonic PT-AE3000U from ProjectorPeople.com before May 31st and receive the following items FREE with your purchase.

  • 25′ HDMI 1.3 cable
  • Universal Projector Ceiling Mount
  • AVIA II Video Calibration DVD
  • PLUS 2-year Limited Warranty (from Panasonic through June 30th)

Shipping charges apply to promotional items. Offer good now through 5/31/2009, or while supplies last. Free cable, mount, and calibration DVD are ProjectorPeople.com only promotions. Lamp warranty is a mail-in rebate from Panasonic that is valid through June 30th, 2009.

Memorial Day Home Theater Projector Deals!

Happy Memorial Day

Kick back and enjoy your long Memorial Day weekend with extra savings on our most popular home theater projectors. This weekend only, we are serving up these deals:

Deeper Discounts, More Free Stuff

Free gifts with purchase!

Our Memorial Day lamp warranty deal is in addition to our current special of a FREE 25 foot HDMI 1.3 cable, FREE universal projector ceiling mount, and FREE AVIA II video calibration DVD. All but lamp warranty offer good now through 5/31/09, or while supplies last. Lamp warranty offer ends 05/25/09. Shipping charges apply to promotional items.

Deal of the Day Inside Scoop!

Panasonic PT-AX200 Deal of the Day

We will also be offering a sweet Deal of the Day from Saturday to Monday at midnight. It’s a newly constructed Panasonic PT-AX200U package deal for a great price! This is also in addition to the free AVIA disc.

  • Mega-Deal of the Day with a Panasonic PT-AX200U package for just $999! (Deal begins Saturday 12:00am and ends Monday 12:00pm.)

Memorial Day Weekend Only! Deals end May 25th, 2009!

Recently Reduced Sanyo Home Theater!

Sanyo Price Drops

We have recently improved our already competitive coupon discounts on the three Sanyo models below. But due to manufacturer restrictions, we cannot display our lowest price until our coupon code (SANYOSAVE) is added to your cart. So, click and add these projectors to see the Projector People discount for each of these fine Sanyo home theater models.

*Add to cart and use coupon code “SANYOSAVE” to view your discount!

1080p Home Theater Projector Shootout in Video

P1020963

We have already blogged about our 1080p projector shootout and showed some of the photos from the day. Now we are ready with the corresponding video. The video is located on YouTube (and embedded below) and on Vimeo. The Vimeo video may be a little higher quality.

As we already discussed in our blog post a couple weeks ago, each of our six projectors displayed good video. Unlike shootouts three years ago or so, all of the projectors we demoed are bright enough, have good color, and display video with limited artifacts. And all but one of our tested models were designed specifically for the home theater market. We threw in the Optoma TX1080 because it’s a good crossover option for those who want a widescreen business projector that does good video.

So, without further ado, please feel free to check out the video. It’s not fancy, by any stretch, but it does give you a chance to see the models side-by-side. Below are some of the things that the camera may not show exactly as we saw them.

What the Camera Couldn’t See

We wanted to film all five (technically six) projectors at once, playing the same content, since that is one of the most frequent requests. But like with any comparison like this – there are some limitations to our professional video camera. that means some of the most noticeable differences between the units we saw in person are not apparent in the images you see.

Black Levels

The black levels were far superior on the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, and the Panasonic PT-AE3000U – with the overall ‘blackest blacks” nod going to Epson. The Sanyo PLV-Z700 showed the worst blacks in our test with out of the box settings.

120hz Superiority

The projectors with 120hz processing (again the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, the Sanyo PLV-Z3000, and the Panasonic PT-AE3000U) looked incredible in person. They look good in the video, but even in scenes with just a little movement – like people walking through the metro station – the difference was remarkable and obvious. We hope to get some HD video that can capture the difference soon.

Brightness

The camera tends to adjust for brightness, finding a happy medium that makes all the images look their best. The good news here is that there was not much to report. All of the projectors looked about the same in terms of brightness although there are a few hundred lumens difference between some of them. In fairness to the brighter projectors, the images were relatively small since we had to get them all on the wall. If we made the images bigger, the brightness difference would have likely been more apparent.

Help Us Help You!

This is our first attempt at a shootout video, and we are still learning how to best provide you with the most useful content. One lesson we learned this time is that we need to use an HD camera. Yes, it does seem like the obvious choice. Yes we will do it next time. However, even with an HD camera we still have limited bandwidth on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. So, I think next time we will offer a higher resolution HD video feed for you to download at your leisure. We have also had requests to do some reviews with calibration settings. We are still considering this. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas! You can do so by replying to the newsletter email, or send your thoughts to webmaster@projectorpeople.com

  Vimeo Version
1080p Projector Shootout : Sanyo, Panasonic, Epson from Projector People on Vimeo.

[ some artifacts are visible from the Vimeo compression. Click here for larger version.

YouTube Version

Quick Reference Video Log

Projector order in video : Sanyo PLV-Z700, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Panasonic PT-AE3000U, Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, Epson Home Cinema 6100, and Optoma TX1080.

  • 0:00 – 3:05
    Product introductions. Our product manager mentions ‘black bars’ visible in person, but do not show up on the camera. Example of DLP “flicker” at 02:12 – 02:28 is visible on camera, but not visible to the naked eye for most viewers.

  • 03:06 – 04:11
    Discussion of black levels in each product (sales person obscures view of the Sanyo PLV-Z3000)

  • 04:12 – 04:59
    Example of 2X zoom on the Panasonic PT-AE3000U.

  • 05:01 – 06:15
    Lights on brightness check and brightness discussion.

  • 06:16 – 6:55
    Brief discussion of 120hz. Unfortunately the differences are not very visible here.

  • 07:00 – 07:37
    Color contrast mentioned

  • 07:42 – 8:30
    Nice action comparison. 120 hz mentioned again.

  • 08:33 – 08:55
    Close up of 120hz projector (Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB). You may notice the improved quality. In person, this image looked almost 3-D.

  • 09:00 – 10:00
    Final round up.

1080p Home Theater Projector Shootout

P1020963

We finally got a chance to do a shootout with our best selling 1080p projectors, including one we had yet to see in person, the Sanyo PLV-Z3000. The shootout was also filmed, and we will have that video for you soon available now. But, as a preview, we thought we’d also post some of the photos we took to get your gears greased.

Here are the products we included in the shootout :

Note : These are all 1080p native projectors. Brightness and contrast differ, and only three of them have the 120Hz processor (the Epson HC 6500 UB, Panasonic PT-AE3000U, and the Sanyo PLV-Z3000). Check our projector comparison charts for head-to-head details of projector specs.

Big Dif?

While each of the images below may appear to favor one projector over another, in the actual shootout there was a consensus that there wasn’t a ‘bad’ projector in the bunch. Some – like the Epson 6500UB – had really nice black levels. Other projectors excelled in their processing ability. Still others featured particularly dynamic colors. Below we have some images and some of my personal commentary on what I saw. Others in the demo may have seen differently. I will share any of the other commentary I heard in my notes below the images.

1080p Projector Shootout

One of the limitations of this shootout is the image size. In order to fit them all on our wall at once, we kept the image a little smaller than most aim for in their home theater. We used 2 different HDMI distribution amplifiers to create our image, since our 1:8 HDMI couldn’t power all five on the main wall. We used one BluRay player showing the BluRay version of the movie Fifth Element. We used out-of-the-box settings for each projector, since few customers report taking the time to calibrate their image.

Comparing the (left to right) Sanyo PLV-Z700, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Panasonic PT-AE3000U, Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, and Epson Home Cinema 6100.

P1050051

[ click image for higher res photo on our Flickr page ]

The Sanyo PLV-Z700 (far left) and the Epson Home Cinema 6100 (far right) have lower contrast ratios than the three center home theater projectors. Notice how visible the “black bars” above and below the images are as a guide to determining the projectors ability to produce deep, rich blacks and colors.

P1050048

[ click image for higher res photo on our Flickr page ]

The three center projectors all feature 120Hz rates. The Panasonic PT-AE3000U, Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, and the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 absolutely blew away the lower priced projectors in high action scenes. Even in scenes with people walking in the movie Fifth Element the image looked almost 3-D on the center three projectors. The image was truly beautiful. Personally I never would have thought it made such a big difference, but after seeing them head-to-head, I am converted. Hopefully this will be visible on the video – which is coming soon.

Comparing the (left to right) Sanyo PLV-Z700, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, Panasonic PT-AE3000U, Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB, and Epson Home Cinema 6100.

P1050049

[ click image for higher res photo on our Flickr page ]

A good color comparison shot. All the projectors were set up using out of the box settings. There is still plenty of tweaking that could be done to improve color. But in our out of the box shootout there were some who preferred the color of the Sanyo, some the Panasonic, and some Epson. Viewers also sometimes reported liking the color better in one scene on one projector, and another on a different model. Personally, the color on the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 looks good to me in this photo, but in other scenes both the Panasonic and Epson shined.

P1050025

[ click image for higher res photo on our Flickr page ]

Here’s another good shot for color comparison. I like the Epson 6500 (second from right) in this image, but all of them look good. Other viewers liked the Panasonic AE3000. The two end projectors (Sanyo PLV-700 -left and Epson HC 6100 – right) both produced very good color too, even though they are a few hundred dollars less.

P1050013

[ click image for higher res photo on our Flickr page ]

With the lights on, they all look about the same. In fairness to the brighter models, however, these are fairly small images. If we blew up the image a few feet there would probably be a greater difference. In a dark room, the difference wouldn’t be particularly noticable.

Shootout, Round Up

So, in conclusion, all the projectors looked very good. If you bought one of them without seeing another directly next to it, the vast majority of viewers would be completely happy with the image on any of these models. However, if you are picky about your video, then you should invest in one of the 120Hz products. The difference is very noticeable in side by side comparison, and although you may not realize what’s making it happen, the image is going to look much crisper, and nearly three dimensional. It’s worth the extra cash if you have it.

[ see more images at Flickr ]

Video of our Shootout Now Online!

There are some artifacts are visible from the Vimeo embedding compression. But you can Click here for larger/less compressed version.


1080p Projector Shootout : Sanyo, Panasonic, Epson from Projector People on Vimeo.

[ some artifacts are visible from the Vimeo compression. Click here for larger version.