Panasonic PT-AE3000U Projector : First Look

Panasonic PT-AE3000U slide versus AE2000U

Today at Projector People we had a sneak preview of the new Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector which is expected to ship somewhere between now and the end of October 2008. We had the great honor of hearing a presentation from Tetsuya (Terry) Koyama on the differences between the AE2000U (last years top selling 1080p home theater projector) and the new AE3000U. We took some notes, video, and photographs for our readers.

You can see a spec by spec comparison of four of the newest 1080p projectors to be released soon in our 1080p Projectors Compared post from last month.

Panasonic PT-AE3000U slide versus AE2000U

Compared : Panasonic PT-AE3000U and Panasonic PT-AE2000U Specs

AE3000 is brighter than the AE2000 by 100 lumens, 1600 vs. 1500
Contrast is much, much higher, 60,000:1 vs. 16,000:1; here’s how:

  • New D7 panels
  • Sandwiched a new “Pure Contrast Plate” onto LCD panels to stop light leakage
  • Doubled the control speed of the dynamic iris mechanism that synchronizes light output to light required by image frame

Cleaner, fast motion graphics; here’s how:

  • New 120Hz drive processor
  • Added a “frame creation” drive to fill in the gaps in fast motion, eg. where this is most visible is panning across type (the map), moving cars (the license plates), and a plane flying across the sky (or a football thrown across the field)

New Lens Memory; what that is:

  • AE3000U can read and playback true HD video in cinemascope format, or 2.35:1 format
  • Keeping the projector in the same place, as when installed, but changing the projector format from 16:9 to 2.35:1 means the zoom and focus of the images need to change to appropriately fill the screen
  • AE3000U has lens memory to install recall the zoom and focus settings that are best for each format

More of the same, great, legacy features:

  • Still collaborating with Hollywood colorists at the Panasonic Hollywood Lab to fine tune the color reproduction of the projector to match the original film content
  • Improved optical lensing; Panasonic still making their own lenses, but this time in the same factory where they produce the sophisticated lenses for the Leica and Lumix cameras
  • Smooth Screen Technology here again
  • Second generation Detail Clarity Processor
  • Same lamp as AE2000

Panasonic PT-AE3000U in Action Images

Panasonic PT-AE3000U left and AE2000U right

Panasonic PT-AE3000U on the left and the AE2000U on the right. (scene from Space Cowboys)

Panasonic PT-AE3000U left and AE2000U right

Panasonic brought two 2.35:1 screens to illustrate the very cool new Lens Memory feature.

Panasonic PT-AE3000U left and AE2000U right

The new AE3000U does a better job with fast moving images. It is difficult to see in this photo, but the image is clearer while in motion. Note the clarity of the license plate. See video below.

See more Projector People photos

Panasonic PT-AE3000U in Action Videos

Panasonic PT-AE3000U on the left. AE2000U on the right. Note at the end the broader spectrum of white/gray visible on the AE3000U. (Scene from Space Cowboys)

Panasonic PT-AE3000U on the left. AE2000U on the right. Note the clarity in the words in motion on the new AE3000U. This is much clearer in person than it appears in this video.

Again, note the clarity in motion on the AE3000U (left).

See more videos of the AE3000U »

New Home Theater Projector Ship Dates

Are you wondering when the brand new home theater projectors will hit the streets? Here’s a quick look at our projected release dates for the new models. This list is subject to change, of course. MAP prices* included when available. We will update this page as information comes in.

The new crop of 720p and 1080p home theater projectors looks impressive and remains very competitively price, though the price reduction is not quite as dramatic as it was last year. What we do see, however, are more options under $3000 and some very high-performance products in the $3,000 range. Check our our new 1080p projectors comparison here.

Projected Release Dates for New 1080p Projectors :

  • Panasonic PTAE3000U : Late October
  • Sanyo PLVZ700 : Late October ($1,795.00*)
  • Epson HC6100 : Mid November ($1,999.99*)
  • Sanyo PLVZ3000 : Mid December
  • Epson HC6500UB : Mid December

Projected Release Dates for New 720Projectors :

  • Epson Movie Mate 72 : available now
  • Sanyo PLVZ60 : September 26th ($1,195.00*)
  • Epson HC700 : Mid October ($799.99*)

* Prices listed are the MAP (minimum advertised price – or the lowest price authorized resellers can advertise.