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.