Panasonic PT-AE3000 review

The Panasonic PT-AE3000 might look unappealing, but performs like a winner in our eyes Tested at £2000.00

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Our Verdict

Simple to use and with superb results – a hugely persuasive argument for taking the big-screen plunge

For

  • Superb set-up procedure
  • full HD spec with three HDMI inputs
  • colourful, natural and detailed video
  • smooth motion
  • quiet operation

Against

  • Uninspiring looks

One of the most popular questions we're asked, whether on the forums at whathifi.com or at shows around the country, is "should I buy a projector or a new television set?"

Normally a large TV is seen as an alternative to a projector – a top-notch 46 or 50in set would be in the same price bracket.

But when you see this Panasonic in action it's a good reminder that a TV, no matter how good, really can't match the home cinema experience that a projector delivers.

Setting up is simple
What's more, this is probably the easiest projector to set up that we've ever come across. That means we're enjoying the brilliant images quicker than you can say 1920 x 1080 resolution (this LCD projector has that under its bonnet, too).

Two click-wheel style controls atop the projector give you total control of the image. One allows you to shift the projector left and right, and up and down, the other gives you access to the powered zoom and focus controls. In a matter of seconds, we're in business.

Along with the necessary 1080p resolution and easy set-up, there's not a great deal more for a projector to worry about in terms of specifications.

It has three HDMI inputs, Panasonic's 100Hz motion processing and plenty of other picture adjustments, too. Also worth noting is that it's quiet in operation, although it does run fairly warm.

Simply sublime HD images
We settle back to watch Slumdog Millionaire and the picture the Panasonic conjures up is simply
sublime.

Colours are full-bodied, bold and punchy where required, and the grime and sweat of the Mumbai slum is accurately conveyed thanks to muddy, deep browns and hot, luscious reds.

Switch to the more natural, at times insipid, palette on the BD release of Gomorrah and the PT-AE3000 is equally adept at realistic skintones that pack in plenty of detail, ensuring the tough men, and indeed women, are given the appropriate definition.

We chose 'mode 1' when it came to motion processing, to ensure a smooth but natural delivery. While upscaled DVD won't impress in the same way as HD, we have to rein in our expectations only a touch before we enjoy sharp, insightful, colourful pictures.

So, a lesson: never judge a projector by its decidedly dull exterior. This Panasonic is a supremely clever and brilliantly capable piece of kit.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Brand NamePanasonic
Product TypeLCD Projector
ManufacturerPanasonic
Manufacturer Part NumberPT-AE3000U
Product NamePanasonic PT-AE3000
Product ModelPT-AE3000U

Projection Lens

Optical Zoom2x
Maximum Diagonal Image Size5.08 m (200")

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes

Image

Native Aspect Ratio16:9
Native Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Mode Brightness1600 lm
Graphic ModeFull HD
Contrast Ratio60,000:1

Lamp

Normal Mode Lamp Life2000 Hour
Lamp Power165 W
Lamp TypeUHM
Number of Lamps1
Economy Mode Lamp Life3000 Hour

Physical Characteristics

Width459.7 mm
Depth294.6 mm
Weight Approximate7.30 kg
Height132.1 mm
Dimensions132.1 mm (H): 459.7 mm (W): 294.6 mm (D)

Power Description

Operating Power Consumption240 W

Video

Video Signal StandardHDTV
Output Scan Format1080p

Technical Information

Projection MethodFront, Ceiling, Rear