Official Owners' Thread, Panasonic PT-AE8000U (US version) PT-AT6000E (European version) - Page 152 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4531 of 4534 Old 07-05-2015, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Panasonic is the only remaining company which has Smooth Screen technology. Many years ago [10-20] there was an aftermarket company which sold an after market lens to screw to the front of any brand which offered a similar de-pixelating technology but they no longer exist and the reviews were mixed. It was called a Cygnus IMX Image Processor and one version was called Series 900. You can see them on ebay now and then.

Many people over the years, usually people loyal to other brands, have dismissed Smooth Screen as being just a fancy "blurring" which could be mimicked by simply defocusing of any old brand's image. While its true that defocusing helps minimize SDE the amount necessary to equal Smooth Screen is so severe that the soft image looks decidedly poor. Panasonics SS is night and day better.

Two other tidbits:

A) Early versions of SS did have issues, but they got fixed, so early claims of "It looks poor, blurry, and not as sharp as other brands" was legitimately true at one point.

B) Panasonic's own marketing department botched their description of how SS exactly works using completely inaccurate pictures in their ads suggesting what was happening with SS was very different from what it actually was. They may even use the errant version to this day, I'm not sure.

It was only after I obtained the Sony1000es that I began to appreciate just how effective smooth screen tech on a Panny really is.

I have said this in other threads but just applying uniform sharpness through either extra resolution(like the Sony) or through contrast(which provides the perception of sharpness--like a JVC) is not necessarily the answer to making something look better.

Take any film that has been mastered onto blu ray from a 35mm source that pre-dates the digital intermediate era(which is still the majority of flicks) and it is obvious to see where the Panny's SS excels .
A case in point--the opening credit sequence of something like Raiders Of The Lost Ark. The opticals required to create this sequence add a level of degradation to the image--it is part of the source/film technology and cannot be ignored.
Throwing extra resolution and contrast at something like this makes it decidedly look worse-I know because I have tried(with the Sony 4K).
This is where smooth screen works a treat--by analysing the image in real time and applying the correct levels of sharpness that is applicable to that image(or areas of an image) it allows for a more seamless presentation.
So well done to Panasonic for understanding this.

on edit- literally as I finished typing this I noticed someone on an OLED thread complaining how noisy their picture is(with Casino Royal)!

Grainy Picture with LG 55EC9300 OLED TV

Point proven.
I also have the Casino Royal blu ray and it looks better on my Panny 2000 than it does on the Sony4K.

Last edited by TheSony4KRises; 07-05-2015 at 01:58 AM.
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post #4532 of 4534 Old 07-05-2015, 04:54 AM
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The Smooth Screen Tech, when combined with a Darbee 5000, brings an even more heightened level of clarity, so much so that many viewers easily mistake the result as 4K. Crazily enough, some even think it's a ginormous Direct View 4K ( foolin'....)

I have found it very difficult to suggest other projectors for almost 3 years, so consistent and excellent have been the results.....and dependability.

Here are a few good examples. Panasonic AE8000u w/15'-5" throw,
143" Diagonal 2.39:1 Silver Fire Screen (HVLP Painted on Drywall)
Darbee 5000 HD Mode set at 45%
Most Images taken in the ambient light level as seen in 1st Image
All images except last taken with image in motion.

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To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #4533 of 4534 Old 07-05-2015, 01:58 PM
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@ MississippiMan

Great set up.
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post #4534 of 4534 Old Yesterday, 11:35 PM
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Got my PT-AE8000 tonight. Initial impressions:

Styling. To be honest, I liked the boxy look of the PT-AE1000U better. It reminded me of something off the death star. And, it really looked better with the lens centered, because now the projector is offset some inches to keep the lens shift under control. But, do I really care what the projector looks like? No, not really. I am glad I installed a deeper shelf, because they really do use all of those 13"+ inches of length, and it's good to have a few more for cords.

Why did they put the power switch on the back where I can't reach it? And what's with the screw on the air filter?

So far the projector seems to be in perfect operating condition. Convergence is within a pixel. Doesn't seem to be blooming. No weird color blobs. Fingers crossed that it stays this way!

Fan is basically inaudible, but then my AC is on. I suspect the fan will get louder as it breaks in a bit, that always seems to happen. I never heard the fan on my 8 year old PT-AE1000U so I suspect I won't hear this one either.

Didn't have to reprogram my universal remote because my PT-AE1000U remote settings still worked fine. Bravo! Very much appreciated!

Why do the adjustment menus blink away after a few seconds inactivity? That's annoying.

Detail Clarity? Manual says nothing. Cranked it up and see ringing. Must be some kind of sharpening filter. Switched off!

Lens shift joystick is horrible. I saw negative comments and thought "oh come on it can't be THAT bad", but it really is. In order to make it work right they'd probably have to provide a screw-on extension knob to give the proper leverage. And, it sags once I let go of the lever so I have to guess and let go. Then of course, it's easy to mess it up while tightening the knob. They really need to bring back the finger wheels. What was so wrong with those?

Lens memory is awesome and saves the day! I have a 4:3 screen, but I align along the bottom so I'm basically treating it as if it were a fixed 16:9 screen. So the way this works is that I set up my image to be just perfect in 16:9 mode. Then, I save that setting and adjust the vertical offset in their special lens menu to move the image down and save that setting as 2.35:1. It's doing a digital shift of the image, so it doesn't fix 4:3 (you can zoom in to fill the width, but then shifting the image cuts off the top), but it is perfect for 2.35:1. I was worried that the shifting wouldn't work because I have my projector higher than the screen, but because it's shifting digitally, I needn't have worried (after all, it's still using the 16:9 picture area).

Automatic image detection for lens memory: It doesn't seem to be activating during a movie, because it waits a while before it activates. That's both a plus and a minus, because it means that the movie has to already be rolling a bit before it realizes. Title cards don't last long enough for it to change over. Still, the convenience factor is excellent here. This is easily the best improvement over my PT-AE1000U.

Brightness. With my PT-AE1000U I used Cinema 1 mode. I was still a little worried about brightness despite calculations, etc. My screen is only 92" when measured along the 16x9 diagonal, and ~14' distance (not a huge living room). Pretty sure it's not any kind of special glass coated screen or anything like that, but it's white, so that'd be a 1.0 reflectivity I guess? With the PT-AE8000 would my irises be blinded? Would I need to switch to eco mode and hope it was dim enough? Would I be watching movies with sunglasses on? Turns out that my fears were completely unfounded. Even in normal (not eco) mode, bulb brightness is fine. And Cinema 1 dims it a ton, I could even go for it brighter. It's definitely brighter than the PT-AE1000U, but not amazingly so. I guess the calculations were right!

What's the difference between Cinema 1 and REC709? They seem nearly identical. I like Cinema 1 better, it's almost like REC709 has a greenish twinge, but maybe I'm imagining things. REC709 seems slightly brighter, but just barely. Wow, Dynamic looks terrible, and it doesn't even seem that much brighter than Normal. D-Cinema is like a green moss grew on my screen, useless.

Subjective memory-based comparison to the PT-AE1000U: Is it really that much better an image? I'm in my living room. I've got white walls and ceiling, night lights and other random lights around the house, cars driving by. I noticed the black (grey?) 2.35:1 letterbox bar on the PT-AE1000U, but as soon as I started watching the movie and not the screen, I didn't notice anymore. I notice the same grey bar on the PT-AE8000, and look above it to see the even darker unlit area of the 4:3 screen. Hmm. I know my room is bad, but I was still expecting more, since this one is model "8" and I started with model "1". Best guess is it's just wasted in my room, but that grey bar...

Dynamic iris bug! Was watching the initial end credits of Harry Potter 7 Part 2, where the yellow titles fade away.. and they were getting dimmer and dimmer. After a minute I could barely see them. So, I paused it, and boom the credit comes back to full brightness instantly. That's weird, is my player going crazy? Got to thinking about it, they fade slowly, it must be fooling the iris, and when I pause, a bright white pause symbol is on the screen. Turned off dynamic iris, no more fading. Not going to keep it off, but weird! Now I want to know if this happens on the PT-AE1000U too.

3-D: I didn't realize this until yesterday, but apparently for 3-D to work I would need a new blu-ray player, and the projector didn't come with glasses. I think I only have one 3-D blu-ray anyway.

So, initial impressions summary: The PT-AE8000 is brighter than the PT-AE1000U, but not amazingly so, and I did have 1200 hours on that old bulb. Lens memory is cool. Some things are worse than the PT-AE1000U, but mostly things seem pretty much the same. What's all the hype about? I do like it, though, I was due for a new projector.

Last edited by killerkalamari; Yesterday at 11:42 PM.
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