Exchange Panasonic AE8000 for something else? - AVS Forum
Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP > Exchange Panasonic AE8000 for something else?
dj41's Avatar dj41 01:22 PM 12-04-2013
I ordered a Panasonic PT AT-6000 (ae8000 equivalent in Europe) in october and had some bad experiences with it. The unit had very bad convergence and focus. I just couldn't get it focussed right. Not just one side of the screen, but the overall focus was bad. Convergence cannot be adjusted by the user on the AE8000, so I was dissapointed and called the dealer I bought it from. They had a look and concluded that I was right. But they couldn't do anything for me, they said and they advised me to RMA this brand new device. My opinion was that this was a DOA and I should have a replacement. Because the dealer did basically nothing for me, I contacted Panasonic myself. Sending evidence by email and explaining my situation. After a lot of email contact they finally decided to exchange my faulty unit.

When I checked the second unit, the convergence and focus were far better. Still not perfect, but a night-and day difference with the former unit. But when I watched movies, I noticed microjudder. Every 10 to 15 seconds the picture lags a bit. Sometimes a fracture of a second and sometimes 2 to 3 seconds. At first I thought the judder was my equipment or cables. So I bought new cables and had a friend bring over his media player. No matter how we connected any source, it showed the same judder. Because I tested thoroughly it took some time and Panasonic will not exchange anymore, because they feel it took too long before I reported it. So there's my reward for trying to figure out what the problem was...

I have sent my unit to a repair partner of Panasonic in Belgium to get it fixed. But I am now at a point where I am somewhat "done" with the device and brand and I am thinking of selling it. With the selling of my old Epson projector, I had made extra money (about 700 euro) and two options are the JVC X35 (RS46) and the Sony VPL-HW50. I did a lot of reading, a lot on this great forum, and also read a lot of reviews from respectable projector review sites. The Panasonic AE8000's major flaw is its mediocre blacklevel and so this is a bonus for me when I get a different unit. So I looked into some other models in the AE8000's price range and I came to this conclusion;

Panasonic AE8000

+ Good motion
+ Good 3D
+ reasonably quiet in operation
+ Lens memory (which I don't use)
+ motorized focus
+ quite bright
+ excellent gaming performance due to low lag

- no 3D glasses included
- mediocre blacks

JVC X35 (RS46)

+ very good lens
+ reference black level
+ excellent 2D performance
+ motorized focus
+ Lens memory (which I don't use)

- no 3d glasses or emitter included
- motion issues on fast content (sports)
- lag for gaming is not great
- not very bright, (but well enough in calibrated mode)
- 3D is not very good (brightness and motion)

Sony VPL-HW50

+ Good 2D
+ excellent 3D
+ two 3d glasses included
+ Bright
+ Reality creation
+ Good blacks, though not as good as the JVC
+ excellent gaming performance due to low lag
+ very quiet operation

- lens is not great (plastic)
- without reality creation, it isn't as sharp as competitors
- a lot of reported hardware issues (focus and color uniformity)
- No motorized focus

The financial picture is this:

Sony VPL-HW50 = sell my Panasonic AE8000 and pay the 700 euro's extra to be able to buy it.
JVC X35 (RS46) = Sell my Panasonic AE8000 and have enough left to buy a Darbee Darblet
Panasonic AE8000 = keep the unit, have money left for a darblet and 350 euro's to spare

My screen is a 110" white screen with 1.0 gain. My projector will be used in my living room with white walls and a white ceiling. My use of the projector is: 45% series, 45% movies and 10% gaming.

So now I have to make a choice.... The Panasonic is actually very good except the black level, but I haven't seen the other two, so I cannot actually compare. The Panasonic looks great, but maybe that's because my previous projector was in an other price range (Epson TW2900). I was leaning toward the Sony VPL-HW50, because it is actually good at almost everything, provided you get a good unit with no color uniformity issues or other hardware related problems. But with my luck, I would probably get a bad unit again and start al over with sending units back and waiting. The JVC looks like a very good projector, but I also watch a lot of sports and the reports of bad motion on the JVC are scaring me. 3D isn't one of my top priorities, but is a nice addition to have on occasions. The strong point of the JVC is it's black level, but with white walls and a white ceiling, I am wondering if I would be able to benefit from that much. So the logical choice would be to go for the Sony and "hope for the best".

But then I read this review. The reviewer said: "The AE8000 and the HW50 are roughly equal when it comes to black level." If that is indeed the case, then swapping the Panasonic AE8000 for the Sony VPL-HW50 does not benefit me at all and I would be losing the 700 euro's in the proces. If the reviewer is right about his black level claim, I might as well keep the Panasonic AE8000, get a Darbee Darblet and then even have 350 euro's left in my pocket.

I am a person that can get mentally insane on a decision like this. Is there anyone that can give me their point of view or some advice?

Dreamliner's Avatar Dreamliner 12:40 AM 12-05-2013
I'm pretty happy with my JVC RS46. I did a mini-comparison between the AE8000 and the JVC RS46.

The black level is way way way better on the RS46, I have a real hard time believing the Sony isn't better than the AE8000 in this regard. If you have a 16x9 screen I'd suggest the HW50 as there simply isn't a compelling reason to get the RS46. JVC is the winner for 2D movies and black level, everything else Sony has the edge.

Black levels on the Sony will closer to the JVC than the Panasonic. This review even states black levels as a Pro of the Sony.

I didn't choose the Sony because of my 2.35:1 screen which requires motorized lens shift. Also, don't buy a Darbee. Save the money or put it into a better projector. Sony's Reality Creation produces a better result than the Darbee anyhow.

Hope that helps!
dj41's Avatar dj41 12:42 AM 12-05-2013
Thanks for your take on this. Why do you dislike the Darbee? It seems to get very good reviews on a lot of websites.
Dreamliner's Avatar Dreamliner 01:51 AM 12-05-2013
Originally Posted by dj41 View Post

Thanks for your take on this. Why do you dislike the Darbee? It seems to get very good reviews on a lot of websites.
Sony's Reality Creation simply looks better. I'm just not a fan of over-processing. I haven't seen anything remotely close to $300 of value out of it. My next purchase will be replacement for displacement. tongue.gif
WilliamG's Avatar WilliamG 02:56 PM 12-05-2013
I went from the PT-AE8000U to the HW30 and then the HW50. My 8000 was REALLY defective so I had it RMA'ed and got my money back. I wouldn't swap my HW50 for anything short of 4K. I'd imagine the RS46 is in that same group as the HW50 in terms of overall performance, - slightly better black levels from the RS46 but inferior 3D and inferior input lag (for gaming, if that's your thing). If 2D is all you're watching for the most part, the RS46 is a great projector, as is the HW50. I REALLY like Reality Creation on my HW50. At the lowest levels the detail is just incredible.

I wouldn't say the HW50's 3D is excellent. It's "OK." There's considerably more flicker through the glasses than the Panasonic 8000, (240hz vs 480hz 3D on the Panasonic). If you're not sensitive to it, it won't bother you. Crosstalk is much less on the Sony, though.
Tags: Panasonic Ptae8000u Hd Projector , Jvc Dla X35 3d Hd Front Projector , Jvc Dla Rs46 Projector , Sony Vpl Hw50es 3d Projector
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