Warning, take heed of this:
Originally Posted by Shinobiwan
the panny is definitely inferior to the JVC, no amount of messing around could get around that fact. Blacks aren't as good, not as much punch in to the image and colours whilst fairly good looked less vibrant and muted in general during the side by side.
If you want inaccurate colors, want to compare it to projectors costing several thousand more, etc, move on this isn't the projector for you.
Oversaturated colors biased towards too much red and green are of course going to look more vibrant and "punchy". That doesn't make them accurate, nor what you'll see in the movie theater. The only way to get the exact cinema experience is to buy the actual film used in the theater. Complain to people that made the REC 709 color space.
So if you want to have one of the best cinema experiences using the limitations of the REC 709 HD color space, and not a fake simulation of one, read on. End of PSA. Now on with the review.
Today I saw the Panasonic PT-AE2000u. A very interesting projector. It beats the Sony VPL-VW50 (Pearl) hands down. I do have a few concerns which I will get to.
The projector was in a black room, which had the potential to be fully light controlled. It's a shame not all the lights could be out. For the light level which was shown, there were no flaws compared to CRT direct view. The amount of light would be, I'd guesstimate, about as much from a bathroom night light in the next room with the door open. The screen was ~100 inch diagonal shown on a much larger screen probably about 30 feet wide.
From a design perspective, the case looks very good. It's black with matte paint. You can add a box, provided with the projector, which makes the unit completely square and symmetrical and can be also used to hide wires or make it look better. The lens is very high quality glass, with several individual lens elements. I took a look at the C2Fine D7 panels itself. It's amazing it can be that small. The filter is located on the side and looks easy to remove, which should allow you to just vacuum it without having to replacing it with each cleaning. During the presentation, I was able to look at the remote. For a projector the remote was quite nice. Buttons illuminated in the dark, it had a digital display and could be programmed to use with your other A/V equipment, much like a universal remote. There was a 16 memory program display to hold different settings, all of which could be named, so you don't have to remember what each one does. A on screen gamma control allows for devices to be move their waveform steps, a good feature to have with devices which output odd or peculiar gammas.
Absolutely beautiful. DO NOT put the projector in any other color mode except Color1. In the middle of the presentation I had the lady put the projector in Color1 from Cinema1. The difference was enormous. I tried to gently persuade her to keep it in that mode, but she was convinced to keep the projector in the horrible Cinema1 mode which used exaggerated colors. What was she thinking? We're videophiles here. Cinema mode makes everything way too red and green, blues aren't too bad. Color1 PERFECTLY renders REC 709 colors. No other device has come close except on a professionally calibrated CRT pro monitor. The lady told me, "Cinema provides a richer color experience which allows more colors than the REC 709 spec which is only for HDTV, not movies." After having such a wonderful mode, which even directors use for digital intermediates on this projector, it amazes me Panasonic would promote the cartoon colors, saying Color1 is only used by professionals who want to make movies! ARG!!!!
The gamma on the Pearl is also no comparison to the 2000. Even on a unit I saw which had the gamma corrected, the 2000, was way better. Gamma is also hundreds times easier to adjust on the 2000, no need to hook up to a computer to get the best gamma curve the unit can achieve. The 2000 can calibrate gamma both from the signal levels showing a waveform (automatically have the 2000 calibrate gamma using a gray scale image for you) and manually using a meter by dragging the waveform with the remote buttons.
For all of you who say smooth screen is exactly the same as slightly defocussing the lens slightly, check your eyes! Not once did I say to myself I was losing slight detail. I personally think this should be called "Smooth Screen 2". I was closer than one screen width and couldn't see pixels at all. There was no noise at all.
The auto iris, is pretty much undetectable. I'm very sensitive to any kinds of resolution pumping, brightness compression, and fluctuating brightness. I saw none of those with the 2000. The auto iris in turn adds darker black levels without being glaringly obvious except to the most picky viewers who MUST have 100% perfect image at all times. But nothing shows an image perfect anyway! So in my opinion, you can just leave it on and not worry one bit.
I saw perfect uniformity. I'm very sensitive to that. People all said, "a DIY screen sprayed on with the proper spray gun, done in a professional manner, will look just as good as a professional matte white screen." Were they ever wrong, I could see lines all over the place where the edge of the spray made band marks. I must be very sensitive because no one else who saw my DIY screen could even see the marks. On the 2000, there was no banding or differences in color brightness from the center, edges or corners that I noticed or could see.
Very excellent. 1080i60 to 1080p60 was flawless. No studder or image artifacts of any kind. Mosquito noise was either non-existant or every so slight as to not be called noise IMHO. This isn't to say the image was overly processed. On the contrary, the image looked very film like. Not digital in the least. CRT looks more processed in comparison. It was like going to a movie theater. 24p mode was good for the most part. I did notice slight motion problems in the beginning scene of the Blu-ray movie Pirates of the Caribbean Curse of the Black Pearl. I don't know if it was the player, the way the Panasonic projector handled 24p, or the encoding itself. A particular scene was when Knightly gets out of bed and you see the curtains, the curtains break up and the pixels move back and forth. I will have to hear from users who played the movie and used the Panasonic Blu-ray player if why that was there. Next they played a 1080i60 clip from their in house Panasonic hard disk drive. That was flawless and had no studdering or pixel breakup. So I'm clueless why Pirates did.
WAY TOO BRIGHT. I don't know what was up here, maybe the projector was in high lamp and needed to be turned to low. If brightness is a problem for you, it won't be with this projector.
Black levels and shadow delineation:
Black levels could be improved but was damn good. The problems with blacks was most likely due to not being in a batcave. If the presentation were made to look like a batcave, I'm sure even a CRTer projector user would be pleased. Much better than the Pearl in the same environment. The gamma curve was excellent, best I've seen on any digital, of any class. Neither blacks nor whites were being clipped or crushed. Your environment, more than anything else, will effect how well your blacks are with this projector. Even with my CRT direct view HDTV, it can't even show blacks as well as this projector in the environment shown, I can just imagine what it would look like in a batcave!
If the MSRP or MAP is really ~$3,000. It's a steal for what you get. Once I can confirm what the problem with the 24p is, there were absolutely NO FLAWS. If the 24p is broken, Panasonic FIX IT. VERY VERY highly recommended if the 24p support is fixed.
Originally Posted by Daniel Hutnicki
It looks like Reio-ta beat me to the punch. I have been really busy lately and was going to put up my own review tonight.
Lets start with some specs. It includes 3 hdmi that are 1.3. Projector is brighter at 1500 lumens and contrast has been kicked up to 16000:1
Has some nice new features, they updated the Waveform monitor so it will adjust the projector automatically for you unlike last years units which had to be done manually
They added a interesting calibrating feature. What you do is freeze the picture and select a portion of the picture you want to adjust. It will then put up the image twice either as a mirror image or as a duplicate. Then when you adjust color, brightness or whatever, it will do it to one of the images only so that you can see where you started out and where you are going
Another interesting option is that you can freeze a picture and using a targeting feature, you can adjust the color of the object. So for example we chose a blue house. They targeted the blue and were able to adjust the blue so that the entire house was modified.
I think like before the internal color filter can be disengaged depending on what mode you are in. I didnt ask about that , but if i remember from the older units, you had that option
I asked about Anamorphic lens and whatever the AE1000 had so does the AE2000
The people from Panasonic have seen our comparision of the AE1000 with other projectors using the picture of Gandolf and they have added some time of feature that sharpens the picture. Do be honest, I had nothing to compare with so I have no idea how much of a difference it makes or not
Price, as mentioned before, they didnt know. Best they could tell us was that it wouldnt be more than the AE1000
When I asked about the ability to take off smoothscreen, I was told no. From what I gather, they seemed to be concerned with screendoor so my guess is that they will have smoothscreen for a long time. According to them, they have a new smoothscreen system Although they havent said anything, i think they are trying to remove the issue of lack of sharpness
As for my opinion, the picture and colors are beautiful and has a nice sharp image. Is it DLP sharp, no, but I have always thought that while I love DLP sharpness, it doesnt have to the standard. Black levels are very good and I actually like Cinema 1 unlike my companion and I enjoy bright pictures so the 1500 lumens worked well with me. Plus since so many of us are going with large 2.35 screens, the extra lumens can be used
How they compare to the Pearl or RS1, well it definitely brighter than either one of them. I havent seem the Pearl in a long time so I am going by memory, but I would think the AE2000 has better colors. I own the RS1 but I am embarrased to say that I havent put it up yet as I have been working on the room. Being that people have been saying that the RS1 doesnt have accurate colors, its easy to say that the Panny has better colors.
As for black levels.again without a direct comparsion it would be hard to say. On the other hand, I cant imagine their would be a huge difference.
One think you can say about the Panny is that it has an amazing number of controls and how you can adjust just about anything you want. Like previously mentioned, it has 16 memory options which you can name yourself.
Any more questions?