Panasonic PT-AE4000 MSRP $1999 - Page 285 - AVS Forum
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post #8521 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 06:41 PM
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uniformity issues

Okay, so... five years into owning this projector, I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a new bulb. This is making me re-evaluate how the projector's been performing. In general, I couldn't be more happy with it; definitely more happy than I was with the AE1000, which flickered like crazy its whole life. This unit's rock solid… except…

I definitely have a uniformity issue that's been getting steadily worse over these last five years: magenta hue on the left and greenish hue on the right; only really visible in the middle-grays of a black & white movie… but I watch a lot of those, so it's annoying.

Wondering what other owners are doing about uniformity issues with this projector. Living with it? Fixing it themselves? Taking it for servicing? I'm considering the last of these options, so I'm looking for any recommendations. I live in Los Angeles, so I'm considering either Digitron or Mendtronix. Any thoughts on the matter?
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post #8522 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 07:01 PM
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Has it always been this way from day one? Or only as it ages?


Do you run yours in the fast fan mode [I forget if they call it maybe "high altitude" on this pj, I've owned a few] or the low mode? Are you good about vacuuming the filter regularly {unlike me}? If the polarizers heat up unevenly they can degrade, especially on the edges. Accidentally having a power failure where the cooling fan grinds to a halt while the insides are still hot can cause this problem, big time, but to a lesser degree even with proper use it can happen gradually, but mildly. [Which is why one should always use a UPS for a pj]


Bulbs themselves are largely responsible for uniformity issues but I am not certain if it is age related. If you do get a new bulb watch a movie where the uniformity has issues on the old bulb and then re-watch it with the new bulb to see if the problem is cured, to let us know. Thanks.


As you probably know, only buy a real deal Panasonic lamp from Provantage or B&H and beware "just as good and made by the same people to the same specs" clones.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #8523 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 07:11 PM
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Thanks for the reply! It's definitely gotten worse as it's aged, although it's been noticeable to some degree for about half the projector's life. As far as upkeep is concerned, I'm actually pretty on top o' things:

FAN: I run the fan at the "regular altitude" setting, in Eco mode for 1.33 and 1.85 movies; Normal mode for 2.40:1 (with a CIH setup).

FILTER: I vacuum it every 100 hours, without fail. And I keep the whole theater dust-free (no smoking, no pets, no kids).

NEW BULB: Got the B&H page bookmarked; keenly aware of the fact that I need a "real" bulb that comes with a filter.

You've sparked my sense of optimism that it might be bulb related. Didn't even think that was possible. Is that really a thing? That would be swell.
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post #8524 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 08:13 PM
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I'm not entirely sure if bulb aging and/or buying clone bulbs causes uniformity issues with just brightness or also color uniformity. I will try to do some research and get back to you.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #8525 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 08:20 PM
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http://www.cs.unc.edu/~stc/publicati...r_SID_ED02.pdf


http://wenku.baidu.com/view/06da6405...5.html?re=view


Attention LCD Owners: Fix Your Color Uniformity Problems by Cleaning!

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #8526 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 09:13 PM
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Thanks for the links; much appreciated. Those first two are mainly about multi-projector installations, but they do talk about "intra-projector characteristics". They seem to indicate that luminance changes a great deal as the bulb ages (no duh) while color changes very little. Based on those two articles, I'm not sure getting a new bulb will change my color uniformity problems.

The third link is one I'd turned up myself, earlier today. It advocates opening up the projector and taking stuff apart for cleaning. This makes me very nervous; don't know if I'm up to the challenge. While I'm "technical", I'm not very "handy"; theres the very real fear of screwing something up that would be MUCH worse than having a pink/green hue.

Gack. Don't know what to do. May just buy the new bulb and hope for the best. I need it anyway. If it doesn't fix the color uniformity problems, I might decide THEN whether I want to pack the unit off to a fix-it place, open it up myself or simply live with it.
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post #8527 of 8531 Old 10-06-2014, 10:16 PM
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That sounds reasonable. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #8528 of 8531 Old 10-11-2014, 12:56 PM
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UPDATE on the current conversation: I've replaced the bulb (with an official Panasonic bulb purchased from B&H) and as I suspected, it's made no difference whatsoever in the color uniformity. There's still a distinct "pink" side and a distinct "green" side. I'll have to figure out whether I can live with it or take it in for servicing, but a new bulb definitely does NOT solve this issue.

However… the brightness of the new bulb is a revelation. My home theater went from 12-footlamberts (which is still within acceptable theatrical limits) to 17... and wow does it pop! Never even noticed the old bulb was particularly dim until the last ten hours or so, but I'm incredibly happy I pulled the trigger on the new one.

In the meantime, I'm still interested in any stories of people taking their projector for servicing, to solve the magenta/green color uniformity issues that develop over time. Hopefully stories with a happy ending!
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post #8529 of 8531 Old 10-11-2014, 03:44 PM
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I'm afraid that if a new bulb, which you said was due anyways, didn't fix it then you may have burnt polarizer(s). That's a bummer and as far as I know costs hundreds (?) to fix.


If you found a good 4000 on the used market at least you'd know you had a brand new bulb waiting for it, which means another 4000 may be a good way to go.



Good luck.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #8530 of 8531 Old 10-15-2014, 12:53 PM
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I know my ramblings about an old projector probably hold very little interest on these forums, but I wanted to conclude my story from the last few entries…

Ended up taking the projector to Digitron Electronics here in Los Angeles. They were great and very helpful, but didn't find anything "wrong" with the projector that could be fixed. No burnt polarizers, etc. They said the color uniformity issue I was observing was a problem with the "optical block" and that it would take $1200 to replace. Obviously, I wasn't going to do that when I could get a new ae8000 for $2000. Can't afford to do either right now.

Sooo… I'm living with the old projector with one side pink, one side green. Very annoying. Since I'm a cinematographer, I had a piece of 1/8 plus-green gel lying around, so I cut and placed it over a portion of the projector lens, thus "correcting" the magenta area. I've obviously lost some image integrity through the gel, since it's intended to be used in front of lighting units and is NOT meant to go in front of a lens. But the trade-off is worth it; it actually kinda worked. In fact, I may have to trade it out for 1/4 plus-green, since the magenta hue is so strong.
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post #8531 of 8531 Old 10-18-2014, 05:07 PM
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My 4000 is doing the same thing. It's only noticeable of B&W movies. I can't say if the issue was there from day one, but now that I'm aware of it, it's unmistakable! :/ I live with it, because a new projector is out of the question right now!
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