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Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP > Panasonic PT-AE4000 MSRP $1999
rprice54's Avatar rprice54 07:31 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by loganross View Post

The Panny did not work with my 45' cable that worked with many other projectors. Fortunately switching to a 35' cable solved all problems.

Hmmm, if this PJ can't handle a 40' run I may be in trouble. You guys with the monoprice extenders, do you just put a 1' HDMI cable on the end and run it to the PJ. I think I may wait to see the price on the new Epson.

genesis_avs's Avatar genesis_avs 07:44 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamiraa View Post

Can someone confirm the real MSRP ? Is it 2,000 or 2,500?

I get a discount 30% off MSRP from panasonic directly provided by my corporate discount that I would like to use.

Unfortunately, it is not on Panasonic's website yet, and they claim to have no idea when it will be available directly, in order to take advantage of the discount.
NYMN's Avatar NYMN 07:56 PM 11-04-2009
Could any owners comment on the sharpness of the AE4000? This machine is on my list - at the top actually - especially at its price point!! I did see an AE3000 last year on a 130" 2:35 screen and while it was impressive, it seemed a touch soft. Would I be expecting about the same from the AE4000? Thanks so much.
RapalloAV's Avatar RapalloAV 08:03 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMN View Post

Could any owners comment on the sharpness of the AE4000? This machine is on my list - at the top actually - especially at its price point!! I did see an AE3000 last year on a 130" 2:35 screen and while it was impressive, it seemed a touch soft. Would I be expecting about the same from the AE4000? Thanks so much.

Mine is sharp sharp sharp!
treytexag's Avatar treytexag 09:11 PM 11-04-2009
With all the folks now receiving the 4000 this week, if they were having or seeing "problems" - they'd quickly be here talking about it. As it is, it is very quiet considering the number of units "hitting the streets" this week.

That's good I think - everyone is busy watching, and enjoying, their new projectors instead of complaining about them here!! Great news.
bruce3404's Avatar bruce3404 09:13 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid53 View Post

Well i finally got my AE4000 to replace my AE700 and no picture. I believe i have an HDMI handshake problem. The cable is 6 years old and is 50 feet long going to a Pioneer Elite VSX84TX reciever.
Has anyone else had problems mating with this receiver and do the 50' HDMI cables from Monoprice work with this projector.
Looking for any and all feedback on this before i order new cables.

I had a brief problem with an HDMI switching box from Monoprice. I bypassed the switcher and the picture was fine. I've since purchased several HDMI cables and ran home runs from my equipment to the PJ. If you're not using a switcher, try a new cable.
bruce3404's Avatar bruce3404 09:14 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbelt View Post

Ok now watch some movies and post your thoughts. I am still on the fence on this one. I need more comments.

Nothing but raves in this forum and you're still on the fence?
simonpickard's Avatar simonpickard 10:19 PM 11-04-2009
Hello guys,

Firstly wanted to say thanks to everyone, some great people in here and as this is my first projector I've learn't a lot!

So I'm going to buy a 4000!

In in Sydney, Australia, and the prices here are just crazy. Cheapest I've seen is about $4000US. After reading the forums seems a few people are ordering from the US via PriceUSA. Just wanted to check this is a good thing to do? In terms of warrenties will I be covered, etc, does anyone know?

Thanks again,
Simon
bosbrucec's Avatar bosbrucec 10:45 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by RapalloAV View Post

Mine is sharp sharp sharp!

Some reviews have said this & AE3000U were not quite as sharp as some projectors, but others have said it is just an issue of the default sharpness Panasonic has it set at. While contrast/brightness/color/tint/... all default to the middle of their respective scales, sharpness is all but one to the not-sharp side (called 0, but you can only go -1 to the left for less sharpness or up to 14 for more sharpness..).

I had a Viewsonic Pro8100 for a day before it died on me (returned for refund) before the PT-AE4000U and it was a bit sharper by default, but that actually caused a lot of bad looking graininess in 1080i baseball/football scenes (and the Panny has much better contrast / blacks). I suspect I might turn up the sharpness for blu-ray movies but otherwise keep it down closer to default.

And, fyi, my quick $.02 (or 2 paragraph) review of the new toy :

I am totally thrilled with my AE4000U ... Just took down my 6 year old Sanyo PLV-Z2 (720p) and love the improved contrast, brightness, darker blacks, detail,... I also had a Viewsonic Pro8100 for a couple of days before it died and the PT-AE4000U puts that to shame overall (though the image quality of the closeout $1300 Viewsonic was closer to the Panasonic than my old Sanyo). The user interface on the Panny is phenomenal.

Only issues so far are : (1) motion compensation/frame creation caused 2 baseball "ghosts" during some scenes of the World Series (bummer the Phillies couldn't pull it off )... Fortunately it could be turned off easily enough. And (2) default color settings cause a lot of purple lips and slightly off reds at times... But side-by-side comparison of image should make it easy to fix that when I am not busy watching stuff on it!

HTH, Bruce
RapalloAV's Avatar RapalloAV 11:20 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post

Hello guys,

Firstly wanted to say thanks to everyone, some great people in here and as this is my first projector I've learn't a lot!

So I'm going to buy a 4000!

In in Sydney, Australia, and the prices here are just crazy. Cheapest I've seen is about $4000US. After reading the forums seems a few people are ordering from the US via PriceUSA. Just wanted to check this is a good thing to do? In terms of warrenties will I be covered, etc, does anyone know?

Thanks again,
Simon

Have you looked to NZ?
aleiby's Avatar aleiby 11:39 PM 11-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunt11 View Post

When I boot up Windows XP while hooked up via VGA the splash screen is formatted for the screen but when Windows comes up 1920x1080 is displayed with the sides squeezed in. However, when I've previously boot up the computer to my HDTV and use a VGA switch to switch over to the AE4000 1920x1080 displays properly. I haven't investigated this any further since this is actually the method I will usually boot up with so It's really a non-issue for me.

Yeah, that's what I was seeing. I picked up a DVI to HDMI adapter and connected my laptop that way, and it works wonderfully. Guess I'll leave the VGA hooked up to the 360 (which works just fine).
Joseph Clark's Avatar Joseph Clark 01:17 AM 11-05-2009
My 4000 arrived today, earlier than I thought it would, so I got a chance to watch a few hours of film and video. It's late, but tomorrow promises to be busy, so I thought I'd post a few thoughts. I'll be comparing it to my Sharp XV-Z20000.

I set it to Color 1, eco lamp, detail clarity 3, frame interpolation 1, color -5.

First, the color. I'm used to color that's far less intense on my Sharp 20k, so the color saturation was way too much for me. Faces seemed too ruddy and I didn't like the exaggerated skin tones. By bringing down color saturation to -5, I ended up with what looked like fairly accurate color, still more saturated than I'm used to, but which I actually ended up liking more than my less saturated Sharp color settings. Color accuracy at Color 1 seemed comparable to my Sharp, despite the dramatically increased saturation.

I set my Denon 3808 to 40ms audio delay to compensate for the frame interpolation 1 setting. Maybe not perfect, but awfully close. Using higher settings would have required still more delay.

Shadow detail was much better on the Panasonic than my Sharp. Black levels go to the Sharp. Space shots from Stargate Atlantis (Fan Favorites Blu-ray, disc 1) and Star Trek Insurrection (Blu-ray) were dark gray, not black. The Sharp can go lower, but with more digital noise. I prefer the deeper black of the Sharp, but the cleaner blacks of the Panasonic made up for much of the difference. Very smooth.

I thought at first that the Panasonic's auto iris was going to bother me, but I had neglected to set the lamp to eco mode initially, and this seemed to accentuate the changes. The one exception was the credits for Stargate Atlantis, which flashed quickly off and on instead of rolling. The auto iris spazzed out. Watching too much of that would drive me crazy. For most regular material, I pretty quickly forgot the auto iris was operating.

I really liked the contrast on the Panasonic, but for depth and "pop," the Sharp was still better, in both dark and light scenes. That has to be the ANSI contrast advantage the Sharp has. But the better shadow detail tilted me back toward the Panasonic.

I don't have a new lamp in the Sharp (it's over 1500 hours old), but I still think the Panasonic is brighter in eco mode than my Sharp was in eco mode when its lamp was new. On my 110" screen, "Normal" lamp mode is far too bright in Color 1. In eco mode, it's still a little too bright. I may try a filter to improve the black level. I never felt the need to mask my High Power screen while using the Sharp. The scope bars on a movie like Star Trek Insurrection never bothered me. I notice the bars on the Panasonic much more. Again, a filter may be necessary to tame this initial brightness.

Sharpness was a question mark for me initially, but that was because I had trouble focusing the Panasonic at first. I had to switch to my computer screen and focus on fine text. I then realized that the Panasonic was plenty sharp. I got up close, about a foot away. The pixel fill factor on the Panasonic was nearly perfect. With the sharp, each pixel has a black "square" around it. This might make the Sharp seem a little sharper, but that part of the perception is an illusion. I doubt any 3-chip design is going to beat the Sharp if you examine each pixel, but for all practical purposes, the Panasonic seems superbly sharp to me. Once I had the text focused on the computer screen, any misgivings I had about the Panasonic and the clarity of the Windows desktop evaporated.

Frame interpolation: there's absolutely no contest here. The Panasonic is far better than the Sharp when it comes to motion. I set frame interpolation to 1 and really liked it there, for film and TV shows. I also tried settings 2 and 3, but there was an odd look to moving objects that I didn't care for. Not in a million years would I have described what I saw as a "soap opera" look. I don't have a clue where that term came from, but I think it's just plain wrong. Where I noticed the most striking effect was during the pan across the Baku village in Insurrection. Set at 1, frame interpolation made for very smooth movement. At higher settings, I noticed an odd "noise" around the credits that were fading in and out (almost like mosquito noise in DVDs), and moving objects seemed a little unnatural. On credit rolls at the end of the movie, frame interpolation (at any setting) made for glassy smooth movement. The hay stacks at the opening of Insurrection showed none of the shimmering breakup that many of us have experienced in the past with that scene. Sharp 20k credit rolls don't even come close to being this smooth.

The Panasonic adjusted perfectly as I switched my sources in and out. It had no problem displaying Playstation 3, Dish 622 and home theater PC screens. There are "Normal" and "Expanded" settings for HDMI (video level vs. PC level). I have all my sources set for video levels, including my HTPC, and that simplifies things a bit. That part is every bit as seamless as it is with my Sharp. I did turn off the auto search feature. At first, even though I had only one HDMI input connected, wherever the Panasonic saw a resolution change coming from my PS3, it flipped out and displayed a graphic of the various inputs. When the movie started, of course, that stopped, but it was annoying.

Although I'm not overly sensitive to rainbows, I can see them. The Sharp 20k is actually a little worse at showing rainbows than the other two DLP's I've owned. With my 720p DLP's, I got to a point where I had to work really hard to see them at all. It was pleasant never once seeing a rainbow tonight.

There are some things I like better about the Sharp, especially the ANSI contrast and the single chip design. There are interior scenes in Stargate Atlantis that I love with the Sharp. It's a sense of depth that's just not quite there on the Panasonic. I think I can attribute that to better ANSI contrast and black level. Most of what I've read about ANSI contrast says it makes a bigger difference in bright scenes, but I think the contrast difference I'm perceiving is just as telling (even more so) in dark scenes.

Overall, though, I'm really impressed with the Panasonic 4000. It handles motion much better than my Sharp, despite DLP's speed advantage. Sharp is still selling the 20k, and you'll probably pay around $7,000 for it new, but there's no way it's worth that much more than the 4000. Although some people would probably disagree, on balance, I think the Panasonic is a better projector. I could change my mind with more viewing, but I think it will replace the Sharp in my main home theater.
loganross's Avatar loganross 05:42 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMN View Post

Could any owners comment on the sharpness of the AE4000? This machine is on my list - at the top actually - especially at its price point!! I did see an AE3000 last year on a 130" 2:35 screen and while it was impressive, it seemed a touch soft. Would I be expecting about the same from the AE4000? Thanks so much.

The projector is sharp enough when viewing normal material, but there is a very very clear drop off in sharpness as you move away from the center of the image. This is easily confirm-able by throwing up a computer desktop image which normally has icons and accompanying text all over the desktop. I use the ae4000 at wide angle to mid zoom (I have a scope screen). While often the wide angle of a zoom lens generates slight distortions I use it to maximize light output (you'll note that the speed of the lens, that is how much light it lets through at any given time, is greatest at wide angle). The lens speed, which is variable based on zoom position, is marked on the lens ring. I think it is 1.9 to 3.2 or something like that.

The sharpness issue has not in anyway impacted my viewing of movie material.
htnutpa's Avatar htnutpa 06:39 AM 11-05-2009
I received the Panasonic AE4000 yesterday and mounted the pj and adjusted the zoom so it fills the 16:9 picture. I adjusted using the blue/green screen and the image is centered and saved in memory 1.--do it need to?
I have a 2.4 screen and would like to zoom so it fills the screen and save in the lens memory but couldn't figure out how to--how do I do it hence the title. I didn't have a DVD player connected yet but most sub menu was greyed out. Any help is greatly appreciated.
VirTERM's Avatar VirTERM 07:31 AM 11-05-2009
I am looking to purchase a ceiling mount for my new 4k.
I need about 10-11" extension from the ceiling, and just found something on ebay.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Wojtek
jdskycaster's Avatar jdskycaster 07:40 AM 11-05-2009
Initial comments seem very positive and this looks like a promising upgrade from my AX100 (with AX200 light engine). I still watch a ton of DVD in the HT so I am not sure if I am quite ready to go 1080p yet (requires purchase of the entire chain - Pre-Pro, BR player and PJ) but price/performance of this piece is a bit tempting. I just need to stay off these boards for another year!

Best Regards,
JD
TheSensFan's Avatar TheSensFan 07:46 AM 11-05-2009
I am no expert in calibration, however I would like to get the most out of my 4000. My previous projector was the InFocus 4805 and was fortunate enough other members who were experts had shared their calibration settings (using DVI connection to HTPC). Even though out of the box the 4805 was really nice, the calibration settings helped quite a bit.

To the point, I have an older Avia Video Essentials DVD and was thinking of using it to calibrate the 4000. But before I go through all that trouble I wanted to find out if I would be wasting my time.

For example…
  • Should I purchase a BR calibration disk instead? (if so which one)
  • I understand how every room is different and every source is different but will there be calibration settings people can share which would help to indicate what settings I should be looking to tweak?
  • Should I even bother calibrating away from the defaults?

Cheers!
TSF
bruce3404's Avatar bruce3404 07:50 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by VirTERM View Post

I am looking to purchase a ceiling mount for my new 4k.
I need about 10-11" extension from the ceiling, and just found something on ebay.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Wojtek

While the reviews are mostly positive, I would be concerned about the few folks who thought the mount was "flimsy". For an additional $50, you can buy a first class mount and rest assured that your $2000 investment isn't going anywhere. You must have a very high ceiling if you need to extend down almost a foot. Are you aware that the 4000 allows for a 30 degree vertical tilt?
xgecko's Avatar xgecko 07:53 AM 11-05-2009
I have been reading the posts for some time now and ordered my 4K on Wednesday for Friday delivery. Now I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the unit to arrive so we can watch Transformers Revenge on it this weekend...

Looking over the comments it appears I will be absolutely thrilled with my upgrade from a PT-AE500U. No doubt about it. I have been very happy with the 500U and will now use it as a portable PJ for camping and travelling.
VirTERM's Avatar VirTERM 08:08 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce3404 View Post

While the reviews are mostly positive, I would be concerned about the few folks who thought the mount was "flimsy". For an additional $50, you can buy a first class mount and rest assured that your $2000 investment isn't going anywhere. You must have a very high ceiling if you need to extend down almost a foot. Are you aware that the 4000 allows for a 30 degree vertical tilt?

Thanks, what other mounts do you have in mind?
My ceiling is not high at all (8'), but because of the way my screen will be mounted and since I need to be within the screen area for auto aspect switching... I have no choice.
Thanks,
Wojtek
jimsfield's Avatar jimsfield 08:09 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid53 View Post

Well i finally got my AE4000 to replace my AE700 and no picture. I believe i have an HDMI handshake problem. The cable is 6 years old and is 50 feet long going to a Pioneer Elite VSX84TX reciever.
Has anyone else had problems mating with this receiver and do the 50' HDMI cables from Monoprice work with this projector.
Looking for any and all feedback on this before i order new cables.

Try running your HDMI cable directly from your source (DVD or BD player or cable box) to your AE4000 and see if you get a picture. If you do you may need either a new cable or something to boost the signal.
KO Abear's Avatar KO Abear 08:19 AM 11-05-2009
I received the Panasonic AE4000 yesterday and mounted the pj and adjusted the zoom so it fills the 16:9 picture. I adjusted using the blue/green screen and the image is centered and saved in memory 1.--do it need to?
I have a 2.4 screen and would like to zoom so it fills the screen and save in the lens memory but couldn't figure out how to--how do I do it hence the title. I didn't have a DVD player connected yet but most sub menu was greyed out. Any help is greatly appreciated.Just put up your 2.4 screen and zoom the blue calibration screen out until it is the correct width and then by eye center it vertically. This will be pretty close. Once you have an actual 2.4 DVD playing just use the manual vertical adjustment on top of the PJ to dial it in exactly. Don't forget to refocus once the image is zoomed out before you save your settings.
edpowers's Avatar edpowers 08:22 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark View Post

...
I don't have a new lamp in the Sharp (it's over 1500 hours old), but I still think the Panasonic is brighter in eco mode than my Sharp was in eco mode when its lamp was new. On my 110" screen, "Normal" lamp mode is far too bright in Color 1. In eco mode, it's still a little too bright. I may try a filter to improve the black level. I never felt the need to mask my High Power screen while using the Sharp. The scope bars on a movie like Star Trek Insurrection never bothered me. I notice the bars on the Panasonic much more. Again, a filter may be necessary to tame this initial brightness.

There are some things I like better about the Sharp, especially the ANSI contrast and the single chip design. There are interior scenes in Stargate Atlantis that I love with the Sharp. It's a sense of depth that's just not quite there on the Panasonic. I think I can attribute that to better ANSI contrast and black level. Most of what I've read about ANSI contrast says it makes a bigger difference in bright scenes, but I think the contrast difference I'm perceiving is just as telling (even more so) in dark scenes.

Thanks for the excellent initial comparisons Joe! What is your throw distance? As you mentioned, the Sharp 20k with 1500 hours on the bulb (and I'm assuming with the Iris clamped down to High Contrast mode) should be significantly dimmer than a brand new AE4000 in any mode. To be honest, I typically would swap my Sharp bulbs at 1000 hours just because I wanted the extra brightness. I'm assuming your AE4000 bright scenes are blazingly bright on your high power vs. the Sharp? Were you using the DI the entire time? I'll be very interested to find out how black levels and contrasts compare after you filter out some of the excessive brightness on the AE4000. That's what I love about the High Power screens. Its easy to bring brightness down with an ND filter and then remove the filter once the bulb ages ... its like getting a new bulb for free.
KO Abear's Avatar KO Abear 08:22 AM 11-05-2009
Sorry, forgot the quote marks on that last post. Quote ends with... "any help will be greatly appreciated". My post continues after that...sorry for the confusion
htnutpa's Avatar htnutpa 08:37 AM 11-05-2009
KObear--Thanks a lot for your help...
KO Abear's Avatar KO Abear 08:48 AM 11-05-2009
Ok, this is for all the "fence sitters" out there, I know every little bit of information helps so here goes my first impressions.

My setup is in a light controlled 14x11 room with peanut butter colored walls (darkest my lovely wife would allow). I am running an 87" wide 2.4 Hi-power screen and my eyes are about 9' away with second row seating about 14' away. I just dropped my pj in place replacing an AX-200. The 4000 is much wider than the 200 but about the same depth so it fit easily on my shelf mount. The top of my screen is about 41 inches from a 9' ceiling and the centerline of the lens is also about 41" from the ceiling. I had a bit of a time getting the auto calibration set up because I think my screen needed to be an inch or two higher but I just the digital image shift to move the image upwards so that now both letterbox bars fall off the bottom of the screen. This allowed the auto CIH feature to work perfectly.

Since we are talking letterboxing here I will interject this, I put on a 2.4 movie and zoomed the pj in to 16x9 so I could check out dark the letterbox bars were compared to the vertical pillar boxing....the letterbox bars were dark but I could easily make out shadow puppets within their borders but when I moved my hands into the pillar boxing they dissappered! I did learn something here though, I had always hoped that one day a pj would come out that could project black well enough that you could use a 16x9 screen and not be able to notice where the letterboxing started and the masking ended. I now know this is not possible.

The pillarbox bars are outside the area that the projector shines in so they are the total absence of light. Those bars are a transition area to your masking. No matter what, your screen material will always be white and your masking black and whatever amount of reflected light is in the room, it will be lighter on the pillarboxes than it will on your masking. So unless you can achieve a total lack of reflected light in your room,... and maybe not even then....letterboxes and pillarboxes are just big white areas next to your screen and they will NEVER be as black as your masking! Seems simple now that I think about but it just never occurred to me before...guess thats cuz I'm just simple... continued in next post.....
cornchip75's Avatar cornchip75 08:52 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by VirTERM View Post

Thanks, what other mounts do you have in mind?
My ceiling is not high at all (8'), but because of the way my screen will be mounted and since I need to be within the screen area for auto aspect switching... I have no choice.
Thanks,
Wojtek

Hey Wojtek, I am also curious about universal projector mount for this unit. I have my eye on this unit here:
http://accessories.dell.com/sna/prod...1&sku=A0618477
What interests me is that I can use the 6" extender arm if I want, or not use it. Looks like you may be able to move it to adjust height/distance. One of the boardroom in my office has an AX200U and what looks like this mount stated above. I will have a real good look one day at lunch to see how sturdy this is.

BTW, I have decided to buy this projector (got permission from my wife). I am waiting for a call back from Quebec Accoustics for the pre-order. We get things a little slower up here . This will be my first PJ.
JamesN's Avatar JamesN 08:59 AM 11-05-2009
Can anyone with a 2.35:1 screen and the AE4000 comment on how well the "masking" feature works to reduce lightspill above and below the screen? Are grey bars still evident on your walls? Thanks in advance for your comments.
Maestro J's Avatar Maestro J 08:59 AM 11-05-2009
Quick question for any of the Proj. People purchasers - how long did it take for PP to post the charge for your projector onto your credit card? I'm trying to time my purchase so that it bills after my statement goes out so I have that extra time to pay the bill. One day? Two days?
VirTERM's Avatar VirTERM 09:00 AM 11-05-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornchip75 View Post

Hey Wojtek, I am also curious about universal projector mount for this unit. I have my eye on this unit here:
http://accessories.dell.com/sna/prod...1&sku=A0618477
What interests me is that I can use the 6" extender arm if I want, or not use it. Looks like you may be able to move it to adjust height/distance. One of the boardroom in my office has an AX200U and what looks like this mount stated above. I will have a real good look one day at lunch to see how sturdy this is.

BTW, I have decided to buy this projector (got permission from my wife). I am waiting for a call back from Quebec Accoustics for the pre-order. We get things a little slower up here . This will be my first PJ.

The Dell mount looks good, thank you. I would still like to get more options at reasonable costs
BTW: I am also located in Canada, but I purchased it from PP.
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