Projector review: Panasonic PT-AE 4000A solid performance from this LCD, but some problems persist from the predecessor model....
We reviewed the predecessor PT-AE 3000 in late 2008, and found it to suffer from poor de-interlacing of standard TV signals and some slight color-fringing.
Well, believe it or not, these exact same problems appear in the new PT-AE 4000 and they're joined by some obvious blue and red discoloration in fine structures. Needless to say, this is a disappointing start for the new model, which currently sells for about 2,000 USD.
But it wasn't all bad news far from it. In fact, the PT-AE 4000 scored a very respectable 7.9 points out of 10 for its accurate colors, high contrast ratio, and crisp motion depiction. It also impressed us with a bumped-up lamp output, increasing the predecessor's 400 lumens to 600 much more like it. Other additions include some new video settings, along with the impressive Waveform Monitor function, which we'd already raved about in the AE 3000 model. This allows you to analyze the projector's image and can even optimize some aspects of the picture automatically.Panasonic PT-AE 4000 CIE-diagram in Color1 mode
Apart from the disappointing color fringing, the AE 4000's colors largely impress. The Cinema1 mode produced a too-cool color temperature of 7,000 Kelvin, but Color1 gave a value of 6,430 Kelvin and therefore no cause for complaint. The other modes all gave inaccurate colors, but were impressively bright if you need it to, the projector can belt out up to 1,460 lumens.
Contrast is also a strong point: Thanks to improved filtering of scattered light, the Panasonic beats some recent DLP models with its in-picture contrast of 3,600:1.
But, as strong as the Panasonic's performance may be, the picture errors we observed are not to be talked down. Perfectionists will struggle to come to terms with the fringing in particular, and it's especially frustrating that Panasonic has allowed the flaw to persist into the new model. If you're less of a perfectionist, this is a device that delivers impressive picture quality at a reasonable price. Crucially, it outperforms other recent releases such as Samsung's SP-A 600 B.Read the full review of the Panasonic PT-AE 4000 at Televisions.com. Any comments on the device or our review are most welcome.