Projector review: Panasonic PT-AE 4000 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Projector review: Panasonic PT-AE 4000
A 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.

Florian Friedrich,
CEO of www.avtop.com, journalist and independent consultant from munich in germany.
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 07:41 AM
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This review is probably very late as many people have already dived into enjoying this projector, icluding myself.
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 08:04 AM
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The distortion is due to the cheap plastic lenses, a Panasonic and Epson perennial.
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 09:04 AM
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How do you guys like the projector. I was thinking about the new pany 58" plasma or this projector (after screen they're about the same price). I'm currently running a 3 year old pany 42" 720p. Is the "red fringes on moving edges" really that noticeable.
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTluver View Post

How do you guys like the projector. I was thinking about the new pany 58" plasma or this projector (after screen they're about the same price). I'm currently running a 3 year old pany 42" 720p. Is the "red fringes on moving edges" really that noticeable.

You may have two issues going at once here. Front projector v. flat panel (even a 58 inch plasma) is a whole issue in itself and should be fully resolved in your mind before you begin to worry about which projector to buy, if you go that route.
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 04:47 PM
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interesting how they lam blast it but then fail to notice that in the spec chart on the last page they call it a 3chip DLP!!!

Take anything I say with a grain of Salt I am an Authority on nothing
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTluver View Post

How do you guys like the projector. I was thinking about the new pany 58" plasma or this projector (after screen they're about the same price). I'm currently running a 3 year old pany 42" 720p. Is the "red fringes on moving edges" really that noticeable.

I have never noticed any red fringes on moving edges...I think this review is crap...this projector is one of the best as far as value and features and quality. I have zero complaints.
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 05:53 PM
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I can see very slight and negligible distortion but not the colour fringing on both the PT-AE3000E and 4000E(and I'm very sensitive to it).

I find that the review has an agenda behind it.

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post #9 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 10:53 PM
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"But, as strong as the Panasonic's performance may be, the picture errors we observed are not to be talked down."

Really? How about the fact that 99% of projector users purchase projectors to watch movies and HD sports/concerts? I couldn't care less that the 4000 poorly displays SD television signals. That's what I use my television for.
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-08-2010, 12:17 AM
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I saw both the JVC RS25 and the AE4000 in action at a local dealer and I knew the second I walked in the room I didn't need the RS25. The AE4000 is no doubt the best image for the money I've seen to date of the new sub 5K projectors. I'm greatly enjoying mine thus far; got a highpower 110" to go with it.
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-08-2010, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi grundyrat1,

thanks for pointing out our spec failure. It's not a 3chip-DLP, we know this. We were talking about the LCD panels several times in the review. The spec sheets get converted from XLS to HTML and that's where the problem occured.
We'll correct it asap, sorry for the confusion.
By the way (@Hector B.), we decided to publish a review because the PT-AE 4000 is still available and it will take a while until we see the PT-AE 5000. So talking about this projector should still be interesting, right?

Florian Friedrich,
CEO of www.avtop.com, journalist and independent consultant from munich in germany.
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-08-2010, 09:31 AM
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I find the review a bit lacking.

1. Ok, the image with standard tv signals is not the greatest......What exactly does that mean? I have SKY satellite tv. Does that mean my ESPN international hd will not look its best? Will all my satellite channels (800+) suffer? Not exactly sure if standard tv signals referst to over the air, cable, satellite, all of the above.

2. This projector got stunning reviews from Projector Central. In fact, I was about to pull the trigger and buy the Panny to replace my aging Ben7700 720p model.

If not the the Panny4000 at $2000, is there A BETTER projector for 2 grand? If so, what model?

3. I would be curious to hear from other AVS Forum members who replaced previous projectors for the Panny 4000. What have been your experiences? An improved image over previous 1080i/720p projectors you owned? Not much difference?
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-08-2010, 09:46 AM
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I am wondering the same questions as Regular Guy. I'm either upgrading to the new panny plasma or to the panny 4000. If I won't really notice a difference with HD material i'll definitely get the projector (It will be in my basement with minimal light when needed).... i almost never watch standard def cable channels.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-08-2010, 09:53 AM
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I was all set to buy a Panny 3000 last year but I got a much cheaper (less than $600) Mitsubishi DLP on a whim. I'm glad I did. The Panny 3000 and 4000 are certainly better projectors and have a host of adjustment gimmicks that I'm sure I'd love, but progress progresses.

I want a new projector that is either lit by LEDs or projects in 3D. Alas an LED lit 3D projector isn't in the cards yet - but will certainly want one when they become available. In any case my little Mitsu 1600 will go in the dumpster soon enough and I will have lost $600. Had I bought a Panny 4000 I would have lost $2,000.

Everyone knew that LEDs were getting brighter but few predicted that an affordable LED one chip DLP appropriate for HT would be sold this year. It looks like that will come to pass. I think that LEDs are already bright enough for at least a segment of market.

The CRT projector segment is instructive. The Sony G70 is a solid mid range projector. It weighed 200 pounds and cost $20,000. It was capable of 200 ANSI - yes I wrote two hundred not two thousand. People liked them in the day and there are still fans of these things today. That's remarkable when you consider that the $20,000 G70 can't quite handle the 1080p Blu-ray signal. For that you need a $30,000 G90.

For more than twenty years at least some people have been happy with machines capable of only 200 ANSI lumens. I'm sure that these people all have HTs with complete light control (bat caves). So there is today probably a market for even the rather dim LED projectors that can be made with present day technology.

I predict a $2,500 LED HT projector by next Christmas.

But I'll probably buy a $2,500 3D projector instead. This is a year of big change. Suddenly the Panasonic 4000 looks like dumpster fodder.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-08-2010, 10:51 AM
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I've had mine for about 3 weeks and it's throwing a 106" image from 15 feet at a foot over eye level onto a High Power screen. With the right source it is STUNNING!!! I will specifically mention shadow detail as alot of the comparisons specifically mention this. It has loads of overall detail---hair, wrinkles, pores, makeup are all crisp and rendered cleanly. Standard def DVD's look pretty good but nowhere as good as good HD material. Gladiator looked good but not nearly as good as Iron Man, Star Trek, or the trailers on XBOX live.

Considering the price, it's a must buy.

-J
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 10:17 PM
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Anyone experiencing lamp flicker? I am on my second bulb with my ax200 and the second one has started flickering. Is this still a problem with the 4000?

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post #17 of 18 Old 03-21-2010, 11:50 AM
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The quality is not very good - because - it uses cheap plastic lenses.
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-07-2012, 11:00 AM
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I'm on my 3rd year with the AE 4000 and have liked this projector a lot. But now something seems to be growing - maybe its on the LCD panels? There are faint circular grey blobs in the dark areas. It started with just a couple and now there are many scattered around the image. Not apparent with the picture unless it is a dark scene. What is this?
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