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Panasonic PT-AE4000 Projector Unveiled - Page 2

post #31 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by wohlstad View Post

Well, if these disappointing results are true, with this level of "Engineering" Panasonic might as well quit the market alltogether.

Native contrst is only one ingredient in a very rich, ingredient-filled soup.

It's the overall "taste" that's important.

I.e. many feel the Panasonic DI is superior to others' implementations; the Color1 mode--apparently D65-calibrated OOTB, itself a notable feature--is ~50% brighter than the 3000's. For very large 'scope screens, this may be a terrific PJ. Esp. if there isn't absolutely total "batcave" light control, in which case the benefits of relative native contrast are moot.

Also, the colorspace in Color1 was spot on--rarely the case OOTB, and sometimes not even achievable. The "rich red" lamp is an engineering achievement, for sure...&etc. Panny's engineers are topnotch--and we still don't know whether Epson--who produces the LCD panels for other LCD manufacturers--isn't cherry picking the best native-contrast chips...over which, of course, Panny's engineers would have no control. So, I really don't think it's at all fair to paint with such a broad brush...
post #32 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

Taking a movie like TDK or TF2 that auto-switches, and letting the Panasonic auto-switch AR's as well would be a terrible way to watch the movie. The majority of the movie is 2.35 and fills your screen. IMAX scenes are 1.78 and would then be smaller than the rest of the movie- which is the opposite of what is intended!

If you don't use a screen (I've been happy throwing my old AX200U picture up on my wall), would you be able to set the AE4000 to switch to 1.78 picture that is larger than the 2.35 (as it worked in the imax theatre)?

I guess my question is whether the limitation you're describing is a function of the projector technology or just the fact that you're using a screen with set dimensions that can't be exceeded (which wouldn't be an issue with projecting on a wall).
post #33 of 874
Capitol K:

That's what happens naturally, i.e. NOT using zoom/memory. E.g. you'll have a large 16:9 image, then a smaller, letterboxed 21:9 image. As always. Or, you can zoom up/down as you like, if your "screen"--the wall--can handle it at a given throw distance.
post #34 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitol K View Post

If you don't use a screen (I've been happy throwing my old AX200U picture up on my wall), would you be able to set the AE4000 to switch to 1.78 picture that is larger than the 2.35 (as it worked in the imax theatre)?

I guess my question is whether the limitation you're describing is a function of the projector technology or just the fact that you're using a screen with set dimensions that can't be exceeded (which wouldn't be an issue with projecting on a wall).

You could do this with any projector on a wall: The 2.35:1 part will be 'smaller' and the IMAX parts will go to 'full size'. This is also true for those using a 16:9 screen.....the only issue being that the black bars won't be masked in either scenario which (from my experience of the AE1000/2000/3000) would mean that they will be fairly visible (unless the native CR has increased dramatically which doesn't appear to be the case reading Cine4home's preview).
post #35 of 874
Ah, yes, I misspoke: I think my real question is does this special feature on the AE4000 allow you to automatically increase the projection size of formats that would normally be displayed with black bars, or does it just remove the black bars from the displayed image? (For example, let's say that due to vertical space limitations, at 16:9, I can fit 80" horizontally, but at 2.35, I can fit 100" horizontally; will the panasonic be able to shift from one to the other on the fly?)
post #36 of 874
this is what this sounds like!
post #37 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

You would need a VP to crop top/bottom. I think even most would rather see some spill than see a scene that's supposed to be HUGE, tiny on their screen.

There's always this as well:

Yeah I just went back to see that. Looks like there will be automatic masking because what else could that mean?
post #38 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitol K View Post

Ah, yes, I misspoke: I think my real question is does this special feature on the AE4000 allow you to automatically increase the projection size of formats that would normally be displayed with black bars, or does it just remove the black bars from the displayed image? (For example, let's say that due to vertical space limitations, at 16:9, I can fit 80" horizontally, but at 2.35, I can fit 100" horizontally; will the panasonic be able to shift from one to the other on the fly?)

Yes.

Think of it this way:

As with any PJ, you can manually zoom the picture to any size, right? Any size that you want, given the constraints of your screen (or wall, in this case). All the Panny does is allow you to do this, as normal, PLUS, to SAVE this zoomed image position in memory, and recall it at the press of a button (or automatically, given the content's aspect ratio, with the new feature in the 4000). Then, the Panny zooms out when you press that button.

You have up to six memory positions with the PT-AE4000U (three more than with the 3000). So, you could save positions for 16:9, 21:9 (a.k.a. 2.35:1), 2.39/2.40:1, 4:3, etc. The panny will then zoom up/down to the sizes YOU SELECT. Without a screen of constrained dimensions--i.e. with your wall--this is less of a critical need than with folks of a given screen size.

With the panny and your wall, you wouldn't have to use the zoom/memory presets at all--just zoom in and out when you need to, given the aspect ratio of a given source. As with any PJ. Does this help?
post #39 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2060 View Post

Yeah I just went back to see that. Looks like there will be automatic masking because what else could that mean?

That's what I'm thinking, too.

So, for those doing constant image width--i.e. with 16:9 screens, this might make the letterbox bars invisible/black.

Or the pillarbox bars even less noticeable (although the chips project no light on the sides anyway, with a CIH setup...still, there is some light leakage, I guess).

I still find horizontal letterbox bars more intrusive than pillarbox bars, given the field of view differences human eyes have vertically versus horizontally, and wanna go CIH.

Hope this is what that feature means!
post #40 of 874
this should work as a masking system right?
LL
post #41 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by widerscreen View Post

this should work as a masking system right?

I would think so, and hope so!
post #42 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by widerscreen View Post

this should work as a masking system right?

If it's software masking, it would work for something like TDK on a 2.35 screen- crop the information above and below the screen so you don't have picture spill. You will, however, still have a projected "black" spill above and below screen.

If it's a hardware "shutter" mask, it should do both, crop the image to what you desire, and completely mask the light output.
post #43 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGator View Post

If it's software masking, it would work for something like TDK on a 2.35 screen- crop the information above and below the screen so you don't have picture spill. You will, however, still have a projected "black" spill above and below screen.

If it's a hardware "shutter" mask, it should do both, crop the image to what you desire, and completely mask the light output.


Either way - it would be a real nice additional feature. I'm looking forward to hear more about how this is supposed to work.
post #44 of 874
Video of the unit is on the main page of avforums.
post #45 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneotool View Post

Either way - it would be a real nice additional feature. I'm looking forward to hear more about how this is supposed to work.

Well, if you find out--anyone!--post it back here, O.K.?

I'm hoping for a hardware solution--wow, how cool that would be: the last barrier to perfect 21:9 presentation. (No, don't try to sell me on an anamorphic lens option, I'm just flat not buying it: no anamorphic squeezing in the Blu-ray spec; all information on the Blu-ray disc is presented onscreen via zooming/no pixels are lost; no CA; short-throw zooming is not a valid argument for doubling the total cost of the projected image (and there are WAY cheaper lens solutions for this, anyway); $etc. And, the increased light output of the 4000 in calibrated modes--if true--even negates the increased light output argument, which was an iffy proposition, anyway. My 2 cents. Bring on hardware masking!)

Sorry, got a little carried away there......mebbe I should wait to hear how/if this system works, eh?
post #46 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by willdao View Post

Native contrst is only one ingredient in a very rich, ingredient-filled soup.

It's only one ingredient, but it's a damn important one. And there's no doubt that 3000:1 native contrast for a 2009 model is very disappointing, seeing that e.g. Epson already reached ~ 9000:1 with their 2008 model. Let's not even talk about JVC here...
post #47 of 874
Remember that they may clam 100000/1 and 200000/1 but will it be anywhere close to it? 80000/1 seems good to me! Would it make that much of a difference?

what is the actual ratio in a Real movie theatre? 800/1 ? so why all the fuss over the blackest black ? I think more thought should go into the chip as better resolution or the use of the resolution of the chips themselves.
post #48 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by widerscreen View Post

Remember that they may clam 100000/1 and 200000/1 but will it be anywhere close to it? 80000/1 seems good to me! Would it make that much of a difference?

what is the actual ratio in a Real movie theatre? 800/1 ? so why all the fuss over the blackest black ? I think more thought should go into the chip as better resolution or the use of the resolution of the chips themselves.

What they claim or not claim does not matter. What matters is what we end up actually getting with the projector properly calibrated. And there the 2009 Panasonic projector can't hold a candle to the 2008 Epson projector!

It also does not matter what we get in a commercial movie theater. There are some security restrictions in commercial movie theaters which don't allow a completely dark room. Because of that we can never get really good contrast in a commercial movie theater. But why would that stop us from searching the best possible image quality we can get at home?

And yes, the difference between 3000:1 and 9000:1 is very noticeable, with the right content.
post #49 of 874
It's the overall "taste" that's important.
>

No matter how much "sauce" Panasonic puts on their AE4000, 3000:1 native CR is not even last year's Epson. And if Pana does not have access to "good" LCD panels, and can't engineer superior optical path, it's their problem.
post #50 of 874
Sigh, too much spec talk here. We need somebody with some eyes-on time!!!
post #51 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2060 View Post

Sigh, too much spec talk here. We need somebody with some eyes-on time!!!

We have. Check out the cine4home preview linked earlier in this thread.
post #52 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

It's only one ingredient, but it's a damn important one. And there's no doubt that 3000:1 native contrast for a 2009 model is very disappointing, seeing that e.g. Epson already reached ~ 9000:1 with their 2008 model. Let's not even talk about JVC here...

I wonder why Epson doesn't dominate the ~$3000 market. By all accounts, the Epson throws a better picture and is pretty much the same price. However, judging by the only sales metrics I can find (Projector People and Amazon sales rankings), the Panny AE3000 not only holds it's own, but is more popular than the Epson 6500UB: #1 vs #3 on Projector People and #5 vs #53 on Amazon. Obviously this represents only a small sampling of dealers and maybe it's easier to find the Panny, but it still tells us that image quality isn't the only factor when it comes to choosing a projector.

For myself, I chose the Panny because of it's unique lens memory feature (the only projector under $50K to have this feature). But I would've thought that this feature would have limited appeal to the general public since most don't even know about CIH. Or maybe they do? Maybe people like smoothscreen (I personally wouldn't mind not having it)?

Anyway, I'm baffled Epson isn't doing better. Maybe they need to add a lens memory feature too .
post #53 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

We have. Check out the cine4home preview linked earlier in this thread.

Ok I see thanks.
post #54 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2060 View Post

Sigh, too much spec talk here. We need somebody with some eyes-on time!!!

i agree ! 100%
post #55 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilsiu View Post


Anyway, I'm baffled Epson isn't doing better. Maybe they need to add a lens memory feature too .

If they had it, then I'd seriously consider getting one.

I can't believe everyone didn't some out with that feature this year. Maybe they couldn't get it implemented fast enough.
post #56 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by wohlstad View Post



It's the overall "taste" that's important.
>

No matter how much "sauce" Panasonic puts on their AE4000, 3000:1 native CR is not even last year's Epson. And if Pana does not have access to "good" LCD panels, and can't engineer superior optical path, it's their problem.

I stand by my statement.
post #57 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

What they claim or not claim does not matter. What matters is what we end up actually getting with the projector properly calibrated. And there the 2009 Panasonic projector can't hold a candle to the 2008 Epson projector!...And yes, the difference between 3000:1 and 9000:1 is very noticeable, with the right content.

I agree and that's a shame. Contrast is one of the most important ingredients in overall PQ IMO. My friend has a 1080UB and it's black levels didn't cut it for me which is why I bought a Pioneer/JVC. It really surprises me how often I see Panasonic's setup some very nice HT builds people do over the Epsons and JVCs.

I too wish Panasonic would step it up in the contrast area. They compete well in the plasma area but it seems they are lagging in FP.
post #58 of 874
This is interesting! No one here has seen the projector in action yet and there are no professional reviews. Yet people have already rated it as no good. All of this over a contrast number. This refers to a dynamic contrast ratio which a lot of vendors have played with to make their products look good. This is because there is no criteria established in the AV world to measure it. I will wait for reviews on this and other projectors to make a judgement over which is better.
post #59 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by wohlstad View Post

Here's the link to CINE4Home AE4000 preview.

Looks nothing special. Conclusions pending more delailed review, but so far looks nothing special. Still a step below Epson 6500/7500.

http://translate.google.com/translat...istory_state0=

Not a full review, but these guys are professional and pretty damn reliable. The new Panny looks like a slightly tweaked AE3000 with a new type of lamp from what I read. Apparently to get a good on/off C.R. you have to set it to dynamic mode and wait many seconds for the iris to close down just like with the AE3000. That's not a usable C.R.! We'll have to wait and see, but I can understand why some seem disappointed.
post #60 of 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilsiu View Post

I wonder why Epson doesn't dominate the ~$3000 market. By all accounts, the Epson throws a better picture and is pretty much the same price. However, judging by the only sales metrics I can find (Projector People and Amazon sales rankings), the Panny AE3000 not only holds it's own, but is more popular than the Epson 6500UB: #1 vs #3 on Projector People and #5 vs #53 on Amazon. Obviously this represents only a small sampling of dealers and maybe it's easier to find the Panny, but it still tells us that image quality isn't the only factor when it comes to choosing a projector.

For myself, I chose the Panny because of it's unique lens memory feature (the only projector under $50K to have this feature). But I would've thought that this feature would have limited appeal to the general public since most don't even know about CIH. Or maybe they do? Maybe people like smoothscreen (I personally wouldn't mind not having it)?

Anyway, I'm baffled Epson isn't doing better. Maybe they need to add a lens memory feature too .


The answer to why the Panasonic outsells the Epson is simple (at least my opinion of it is)...we are to the point in image quality where 80% of the population thinks the panny's black levels are "good enough" as is its contrast, brightness and sharpness. (the other 20% of us hang out here : ) That same 80% doesn't not think that dust blobs, ugly cases, crappy FI, defocusing, unintentional lens shifting and no 2.35 or zoom memory functions...isn't "good enough." Panasonic pjs are ready for prime time and Epson's aren't...nobody wants to fight a defective product (so what if the black levels are marginally better, especially if our room can't maximize the difference), we just want to enjoy our movie collection without ever thinking about the pj
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