The day home theatre projectors cease being big black/grey/silver/white boxes and transform into a design statements, this writer will eat his hat*. Given the darkness required for this projector to shine (sorry), it handily ships with a remote control featuring orange backlit buttons, as well as a full set of controls on the side of the unit.
Given the AU$4000-plus asking price, it's probably safe to assume that anyone buying this projector has (or will have) some serious kit in their home entertainment room. To that end, the AE7000 does without a set of built-in speakers, a TV tuner or anything that isn't directly related to projecting images onto a screen.
In terms of inputs, the projector features three HDMI ports, a connector each for D-Sub VGA and serial cables, a set of component and composite jacks, and an S-Video port. Rounding off the suite of plugs and ports at the rear of the projector are connections for an optional external 3D IR transmitter and triggers.
To help you configure the unit to your tastes there's a buffet of configuration options, everything from the bog standard contrast, bright and colour through to gamma adjustment, noise reduction, a waveform monitor and vertical keystone shifting (the latter is disabled entirely when the projector is displaying 3D content).
Mechanical controls allow for the adjustment of zoom, focus and beam angle, but the two former settings can also be tweaked from a distance via digital controls. Display output can be flipped for either front or rear projection set-ups.
It's disappointing, though, that for such a pricey 3D-capable unit the PT-AE7000E doesn't come with any bundled active 3D glasses.
Spend a bit of time tweaking or calibrating — for a unit like the PT-AE7000E, money spent on a professional calibrator would be a sound investment — and you'll be amply rewarded. The LCD projector and its 200W "red rich" lamp generates colours that are rich and blacks that are almost truly that. With a claimed 2000-lumen output, this Panasonic works acceptably in rooms that aren't perfectly dark. The PT-AE7000E is rated for screens sized between 40- and 300-inch diagonally, and it requires anywhere from 1.16m to 18.08m of space between the screen and projector.