Panasonic PT-AE2000U review: Panasonic PT-AE2000U

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.5
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Excellent value; produces a deep level of black; solid feature package with lots of setup options like horizontal and vertical lens shift; superb connectivity including three HDMI inputs and a PC input.

The Bad Inaccurate primary colors of red and especially green; not bright enough to drive very large screens.

The Bottom Line The Panasonic PT-AE2000U 1080p projector is a credible performer, especially when you consider its relatively low price.

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Panasonic has been in the front-projection business for a long time, and has been aggressively pricing its home theater projectors for just as long, which has effectively driven prices down in the category as a whole. As a result it's now more affordable than ever to get a big-screen theater experience at home. The company's latest effort, the PT-AE2000U, is a 1080p resolution projector that sells for a little more than $2,500. Like most offerings in its price range, it isn't perfect, but it is better than most of its competition, such as the Sanyo PLV-Z2000. As is typical with these types of projectors, overall color fidelity is Panasonic's biggest issue, but in other areas of picture quality it performs surprisingly well. The unit offers great connectivity and a slew of helpful setup features, and it packs a solid 1080p punch for such a compact package.

Design
The PT-AE2000U's external appearance won't turn any heads. It's a basic, rectangular-shaped box finished all in black, which means it should disappear when mounted on darker ceilings. All of the connectivity is located in the rear center of the chassis. A pull-down door on the side hides a menu button, the four-way arrows for navigation, and the focus and zoom functions.

As far as remotes go, the one included with the AE200U is an excellent design. We liked its ergonomics, especially the easy thumb access to the most commonly-used keys. It is a fully backlit universal type capable of controlling other components. The internal menu system is fairly straightforward and easy to navigate.

Features
Setup features abound on the PT-AE2000U. Vertical and horizontal lens shift are a boon during installation, adding flexibility in placement of the projector relative to the screen. Electronic zoom and focus also ease setup because you can focus the image while standing close to the screen, rather than back at the projector.

A total of seven picture modes is more than any projector we've seen and presents a daunting number of choices for most users. We chose Cinema 1 because it was the most neutral and provided a good baseline for getting the most accurate picture we could out of the PT-AE2000U. There is an Auto Iris feature, which we turned off, as usual, to maintain stable light output and black levels.

Selectable color temperatures are in numeric form, ranging from -6 to +6. The -2 setting provided the most accurate grayscale prior to calibration. For real techies there is actually a built-in Waveform Monitor, which can help in perfecting some adjustments. All the grayscale and gamma adjustments are found under the Advanced menu. Gamma was a bit better than on last year's AE1000U, and therefore we didn't find it necessary to manipulate the gamma controls. After some minor tweaking we arrived at a nice, smooth-tracking grayscale.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Panasonic PT-AE2000U

Part Number: PT-AE2000U Released: Oct 15, 2007
MSRP: $3,499.00 Low Price: $193.13 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct 15, 2007
  • Type LCD projector
  • Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
  • Weight 15.9 lbs
  • Image Brightness 1500 lumens
  • Image Contrast Ratio 16000:1