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Panasonic PT-AE7000 Review
Over the last couple of years, the price of projectors has gone down considerably with quite a few of them being available for under Rs. 50,000. However, one should not forget that not too long ago, the price of a standard projector was over a lakh and it offered pretty standard features. With the drop in price, the projectors available, nowadays do offer those extra features, but not state of the art ones that can compete with HD televisions. Panasonic, a brand well known for their AV equipment have an extensive range of projectors as well that span across all budgets. These range from outdoor projectors for large venues, installation projectors as well as projectors that can be set up in one’s home, doubling up as a home theatre solution. Based on the growing concept of 3D, Panasonic have launched the PT-AE7000, a projector with full HD 3D capabilities, Panasonic’s VIERA link and a feature list that is incredibly long. Read on to know about this high-end full HD projector from Panasonic.
Design and Build Quality
As far as the design of the PT-AE7000 goes, it is a fairly large projector, as compared to the others, which we have reviewed in the recent past. But given the fact that it is a high-end model packed with features, the size of it comes as no surprise. Covered in a matte finish, this full HD projector is quite resistant to stains. The top panel has a pretty minimalistic design and apart from the Panasonic branding, the only other features found here are the LED indicators for temperature, lamp and on/ standby.
Controls at the back
The side of the projector is adorned with the controls and the ventilation for cooling this projector. The controls found here, include a power button, input select, an enter button located between the four way navigational pad that allows one to navigate through the settings, a return button as well as focus and zoom buttons. The lamp at the front comes with a metal cover and a pinch to open mechanism. All the connectivity options are located at the back, these include three HDMI ports, inputs for component, computer, S-Video, video, 3D shutter out, trigger as well as a switch to turn on the projector. Apart from this, there are vents at the front and back as well, which assist in the cooling of the projector.
The build quality of the PT-AE7000 is great and it feels sturdy. The buttons appear firm enough to withstand the normal wear and tear of everyday usage.
The Panasonic PT-AE7000 is based on the previously launched AE-4000 and the primary difference between the two is that the latest model can display content in full HD 3D. With it being able to deliver full high definition content in 3D, naturally, this projector can also play standard 2D content in full HD. Being a full HD projector, the price of it will rise, also because most projectors in the market can deliver content in HD at 720p.
Connectors at the back
The feature list of the PT-AE7000 is very vast and it has an interface that is very intuitive. The interface is broken up into six broad categories, which include picture, position, language, 3D settings, lens control and options. In the picture mode, one not only has the option of adjusting the brightness and contrast levels, but also the ability to adjust RGB as well as Gamma settings. This is a neat feature as one has the ability to calibrate the projector to get the perfect picture quality. The picture settings also has the ability to adjust the waveform monitor and this is something that is not very common for a projector, in this price range and is instead found on those that cost a whole lot more.
One can adjust the aspect ratio of this projector through the Position settings easily, by selecting the different presets available. In 3D settings, a neat feature of this projector is that it has the ability to convert content from 2D to 3D, thereby putting it in the same league as many high-end televisions found in the market, these days. The 3D glasses used are an optional accessory that does not come with the projector but rather as an aftermarket purchase. Another interesting bit about this projector is that it has a lens memory feature, using which one can save the placement of the projector. This can be really handy when one wants to set up the projector, again in the same place without having the need to calibrate it.
The lamp at the front
Summing up the features bit of the review, this is a projector that possesses qualities that are usually not found in projectors priced at this amount and with it one can get the maximum out of the projector at a fairly reasonable price.
The performance was tested by setting it up with our test rig as well as running full HD content off a Blu-ray player. We tested this device by running the DisplayMate test as well as by playing video clips through a PC. Apart from this, the projector has an inbuilt testing system with a variety of slides to determine the accuracy of colours as well as the brightness and contrast levels. In the test that was on the projector itself, we observed that most colours were accurate, except for pink, which looked like a shade of purple, as opposed to the colour it was meant to be. Greys and whites appeared accurately and even with ambient lighting on, the images onscreen appeared accurate.
Test found on the projector
In our DisplayMate test, we noticed that in the normal mode of the brightness and contrast adjustment test, there was no need to calibrate the brightness or contrast levels, as the greys were accurate. In the intensity range check, we observed that the grey and white bars were accurate, but blacks were a bit bright. However, for a projector, the black levels were quite good. This statement was confirmed in the next slide, in which we checked the monitor's black levels, only to find that most of the dark grey blocks were visible. In the colour bars test, we again observed that pink appeared purplish and the seam between pink and red was hazy. In the reverse video contrast check, we observed that the words on the different grey bars were reproduced well and there was a fair amount of detail to it. In the colour intensity scales test, we saw that there was a slight amount of bleeding in some colours, such as pink, blue and red.
Colour intensity scales
While playing videos through a PC, we observed that there was slight amount of noise seen, but this was removed, after toning down the sharpness. The black levels of this television are really good and can be compared to an older LCD television. However, it may lose out if compared to present day televisions. The projector is a lot better than other projectors, when it comes to black levels. The issue with the pinkness was not prevalent here and colours appeared accurate. Skin tones too seemed natural and the overall viewing experience was good.
Video playback was really good
We tested this projector by connecting it to our in-house Philips Blu-ray player and we observed that while playing 1080p full HD videos, the playback was flawless. There was no judder noticed and colours overall rendered well. Skin tones were natural and the basic out of the box performance was very good. One does not actually need to calibrate the settings and with the different picture modes found here, they can get the desired results without any trouble. However, if one does intend to calibrate it, then the picture quality gets a whole lot better.
The Panasonic PT-AE7000 is available in India at an MRP of Rs. 2,50,000. The projector is classy in design and although a tad on the larger side, can still compliment a person’s home. Alternatively, if one needs it for an office, then this model will ideally suit their need as well. When it comes to features, there are very few projectors that offer the same amount of attributes, as this one. With a whole lot of Panasonic features thrown in, such as Viera link, an eco-mode and the ability to calibrate the settings to the minutest of details, one could not have asked for more. When it comes to the performance of the projector, this model is head and shoulders above any other that we have tested in the recent past. With the case of HD videos, the playback quality is very good and the overall viewing experience leaves a lasting memory.
Can compliment a house or an office
If you’re in the market looking for a high-end projector as a solution for your home theatre system, then the Panasonic PT-AE7000 is a sure shot choice.