Exclusive! Official Panasonic PT-AE4000 thread News/reviews/owners

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Panasonic has unveiled their new PT-AE4000 LCD projector which is due for release in October. AVForums once again got the exclusive sneak peek of the unit and have published a video preview at AVForums.tv video

ae4000_fronttop.jpg


There are some interesting new calibration features which include a full 3D Colour Management System (CMS) and a 9 point Gamma tool. These join the waveform monitor and full RGB white balance controls. The frame interpolation technology also gets an upgrade with a mode 3 function within the frame creation tool and an automatic function for the cinemascope zoom function.

The full details are explained in the press release below and in video form at AVForums.tv video

Press Release said:
New PT-AE4000 delivers powerful home cinema experience with new red rich lamp, crisp detail reproduction, and professional-level tuning features...

Berlin, Germany, 3 September, 2009 – Panasonic Corporation, today announced the launch of its newest full HD home cinema LCD projector, the PT-AE4000, designed for a prosumer audience of savvy home theatre enthusiasts and audio video professionals. The new projector comes equipped with Panasonics new optical system and delivers 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) images with remarkable clarity, 1,600 lumen brightness, 80,000:1 contrast ratio and 100Hz Intelligent Frame Creation blur reduction technology.
ae4000_angle.jpg

The PT-AE4000 is the next stage in the evolution of its award winning predecessor, the PT-AE3000 that was widely praised by the home cinema community for its Hollywood tuned high picture quality. Home theatre enthusiasts can now benefit from a 2.35:1 wide aspect screen, eliminating the Cinemascope issue and bringing the original picture quality intended by film and TV directors to the domestic market. Unique to Panasonic, the new Lens Memory 2, memorises up to six different zoom/focus positions and automatic switching between 16:9 and 2.35:1 contents can be set due to the PT-AE4000's new signal aspect detection capability.

Commenting on the new projector, Hartmut Kulessa, Marketing Manager Projectors of Panasonic said: “The AE4000 embodies the collective effort of our engineers' collaboration with movie image experts for an uncompromised picture quality, as well as offering many innovative features that seamlessly integrate the projector into the home theatre setup.”
ae4000_top.jpg

The new LCD projector also comes equipped with a host of professional-level features that let the user fine tune the image quality to best fit the viewing environment. These include the Advanced Gamma Adjustment, which allows the user to freely control the output and input level of the gamma curve. The PT-AE4000's Waveform Monitor, measures the level of brightness from a given video signal source and quickly makes adjustments to optimise it to the specific home theatre set-up. Having three HDMITM (deep colour and x.v.color) inputs as opposed to the typical two found on other similarly priced projectors, the PT-AE4000 allows users to connect multiple HD sources without a HDMI switcher.
etlae4000.jpg

Initial setup and installation are quick and simple, as the projector's lens shift capability enables 100 percent vertical adjustment and 40 percent horizontal adjustment so that viewers can suspend the projector either close to the ceiling or on wall mounts. The lens-centred design and maintenance features such as the replaceable side filter and top lamp, make the projector easy to install and maintain.

This new projector has been designed to be an ecologically conscious. The intelligent power management system reduces the lamp power to the exact required level of brightness depending on the content displayed. Other than in scenes where full brightness is required, the lamp intelligently determines the power output by analyzing more than 3 billion different image patterns. This reduces the main power consumption by as much as 10 percent when the dynamic iris function is in operation.

The Panasonic PT-AE4000 LCD home cinema projector will be available from the end of October 2009 at authorized dealers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUnG1yCE8vs
 
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madshi

Active Member
Just watched the AE4000 video. Very nice video, lots of useful information!

The AE4000 sounds good overall. Love the now automated cinemascope lens memory function! However, the one big thing which I find most important is the *native* (without dynamic iris) contrast ratio of the panel. It was really low in the AE3000 compared to some of the competition. So unless they noticeably increased it in the AE4000, it's no go for me, despite all the very nice functionality etc.

@Phil, do know whether native on/off contrast has been improved?
 

DrGekko

Well-known Member
Gosh!! Just as I was going to start the purchase process this week on the AE3000!!!

Most people I guess are anxious to know the price for this "higher end" projector. If it's anywhere near £2k, I'd rather hold out 'til it goes on sale. If it's in the £3k-£5k mark, there's a lot tougher competition in performance, especially from the likes of JVC.
 

samhain

Well-known Member
I suspect it will be 'competitively' priced and not a huge leap from the 300. Probably on a like for like launch price, discounts on the 300 make the jump slightly more difficult but it's new kit and usually worth a few extra squid.
 

Phill1978

Active Member
panasonic LCD models are very nice. especially if you want a clean lcd tv like image, but how can they even come close to the black JVC models can or even a good DLP ?

also are they capable of 3d ? due to the way they work. I know current DLP`s can be flashed to support the new 3d shutter glasses technology
 

DrGekko

Well-known Member
panasonic LCD models are very nice. especially if you want a clean lcd tv like image, but how can they even come close to the black JVC models can or even a good DLP ?

From what I've read, they can't... but at half the cost or even less, not sure if anyone would expect them to? Just my tuppence worth.

Now I'm wondering whether I should take the plunge on a discounted AE3000 or wait 8 weeks and invest in one of these instead?

The video link didn't work properly for me, stopped at 1 min 30s or so. :confused:

I don't quite understand what the difference is between the 3000 and 4000 in terms of the lens zoom function. Could anyone offer a simple explanation please?
 

chienmetallique

Well-known Member
I don't quite understand what the difference is between the 3000 and 4000 in terms of the lens zoom function. Could anyone offer a simple explanation please?

I think the differences are:

  • Better Contrast Ratio @ 80,000:1
  • Automatic lens zoom for aspect ratio changes
  • Better lamp with red boost
  • Increased Tweaking
Personally I bet they have designed the new lamp so there is no way it can be used in the PT AE 3000.

Carl
 

madshi

Active Member
Here's a preview with first measurements:
cine4home.de
 
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samhain

Well-known Member
Looks pretty good out of the box
 
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KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Looks like they've changed the lamp to give a higher output when calibrated (which was often critised on the AE1000/2000/3000 models). As those models all used the same lamp, I think it's maybe a little cynical to say that they've only changed the design to prevent it being swapped from an older model (though why would you want to?). ;)

The extra menu adjustments should allow those with calibration gear to get closer to D65 and rec709 easier than the previous models too. I'm not so sure about the automatic AR detection (though it looks like it could be turned off anyway): It's OK on a TV, but imagine the lens hunting and zooming if adverts come on (for those who watch TV through their PJ).

The only downer seems to be the 3,000:1 native contrast quoted in Cinema 1 mode in the Cine4home preliminary review. I'd be surprised if the CR hadn't improved at all in the new model (I had each of the earlier ones and they all showed an improvement to back up the claimed figures, though never anywhere near as high as the headline advertised figures). Be aware that the 80,000:1 is only in Dynamic mode and unlikely to be any better to watch than the older models in the same mode. Also it only achieves the extra CR in dynamic by closing the iris down further after a longer period of black, so more of a cynical marketing figure than a useful guide to real world CR IMHO.

I'll interested in reading the reviews of this new model out of curiousity, but I've reached the point where I'm quite happy with what I've got and my room is now the limiting factor anyway. Can I be first to post mention of the inevitable AE5000 though? ;)
 
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DrGekko

Well-known Member
I think the differences are:

  • Automatic lens zoom for aspect ratio changes


Carl

So you just press a button during a movie with 2.35:1 aspect and it adjusts things for you? No hassle of having to zoom and save settings yourself???

Really torn between getting a reduced priced AE3000 and waiting to pay full wack for the AE4000.... are these the ONLY projectors with the zoom technology to get the pseudo 2.35:1 aspect without using anamorphic lens? How about the HD350???
 

Rich H

Well-known Member
Well it looks like Panasonic is certainly saving some money on their approach
to the external industrial design. Repeat, repeat, repeat...;)
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
So you just press a button during a movie with 2.35:1 aspect and it adjusts things for you? No hassle of having to zoom and save settings yourself???

Really torn between getting a reduced priced AE3000 and waiting to pay full wack for the AE4000.... are these the ONLY projectors with the zoom technology to get the pseudo 2.35:1 aspect without using anamorphic lens? How about the HD350???

The AE3000 and AE4000 is not anamorphic.

Just to state for the record (and any other viewers that stumble across this thread): The AE3000 and AE4000 only has a zoom/shift/focus memory: In other words it doesn't magically remove the black bars anymore than other projectors can when used with a 2.35:1 screen and zoomed to push the top and bottom black bars off the screen. It is a convienient way of doing the 'zoom method' of CIH (constant image height), nothing more.

I would hope they have improved the execution of the lens memory: I found the AE3000 one a bit 'naff' having to go through menus and having a 'Processing' menu appear on the screen while it was working...I felt it would have been nice to have perhaps 3 direct access buttons on the remote (like the AE1000 and AE2000's remote) and for the whole thing to happen with the image blanked, or the option to leave the image up during the process.
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Any assured advertisers here expecting the 4000 in for people to check it out?
 

Member 6435

Well-known Member
Any assured advertisers here expecting the 4000 in for people to check it out?

Morning Stuart

We will certainly putting one of these into our demo room as soon as we can get our hands on one. No word as yet on availability date.

Regards

Alastair:hiya:
 
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DrGekko

Well-known Member
The AE3000 and AE4000 is not anamorphic.

Totally acknoweldged. Hence, my comment of "pseudo" 2.35:1 ;)



KelvinS1965 said:
Just to state for the record (and any other viewers that stumble across this thread): The AE3000 and AE4000 only has a zoom/shift/focus memory: In other words it doesn't magically remove the black bars anymore than other projectors can when used with a 2.35:1 screen and zoomed to push the top and bottom black bars off the screen. It is a convienient way of doing the 'zoom method' of CIH (constant image height), nothing more.

So I'm assuming I can manually manipulate the image from my AE2000 to do the same??? :confused:

'Cos if I can, no need to sell my pj!!! :clap:
 

DrGekko

Well-known Member
Morning Stuart

We will certainly putting one of these into our demo room as soon as we can get our hands on one. No word as yet on availability dates.

Regards

Alastair:hiya:

Hi Alistair.

Sorry for not getting in touch y'day, was really bogged down at work. I'm having second thoughts on ditching my AE2000 just yet, depending whether I can achieve the zoom + shift image manipulation successfully to fit 2.35:1 screen. If so, I'll still need a screen. Have PM'd you. :smashin:
 

joffonon

Active Member
So I'm assuming I can manually manipulate the image from my AE2000 to do the same??? :confused:

'Cos if I can, no need to sell my pj!!! :clap:

You assume correctly - every Panny since the AE700 onwards has the means to combine zoom and vertical/horizontal lens shift to show 2.35:1 material without black bars on a 2.35:1 screen. The method may differ each time, though - with my AE700, for example, I have to go up to the projector and operate the zoom and lens shift manually, rather than being able to do it from the remote.

So no, you don't need to sell your AE2000. Whether you want to for any extra features is another matter, however! For me with the AE700, it's a very very tempting upgrade...:)
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
The AE3000 and AE4000 is not anamorphic.

Just to be a little bit of a pedant (purely for the sale of clarity) no home cinema set up is truly anamorphic in the way that systems are in the cinema.

In the cinema the image arrives already 'squeezed' on the film, and is then 'un-squeeze' it with the lens.

In the home set up a Blu-ray Disc is 'flat' ('un-squeezed') and has to be digitally manipulated to make it 'squeezed' so that the lens can 'un-squeeze' it.

A small difference, but as I say, just for the purposes of clarity.

Steve W
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Totally acknoweldged. Hence, my comment of "pseudo" 2.35:1 ;)

Sure, not directed at you at all, just for anyone who stumbles across this thread and thinks otherwise (as many other people seemed to think when the AE3000 came out).


So I'm assuming I can manually manipulate the image from my AE2000 to do the same??? :confused:

'Cos if I can, no need to sell my pj!!! :clap:

As I replied in a PM to DrGekko, but for the benefit of other AE2000 owners planing on upgrading to an AE3000 (did that myself from AE1000/2000/3000, so I do have some experience of this ;)): In an 'average' lightly painted UK living room there may be only a very small difference in contrast caused by the room's effect over ridding the improved CR of the PJ. Before I added my 'Bat Tent' there was little difference between the AE2000 and AE3000 in my 'typical' living room (with a Matt White screen), even the HD350 looked little better, except for deeper fade to black.

Just to be a little bit of a pedant (purely for the sale of clarity) no home cinema set up is truly anamorphic in the way that systems are in the cinema.

In the cinema the image arrives already 'squeezed' on the film, and is then 'un-squeeze' it with the lens.

In the home set up a Blu-ray Disc is 'flat' ('un-squeezed') and has to be digitally manipulated to make it 'squeezed' so that the lens can 'un-squeeze' it.

A small difference, but as I say, just for the purposes of clarity.

Steve W

I get your point Steve, but I just wanted to impress upon potential buyers that the AE3000/4000 do not have an anamorphic lens to un-squeeze any 'stretched' (by whatever means VP/PJ or even anamorphic DVD) image. Some people seem to have been confussed into thinking that the AE3000/4000 are doing something they are not and I feel it only fair to explain that it is only a convienient way to do the zoom method.

Sorry for dragging this thread off topic, hope that's answered the comments though, cheers. :thumbsup:
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
I get your point Steve, but I just wanted to impress upon potential buyers that the AE3000/4000 do not have an anamorphic lens to un-squeeze any 'stretched' (by whatever means VP/PJ or even anamorphic DVD) image. Some people seem to have been confussed into thinking that the AE3000/4000 are doing something they are not and I feel it only fair to explain that it is only a convienient way to do the zoom method.

Sorry for dragging this thread off topic, hope that's answered the comments though, cheers. :thumbsup:

That's fine mate, it's just those little things that come up at AVF - you're right, they can cause confusion. I've seen people say elsewhere that they think you get 'greater resultion' using anamorphic, which is equally wrong.

You're right though - back on topic.

:thumbsup:

Steve W
 

Paul_Blythe

Active Member
Hmm, looks to me like this will be my first 1080p PJ. Like the idea that the on board CMS now has full 3D control over the colour points, also a 9 point gamma control. Should make calibrating the unit a bit easier :)

The automated memory function for switching between saved lens zoom/shift/focus for the 1.85:1 to 2.35:1 is ideal for me - only ever watch dvd & blu-ray material.

Was looking to get the ae3000, but the 4000 will have been out for a month or two by the time I buy. Can't wait :)
 

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