1080p Projector Shootout:
Mitsubishi HC6500 versus Panasonic PT-AE3000
- Feature Comparisons
- Additional Comparisons
Placement Flexibility. The Panasonic AE3000 has a powered 2:1 zoom lens, as well as a manual vertical and horizontal lens shift with a total range of three picture heights and two picture widths. The HC6500, on the other hand, trades some lens shift range for a powered shift mechanism. It has a 1.6:1 powered zoom and powered lens shift with a range of two and a half picture heights and 1.1 picture widths. If you plan to use the lens shift more often than during initial setup, this can be helpful. A powered lens shift would be useful when paired with the AE3000's Lens Memory feature, discussed below.
Anamorphic Projection. The HC6500 has Mitsubishi's dual anamorphic modes, which allow the user to forego the articulated track usually paired with an anamorphic lens. Instead, the HC6500 scales all content for proper display through an anamorphic lens, and the lens remains deployed at all times. The Panasonic's AE3000 can scale all content for use with an anamorphic lens as well, so in this regard there are no differences. However, the AE3000 has a unique feature that makes it easy to forego the use of an anamorphic lens entirely. Called "Lens Memory," it allows for three zoom lens locations to be stored and recalled at the press of a button, such that a 2.35:1 image can be blown up to fit a 2.35 format screen. This enables you to eliminate black bars on 2.35 format films without manual adjustment of the zoom.
Frame Interpolation. The AE3000 has a frame interpolation feature labeled Frame Creation, allowing for the insertion of interim frames to reduce the appearance of judder. As we have mentioned in the past, it works wonderfully. The HC6500 lacks this feature.
Other features. The AE3000 is as fully loaded with unique features as any projector we've seen. In addition to Frame Creation and the Lens Memory option, its Split Screen Calibration, on-board Wave Form Monitor, and extensive connection panel including three HDMI inputs are noteworthy.
So what does all of this mean? Taken as a whole, the picture quality from these two projectors is exceptionally engaging, but they have different characteristics. Looking at the HC6500, you'll see a razor-sharp picture that brings out every single detail of HD content, but you will also see some subtle graininess that does not exist on the AE3000. Meanwhile, the AE3000 is higher in contrast and it appears smoother than the HC6500 due to the lack of digital noise. Both have outstanding, natural color, and side by side they both look about equally bright when in their best video optimized calibrations.
With the Mitsubishi HC6500 selling for $2,295 and the Panasonic AE3000 selling for $2,499, high performance 1080p projection that would have cost $10,000 just a few years ago is now easily affordable. At the end of the day, which projector is better for you is largely a matter of personal choice.
|Review Contents:||Feature Comparisons||Additional Comparisons|