Panasonic AE8000 1080P 3LCD Projector
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  • Performance
  • 5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value

Almost every year, Panasonic comes out with a new home theater projector, and each time it incorporates several significant improvements to the previous year's model. Last year's AE7000 was a groundbreaking home theater projector that, in addition to being the world's first LCD projector capable of full 1080p 3D, also raised the bar on what one should expect from 3D home cinema.

Now Panasonic has introduced the PT-AE8000. The AE8000 is not as outwardly different from its predecessor as was the AE7000 from its own, but outward appearances mean very little. The AE8000 has significant improvements in all areas of picture quality, from brightness (both in 2D and 3D) to contrast (both in dynamic range and shadow detail) to color accuracy and the clarity of detail. Any one of these improvements can seem rather small, but taken in sum they constitute a major upgrade that will interest both videophiles and more casual users.

Update September 12: We have received further information from Panasonic regarding the price of the AE8000 and its replacement lamps. We have also been told that Panasonic will offer consumers two free pairs of 3D glasses with the purchase of a Panasonic AE8000.

The Viewing Experience

The AE-8000 is Panasonic's newest home theater projector, offering several improvements over the AE-7000 that will be of particular benefit in a dark room home theater environment.

We set up our AE8000 on a rear shelf above and slightly behind our seating area. The projector has manual H/V lens shift with a joystick-style adjustment mechanism. This system allows for a total shift range of three image heights by 1.5 image widths. In other words, you can move the picture one full image height either up or down from the central position, or a quarter of the image width in either direction. As always, the shape of the lens shift range is an oval, not a rectangle, so one cannot reach full horizontal and vertical shift simultaneously.

The AE8000 has received a brightness boost over its predecessor of 20% on paper, from 2000 to 2400 lumens. However, our actual measured increase is more than the specs indicate. The AE7000's Cinema 1 mode measured 529 lumens on our test sample, whereas the new AE8000 cranks out 822 lumens in that same mode, which is more like a 50% increase. That's enough light to power a 140" diagonal 1.3 gain 16:9 screen at 18 foot Lamberts.

Our AE8000 was set up for a 100" diagonal image on a Stewart Studiotek 100, a 1.0 gain screen, using Cinema 1 in low lamp mode with the lens at its widest angle setting. That produced 534 lumens, or 18 fL, and still left plenty of room to increase brightness when it came time for 3D. (Btw, Stewart doesn't recommend the neutral Studiotek 100 for home theater; the Studiotek 130 (1.3 gain), is usually preferred for home theater installations.)

Viewed by itself, the AE8000 is a stunning projector. However, viewing the AE8000 next to the AE7000 is when things start to get interesting. There's a clear increase in contrast, especially in low-illumination areas; shadow detail is better defined on the AE8000. The brightness difference is readily apparent to the naked eye. Detail appears more clear and sharp, though there is no sign of anything resembling an edge enhancement artifact. In 2D, these improvements combine to give the AE8000's picture a touch of refined elegance as compared to the AE7000, a quality that will be appreciated by dedicated videophiles. In 3D, a substantial improvement in brightness and stability may have specific appeal to those who view a lot of 3D material.

 

Key Improvements

3D Depth Control. Some 3D movies have entirely too much depth. By "too much depth," I mean the filmmakers intentionally or unintentionally abuse 3D technology to create exaggerated depth and pop in their films. What this ends up doing is causing eyestrain. To fix this, the AE8000 has a depth control for 3D in the form of its 3D waveform monitor. This tool allows the user to adjust overall picture depth to fit within a "safe" range, thereby protecting viewers from sore eyes and headaches.

The control has two modes. One of them is more involved, and shows 3D depth across the image in real-time. The other is more of a summary of this information and instead shows maximum depth of the image in each direction at any given time. Both allow for the adjustment of depth, so which one you prefer is a matter of taste.

3D Motion Remaster. The big 3D problems that everyone knows about are brightness and crosstalk, but they are not the only issues out there. For example: when an object is in motion, your left eye and right eye are shown the same frame at slightly different times, but your brain expects to see the second image advance slightly in the direction of motion during the time interval between left eye and right eye viewing. This creates an odd bulging or bowing effect as your eye interprets the images' positions, also known as a parallax error.

The AE8000 includes a new 3D Motion Remaster feature designed to eliminate this parallax problem. Essentially, it is a highly-specialized offshoot of frame interpolation that detects 3D objects in motion and advances them slightly so your brain correctly interprets their motion. This is a hard effect to describe, but suffice it to say that 3D Motion Remaster makes 3D motion appear more natural. As with other frame interpolation systems, the user retains the option to disable it from the projector's menu.

Detail Clarity Processor. The AE7000's Detail Clarity system was designed to bring out superfine detail in HD content. The AE8000's Detail Clarity Processor accomplishes the same task, but it has received an upgrade that makes it appreciably better at its job. Tiny details, such as foliage on far-away trees or the texture in fabric, is now easier to see than before. There is still no sign of artifacts related to this control, provided you use it at a reasonable level -- cranking it all the way up will cause some artifacts. The default for this control is 2; we set our test unit to 3 for most viewing.

Lens Memory now works in 3D. A number of features that only worked in 2D on the AE7000 now work in 3D as well. Among these are the powered zoom, powered focus, and Lens Memory system. If you prefer a brighter 3D image and want to shrink down the picture when watching a 3D movie, you can set up a Lens Memory position in advance and save yourself some time.

Frame Interpolation now works in 2D to 3D. Previously, the Frame Creation system was unavailable in 2D to 3D conversion, but it now has its full functionality available.

Glasses have 3D to 2D function. Panasonic's third-generation 3D glasses are light and comfortable, but they also have a neat feature for those who don't enjoy 3D. By sliding the power switch all the way to the right, the glasses will show both eyes the same image, thereby turning 3D into 2D. Plenty of folks out there have family members or friends who just don't enjoy 3D, and this feature means you can all watch a movie together, some seeing it in 3D and some seeing in 2D, so you can make everyone happy. The glasses are not included with the projector and cost $99 per pair. Edit: Panasonic now reports that they will offer two free pairs of third-generation glasses with the purchase of an AE8000.

Gamma adjustment. The AE8000 also has an overhauled gamma adjustment system that makes it easy to make subtle tweaks to get the gamma curve you want. For starters, the new system has 15 adjustment points instead of 9. When adjusting gamma, there is an option to place the adjustment menu in the bottom corner of the screen instead of the center, which makes it easier to either see the content on screen or use a meter without having to stop and disengage the menu every time.

 

Performance

Light output. The spec on the AE8000 is 2400 lumens, which is a 20% increase over the AE7000's 2000-lumen rating. The spec understates the brightness differences we see on our test samples. Here, in table form, are the lumen readings we saw on our AE8000 compared to our AE7000 readings from last year:

ModeAE7000AE8000
Cinema 1526822
Cinema 210891612
Game12041673
Normal13001752
Dynamic16852471
Rec. 709592821
D-Cinema544872

As you can see, the average brightness increase between our samples is more like 35% rather than 20%. Some of this may be due to manufacturing variances in the individual samples, so the testing of two random samples cannot be used to make comparative statements about the product lines in general. Suffice it to say we are seeing more than the 20% increase claimed by Panasonic in all operating modes. This makes it possible to use the AE8000 on larger screens, but it also makes a significant and valuable difference in 3D.

Last year's AE7000 did not quite have the brightness required to make a compelling 3D image at large screen sizes. 3D light output has received a 25% boost on a pure white signal, but in actual use the difference appears more substantial than that. We are eager to see how the AE8000 stacks up to this year's crop of 1080p 3D projectors, as we expect it will fare better than the AE7000 did.

If the AE8000 produces too much light for your screen, you can either engage Eco lamp mode, which reduces brightness by 35%, or you can use more of the projector's zoom range. Going from the wide angle to telephoto end of the 2.0:1 zoom lens causes a 39% reduction in light output. With a projector like the AE8000, many people will opt for the super-simple rear shelf mount and then zoom the projector to their screen. Even doing this, there will likely be lumens to spare.

Contrast. Dynamic range has been improved on the AE8000. The projector reveals quite a bit of detail in shadows that was not previously visible without causing those shadows to look too light. And despite a sizable increase in light output, the AE8000's black level is still rock-solid.

Color. The AE8000's Rec. 709 mode nails the specification almost perfectly, while Cinema 1 mode is more or less Rec. 709 that has been tailored to fit how humans see color in large images. As you may know, color perception is less black-and-white than other aspects of human vision (pun fully intended), so Panasonic has attempted to adjust for how the eye perceives color on large screens as opposed to smaller televisions. In other words, while Rec. 709 might look perfectly correct on a television or monitor, it can look a bit flat on the big screen -- and that's what Cinema 1 is for.


The AE8000's Rec. 709 mode recreates the specification almost perfectly with no adjustment

Cinema 2 factory default settings produce a very different picture than Cinema 1. It is almost twice as bright and has less green in it. With a little bit of tweaking, Cinema 2 makes a beautiful bright picture that many users may prefer.

Normal mode is a staple of Panasonic home theater projectors, combining higher light output than the Cinema modes with decent color balance to make a pleasing "living room" picture, thereby allowing the projector to multitask when required. Normal mode does not have the typical washed-out colors, gray blacks, and green push found in the maximum light output dynamic modes of this and other projectors.

Sharpness and clarity. The AE8000's Detail Clarity Processor has had an upgrade, and the difference is visible. Fine details in hair and foliage -- really small details, in other words -- are easier to see on the AE8000 than they are on the AE7000 when viewed side by side.

Frame Interpolation. The AE8000 uses the same frame interpolation system as the AE7000. At the moment, the AE7000's FI system is still the best available. That might change as new projectors come to market, but suffice to say that the AE8000 has a clean, smooth frame interpolation system with comparatively little lag and very few artifacts.

Input Lag. The AE8000 has slightly less input lag than its predecessor. On the AE7000, Game mode measured 41 milliseconds of delay, whereas Game mode on the AE8000 is improved to 34 milliseconds. That improvement works out to half a frame at 60 frames per second. It's not quite as fast as Panasonic's AR100U, which at 25 milliseconds is their fastest projector for gaming.

As it turns out, Frame Creation does not have much of an effect on input lag in the AE8000's Cinema or Rec. 709 modes. With Frame Creation set to Mode 1, Mode 2, or Off, Cinema 1 mode measured 67 milliseconds of delay -- the setting made no difference. Mode 3 did increase delay slightly to 73 milliseconds. So if you are going to be playing games on the AE8000 and are concerned at all about input lag, stick with Game mode.

Fan noise. Despite its high brightness, the AE8000 is quiet during operation. In Normal lamp mode, which is the highest-power setting, fan noise is a low pitched whisper is only audible at distances closer than about five feet. Meanwhile, in Eco lamp mode the fan is barely audible at all.

4000/5000 hour Lamp life. The AE8000's lamp's life of 4,000 hours in Normal and 5,000 hours in Eco mode is state of the art and competitive with many competing home theater projectors. We know people are hoping for longer life LED-based projectors, but unfortunately, LED technology cannot yet generate the lumen power of high pressure lamps for anywhere near the price. Replacement lamps for the AE8000 have an MSRP of $379.

Two-year Warranty. The Panasonic projector warranty used to cover one year, plus an additional year if the purchaser filled out and sent in a warranty card. Since then, they have changed it to two years, standard, with no mail-in requirement. While the change went into effect in February, the AE8000 is the first home theater projector to launch with the new warranty coverage in place.

Limitations

It is getting very difficult to find things to complain about on Panasonic's flagship home theater products since they tend to be loaded with features that competing units don't have, and picture quality gets better every year. Nevertheless, here are a couple nits we could mention:

Lens Shift. In a projector where everything else is polished to perfection, the AE8000's non-motorized lens stands out as something less than perfect. The manual lens shift control is a small joystick, which is handy for quick-and-dirty adjustments but can be finicky when trying to make smaller, more precise changes. It is more refined than the AE7000's joystick, but still not as slick as a finely geared motorized adjustment. On the other hand, let's be practical. Lens shift is rarely used after the projector is installed. Does it make any sense to add the cost of a motorized mechanism to assist in an adjustment that is no longer an issue after installation? Not really. Power zoom and focus have a great deal more utility during actual use, and the AE8000 has both of those.

Menu system. The AE8000's menus are detailed and extensive. As mentioned previously, Panasonic's home theater projectors offer more unique and useful features than any other manufacturer's products. That said, there is room for improvement in the menu system. For one, sometimes there is no indication of what a given control actually does, and the average user may not know the difference between Frame Creation and 3D Motion Remaster. It would be helpful to include an onboard help system, perhaps accessible via a button on the remote control, that would explain the function of a highlighted option.

In the AE8000's menus, you can press "enter" on most items to pop them out. This makes the rest of the menu disappear while the item you've selected is presented in low-profile format at the bottom of the screen, which makes it easy to adjust while watching the picture for changes. This is great, except the menu pops back to the main screen after a few short seconds, and there's no way to adjust this timing. There are exceptions; if you are using the waveform monitor or gamma adjustment system, then the menu will persist. But the single-line function would be more helpful if there were a way to adjust its persistence.

Conclusion

Panasonic has been making home theater projectors for many, many years. The AE series, of which the AE8000 is the latest edition, started with the AE100 way back in 2001 -- ancient history by today's standards. It is clear by now that they've gotten very good at it.

Last year's AE7000 was a big step forward over the previous AE4000. Not only did the addition of 3D make the projector noteworthy, but the AE7000 also improved almost all of the projector's core systems, resulting in a 2D picture that was significantly better than that of its predecessor. The step up from the AE7000 to the AE8000 may appear less dramatic on the spec sheets, but overall picture quality shows a very decided improvement. And for videophiles, that is what it is all about.

The AE8000 is easily the best home theater projector Panasonic has ever released, and has the most natural and film-like image in both 2D and 3D yet seen on a Panasonic home theater model. The3D brightness boost makes the AE8000 a more exciting option for 3D fans. With an MSRP of $3499, the same as last year's AE7000, the AE8000 represents a strong value in today's home theater projector market.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Panasonic PT-AE8000 projector page.

Comments (81) Post a Comment
Ian Posted Sep 4, 2012 7:34 PM PST
this review is a lttle bit dissapointing..theres no word on crosstalk issues..the ae7000 had horrible crosstalk and I wanted to know if the 3d was much cleaner as far as ghosting/crosstalk..did you throw any difficult 3d at this? I do appreciate the lag numbers! please answer my question...also are the black levels better or the same as the 7000?
kevinp Posted Sep 5, 2012 3:40 AM PST
are there any signs of cross talk ?
hdmkv Posted Sep 5, 2012 8:55 AM PST
This PJ has be intrigued, especially lens memory supporting 3D, which the AE4000 had that AE7000 lacked. The brightness and contrast boost are also welcome. Love my current Optoma HD33, but its lack of lens shift & generally being a pain to install, has me considering the AE8000.
Carlos Posted Sep 5, 2012 9:53 AM PST
How would you rate this projector vs the benq w7000?
EeeCeeTee Posted Sep 5, 2012 11:57 AM PST
With the warranty now two years, did Panasonic change (or drop) the hour limitation as well?
Khang Posted Sep 5, 2012 1:38 PM PST
Being that this projector is LCD based is there any motion blur? Also I have always noticed the screen door effect on LCD based projectors does this projector have that same characteristic?
Paul Posted Sep 5, 2012 3:02 PM PST
Is the Eco mode input specific? I'd like to run cinema modes in normal and the brighter modes in eco.
Ted B. Posted Sep 6, 2012 1:25 AM PST
I'd appreciate a bit more scientific testing in these reviews regarding fan noise. For example, I held of buying an AE7000 becauase I read it was louder (in eco mode) compared to my AE4000 (in eco as well). A "db" rating of fan noise in eco while displaying a test image between AE4000-->AE7000-->AE8000 would be most helpful for us "noise sensitive" folks.
Guy Posted Sep 7, 2012 10:27 AM PST
I am also disappointed with the lack of any more in depth discussion about it's 3D picture quality. Crosstalk? brightness? Also, comparisons against other projectors would have been great.
R2D2 Posted Sep 9, 2012 10:54 PM PST
Will this pj support a Constant Image Height setup with it's zoom memory zoom feature?

What issues would I face using this projector on a 144" 2.40 screen?
Milo Posted Sep 10, 2012 3:42 PM PST
Panasonic AE8000 looks impressive but I have to wait for the Epson 5020. Epson warranty service is just too good for me to consider anything else. This is based on my experience with two Epson projectors over the last several years. Whenever I had a problem with my Epson unit they did not try to blame it on the usage and sent me a replacement immediately. They even replaced a bulb which burnt out prematurely even though the unit was out of warranty.
Brian Swiger Posted Sep 11, 2012 6:56 PM PST
I just want to say thank you for your reviews, specifically the additional concern of Input Lag with regards to gaming. I'm a gamer as well as a movie viewer and this addition is missing on several other sites. Thanks again for all your efforts and keep up the reviews! Looking forward to your thoughts on the new Epson 5020 and 6020 that were just released.
IAN Posted Sep 14, 2012 10:24 AM PST
can you answer some of our questions please..or do a deeper updated review..not mentioning the crosstalk/ghosting issue from the 7000 makes it seem like you avoided the issue and the 8000 is no better from you not mentioning it.
Rick Souza Posted Sep 15, 2012 11:17 PM PST
I've been waiting to replace my 8700ub for the new epson 5020, but i was wondering how would the reviews of epson 5020 vs panasonic ae8000?
Deja Vu Posted Sep 16, 2012 9:41 AM PST
There is no discussion concerning 3D "ghosting" (cross-talk) in the review. It would be helpful if you tried Giants of Patagonia or Dinosaurs Alive with the AE8000 and see if it can handle this very difficult material. I'm currently using both an Acer 5360 and an Epson 6010 for 3D. If the Panasonic was as good or better at handling cross-talk than the 6010 I'd consider it. If it was as good with cross-talk (none) as the 5360 I'd probably buy it.
Senior 54 Posted Sep 21, 2012 6:40 PM PST
Having issues with a JVC DLA-x3 at present anybodys thoughts on jvc would be appreciated may have to look at a possible replacement in the fiture
Mark G Posted Sep 23, 2012 9:00 AM PST
Thanks for the review. As a builder reviewer of precision scientific equipment I know how hard it is to be informative, and handed and speak to everyone even those who want more detail than needed for a thorough review, yet offer no information on their own.

Good work and very helpful
Travis Posted Sep 27, 2012 1:16 PM PST
Not saying it could not be the projector but most Ghosting/Crosstalk issues are do to bad cables.
Michael Posted Sep 27, 2012 5:56 PM PST
The 8000 sounds like a very nice projector, but we did not get any feedback in the review on the optics, such as focus from center to edges, chromatic aberation, and panel convergence, nor 3d crosstalk.
James Posted Oct 4, 2012 5:20 PM PST
In terms of brigthness and black level, wihich is better, Epson 5020 or Panasonic PT AE8000?
Chris Posted Oct 4, 2012 8:03 PM PST
Excellent review, thanks Bill. Everyone seems to be carrying on about crosstalk. I've sold more PT-AE7000 units than any other individual retail store in Australia, and have performed professional video calibration on most of them. At no time have I encountered 3D crosstalk issues, or anything else, that could not be attributed to another weak link in the system. That is not to say they are perfect, but I can assure you that for the money, there is nothing better right now. Eagerly anticipating the arrival of the 8000 to Australia later this month, I have already pre-sold most of Panasonic's first shipment. And may I just say, that on the extremely rare occasions that a Panasonic product needs to be serviced or replaced under warranty, the support from Panasonic is every bit as good as Epson. Buy this projector with confidence.
skgupta Posted Oct 7, 2012 2:29 AM PST
Does AE8000 have builtin Anamorphic Lens and can it offer 2.35:1 contrast ratio without going for any optional lens?
Bill Livolsi Posted Oct 9, 2012 10:44 AM PST
Hi folks - thanks for writing. Apologies for not commenting sooner but I've been busy with other projectors.

Ian - If you think the AE7000 had horrible crosstalk, I don't know what to tell you. Have you talked to Panasonic warranty support? The AE7000 had very low crosstalk compared to other projectors in that generation. We put every projector we see through the 3D wringer, and I am hypersensitive to crosstalk, so if I don't mention it it's because it wasn't a problem.

KevinP - very little.

Carlos - For most people I would recommend the AE8000. The W7000 is a great projector but I don't think it can stand up to the AE8000's image quality and unique features.

EeeCeeTee - If you mean for the lamp, no. Lamp warranties are always going to have limits. I wouldn't be surprised if, when LED projectors finally make it out, their light sources limit the warranty to 5,000 hours or something like that.

Khang - much less than on previous generations. And the screen door effect has not been a problem for a few years now, but Panasonic's Smooth Screen filter makes it even less of a problem on Panny HT projectors.

Paul - I believe so, yes.

Ted - I understand your concern, however modern home theater projectors are very quiet compared to even a few years ago. Where are you mounting your projector that you can still hear the fan? We have ours on a rear shelf maybe 5 feet from the audience and it's like it's not even there. That's true for most HT projectors these days, not just this one.

Guy - We're only going to compare the AE8000 against other projectors released this year. The main one is going to be the Epson 5020 which we don't have yet. Comparing this year's model against last year's model doesn't tell us anything useful.

R2D2 - Yes, that is the primary purpose - anamorphic display without the anamorphic lens. On a screen that large you might worry about brightness, so I'd use Cinema 2 for sure.

Milo - We're excited to see the Epson 5020 as well. It should be here soon!

Brian - you're welcome!

IAN - I assume you're the same Ian. I still don't know what "crosstalk/ghosting issue" you're talking about, since we saw very little on the AE7000. However, you should know that Panasonic did some research and found that some crosstalk was temperature-related, so they adjusted the temperature control inside the unit and have reduced crosstalk even further.

Mark - I don't mind people asking for more. It means they're interested and reading, and that's all I can ask for. Usually if I don't mention something it's because I think there are other more important things to discuss. If I talked about every aspect of the projector we'd end up with a 10,000-word review and no one would read it, so I have to be selective of what makes the cut. Since I didn't see a problem with crosstalk last year, I didn't mention it this year. Clearly this bothered some folks. Hopefully my comments here will put some of that to rest.

Travis - I've never heard this; do you have a source? I'd like to read more.

Michael - we will always mention convergence if it is a problem, but it doesn't merit a discussion in every review. A few Epson projectors years back had a serious panel alignment problem and it featured prominently in the review of those models. The same goes for edge-to-edge sharpness. If you don't see a potential problem mentioned, it's because the projector doesn't have that problem. It doesn't mean we didn't test it.

James - I'll be happy to tell you as soon as we see an Epson 5020.

Chris - Hey, thanks for the feedback. Looks like your experience mirrors my own.

skgupta - It can give you the 2.35:1 experience using Lens Memory, but no, it does not have a built-in anamorphic lens.

I think that's everyone. Thanks again for reading. We should have the Epson 5020 soon, and I'll get to work on it as soon as it arrives.
jesse Posted Oct 10, 2012 1:28 PM PST
Just wanted to know if this projector came with 3d glasses or would they be separate accessories i woud have to purchase?
Jer Posted Oct 11, 2012 11:11 AM PST
Bill, Your reviews are great thanks, My question is this, I have a Dwin tranvision 2 dlp projector for over ten years now tome to upgrade. At that time period $11,000. My screen is 1.35 Firehawk 110 inch diag. (stewart) Question, Will any of these new lower priced projectors like the panasonic 8000u, epson 6010, or jvc (lower end) Give me the picture quality (film like) that this Dwin has for the last ten to twelve years? I have a large living room with pretty much total light control. Thank you -- Jer
Brian Posted Oct 16, 2012 6:40 AM PST
How is this PT-Ae8000u with fast motion such as football?How do you compare this with other projectors handling of fast motion?
Bill Livolsi Posted Oct 17, 2012 10:16 AM PST
Jesse - the AE8000 comes with two pairs of 3D glasses.

Jer - Yes, you should upgrade. Yes, you will see a difference. Yes, it will be for the better. You are in for a pleasant surprise.

Brian - Panasonic's frame interpolation systems are perfect for fast motion, especially fast-motion video like sports.
JCP Posted Oct 19, 2012 5:16 PM PST
Jer, I used to have the Dwin DLP TV2 and loved it. When it broke 3 years ago and I could not get parts, I purchased the Panasonic 4000 and was not dissapointed. Hard to believe that a $2,500 projector was as good or better than the $10,000 Dwin. The new 8000 is a step up from the 4000, you will be happy with the quality.
datt Posted Oct 20, 2012 6:55 PM PST
is panasonic AE8000 has wireless in it ?

or what accessories i can use to connect it wireless ?
Vincent Posted Oct 24, 2012 10:11 AM PST
first thanks for you review. it was very helpful. i might be like many others out there who don't have a dedicated home theatre. instead i just use my projector in the living room. Normally especially if I use the projector at night, it is relatively dark in the room, but in the daytime even with all the shutters closed, there is still light in the room. Any thoughts on how well this projector would do in such circumstances?
Doug Posted Oct 25, 2012 10:55 AM PST
The effect of a time delay between left & right eye images due to sequential display timing is well documented in research papers. The effect is to convert a flat pendulum motion into a perceived circular motion. Thus if an object is moving left to right (or right to left), the time delay between left & right eye images changes the perceived stereoscopic distance (i.e. the convergence angle between the two eyes is changed such that the pendulum appears closer when moving left and farther when moving right, or vice versa). Stereoscopically, the moving object appears closer or farther than it would if stationary. A panning image would also change apparent distace for the same reason but would be less noticable because there is no reference distance as there is with the background next to a moving object.
Trey Posted Oct 29, 2012 12:08 PM PST
Great review! Debating between this one and the Mits 8000. For a 120" screen in a dedicated theater room, will the Panny provide enough light for 3D on that screen? I've read that the Mitsubishi's are a little "dimmer" than the Panny's for 3D. Will also wait for your Epson review.
shadi Posted Oct 30, 2012 3:22 AM PST
i am planning to order this projector and have it shipped from the US (I live in Qatar) , does it only accept 120v or will it take 220-240v input ?

thanks.
Harv Schneider Posted Nov 5, 2012 7:33 PM PST
Can someone please clarify if this projector has the vertical stretch (Vertical Fill) feature, to allow this projector to work with anamorphic lens'. I do not see it mentioned on the Test repot nor in the manual or brochure. Also is there any reason I would not want to use the Prismasonic HD-6000R lens?
Salah Posted Nov 7, 2012 2:27 AM PST
Im doing installation of hometheater as my business, i did install more than 20 panasonic projector including 7000 & 8000, i can confirm that they both are great projector's , but the 8000 is more brighter and is better in 3D , i used it on 183 inch screen 16x9 (very large screen) and it did lit up the screen, but you have to dim the lights abit, but if your screen is smaller that 130 inch, then it would be so bright, even if there is some light, if you compare it with epson, i am sure that the pani gives crisper picture
ray kirk Posted Nov 7, 2012 12:52 PM PST
No mention of IR vs RF glasses. Is there much difference? I've read that IR glasses can lose signal with the turn of the head to talk to someone.
Gil Posted Nov 10, 2012 1:20 PM PST
What is the lag time using the different modes? There is no mention of it in the review.
terry Posted Nov 22, 2012 12:21 AM PST
has anyone tried 200inch?? does it work well or too dark?
Andrew Posted Nov 23, 2012 7:07 PM PST
What size screen will it fill if I put it in a room that is only 9 feet wide?
Harv Posted Nov 28, 2012 3:00 PM PST
I recently installed the PTAE8000U with a 125" 2:35 JKP 1.1 gian screen. I am pleased with the brightness, but not very pleased with the blacks. Walls are black. Furniture is dark. Ceiling unfortunately is white, which is a factor reducing the contrast ratio somewhat. Room has no significant ambient light. I am wondering why reveiwers seam to refuse to test and provide ANSI contrast measurments. I think this is a very important test and greatly adds to the overall contrast perfomance assessment. So come on Bill, please add this test info to the reports.
Jeremy Posted Dec 4, 2012 12:51 PM PST
My AE8000 has just arrived and I've noticed that there are restrictions on projector placement if you want to achieve a constant image height for both 16x9 and 2.35:1. With extreme lens shift, the projected image translates vertically when zoomed out, such that the screen for 16x9 is not fully covered when zoomed out for 2.35:1. In these extreme mounting positions, manual adjustment of the lens shift is required for each aspect ratio change. Panasonic hasn't provided mounting guidance for constant image height use, attainable only through remote control.
Gareth Posted Dec 7, 2012 10:39 AM PST
I have just bought the panasonic 8000 and am getting a number on the top left of my screen since install, not sure what this is but I can't seem to remove and panasonic couldn't answer what it was either. The code is mm:1.03 sm:1.11 f:1.00 im:1.02
Gareth Posted Dec 13, 2012 9:37 AM PST
After 3 weeks of this message being displayed one of the guys at the store I bought it from thought it might be in service mode. I'm still waiting for the panasonic canada to get back to me on this. Has anyone ever had projector come out of the box in service mode before??
Dan Posted Dec 15, 2012 10:30 AM PST
Does anyone know if this projecter supports 3D SBS Mode? I have been looking for that info and cannot seem to find it, but I could be blind, or maybe there is another term for the same thing.

Thanks in advance for your help

Dan
Henry Posted Dec 23, 2012 4:24 AM PST
This projector does support SBS (side by side). You can select it under 3D Settings > 3D Input Format.
LUIS ARAUJO Posted Dec 26, 2012 7:01 AM PST
ShADI: YES. IT WILL ACCEPT UP T0 240
carlos Posted Dec 29, 2012 12:19 AM PST
my pt ae 8000 produce a blink image in eco mode but not in normal mode
Harv Schneider Posted Jan 10, 2013 11:05 AM PST
In the shoot out review (PTAE-8000 vs. the Epson 5020UB Shootout: Epson 5020UB vs Panasonic AE8000) it states "The AE8000 has an anamorphic stretch mode for compatibility with anamorphic lenses" The brochures states nothing about this. The Manual for the PTAE8000U Pg. 62 shows vertical fit not available for HDMI inputs and no mention of Vertical stretch in the manual. Is there a different version of this model? I do not see this feature. Please clarify. Either prove this or print a retraction.
Justin Posted Jan 19, 2013 7:56 AM PST
http://panasonic.net/avc/projector/catalog/pdf/PT-AE8000G1.pdf

Harv, not sure if this goes to your comment re: compatibility with anamorphic lenses, but the brochure found at the above link states the following:

"Featuring a wide range of aspect modes, including ones for anamorphic lenses. (JUST/4:3/16:9/S16:9/14:9/ZOOM1/ZOOM2/ H-FIT/V-FIT) NOTE: The selectable modes vary depending on the input signal."

By the way, I believe the manual is a bit misleading. On page 61, it shows V-FIT available for certain signals input via HDMI. On page 62, as you mention in your post, the manual states "(Not available with HDMI signal.)," however I believe that statement refers to the phrase immediately proceeding it. In other words, you can use V-FIT over HDMI, but you cannot manually adjust it with the up/down buttons. I have the PT-AE8000U and while viewing a 1080i signal over HDMI (DirecTV), I can choose V-FIT as aspect ratio but cannot manually adjust the setting.
Jer Posted Jan 23, 2013 10:54 AM PST
JCP, Finally found someone that has experienced a Dwin tranvision 2 and knows of the quality it can give, And you are right no parts or anything from dwin anymore. Actually the dwin still performs really well with the exception that the last new lamp goes out with the projector still running, not hot and if you unplug the screen so it won't run up and down just turn the projector off then right back on it works great again, sometimes it will run forever 2-3-4 full length movies then it takes it on it's own to start in again every 2 to 15 minutes or so. Who knows??? Anyway thanks for your answer to my question and I have narrowed it down to the 8000u or the 6020,decisions decisions but am ready to go one way or the other. One problem is I don't have a dealer within a couple hundred miles of here and not sure how to buy either one. internet is scary. Anyway I know this is long so will stop here and thanks again for your answer. Jer
Eric Posted Mar 5, 2013 2:14 PM PST
I was thinking of getting the Benq W1070 until I read about the PT AE8000U? I am trying to get the best picture 2d / 3d for the money I spend. My budget for a projector around $3000. Is it worth the extra money or is there an even better pick. I have enjoyed the reviews on this site
Jer Posted Mar 19, 2013 3:02 PM PST
Can the 6020 epson be wireless?
Reyadh khamis Posted Mar 31, 2013 2:05 PM PST
Yes it work on 220 volt.
Grok Posted Sep 18, 2013 9:27 PM PST
I find it very blurry. Up close pictures are nice, but as the picture pans out it gets blurry. This is not a high def. picture. You can't even read the writing on the screen.
john Posted Sep 19, 2013 6:19 PM PST
Amazing run panasonics PT-AE line is on for the last 5 or 6 years on Projector Central.

pt-ae1000 25/25 possible total stars + editors choice,

pt-ae2000 24.5/25 possible total 25 stars + editors choice,

pt-ae3000 25/25 possible total stars + editors choice,

pt-ae4000 25/25 possible total stars + editors choice,

pt-ae7000 25/25 total possible stars + editors choice,

pt-ae8000 25/25 total possible stars with editors choice to follow...

Thats 149.5 points out of 150. JVC wouldn't stand an earthly against panasonic here let alone sony, mitubishi, epson etc. Im really not being sarcastic here but ive never seen any A/V component, let alone video component, rack up points on a single line, on any web, magazine review site. Must be a record that will never, ever be beaten...
EeeTee Posted Nov 13, 2013 1:25 PM PST
John, If you've read most of the reviews here vs. other sites, you'll find this site very 'Panasonic friendly'. There is a lot of subjectivity in reviews that must be taken with a grain of salt. Other site's reviews show more parity than you see reflected here IMHO.
andrew Posted Nov 16, 2013 3:20 AM PST
so im loking for a lil help here I got the pt-ae8000u and ive had it for oh about almost 3 months the lamp has about 350 hours on it and its worked great up untill now, but just recently it started blanking out the picture and when i say this I mean the whole picture goes black (note I have blue set as my background screen color when there is no video signal) after awhile the blanking out will stop for awhile and sometimes it'll start back up. this is usually really bad upon startup of any video source, or when i turn the projector on, and on any hdmi port. for an example I played LOTR return of the king the other night and it did this black screen blinking picture and black screen for awhile 2-5 minutes i'll say and then when i neared the end of the movie when they're having the battle at the black gate it started doing it again picture then black for a second then picture etc. any suggestions at all
Darren Posted Nov 18, 2013 4:34 AM PST
I hav just installed my AE800 and upon firing up with all my home cinema kit l get a flashing red lamp light and know light. The manual says if a power reset doesn't rectify then the bulb needs replacing !!!! Really I haven't even used it properly I know it did work because my engineer had it lit when he installed it on the ceiling. .. Any ideas ?? Thxs
Bonnie Posted Dec 1, 2013 4:41 PM PST
I have a Yahama tuner with component hookups. Do I need to replace my tuner with An HDMI connection tuner. I would like to avoid the expense. Also, does it support Apple devices for wireless.? Does the streaming device they offer make it Apple wifi acceptable?
Robert Posted Dec 31, 2013 5:27 PM PST
I generally like this projector, however, I seem to seeing pretty nasty lag. Any idea how I can test what times I'm seeing, measure in ms, etc? Thankfully, Amazon has extended return window. Not sure what else I'd get, though. Need the lens shift, brightness. Also, I think it's slightly blurry.

I can hear the people talking before I see the mouths move.

I can mirror my laptop and noticeably see the lag with the mouse cursor / page scrolling.

I specifically want to play games (xbox 360), watch live video, etc.
Barry Miller Posted Mar 23, 2014 11:23 AM PST
Audio lag can occur for many reasons and there are several cures. Since we separate the signals when sending video to a projector and audio to a ?receiver? it is not surprising they can get out of sinc. I use DLNA from my PCs to all video displays and that introduced a huge lag. The simple fix for me was to realize that manufactureres anticipate this and usually allow for the problem in the menu under "audio processing" or similar. DVD players almost always have this function, and most other components as well. My solution was running the signal through my OPPO 103 allows me to slide the audio sync tab to the right, making them work as a match. Since I don't know anything about your equipment and connections I can only encourage you do go into menus on your equipment, look under audio, (the processing if available) and adjust the delay/advance of the audio. It is not the projectors fault as it displays what it is sent. I hope that is some help, Bary
Kelly Posted May 29, 2014 7:19 AM PST
I have this exact same problem.

I have about 200 hours on mine and the screen cuts in and out (not to blue screen) just flickers a black screen in and out repeatedly and seems to be getting worse.

Any fixes to this?
David Posted Oct 2, 2014 11:14 AM PST
I just moved from the U.S. to the UK, will my AE 1000 projector work in 240v?
Patrick Posted Oct 3, 2014 10:24 AM PST
I had this problem. I updated my blue ray player with newest software and it corrected the problem.
Mike Posted Nov 4, 2014 1:25 PM PST
How is this projector in ambient light?
loughallen Posted Nov 10, 2014 9:05 AM PST
Hi, I've had the same sporadic blacking out issue for 2 years since I first bought the projector (using Blurays, all web and movies from hard drives). I had replaced my Sony system 3 times and was fed up resetting everything. Panasonic were just useless. They told me that they only test the projector using a short HDMI cable (which does seem to work fine, but that's not a realistic solution for my set up or many other projector owners. I also called Monster cable, another set of useless people, that insisted that it was because my cable wasn't "Monster". I had installed a HDMI 1.,4 4K cable from Cablemart when building my house and wasn't in a hurry to start ripping out drywall everywhere. The projector always performed perfectly when watching programming via the cable box from Verizon FIOS, which outputs 1080i. I made sure that of the signal output of my sources was fixed at 1080i (make sure that auto is disabled). IT SOLVED THE PROBLEM AND HAS BEEN PERFECT EVER SINCE.

There is no inferior image when watching blurays or 3D and it seems very stable. The Sony box also is in perfect sync when booting up now as the interfaces starts up blue instead of green. I wanted to post earlier, but didn't want to get hopes up as I know that this is a common issues on other blogs.
VBG Posted Feb 23, 2015 6:32 AM PST
The Panasonic PT-AE8000u is one great projector. It's bright, quiet and the blacks are really black. The picture quality is excellent using both the HDMI and component inputs. Movies in both 480 w/ doubling and 1080 blue-ray content are sharp and detailed. Installation pretty simple. The ability to focus the projector from the remote and the abundance of adjustable features in the menu are outstanding. One thing missing is the lack of ability to keep track of the number of hours logged on the projector lamp. Another short coming is the printed instruction manual is missing about two thirds of the actual content. Panasonic provides a cd disc with the manual in pdf format. You are not aware of the missing content until viewing the disc in your laptop pc. All in all, the PT-AE8000u is a fantastic projector rich with features.
Olivier Huppée Posted May 10, 2015 12:52 PM PST
Hi, i have a question,

Whats the difference between the PT AE8000u 2012 and the PT ae8000u 2014?

Thanks.
Steve Posted Jun 1, 2015 5:13 PM PST
Hi all! I'm planning on getting my first HT projector. Pretty much decided on the Benq (W1070/HT1075) for less than $800 which is generally regarded the best within my budget (~$1500). Now that the AE8000U is offered for ~$1600 on Amazon I'm wondering if I should get it for double the price! I have NO experience with HT projectors, but I'm very tech savvy and already know everything to know about the units - on paper!.. has anyone (Dear Bill?) seen both calibrated in similar conditions? Is the AE8000U's picture twice as good as the Benq's? Will I be twice as happy/impressed with it? One thing I'm worried about regarding the AE8000U is the absence of an on-board panel alignment system (available on the Epson 5030UB ~$2300). Is this a deal breaker assuming that I won't be able to send my unit in for servicing/panel alignment? How often (after how many operating hours) will it need this done? Can I do it myself? (Yes I'll be voiding the warranty, but can I with some instructions do it myself or some special software/equipment is required?) Thanks!
THack Posted Jun 26, 2015 10:17 AM PST
Hey I am looking at this projector. I am considering the 110" Elite Sable Frame 3D Series Fixed Frame Screen. Never owned a projector and have been researching a lot, but figured it was time to post up for people that have actual experience with it.

So my question is, does that scree work well with this PJ?
Mark Posted Jul 10, 2015 2:00 PM PST
The projector does keep track of bulb hours. You just haven't found it in the menu. It's there.
Bob Posted Jul 22, 2015 7:28 AM PST
I have had this projector for over a year now and it really does do everything advertised but I have had one nagging problem that really gets under my skin:

Vertical Banding.

Anyone else experience it on this projector? Any ideas on a workaround or how to help the issue?
Mike Posted Aug 21, 2015 2:41 PM PST
I bought the AE3000U several years back after reading reviews here and elsewhere. I have been extremely happy with it.

I'm pretty skeptical of the comment implying that this site is inordinately biased in favor of panasonic for a couple reasons. First, although panasonic projectors have indeed scored highly, I would note that the AE8000 came out in 2012 and did not receive the editor's choice award until 2015. This is likely because although the picture quality was good it wasn't the best value until the price dropped.

This line of panasonic projectors has generally offered a great deal more in terms of installation flexibility, calibration tools and extras than other comparable projectors in the price range. I would expect it to fare well as a result. High scores would be expected.

Second, you indicated that the panasonic projectors fare better here than elsewhere. However, after looking around at other review sites, I don't see it even being compared. The "2015 best projectors" on most sites appear to focus on projectors that are new, so they would not include one that was released in 2012. The one exception I found that included a panasonic projector from this line was comparing the AE4000, which is several generations older, and it still ended up in 2nd place. So exactly what websites are disagreeing? Keep in mind that a general forum would typically not be a reliable source since individual buyers do not have a sample of each projector type to do head-to-head comparisons, they can only effectively report their satisfaction with a purchase already made. That is one of the primary reasons this site is so valuable.
Greg Posted Dec 31, 2015 7:53 AM PST
Does anyone know if Panasonic has exited the home theater projector business? I'm just curious since they've never updated the AE8000. Thanks!
Dave Peterson Posted Apr 27, 2016 6:15 AM PST
I'm curious about this (Panasonic exiting the projector business) too. I'm thinking about replacing my PTAE2000U and am somewhat reluctant to go with a projector released in 2012, but I love my 2000U and feel a Panny *ought* to be in the running for replacing it.
Mobashar Ahmad Posted Jun 30, 2016 8:19 AM PST
I bought this projector 3 years ago and installed it on the living room ceiling. The screen size is 150 inch 16:9. The picture is awesome, crystal clear and sharp. The brightness is enough even with ambient light in the kitchen next to the living room. The colors are well saturated and eye pleasing. I also own Sony LCOS projector which i bought for more money. The colors are dull and brightness is significantly less with the Sony on the same size screen in the basement.
John Barlow Posted Nov 5, 2016 2:11 PM PST
Get the Panasonic AE8000u. You will not regret it. I picked mine up this spring of 2016. The price point is excellent for what it does. It will smoke your AE2000. #D on a large screen is phenomenal. Viewing is bright and crystal clear. Panasonic AE8000 has lens memory. What this means is you can purchase a 235:1 screen for watching true cinema aspect ratio. Only a couple of manufacturers offer lens memory and at a much higher price point. I don't know what you decided to do and I hope my response helps.
Dean Posted Nov 20, 2016 9:02 AM PST
How does the 8000 vent? I have a very tight projector "box" shelf. The sides are enclosed and it is a hair under 19" wide. I have a PT-AE3000u in there now (been there for over 7 years) . The 3000 vents front to back (or vice versa) so I don't have any overheating issues with it being tight. The 8000 being about a 1/4" wider would still fit, but if it needs more clearance (if it pulls or exhausts air to the sides) I am out of luck.
wallace martin Posted Nov 25, 2016 2:05 PM PST
URGENT PLEASE. Fighting black friday timeline. Im ready to order the 8000U..but my son just said to "make sure it's wireless....!!!!!" Help. the Epson 5030 is WIRELESS but I can't reach any of the Panasonic folks at 3 dirrerent major outlets..no phone support today....Does Panasonic make a wireless model of this...how big a deal is this?...can you buy external gizmo that does this anyway...please adivse
Keith Posted Nov 27, 2016 5:40 PM PST
I've owned this projector for 4 years. Its great out of the box and produces fantastic cinema quality images on my 132 inch screen. I have never had an operational problem with the projector - always started up and worked as expected. The biggest problem with it is dust blobs. I don't seem to see any mention of dust blobs but they are notorious with LCD projectors. I sent this back to Panasonic and had it cleaned 2 years ago. Its now 2 years later, and ready to go back again. On any white background you can clearly see purple splotches on the left and right hand side of the screen. So at the current price its a great deal, but expect a cleaning charge and polarizer replacement every 2 years at $600 a pop. I'm thinking of buying a new one because at $1600 its a deal compared to $600 cleaning and a new lamp at $400. I can get a new projector and a warranty for $600 more.
Rich Posted Dec 19, 2016 8:25 PM PST
I found the ae8000u to show good detail and images looked great except for a few details...

The background of most scenes appeard soft and almost blurred at times. I talkeda bout this with some projector retailers and their tech support said that Panasonic's image processing does this and many people like it.

The deal breaker for me was...

The projector has significant optical distortion when the lens shift is used. If you shift the lens downward the bottom of white text turns red. If you shift it up then it turns blue. The way the lens shift works it simply moves the lens relative to the light beam and anything significant caused a color shift. I have an 8.5ft ceiling and 106" screen 21" from the ceiling and the mount is 8.5" from the ceiling so I was shifting down slightly which was enough to make all of the setup menu txt distorted. This issue has also been observed on other ae8000u projectors on the online forums. The optics must simply not be good enough for the lens shift... While I mainly saw this on text knowing that it exists on other images just bothered my sensabilities.

It was significantly quieter than the epson 5030ub (which apparently gets louder when ceiling mounted) and the ae8000u allowed me to use ECO mode in 3d which the 5030ub does not allow (which I am still evaluating if it is a deal breaker on the 5030ub).

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