Panasonic AE7000 1080P 3LCD Projector
Projector Central Editor's Choice Award

Editor's Choice Award

Our Editor's Choice award goes to products that dramatically exceed expectations for performance, value, or cutting-edge design.

  • Performance
  • 5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
$3,499 MSRP Discontinued

It was October, 2009, almost two years ago, when Panasonic began shipping its last home theater projector--the popular PT-AE4000. The company had been releasing new home theater projectors every year, regular as clockwork, since 2001. But they fell silent last year; no announcement of a new model, and no peep about plans for a future model. People wondered whether they had quietly bowed out of the home theater projector business.

Then came the announcement on July 28--the industry's first LCD-based 3D 1080p projector was on its way: the PT-AE7000U. And at the heart of the AE7000's light engine is an all-new, super high speed LCD technology that supports refresh rates of a whopping 480Hz--double the speed of the next fastest imaging technology released thus far.

The Viewing Experience

Before we get to the details of the review, let's go over how we set it up in our theater, and what we saw. After checking out the various operating modes, our preferred viewing mode was Cinema 1. We measured this mode at 526 lumens with the lens at the wide angle setting and the lamp on Normal (full). Now, the first question many will ask is--Is this enough light? After all, many home theater projectors put out quite a bit more than 526 lumens. But they generally don't carry a 300,000:1 contrast ratio.

We wanted to stretch it out to see what would happen. So in a fully dark room, we set up the AE7000 with a ten-foot wide, 2.40 Scope format Stewart Studiotek 100 (white, 1.0 gain). The projection distance was 13.5 feet, the lens was at its wide angle position, and we were viewing from a distance of 12 feet, or 1.2x the screen width. That's probably about as close as most people would want to view a screen of this format.

With this set-up, the picture was vibrant, engaging, and (believe it or not) slightly too bright. It would be visually taxing to view a two-hour movie at that screen size, from that distance, and at that level of illumination. Dropping the projector into eco mode reduced the brightness by 27%, to a bit under 400 lumens. This was a more comfortable light level. However, the picture lost some of its dynamic snap, in part due to the use of the Studiotek 100. This screen is great for lab tests but not recommended for home theater. If we were using a Stewart Studiotek 130 (white 1.3 gain), or a similar product such as the Da-lite Cinema Vision 1.3 gain white screen, it would provide incremental snap and render Cinema 1 eco mode quite serviceable at this screen size.

Keep in mind that for optimum results the room needs to have no ambient light, and walls, ceilings, furnishings, etc. should be dark and non-reflective. And don't overlook those LED status lights on electronic equipment in the rack; those lights can be screaming bright in a fully dark room, and they need to be turned off or covered to prevent them from compromising black levels on the screen.

Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D Home Theater Projector

So in this environment, the contrast of the AE7000 was sufficient to support a beautiful image on a ten-foot wide screen using Cinema 1 in eco mode. That's great for 2D, you may be thinking, but what about 3D? We always lose a tremendous amount of light in 3D operation. I was thinking we'd have to reduce image size to get a viable 3D picture. But we switched to 3D and left the picture at the full ten-foot width just to see how bad it would look.

In 3D the black levels drop like a rock and lumen output is severely curtailed. But the human eye is extremely efficient at adjusting to low light levels, and after a few seconds, we ended up with a sparkling 3D picture that was thoroughly engaging, even at ten feet wide in Cinema 1. I am not a huge fan of 3D, but the experience of seeing a clean, vibrant, high contrast 3D image on this large screen was impressive indeed.

For those who might want a brighter image, the AE7000 has an excellent alternate operating mode--Normal, which puts out 1300 lumens. In the 2D world it is useful for ambient light situations. By flipping the projector into Normal mode, lumen output is more than doubled and the 3D picture becomes more vibrant yet. Quite honestly, this 3D experience on a ten-foot wide screen right in my own home was, for me, more visually engaging than the viewing of Avatar in a 3D IMAX theater.

Panasonic's target market for the AE7000 is the dedicated videophile--the person who wants the best possible home theater image quality, and is willing to create the proper dark theater space to achieve it. Nevertheless, Normal mode puts out 1300 lumens of exceptionally high quality, color balanced video. So the AE7000 has the muscle to accommodate some ambient light without compromising image quality, if and when the need arises.

Key Features

Picture Quality in 2D. The AE7000 delivers outstanding image quality for conventional 2D home theater. Descriptors like smooth, elegant, rich, and natural come to mind. The picture has excellent dynamic range, good edge to edge sharpness, and a low level of noise even with the noise reduction filters off. These factors contribute to an exceptional clarity and depth.

The AE7000's image is just sharp enough to look clean and natural, without pushing sharpness to an extreme that it looks digital or artificial. Visible pixelation is non-existent, due in part to the SmoothScreen filters that have been deployed on Panasonic home theater products for many years. Though there is little noise in the picture with the noise filter off, the filter can be set to low to reduce what little noise there is. This is accomplished without any apparent compromise in fine detail.

Though HD source material looks pristine, the AE7000 also does an outstanding job with DVDs. The high contrast and low noise contributes to a natural rendering of DVDs, assuming the DVDs are good transfers to begin with. Our DVD of U-571, upscaled to 1080p/60 on a Panasonic Blu-ray player, looks as close to HD quality on the AE7000 as we have ever seen it on any 1080p projector.

Picture Quality in 3D. The use of high speed 480 Hz LCD panels gives the AE7000 a competitive advantage in 3D imaging over 3D projectors that use 240Hz or 120Hz imaging devices. The speed of the devices allows the LCD shutters in the glasses to be open a greater percentage of the time. On a 240Hz system, the LCD shutters on the right and left eyes are simultaneously closed 50% of the time; each eye is individually open for half of the remaining 50% of the time. On a 480Hz system, the time that both eyes are closed is cut from 50% to 25%. For the remaining 75% of the time either the right eye or the left eye is open. This contributes to a brighter 3D image, but it also aids in the reduction of crosstalk. The result is a 3D picture that is clearer, cleaner, and more stable than that which can be achieved with slower imaging technology.

The AE7000 also features a proprietary 3D OverDrive Technology that analyzes and suppresses crosstalk. Essentially it shortens the time required for the LCD panels to respond to significant changes in signal level. The result is a 3D picture with substantially reduced crosstalk compared with other 3D projectors we have seen to date.

2D to 3D Conversion. Not only will the AE7000 display 3D source material, but it will convert 2D to 3D as well. When material is converted from 2D to 3D it does not have the full dramatic effect that a genuine 3D source has. The primary difference is that in genuine 3D, elements of the image will appear to emerge from the screen plane and move toward you, whereas in a 2D conversion the image material stays behind the plane of the screen. Essentially, what it looks like is a 2D image with greater depth perspective.

The AE7000 does this as well as any video display device that we've seen. However, since the effect is not as dramatic as genuine 3D, you'll need to decide whether messing with the glasses and sacrificing the image brightness is worth the incremental depth you see in the picture. Since a good 2D image gives you the illusion of three-dimensional depth already, many will probably not be as enthused by 2D to 3D conversion. However, it is a nice feature to have since not all 3D projectors offer it.

Frame Creation. Panasonic first introduced Frame Creation on the AE3000 in the fall of 2008. It was carried forward on the AE4000 and now on the AE7000. You have four choices for Frame Creation--Off, Mode 1, Mode 2, and Mode 3. Mode 1 is ideal for film sources. It substantially reduces judder without imparting ghosting artifacts or the digital video effect--that hyper-real look that some have called the soap opera effect.

But sometimes, the digital video effect is exactly what you want. For live performance video sources such as music concerts, ballet, opera, etc., the more real it looks the better. BBC/Opus Arte has published a series of performances by London's Royal Ballet on Blu-ray. These magnificent productions look spectacular on the AE7000 with Frame Creation set to Mode 3. One of them, Elite Syncopations (a modern ballet set to the music of Scott Joplin and other ragtime composers), is an absolute torture test for video. In one segment a dancer in a black and white striped costume jumps around and spins rapidly. Every projector we've seen previously chokes on this scene. But with Frame Creation Mode 3, this sequence is rendered with amazingly few artifacts.

Animated films are improved with Mode 3 as well. Ratatouille shows plenty of judder on the big screen if viewed on a projector with no frame interpolation. But Mode 3 virtually eliminates all judder without introducing any unwanted side effects. In animated films, the digital video effect is a non-issue, so Frame Creation can be turned up to max without any worries. Once you've seen Ratatouille with a robust frame interpolation system, you won't want to watch it any other way.

On the AE7000, Frame Creation works with not only 2D but 3D as well. Its impact on a 3D video like The Ultimate Wave Tahiti is not as dramatic as it is in 2D. But it does impart an incremental sharpness and stability that makes it worthwhile. It is noteworthy that Frame Creation works with 3D, because on some 1080p 3D projectors that have frame interpolation, the system can only be activated on 2D material.

Lens Memory. Most people opt for 16:9 format screens. But many prefer the wider 2.4 to 1 Cinemascope format that allows many of today's widescreen movies to be viewed in full frame, without the black bars that you'd see on a 16:9 screen.

If you want to go this route, it is easy to do with the AE7000. The Lens Memory system lets the projector memorize the zoom position and focal point of the lens when it is set for a 16:9 image. Then all you do is reset the lens and focus to display a 2.4 movie full frame on your screen, then press a button to have the projector memorize that information also. From that point on, you can reset the lens automatically to display either 16:9 or 2.4 Scope at the click of a button. The projector even has an optional auto-detect feature that will cause the lens to automatically reset depending on what you pop into the disc player.

If the centerline of the projector's lens is above the center of the screen (which it usually is), a switch from 16:9 to 2.4 will cause a vertical off-shift of the image. But it is easy to move the 2.4 image up and down within the display's 16:9 native frame. In setting up the Lens Memory position, the projector will remember not only the image size and focal position, but the vertical offset as well.

Basically, using this system is a piece of cake. The huge advantage to it is that it eliminates the high cost and cumbersome nuisance of an external anamorphic lens. And you end up with a sharper picture to boot. The AE7000 will display a 2.4 widescreen source in native one-to-one pixel match direct from the source. When an anamorphic lens is used, the signal is digitally stretched, then optically compressed. The result is always a softer image.

There are real advantages to going with a 2.4 Cinemascope screen, but there are disadvantages also. If you are just now planning a new home theater, choosing the right screen size and aspect ratio is a critical first step. To sort the issues out, please read this: Choosing the Right Screen Aspect Ratio.

Performance Factors

Lumen Output. The AE7000 is rated at 2000 lumens, and our engineering test sample (not a production unit) measured 1965 lumens with everything cranked up to maximum.

This projector has seven pre-programmed operating modes. Lumen output at default settings on each of these modes, with lamp set to Normal and the lens at its widest angle position, were in descending order as follows: Dynamic, 1685; Normal, 1300; Game, 1204; Cinema 2, 1089; Rec709, 592; D-Cinema, 544; Cinema 1, 526.

Typically the brighter modes on home theater projectors tend to sacrifice color accuracy, black level, and contrast in exchange for the added brightness. However, among the highlights of previous generation AE4000 was a Normal mode that was remarkably well color balanced. And the AE7000 takes this to a new level. Normal mode is increased from about 900 lumens to 1300. But at the same time, color and contrast are noticeably better on the AE7000 as compared to the AE4000--not quite as pristine as the pure cinema modes, but the picture quality in Normal mode on this projector is outstanding. It could very easily be called Cinema 3 or Bright Cinema.

Many competing home theater projectors have goosed their Cinema modes up to 800 lumens or more, which is far too bright for classic home theater. Yet there is a tendency for people to compare Cinema modes between projectors and give extra points for brightness when they have some ambient light to contend with. In a head to head comparison, we would suggest comparing a home theater projector with an 800+ lumen Cinema mode to the AE7000 in Normal mode. In a side by side comparison the AE7000 is likely to win not only for brightness, but for overall image quality as well. I say this with confidence, because we have some 1080p home theater projectors on hand. When we set them up in their best cinema mode, they are not as solid as the Normal mode on the AE7000.

The bottom line is that if you want to set up a 200" screen in a dark theater, you can do it without sacrificing much at all in the way of overall picture quality. Alternatively, Normal mode gives you some flexibility to maintain superb image quality on smaller screens with some ambient light in the room on occasions when you might want to do that.

Color Accuracy/Color Perception. Color has always been a strong point on Panasonic home theater models. The AE4000 featured the introduction of what Panasonic called a "Red Rich lamp." On the AE7000, we have an improved and slightly brighter Red Rich lamp. And no, it does not make whites look red. The point of the Red Rich lamp is to strengthen the red component, which is notoriously weak in high pressure lamps. The objective is to end up with better color balance on the screen.

The AE7000 has a pre-calibrated mode for Rec709, the industry standard for ideal video that specifies a color temperature of 6500K and a gamma curve of 2.2. In theory this should be the ideal viewing mode for home theater. However, on the AE7000 as well as other 1080p models we have seen, the Rec709 standard looks dull on a 120" screen. Some will assume this is due to inadequate luminance, but there is a separate phenomenon at work. The human eye perceives color values differently in large scale. Let's presume you are in a black projection room with no reflected or ambient light. If you look at a red circle that is 30" diameter, and the same precise value of red in a circle that is three times the size, the smaller one will appear to the eye to be more saturated, even though it isn't. The same thing occurs no matter what color the objects are (I just used red as an example).

Panasonic runs this test at their Hollywood lab to demonstrate the effect of object size on perceived color saturation. Having participated in this test myself, I can say from personal experience that the phenomenon is real. Smaller objects of a certain color value look more saturated when placed next to larger objects of the same color value when there is no other light to distract one's perception.

Panasonic addresses this issue with the Cinema 1 mode on the AE7000. Cinema 1 is based on Rec709, but it is color enhanced to compensate for perceptual differences on a large screen. When you flip back and forth between Cinema 1 and Rec709 modes, the latter looks decidedly flat and dull, while Cinema 1 is more vibrant. Some will argue that the issue is exclusively a matter of inadequate luminance per square foot. In our experience, the phenomenon of differing perception of color in larger scale is a contributing influence. In any event, Panasonic has given the user both Cinema 1 and Rec709 calibrations on the AE7000, so you can choose which you prefer. For us, the Cinema 1 mode was preferable on large screen display, looking decidedly more natural and balanced.

The brightest pre-calibrated mode on the AE7000 is Dynamic, which measured 1685 lumens. On our sample, this mode is biased toward green. It is certainly watchable if you need the bright picture and don't mind that color is not quite on target. But we found Normal to be much preferred. It measured 1300 lumens. The difference in brightness that the human eye perceives between 1300 lumens and 1700 lumens is insignificant, especially when there is any ambient light present. But with the Normal mode you get decidedly superior color balance.

Lamp Modes/Lamp Life. The lamp can be put into Eco mode in any of the operating modes, including 3D. It reduces lumen output across the board by 27%.

Lamp life in Normal mode is expected to be 4000 hours, and 5000 hours in eco mode. Fan noise is a low whisper in Normal mode, and virtually silent in eco mode. It is not likely that fan noise or the incremental 1000 hours would be large enough issues to motivate the user to opt for eco-mode. The decision will be driven by how much light is needed in any given situation.

Therefore, our preference would be to choose a screen size and throw distance that allows you to operate in eco-mode during the first half of the lamp's life. As lamp output on all high pressure lamps diminishes with usage, the Normal lamp mode can be activated after, say, 1500 to 2000 hours, to maintain optimum screen brightness over a longer period of the lamp's life.

Versatile Installation Flexibility. The AE7000 has a powered zoom/focus, and a manual vertical/horizontal lens shift. The zoom/focus is the same 2.0x range as on the previous generation models. Vertical lens shift range is three full picture heights, and horizontal shift is one-fourth of a picture width in either direction from center.

The vertical/horizontal lens shift control is via a single joystick which is mounted just above the IR emitter and to the right of the lens in the front faceplate (see above). Once the projector is installed you rarely need access to the lens shift control, so in normal operation a panel slides into place that covers these elements to make them invisible.

These zoom and lens shift adjustments give you significant flexibility to install the projector either on a wall shelf or a freestanding rack behind the seats, or in a ceiling mount.

Panasonic PT-AE7000U Input Panel

Input Panel. The connection panel is located on the rear of the projector. It includes three HDMI 1.4 ports, one VGA, one component, one S-video, one composite, one 9-pin serial port, and two 12-volt triggers. One of these triggers can be used to drive an external IR emitter for 3D installations that require a throw distance longer than 6 meters.

Other Features. Panasonic home theater projectors are unique in the industry in the sense that they come fully loaded with a host of features that do not exist on many other home theater projectors. We've touched on some of them, but to discuss them all would turn this review into a novel. Nevertheless, we should point out that the AE7000 also has the following:

Waveform Monitor
3D Picture Balance (adjust right and left signal level with Waveform Monitor)
3D Screen Size adjustments (to adjust parallax)
3D Detail Clarity Processor
3D Viewing Monitor (to control point of convergence)
Dual Core Processing (individual signal processing for right and left channel)
Viera Link (interlinked control of related products such as Blu-ray, DVD players, digital cameras and HD camcorders)


Lumen loss through zoom lens. While the 2.0x zoom lens is an attractive feature that maximizes placement options, the projector loses 42% of its light output at the telephoto end of the zoom range compared to the wide angle end. That means the longest throw distances you can get on the AE7000 will be accompanied by curtailed brightness. Sometimes that won't make any difference. If you want to hit a 100" diagonal screen from the maximum throw distance of about 20 feet, you can certainly do that. Normal mode will give you plenty of light for that screen even with the 42% loss in the lens. But for most situations, if you are planning to use the projector in ambient light or on a very large screen, you will want to install the projector at a distance that uses the wider end of the zoom lens.

Reduced horizontal lens shift range. The horizontal shift range on the AE7000 is reduced compared to the AE3000 and AE4000. On the earlier models, you could move the image side to side up to 50% of the screen width in either direction. On the AE7000 the shift range has been reduced to 25% of the screen width in either direction. If you happen to own one of these previous models, and have installed it in a location that requires aggressive use of the horizontal shift, you may not be able to upgrade to the AE7000 without relocating the projector.

Lens shift adjustment control. On earlier models the lens shift was controlled by two wheels that gave you rather precise control over the position of the lens. On the AE7000 these wheels have been replaced by a relatively flimsy joystick that makes lens shift adjustments more difficult. I found myself chronically overshooting the mark when trying to reset the lens for a new screen. Getting the image to square precisely with a screen frame requires both patience and luck. Fortunately, once it is set, neither your projector nor your screen are going to move, and you won't need to mess with this control again.

3D Eyewear. People will have different experiences with the comfort of any given set of 3D glasses. The glasses provided by Panasonic with our AE7000 have smaller lenses than are ideal for those who must wear them over a pair of regular optical correction glasses. When I put them on, the frames intrude into my field of vision a bit more than I would prefer. If I remove my optical glasses, the 3D glasses fit more comfortably and the size of the lenses is not a problem, so if you do not normally wear glasses, this is probably a non-issue.

Panasonic informs us that they will be offering glasses in three sizes once shipments commence--small, medium, and large. We have been testing with the medium size. It is unclear whether the sizes of the glasses is related to the frames only, or whether the large size glasses will have larger lenses. At the moment, we do not have info from Panasonic on this.

Also, when you must wear 3D glasses over regular glasses there is some reflection interference that occurs simply because you are viewing through two sets of lenses. This is true of all 3D glasses whether active or passive, whether in home theater or a commercial theater. This does not eliminate the pleasure of the 3D experience, but it is an occasional distraction that I wish were not there. If I get serious about 3D, it may finally push me to get Lasik.

3D Glasses optional. Panasonic does not package 3D glasses with the AE7000. They are an option at extra cost. However, the IR emitter is built into the unit and comes included with the base price. On some competing models the emitter is optional at extra cost as well.

3D Glasses Recharging. The batteries in the 3D eyewear need to be recharged periodically. If you don't do that, you may find the 3D effect suddenly disappear in the middle of a movie. This happened to me during testing yesterday since we hadn't been recharging them this past week. There is no way to know what level of charge the batteries have at any moment in time.

3D Emitter Range. In order for the 3D eyewear to synch with the projector, you need to be in the range of the IR emitter. Panasonic says that the projector can be no further than 6 meters from the screen, and the viewer can be no more than 5 meters from the screen. In our testing we placed the projector 5 meters from the screen and we viewed from a distance of 4 meters. We had no difficulty getting 3D to function reliably at this range. This is reasonably good range compared to other projectors we've seen. But if you are planning an installation that pushes the limits of the emitter range, we recommend testing the viability of the 3D communications link before drilling holes for a ceiling mount.

If you need to install the projector at a distance greater than 6 meters from the screen, you can get an optional external emitter. This connects to the back of the unit in one of the trigger ports, and lets you get around the 6 meter limit.

Unknown information. Since the AE7000 will not commence shipments until next month, several issues are still up in the air. Panasonic typically sets a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP, otherwise known as an official street price), that is lower than the official MSRP. At the moment, the MSRP is $3,499, but the MAP price has not yet been announced and probably won't be for another month or so. It will undoubtedly be lower than $3,499, but we don't know by how much. Also, Panasonic has not yet published a price for extras like 3D glasses or replacement lamps.

As far as warranty is concerned, in the United States previous Panasonic models have come with a two-year warranty included in the price, but the second year requires mail-in registration. If you are in the habit of not registering or taking advantage of mail-in rebates, the default warranty is one year. We presume, but do not know, that this same warranty policy will apply on the AE7000.


When all is said and done, the Panasonic PT-AE7000U is a projector for the true videophile. It certainly has a boatload of features and yes, it has remarkably clear, stable 3D performance. But even if the AE7000 did not have 3D or a wide assortment of features, it would still stand out as a major video engineering achievement based on the strength of its 2D picture quality alone.

Not only does the AE7000 represent a major step beyond the AE4000 in picture quality, it is a step beyond so-called "higher end" 1080p projectors. Viewed side by side it will outperform some competing products that currently sell for up to triple the price. And most of these competing units do not have the array of features found on the AE7000.

Since I am not a huge fan of 3D, the primary value of the AE7000 for me personally is the picture's depth, clarity, and stability for conventional 2D home theater. However, these same qualities are apparent in the display of 3D material. Home theater enthusiasts for whom 3D image quality is vital will be thoroughly impressed with the contrast, stability, and lack of crosstalk that the AE7000 delivers.

As of this writing, we know of no 1080p home theater projectors on the market priced under $4,000 that can rival the image quality of the AE7000, and there are quite a few priced much higher that can't either. So we don't need to wait for its official street pricing to be announced before awarding 5-star ratings for Performance and Value. However, the CEDIA trade show is just around the corner. We will be seeing several new 3D 1080p models over the next two to three weeks that are scheduled for release at CEDIA. Therefore, we will assign these 5-star ratings on the AE7000 today with the caveat that they are preliminary, and subject to potential change after we evaluate this fall's offerings. But we can say this with confidence: Panasonic has set the performance bar very high with the AE7000. Competitors will face a daunting task as they attempt to meet or exceed it.

Here is a collection of our measurements from the Panasonic AE7000, taken over the course of this review.

panasonic ae7000 color gamut
The color gamut of the AE7000.

panasonic ae7000 gamma
Average gamma at default is 2.1 of an expected 2.2

panasonic ae7000 grayscale tracking and color temperature.><br />Grayscale tracking for the AE7000.</center></div> 
							<p>For more detailed specifications and connections, check
							out our <a href=Panasonic PT-AE7000 projector page.

Comments (68) Post a Comment
Tom Posted Aug 16, 2011 11:18 AM PST
Regarding the glasses... I pulled this from the press release "The models, TY-EW3D10U, TY-EW3D2LU, TY-EW3D2MU and TY-EW3D2SU, also used for the Panasonic VIERA 3DTV, are convenient for those looking to enjoy 3D content on both their Panasonic TVs and projectors." So it looks like we know what they look like and the prices.

Hope that helps
Terry Hughes Posted Aug 16, 2011 11:21 AM PST
Will the glasses that work on my Panasonic plasma 3D also work with this projector?
Franakin Posted Aug 16, 2011 12:03 PM PST
Great review, and an early one for an eager videophile ! One question, though ; when you wrote : "Our engineering test sample measured 1965 lumens with everything cranked up to maximum", could you please be very specific, as far as the settings are concerned, with your "cranked up to maximum " ? I often use your fine tunings as the way to go, so that be the most valuable information for me...

Thanks alot !
Potential buyer Posted Aug 16, 2011 12:34 PM PST
Thank you for the review. Any observations about sharpness and convergence? Native vs iris-based contrast? How does the audible sound compare to similar projectors- your comments suggest it's quiet. What about iris noise?
Glenn Posted Aug 16, 2011 1:37 PM PST
Thanks for a great review. It is time to replace that old AE900 that I've been using. I better start saving up.
DavidK442 Posted Aug 16, 2011 11:36 PM PST
Lots of comment on contrast and light output but nothing mentioned about absolute black level. Higher lumens and a sprinkle of marketing pixie dust could easily explain the jump in contrast, but I wonder if black is now black or just the same old shade of dark grey.
Paul Posted Aug 17, 2011 3:15 AM PST
Last year I almost upgraded my aging Mitsubishi HC6000 to an AE4000, but after demoing unit at my place for a week, I didn't for two reasons: 1. Fan noise (22db) 2. Higher black level (i.e. blacks less black) In all other areas AE4000 rocked (particularly in colour saturation & realism of skin tones)

I would really like to know (and I'm sure many other readers would also): a. What the Fan noise db level is in Normal and ECO mode on AE7000 b. How much deeper is the black level on the AE7000, compared to the AE4000 and other projects like JVC (and ultimately this years models when they become available for testing)
SYED SHAMIMUL HASAN Posted Aug 17, 2011 8:09 AM PST
A comprehensive and an excellent review. Evan mentioned cinema vision or similar screen for this PJ. Little more discussion on suitable screen is solicited. Also with 3D, what should be the primary format of screen ,16x9 or 2.35:1? It seems that film directors are preferring 16x9 for 3D films.That changes the whole ballgame for cinema scope. I wish I am wrong as I prefer to keep 2.35:1 as premier format and watch fewer 16x9 movies with vertical bars
Aleksander Posted Aug 17, 2011 8:21 AM PST
Hi. I have my current projector (Sanyo plv-z5) set up in the living room with white walls and white ceiling. I use a gray Dreamscreen screen (gain 1.0). I would love to buy a 3D projector and this Panasonic model looks extremely tempting but will the 3D be any good in my livingroom. I only watch movies when it's dark outside and I turn off all the lights in the livingroom when I watch movies. My projector is standing atop a shelf about 2,5 meters from the screen.

Hope someone can help me with this question.

Regards from Norway.
John B Posted Aug 17, 2011 5:12 PM PST
Good review on what may be a stellar product amoungst its peers, however I too found it a little lacking in relation to descriptors on the all important black levels and how it measures up to the previous model and existing competitors models. please, can we have some feedback on this point?
Nathan Daniels Posted Aug 17, 2011 9:55 PM PST
Firstly, great review. I really wish you guys would stop asserting that the digital video effect is irrelevant with (CGI) animated films because it's not true. Pixar, as well as the rest of the big animation houses, has spent millions of dollars and countless hours developing and improving and recreating their camera systems to mimic real film cameras. Effects like motion blur, lens flare, depth of field manipulations and so forth began with film and are used specifically to make CGI feel like film. This is also why the earlier Pixar features were transferred to film prints for the DVD editions(until the visuals became filmlike enough to render the process unnecessary). Why go to all that trouble, all for a cartoon? It's because the film look adds an air of believability. Watch the Wall•E extra about the completely revamped camera system and you'll see that the 'digital video' look is no less egregious to a good animated film than it is to a film classic.
HiFiFun Posted Aug 17, 2011 11:16 PM PST
The Panasonic appears to be a breakthrough product making it worthy of serious consideration. AVS Forum appears to be run by its National Sales Manager who wants to sell Sony over Panasonic. Another forum is also being run by its sales team; they claim a Sharp LCD is better than the Pioneer Kuro Elite plasma! This comes as no surprise in our country's period of decline and austerity.
Raul Posted Aug 20, 2011 9:33 PM PST
The AE7000 did not achieved the "Editor´s Choice. Why?.
Ken Posted Aug 22, 2011 7:06 AM PST
Awesome Review! Arrrggghhhhh!!!!!!! on the reduced horizontal lens shift. How could you do this to us Panasonic?!

Oh well I guess a new lamp for my AE-3000 is a lot cheaper than a new AE-7000. :(
Gekke Henkie Posted Aug 23, 2011 12:57 AM PST
How does it handle movies, that are (usually) shot in 24fps, in 2D and in 3D (from Blu-ray, for example)???

With 75% 'open' shutters at 480Hz in 3D, means 120 black frames inserted /sec, and the remaining 360fps are devided by 180 for each eye. Therefore, I am afraid that although Panasonic probably uses a judder free 4:4 pull-down in 2D (to display at 96Hz), but perform a 3:2 pull-down in 3D to 60Hz and then triple that to the mentioned 180Hz per eye. Is this how it works?

I had hoped for a clean 5:5 pull-down to 120 per eye, with 50% frame insertion to 240, or 480 for both eyes together, but it seems like they missed the boat, or not?
Raúl Posted Aug 31, 2011 5:44 AM PST
The AE7000U didn´t get your Editor´s Choice (red stars). Is it because a procedure in course or is it because some issue about the model?
Olle Posted Sep 3, 2011 12:15 AM PST
Does it have the frame response (aka gaming mode) setting like its predecessor?

Any measurement of the input lag of it?
Rihard Krasnici Posted Sep 4, 2011 6:55 AM PST
Its time to replace my old panasonic ptax200e!I have bean wait so long,and im glade to wait this unit.Kind regards from Osijek in Croatia.How quality perform 3d is,compared with viera 3d plasmas?I meaning of difrences on mouvment resolutions wich is very important when quality 3d pictures is. Im sorry for my bad English.
Bill Livolsi Posted Sep 26, 2011 4:51 PM PST

Thanks for all of your comments.

The AE7000 has not received the Editor's Choice Award because we have not yet discussed the Editor's Choice Awards for 2011. We typically hand out these awards all at once and then discuss our decisions in a separate article. Since we have not seen even half of this year's 1080p projectors yet, it would be premature to name our favorites.
Extractor Posted Sep 27, 2011 5:27 PM PST
I'm looking for the best 2D projector for sports in HD. Does that mean I have to buy a proj. w/3D so as to have an improved 2D,HD picture?I'm considering the following projectors ; Panas. 7000, Mitsub 9000,JVC X7 or X9, Runco LS-5 UB. Please advise or comment.
chili Posted Sep 28, 2011 9:49 AM PST
Active shutter 3D glasses?? Pass.
shuula Posted Oct 2, 2011 1:53 PM PST
i am itrested to know how mutch is black level differend to compare to epson 8700 or new ones 3010,5010 and 6010 .
Aizad Sayid Posted Oct 4, 2011 4:02 PM PST
I wonder why fan noise is generally not measured with the projector running in "Normal" (full power) mode? Is this because of a particular technical reason, or do the forums pass on manufacturers marketing gimmicks to hapless consumers? Another suggestion would be to measure the projector lens light falloff at full zoom for all reviews. That would be one way of measuring lens quality.
Juvo Posted Oct 6, 2011 7:49 PM PST
Seeing some clouding when displaying a black screen. What is the uniformity, and has anyone else had this prob? Maybe not a big deal? The spot measures around 8 inches on a 90 in screen.
george Posted Oct 12, 2011 5:34 AM PST
how can I use a passive 3d glasses(standart cheap 3d glasses) with PT-AE7000U...
Bryce Posted Oct 15, 2011 8:27 AM PST
Great review! I did want to comment on the following statement: "If I get serious about 3D, it may finally push me to get Lasik." If you are a videophile who enjoys watching movies on a larger screen in a dark room, as I once was, you should definitely think twice before getting LASIK. I had LASIK done back in April of 2007, and in spite of being a ‘perfect candidate’ and the procedure being a complete success as measured by the LASIK industry (yes, I now have very near 20/20 vision), I have not watched a movie on the projection screen in my dedicated home theater since. The effect is somewhat like watching a movie through smudged glasses, only the smudges can’t be cleaned off. Poor night vision is a common side effect of LASIK. This is usually associated with night driving, but it translates equally to watching movies in a dark environment. Be sure to take this into consideration if your primary motivation for LASIK is to improve your home theater experience. That said, I actually am here doing research for a 3D projector upgrade. The HMZ-T1 (Google it if you’re curious) has the potential to make the big screen experience a reality for me again, so I’m also looking to upgrade our current Panasonic PT-AX100U to a 3D projector for the family (think split HDMI signal going to the HMZ-T1 for me, and the projector for the rest of the family). I mainly look to the Panasonic line of projectors because I need a very-long throw for my theater setup…but wow, back when I last shopped for projectors the closest I could find with all these features (1080p, power focus/zoom, etc) would have been at the $8000 price point. Can’t believe all this can now be had at the $3000 price point!! Very curious about what 4 pairs of 3D glasses is going to run on top of that price though.
Becky Posted Oct 16, 2011 8:13 PM PST
Just purchased the 7000 and noticing a significant amount of flicker. Is this a known issue? Did you notice this during your review? Are there any tweaks to get rid of the flickering? Thank you. Any help is much appreciated. The picture is amazing, but the flickering is annoying.
Dobbo Posted Oct 17, 2011 7:48 AM PST
How does the brightness in 3D mode compare to the HD33? Which projector impressed you more in terms of 3D, the 7k or the HD33? These two projectors are on my list as well as the Epson 3010 or 5010 but there are no real reviews out for the 3010 while the 5010 is a month or two away. There really needs to be a comparison between all these new 1080p projectors.
Khoi Posted Oct 20, 2011 7:54 PM PST
Newbie here please help Looking for projector mostly for 3D movie for our new Theater room about 500-600sqf Money is not a big deal but don't want to spend over 5k either Plus should I use white wall for screen or do I need screen too? Thanks all
Mike Posted Oct 21, 2011 9:45 AM PST
Does anybody know how ghosting on these active 3D systems compares to passive 3D projection systems? I know the rejection ratio for passive silver screens is usually between 50:1 and 100:1 (because some polarization is lost), but nobody gives "rejection ratios" for active systems - just subjective ratings on how much ghosting there is.
Ronaldo Posted Oct 24, 2011 7:05 AM PST
I would like to endorse the comments of Becky. I am Brazilian, I was in New York and bought the PTAE-7000. I am impressed with the high flicker of the projector. The light fluctuates a lot, enough to bother. I thought that the projector was in trouble in the iris, but with a comment from Becky, I'm seeing is that the projector. I wonder if there is any program that I can do to decrease. My screen is small (72 ") and the projector is 2.70 m away
Thomas Posted Oct 27, 2011 2:58 AM PST
Hi, I'm wondering if I could buy 3rd party ir emitter linking it with ae7000 to work with my samsung ssg-p2100 3d glasses?
Ronaldo Posted Oct 27, 2011 7:02 AM PST
In contact with the support of the store who sold me the projector, I was instructed to unplug it from the outlet, including the voltage stabilizer. It paid off, the projector does not twinkle more. It is the best picture I've seen, the projector consegur be better than television. Excellent projector.
Don Posted Oct 30, 2011 7:28 PM PST
How are the lamps on Panasonics these days? My current projector, a Sanyo Z4, was purchased at the time when there were boat loads of comments/reviews about lamps lasting 30 to 90 days, etc.
Brad Posted Nov 2, 2011 4:32 AM PST
I will be using this projector 50/50 for games and movies. Does anyone know if the 7000 has input lag. If so, how bad is it?
Scott Posted Nov 8, 2011 9:58 AM PST
I setup a 100% light controlled room for a 130” to 140” 16:9 screen. Do you think the AE7000 can handle this size and still maintain visual integrity? Would the optoma 8300 better suite my needs… I would much rather have the Panasonic.
Kris Posted Nov 9, 2011 2:31 PM PST
@ Scott

I have this projector in a dedicated theater room that is completletely light controlled and I am using a 135" screen. I've had no issues with brightness and the picture is amazing. I do have to switch to cinema 2 or normal mode when viewing 3D, but the pic is great! You should be good to go. Just make sure you limit the amount of reflected light as much as you can. I have dark gray walls and ceilings, black furniture, etc.
Kris Posted Nov 9, 2011 2:34 PM PST
@ Brad

I use the projector for gaming on an Xbox 360 occasionally and do not notice any lag. If there is any, it is so small that I do not notice it. I played MW3 last night!
Mike Posted Nov 13, 2011 7:37 AM PST

Love this site. Thought on curved screens? Would they work for 3d for the Panasonic 7000?

Karl Posted Nov 16, 2011 2:58 PM PST
I own an AE1000 and was very impressed, after reading specs and your review i updated to the AE7000.I have it set up in a dedicated theatre room with 110 screen and sit 4 and 5 metres back. 3D picture is considerably darker(2D great) and night scenes(Thor - beginning beach scene) can be hard to make out. I have projctor set on NORMAL, lamp NORMAL, and brightness cranked up. Im using TY-EW3D2 glasses. Can you advise on settings or any way to improve this???? Cheers
Patrick G Posted Nov 17, 2011 12:55 AM PST
I just received my Pana 7000. Just perfect and I am very satisfied by it, very very :-) Just one limitation that I didn't see on the review (maybe I missed it), but the keystone is not supported in 3D. What's the impact ? The impact is that you cannot therefore place you projector where you want !

Exemple: I put it where I had my old Pana and have adjusted the image with the keystone feature to have the projected image perfectly fitting my screen. The, when I watched a 3D movie, a message was displayed on the screen saying that Keystone is not supported in 3D and then the image was back to default and my keystone settings were lost. The issue is that I had to redo the keystone adjustement for 2D after that. And that I cannot watch 3D movies with a image that fits perfectly my screen. At the end I had to place my projector exactly where I can watch 2D and 3D movies without the need of keystone adjustement.

Conclusion: this projector can be place where you want for 2D, but for 3D it has to be put in a place where you do not need to adjust the keystone...
gary camp Posted Nov 22, 2011 1:00 PM PST
I'm not sure if these comments, if in the form of questions, are answered by someone, but I did notice several questions being posed. If you do respond by return email, the questions asked by other commenters that I'm interested in the answers to are: 1) Can something be done to eliminate the flicker? 2)Is there increased fan noise in NORMAL, and can it be reduced? 3)Is it true that there is no keystone compensation when using 3D? How serious are the above problems in this projector, compared to in other projectors you reviewed.
Rafael Posted Nov 22, 2011 4:43 PM PST
Ronaldo im a brazilian too and im having the same problem with the flickering of the image, did you buy the volt stabilizer in brazil or in usa, could tell what kind of volts stabilizer did you use. Thanks
Robert Posted Nov 23, 2011 4:27 PM PST
Keystone adjustment in 3D shouldn't be an issue with the lens shift function of this projector.
marekpili Posted Dec 9, 2011 4:29 AM PST
Translated to Enlish Below: Też mam PT-AE900 super projektor,ale czekam na Panasonic PT-AT9000E LCD do kupionego ,,SUPER'' Panasonic DMR-BST 800 EG-K.


Google translation to English: I also have the PT-AE900 projector is cool, but wait for the Panasonic PT-LCD AT9000E purchased,,''SUPER BST Panasonic DMR-800 EG-K. Pozdrowienia
Scott Lind Posted Dec 9, 2011 6:56 AM PST
I just received my Panasonic PT-AE7000 and I'm very impressed with the brightness on my 90" screen in 3D. Colors look vivid and the image is superb. My only complaint is that the 3D image does not seem to be jumping out at me as much as I would like. I have only watched Cars 2 so I'm curious if it is more an artifact of the movie and not the projector. I'm running this off a panny 3D DVD player as well. Has anyone else had similar thoguhts? I was just expecting to duck and feel like something was going to hit me. Am I expecting too much?
craig Posted Dec 12, 2011 11:33 AM PST
One of the issues with Lasik is where the flap is cut. If the pupil expands far enough in low light, then light coming through the scared area will give halo effect. Ask your surgeon to cut a bigger flap (which my surgeon did). I have no night vision issues. Yea!
Aizad Sayid Posted Dec 21, 2011 2:18 PM PST
I replaced my Panasonic PT-AE4000 with the 7000 today. It is indeed better than the 4000 but the difference is marginal in 2D, especially if you are using both in cinema modes. The difference is more noticeable if you use "Normal" mode on both projectors. This lowers contrast on both projectors but that is the price you pay for extra brightness. If you watch mostly 2D, go for the 4000 that is available for 33% less price!
Stunko Posted Dec 25, 2011 11:02 AM PST
Re. flicker from a 480 Hertz enabled projector at 60 Hertz of Alternate Current, that is to be expected. But can the AE7000's refresh rate be manually switched and adjusted?
Franco Posted Jan 12, 2012 10:42 AM PST
In regards to see the images in 3D I was also expecting the images to jump at me like we see in the theatres. I have tested the 3D effect using Harry Porter movie but I was not surprised with the result. Am I missing something to adjust in the set-up of the projector?
Franco Posted Jan 12, 2012 10:48 AM PST
By reading the review I noticed that the noise in the fan gets reduce if the model ECO is selected instead of NORMAL. So it might help our colleague gary
Peter Posted Jan 31, 2012 12:35 PM PST
Hi Evan, great review on AE7000.. I purchased an AE4000 back in 2009 based on projectorcentral reviews and other favorable comments and have not been dissapointed. Can you describe the gear (with make/model) you use to adjust color/correct a projector when you get it in-house ? There are too many different options out there and knowing what you use will make it easier to select. Thanking you in advance.
Josafat Posted Mar 11, 2012 9:36 AM PST
Is it true that this new PT-AE7000 does not need a costly anamorphic lens to watch a movie in a cinemascope 2.35 screen? Anyone can help me? Because I have a plan to buy a 2.35 screen and don't want to buy an external anamorphic lens. Thank you.
Shamim Posted Mar 19, 2012 8:21 AM PST
With the award of coveted Editor's Choice by PC and excellent reviews on other sites, Panasonic AE7000 is the clear winner. It appears to be near perfect PJ.I had decided to upgrade from my Panasonic AX200E to Ae7000 this year but then pended till September-WHY.With Sony launch of 4K VPL-VW1000,JVC DLA X70/90and Panasonic enviable reputation of packing great features in affordable PJs, I am hoping that the next version of AE7000 will be 4K2K compliant. Afterall Panasonic is planning this feature in one of their 20inch display besides their 152 inch plasma.
Ennis Posted Apr 15, 2012 11:14 PM PST
@ Franco:

When viewing in 3D, I set the picture to NORMAL for increased lumen output(while still in eco mode, to avoid noise), and frame creation to Mode 3.

Thanks Evan for the great review, it persuaded me to buy this monster.
Doug Posted May 2, 2012 10:07 AM PST
Loving this projector, but I wanted to pointout an issue when using the zoom feature described by the author and the artifacts that result. As noted in the review, for those of us with 2:35 or 2:40 screens. Here's the text first to refresh your memory:

If the centerline of the projector's lens is above the center of the screen (which it usually is), a switch from 16:9 to 2.4 will cause a vertical off-shift of the image. But it is easy to move the 2.4 image up and down within the display's 16:9 native frame. In setting up the Lens Memory position, the projector will remember not only the image size and focal position, but the vertical offset as well. Basically, using this system is a piece of cake. The huge advantage to it is that it eliminates the high cost and cumbersome nuisance of an external anamorphic lens. And you end up with a sharper picture to boot. The AE7000 will display a 2.4 widescreen source in native one-to-one pixel match direct from the source.

So the artifact of this setup is that the projector still throws a 16:9 frame such that the image is now contained within. As a result, true black is not achieved below the 2:35 zoom. Assuming you used vertical shift to move the frame back up to the top of your screen, the 2:35 (or 2:40) image fills your screen nicely, however BELOW the bottom of the vertically shifted image is a light leakage from the 16:9 native format. When watching content that is dark, you can really see the leakage and its pretty distracting!

I've not been able to find a way around this and likely there isn't one because its a native 16:9 frame. The only way I can see to avoid this is to have the projector at absolute center-line of the screen, and that's just not typlically feasible...
Pedro Henrique Posted May 4, 2012 6:11 AM PST
Bom dia, tenho uma sala ampla, com um projetor estalado a 5 metros e 30 centimetros da tela de 92' quero trocar o projetor para um panassonic PT AE 7000 3D, OU UM OPTOMA HD33 3D, minha duvida é se o optoma tem a opçao de reduzir a imagem como o panassonic, pois sei que o panassonic tem esta opçao. qual seria a melhor opçao?

Google Translation to English: Good morning, have a large room with a projector clicked to 5 meters and 30 centimeters of screen 92 'I want to change the projector to a panassonic PT AE 7000 3D, OR AN OPTOMA HD33 3D, my doubt is whether the optoma has the option to reduce the image as the panassonic, because I know that panassonic have this option. what would be the best option?
Alexey Posted Jul 2, 2012 1:32 PM PST
Flicker problem after a few months of use
N.Srinivasprasad Posted Jul 29, 2012 10:39 AM PST
Man I just Purchased my Panasonic 3D projector PT-7000 you belive it or not this is my best product purchased till dated. 2d clarity is ultimate, clear and bright more clear that watching in a LED 55 Tv. I love watcing TV Channes through projector. My friends I will tell, you dont get better picture in 3d even in 3d cinema theatres. 3d pictures are awesome, I love this projector man, I fear I am addicted to it.
Paul Posted Dec 19, 2012 6:20 PM PST
I own an PANASONIC PT-AE7000U with 1800 hours on the lamp and am getting a "replace lamp" message. This is troubling since the advertised lamp life is 4000 hours. Panasonic customer service refuses to replace the lamp.
DR MANU SHASHANK Posted Jan 8, 2013 7:30 PM PST
Prasad, can u pls tell me where u got it from.if from India, whats the price. I'm having a BenQ projector for last four years thinking of replacing it cheers
hemil Posted Feb 9, 2013 1:49 AM PST
eh tw 6100 epson or panasonic ae7000 best
Sébastien Posted Jun 11, 2013 10:19 AM PST
What a nice projector!!! I have this PJ since more than six months, and I really love it. Black are really dark and the brightness is enough to wath 3D content. On the top of that, is so quiet... A must ti have. Sébas
Annette Posted Jul 31, 2013 3:33 AM PST
I am having the same flickering problem as a few others. Did anyone work out how to fix this?
Andrus Posted Aug 6, 2013 5:13 AM PST
Also have same issue with flickering. Seems, that this is wider problem. Does anyone have solution for this issue?
Nagaraju Posted Sep 27, 2013 12:14 PM PST
I bought 7000u 3d projector in 2012 I have bought 3d player recently and first couple of days I didn't had issues but later if I play any 3d movies it flickers. Can anyone help me how I can get this sorted
Justme Posted Jan 26, 2014 4:32 AM PST
About the flickering problem:

I bought in October 2012, the flickering problem appeared in February 2013. I sent my projector to Panasonic and they fixed the problem by doing a software update. No flickering problem since then (it is now January 2014).
Daph Posted Aug 25, 2015 10:08 PM PST
I'm hearing cracking/clicking noise every time I turn ON & OFF this PJ. I'm afraid that some mechanical parts has problem. I've done nothing for almost a year since I installed my PJ on elevated table top position. Any recommendation on what to do? Thanks

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