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Panasonic announces AE7000

For everyone who has been wondering what happened to Panasonic in the home theater business, the wait is over. TWO UPDATES....

Panasonic is unveiling its newest generation home theater projector, the PT-AE7000, today at their labs at Universal Studios in Hollywood. This next generation 1080p unit is 3-D enabled. We are at this event, and will post more details on this development later today.

UPDATE: The new model will be known as the PT-AE7000U in North America, and the PT-AT5000E in Europe.

This is the first 1080p 3-D projector to utilize LCD technology. This has been accomplished with higher refresh rate 480 Hz panels.

Contrast rating is 300,000:1, up from 100,000:1 on the AE4000.

Lumen spec has been increased from 1600 lumens on the AE4000 to 2000 lumens on the AE7000, primarily by increasing lamp wattage from 165 to 200.

This unit has all new casework--more elegant than the industrial design of previous models.

Many of the features of the AE4000 have been brought forward in this new model, including the 2x powered zoom lens, Lens Memory for switching from 16:9 to 2.35, frame creation (including frame creation for 3D), splitscreen calibration, wave form monitor, etc.

MSRP is $3,499, with street prices expected to be lower. Delivery in the US commences in September.

UPDATE 2: After seeing a couple of demos of the AE7000 and AE4000 side by side, my initial impression is that the AE7000 is a substantial step forward in 2D performance, and worth a premium price well above the AE4000 even if you have no interest in 3D. We won't know for sure until we see them side by side in our own test facility, but the demo staged by Panasonic was compelling.

As far as 3D is concerned, the company has concentrated on reducing cross talk, and the 3D demos showed cross talk to be minimal to non-existent. Again, we will see what we see in our own test facilities shortly. Brightness is always a big issue in 3D, and it is no different on this new model. But overall, it appears from one day of looking at it that Panasonic may have quite a substantial product in the AE7000.

Evan Powell
Editor

Comments (31) Post a Comment
John Posted Jul 28, 2011 11:09 AM PST
3-D is still alive?
Jim Posted Jul 28, 2011 11:47 AM PST
I'm looking forward to the review. Just got the Panny TC-P65VT25 65" 3D and I can tell you 3D is not dead, it requires well-made 3D media to be enjoyable and there's not a lot out there yet. Can't wait to see how Panasonic follows up on the 4000...I've been waiting for a well-made, bright 3D LCD projector. Hopefully this one will build on the killer specs of the 4000!
Phil B Posted Jul 28, 2011 12:20 PM PST
Will Panasonic announce a new 2D home-theatre projector?

I have to believe Panny could offer an improved 2D projector without the 3D hardware/software for a lower price point.

Do we still want 2D projector offerings?
borromini Posted Jul 28, 2011 1:22 PM PST
I believe most companies like Panasonic will only offer 3D models for particular price points rather than selling separate 2D model options. It's the same trend with flat panel TVs. Unfortunately the AE7000 will break the trend of the previous AE models where the price kept dropping on successive releases.
Mike Posted Jul 28, 2011 2:27 PM PST
I agree with the 3D versus 2D comments. I have no desire for 3D--especially if it adds to the cost. I have been anxiously waiting for Panny's newest projector to replace my AE-900 but may now (reluctantly) opt for the Epson.
HiHoStevo Posted Jul 28, 2011 2:54 PM PST
Sounds like it will be a nice projector..., but I fear Panasonic may have priced itself out of its normal niche.
Zac Posted Jul 28, 2011 3:02 PM PST
Did they mention how many lumens it would put out in best mode?
Gary Oreman Posted Jul 28, 2011 3:20 PM PST
Cost effective to produce one model that does both... Lets just wait to see the street price...
Max M. Fuhlendorf Posted Jul 28, 2011 4:24 PM PST
Would this nre release replace the 4000? Or could it be that both will remain being produced, with maybe a price drop for the 4000 model?
RoadRunner Posted Jul 28, 2011 10:20 PM PST
The wait would have been worth it "If", Panasonic had incorporated an internal "anamorphic" lens to accommodate their Lens Memory Feature during 2.35:1 movies to use all of the resolution! This 3d does nothing to revolutionize the PJ market!!!!
kevinp Posted Jul 29, 2011 3:23 AM PST
take two hd projectors a couple of polarizing filters and you have a 1080p 3d system for a couple of thousand dollars now take a way one of the lenses and case and connectors transformers and anything else that isn't required and surly you could make a single projector retailing at 1,500
Andrew J. Riley Posted Jul 29, 2011 7:57 AM PST
Has Panasonic mentioned giving "Avatar-3D" with the purchase of this projector? I'm going to CEDIA Expo in September and will find out first hand.
Al Peaston Posted Jul 29, 2011 8:52 AM PST
Has Sanyo given up on the home theater market completely??? (since they were, at one time, Panasonics biggest rivals!
Nj1 Posted Jul 29, 2011 1:37 PM PST
3D cannot be done right with current technology (angle of the two images to each other is fixed, which is not like in real life, producing double images in normal settings). Also, I have yet to hear of a 3D movie I would like to see. Avatar or Transformers are graphics demos, not movies.

About the comment with the anamorphic lens, this is completely useless as Blu-Ray is always letterboxed at anything wider than 16:9. It actually degrades quality because the picture has to be scaled.
Jason Posted Jul 29, 2011 5:40 PM PST
@Al Peaston Is Sanyo even in the market anymore? Panasonic completely bought Sanyo at the end of 2010. I was sad about that, as my venerable Z4 continues to serve me very well, but I consider a 1080P upgrade every once in a while. But I'm not sure if Panasonic would feel a need to continue to make Sanyo projectors.
Mark M Posted Jul 29, 2011 9:46 PM PST
I have no interest in 3d projection to be honest. I have been waiting to see / hear if Panasonic would upgrade the AE4000 model as I need to buy a projector.

Is there no 2D projector model that is being updated?!??!

If not, I just hope the price of the AE4000 drops and will purchase that.
Gekke Henkie Posted Jul 30, 2011 12:51 AM PST
Being the first PJ with 480Hz, I suppose they'll use black-frame-insertion when watching 3D, which leaves 240Hz, or 120Hz per eye.

I really hope it will perform 5:5 pull-down on Blu-ray 3D discs (24p frame packed), which would make it the first projector with judder-free 3D (read: no 3:2 pull-down) under $60K.
cwmchenr Posted Jul 30, 2011 12:40 PM PST
I for one could care less about 3D. The only positive about 3D is that it makes 2D much better. I have been waiting for panny to put out a 1080p projector like the AE4000 but with more lumens. I was really hoping for 2500 but 2000 will work. This is a definite purchase for me.
kevinp Posted Jul 31, 2011 11:11 AM PST
the new PT-AT5000E is also an ecological product.

I think not. The wattage has gone up from 165 to 200!

LEDs / Lasers are much greener
Darryl Posted Aug 1, 2011 11:58 AM PST
This is an awesome development. One of my main criteria for buying a new projector is good 3D, and it sounds like this new Panny delivers. This sounds like the perfect all around projector with 3D capability, better contrast/blacks, more lumens, etc. Epson is going to need to dig deep if they are going to try and compete.
Videobear Posted Aug 1, 2011 12:09 PM PST
Wouldn't you know it? Two weeks after I got tired of waiting for a new model and bought an AE-4000, and THIS happens!
gowhitten Posted Aug 1, 2011 9:07 PM PST
All you 2Ders only are idiots - just watch Pirana 3D and see what you think!
PatB Posted Aug 2, 2011 11:01 AM PST
I too have been waiting to see what Panasonic would bring to market. I expected that they would use the new reflective LCD panels but alas that is not to be. Transmissive LCDs I thought were finished. I'm also not trilled with the price point. You can get a JVC for about the same price. The AE4000 can be had for a little under $2K. This replacement model is almost twice that. Other manufacturers have brought out new models at or below the price of the model it replaces.

But overall I'm gald. No more waiting. It's time to buy a Misubishi 4000 ($1,200).
Darrell Posted Aug 3, 2011 3:20 PM PST
I am dissapointed, after waiting some time,that Panasonic did'nt follow LG into usind a passive 3D setup w/ non shutter glasses.It would be no big deal for me to get a 120" grey screen.
Steve Posted Aug 3, 2011 8:04 PM PST
I don't care much about 3D. Was really hoping the next gen Panny used LED vice lamps for the light source. The big hold off for me in purchasing a projector is the cost of ownership in having to buy replacement lamps. Hopefully CEDIA will reveal more companies that will support LED technology with higher lumen outputs.
Matt Posted Aug 5, 2011 11:46 AM PST
There is very little HW or software cost associated with making a 2D PJ a 3D PJ. So no, Panny couldn't make this same projector, but in 2D and save a lot of money.

However, 3D has a "value" to the consumer, therefore there has usually been a premium mark-up on anything 3D capable.. therefore this PJ would cost less if it was 2D only.

Also, passive PJ's are relatively hard/expensive to produce. A really fast 2D projector (read: active shutter 3D Capable projector) isn't.
Mike Posted Aug 5, 2011 1:51 PM PST
Why nobody focus on LED but 3D nowadays ... There is one to none exiting in LED home theater projector!
manjunath Posted Aug 6, 2011 11:37 PM PST
Does anyone know if this one has HDMI or Display port ?
Jasper2 Posted Aug 7, 2011 12:24 PM PST
If greenness is your criterion for excellence, why not just watch TV on your cellphone? 200 watts vs 160 watts = 40 watts for perhaps 5 hours of viewing is 200 watt/hours or perhaps 2 cents worth of electricity a week, or about $1.00/year. This madness must stop!
Blackout Posted Aug 12, 2011 8:16 AM PST
This seems too low brightness for 3D & too high cost. I can't see the expense beating my current champ - the epson 8350
Duke Posted Sep 8, 2011 8:10 AM PST
John if you decide to buy a AE4000 Let me know I have a 100% pristine AE4000. If you are interested in buying it for $1500, I already ordered the AE7000 and it would save me hassles of eBay bs selling it there. You can email me at dukedallas@aol

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