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JMON

Thoughts on Panasonic PT-AE8000U

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I've been looking at projectors and am considering the Panasonic PT-AE8000U, primarily for the lens memory feature that will automatically zoom in and out between 16:9 and 2.35:1 formats.  As my room is limited in height but not width, I can get the largest image size of both formats by purchasing the largest 2:35:1 screen that will fit, but would need a projector with the lens memory feature.  As I understand, the only other projectors that have this feature are quite a bit more in price.  As I expect 4k projectors to eventually come down in price in the coming years, I'd prefer not to spend a lot now on a projector that isn't 4k.

 

So, for those reasons I'm leaning towards the Panasonic.  I do have some reservations though and thus the reasons I haven't pulled the trigger yet.  I know that this model came out several years ago (2012) so it is older technology than a lot of the newer projectors out there.  I did hear from the Projector People that Panasonic is getting out of HT projectors so there apparently won't be a new model coming out from Panasonic.  I have also never seen the Panasonic picture in person so don't know how it compares to others.  Maybe if I saw one I would be satisfied and could make the decision.  Some friends just bought a new house and installed a Sony VPL-HW40ES and I was extremely impressed with the picture quality.  This projector is comparable in price to the Panasonic.  I've been told by the Projector People that the Panasonic picture isn't quite as sharp and their personal preference was the Sony (which of course is a newer model) -- they do sell both.  This Sony model doesn't come with the lens memory feature and so I'd be sacrificing the largest screen size for movies with the Sony in favor of the (supposedly) better/sharper picture.

 

Anyway, I know there are several here that own the Panny and wanted to get some thoughts and opinions on the projector along with your thoughts and decision making when electing to go with the Panasonic.  For those owners that have it, how have you liked it and do you have any regrets?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. :emotion-22:

Edited by JMON

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I own mine and live it. I have a friend who has the Sony 55es and he thinks his picture quality is percent maybe two max better than mine but says he would trade me in a heartbeat for the lens zoom. He has to climb on furniture to zoom his once he went 2.35 screen. That is the main reason I switched. Hated zooming manually. Go with the panny.

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I've seen scrappy's, it's real nice. Anything with vivid colors is super nice, it's got the lumens to make it pop. Animated 3D movies should be awesome. Changing aspect ratios is pleasantly quick, smooth, and silent compared to my JVC. Automatically changing with no user input could be both good and bad I suppose but I thought it was neat, it would never display stuff over the top of the screen frame like most projectors will, which is awkward when they do, so most of the time this is nice.

Only thing that wasn't quite so nice is black levels. It didn't seem to like low light scenes much due to black clipping, plus ambient light constantly illuminated the wall and floor. Good example of black clipping is when we watched Fury and they climbed in the tank. When you look around the tank's interior, there are details on mine that was just solid dark gray on the Panasonic. Most likely a professional calibration would fix most of this. My JVC did this to some extent before pro calibration. Other hard scenes in this regard would be the dungeon in Pirates of the Caribbean, and on the new Annie, where the little black girl with big curly brown hair walks through a dark room, her hair can turn to mush. A Disney disc isn't going to fix this.
 

annie-2014-movie-trailer.jpg

 

54cb52447822e_-_fury-02-1014-de.jpg

 

Jack_grabbed.png

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters
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Oddly enough, the Panasonic PT-AE8000U is one of the two projectors to end up on my short list.  The other is the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB.  The prices between the two are fairly close although the Epson tends to go on sale every month or two for $300 off and at times also offers a rebate for a free spare lamp.  

 

A friend of mine has the Panasonic so I have seen it in action.  The picture quality was excellent.  I have also seen the Epson in a showroom and the picture quality was also excellent.  Without seeing them side by side it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to state one is better than the other.

 

The one feature the Panasonic seems to have is the lens memory, so if this is something you would use often that is probably a huge selling point.  The Epson however is supposed to have darker blacks and better 3D picture quality.  It is difficult to say whether you would notice the difference because again unless you see them side by side in the same room under the exact same lighting conditions and the same screen this may not even be noticeable.  

 

For me, I'm not sure I would ever use the lens memory feature.  I plan to buy a fixed frame screen and if a few films have small black bars then I will deal with it but I don't believe I want to have to deal with a screen that I have to adjust based upon what I'm watching.  Also, and I know this is petty - I just like the looks of the Epson a lot more.  I like the symmetry and I like the white case which would blend into the ceiling a bit better.  

 

That said, I still have a tough time deciding between the two.  It may come down to which one is on sale when I decide to pull the trigger because the specs and performance are so close that price may end up being the determining factor.

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I've been looking at projectors and am considering the Panasonic PT-AE8000U, primarily for the lens memory feature that will automatically zoom in and out between 16:9 and 2.35:1 formats.  As my room is limited in height but not width, I can get the largest image size of both formats by purchasing the largest 2:35:1 screen that will fit, but would need a projector with the lens memory feature.  As I understand, the only other projectors that have this feature are quite a bit more in price.  As I expect 4k projectors to eventually come down in price in the coming years, I'd prefer not to spend a lot now on a projector that isn't 4k.

 

So, for those reasons I'm leaning towards the Panasonic.  I do have some reservations though and thus the reasons I haven't pulled the trigger yet.  I know that this model came out several years ago (2012) so it is older technology than a lot of the newer projectors out there.  I did hear from the Projector People that Panasonic is getting out of HT projectors so there apparently won't be a new model coming out from Panasonic.  I have also never seen the Panasonic picture in person so don't know how it compares to others.  Maybe if I saw one I would be satisfied and could make the decision.  Some friends just bought a new house and installed a Sony VPL-HW40ES and I was extremely impressed with the picture quality.  This projector is comparable in price to the Panasonic.  I've been told by the Projector People that the Panasonic picture isn't quite as sharp and their personal preference was the Sony (which of course is a newer model) -- they do sell both.  This Sony model doesn't come with the lens memory feature and so I'd be sacrificing the largest screen size for movies with the Sony in favor of the (supposedly) better/sharper picture.

 

Anyway, I know there are several here that own the Panny and wanted to get some thoughts and opinions on the projector along with your thoughts and decision making when electing to go with the Panasonic.  For those owners that have it, how have you liked it and do you have any regrets?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. :emotion-22:

JMON,

 

I got Panasonic for the same reasons that you are considering - low ceiling limitation, lens memory and budget ($$). Like you, I have a scope screen. After considerable research, I found this to be my best option and am peace with it. I got a good price break (over the holidays) from B&H Photo which pretty much sealed the deal for me. 

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Oddly enough, the Panasonic PT-AE8000U is one of the two projectors to end up on my short list. The other is the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB. The prices between the two are fairly close although the Epson tends to go on sale every month or two for $300 off and at times also offers a rebate for a free spare lamp.

A friend of mine has the Panasonic so I have seen it in action. The picture quality was excellent. I have also seen the Epson in a showroom and the picture quality was also excellent. Without seeing them side by side it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to state one is better than the other.

The one feature the Panasonic seems to have is the lens memory, so if this is something you would use often that is probably a huge selling point. The Epson however is supposed to have darker blacks and better 3D picture quality. It is difficult to say whether you would notice the difference because again unless you see them side by side in the same room under the exact same lighting conditions and the same screen this may not even be noticeable.

For me, I'm not sure I would ever use the lens memory feature. I plan to buy a fixed frame screen and if a few films have small black bars then I will deal with it but I don't believe I want to have to deal with a screen that I have to adjust based upon what I'm watching. Also, and I know this is petty - I just like the looks of the Epson a lot more. I like the symmetry and I like the white case which would blend into the ceiling a bit better.

That said, I still have a tough time deciding between the two. It may come down to which one is on sale when I decide to pull the trigger because the specs and performance are so close that price may end up being the determining factor.

not sure I follow your thought on not using the lens memory. I have a fixed screen. When I watch tv there are bars on the side. Not often cause I don't watch more than an occasional football game downstairs. But for movies which 85% are 2.35 my projector zooms out and utilizes the whole screen. Has nothing to do with fixed frame or not. And also most who do dedicated rooms do black ceilings so black is what you will find on more professional models. Notice once you go past the Epson 50330 to the 6030 it's black ;)

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I do have some reservations though and thus the reasons I haven't pulled the trigger yet.  I know that this model came out several years ago (2012) so it is older technology than a lot of the newer projectors out there.  I did hear from the Projector People that Panasonic is getting out of HT projectors so there apparently won't be a new model coming out from Panasonic.

This was one of the reasons I chose Epson. I was concerned about support and availability of replacement bulbs.

Projectors are clearly part of Epsons core business. If you go on Epsons website, you will find a link to their projectors on their homepage.

If you go to the Panasonic website, you won't find projectors on their homepage.

I'm not saying that the Panny isn't a great projector.

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If you go to the Panasonic website, you won't find projectors on their homepage.

To be fair, none of any of their products come up immediately, but it's easy enough to find.

panasonic.net

click on consumer

click on projectors

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My Panny has been excellent.  I have a DIY gray screen and quite frankly I've never noted poor black levels.  I'm sure there are better projectors in that area, but I'm happy.  I watch mainly football, NASCAR, F1 and movies.  The 3D capability seems very good.  I got a good buy on Sony Playstation glasses for $8 pair on the bay so when we have the whole family there we can all enjoy.  If you go for the 3D then make sure your receiver can handle it or you go with a Panny Bluray with two outputs. 

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My Panasonic has been great although I no longer use the zoom feature with my new anamorphic lens. :)

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I've seen scrappy's, it's real nice. Anything with vivid colors is super nice, it's got the lumens to make it pop. Animated 3D movies should be awesome. Changing aspect ratios is pleasantly quick, smooth, and silent compared to my JVC. Automatically changing with no user input could be both good and bad I suppose but I thought it was neat, it would never display stuff over the top of the screen frame like most projectors will, which is awkward when they do, so most of the time this is nice.

Only thing that wasn't quite so nice is black levels. It didn't seem to like low light scenes much due to black clipping, plus ambient light constantly illuminated the wall and floor. Good example of black clipping is when we watched Fury and they climbed in the tank. When you look around the tank's interior, there are details on mine that was just solid dark gray on the Panasonic. Most likely a professional calibration would fix most of this. My JVC did this to some extent before pro calibration. Other hard scenes in this regard would be the dungeon in Pirates of the Caribbean, and on the new Annie, where the little black girl with big curly brown hair walks through a dark room, her hair can turn to mush. A Disney disc isn't going to fix this.

 

annie-2014-movie-trailer.jpg

 

54cb52447822e_-_fury-02-1014-de.jpg

 

Jack_grabbed.png

Of the images above, which projector did they come from?

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The one feature the Panasonic seems to have is the lens memory, so if this is something you would use often that is probably a huge selling point.  The Epson however is supposed to have darker blacks and better 3D picture quality.  It is difficult to say whether you would notice the difference because again unless you see them side by side in the same room under the exact same lighting conditions and the same screen this may not even be noticeable.

 

I think you are exactly right in that I'd be very happy with either choice and once I get it set up, I won't know any difference between any of them.

 

By the way, I actually prefer the black projectors.  I just finished painting my room and now have a dark ceiling.  Black will match other things in this room -- furniture, electronics, picture frames, etc.

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I do have some reservations though and thus the reasons I haven't pulled the trigger yet.  I know that this model came out several years ago (2012) so it is older technology than a lot of the newer projectors out there.  I did hear from the Projector People that Panasonic is getting out of HT projectors so there apparently won't be a new model coming out from Panasonic.

This was one of the reasons I chose Epson. I was concerned about support and availability of replacement bulbs.

 

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.  Although the Panasonic bulbs are supposed to last something like 4,000 hours.  By the time I watch this thing for that long, the 4k projectors will probably be within range of upgrading.

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JMON,

 

 

I got Panasonic for the same reasons that you are considering - low ceiling limitation, lens memory and budget ($$). Like you, I have a scope screen. After considerable research, I found this to be my best option and am peace with it. I got a good price break (over the holidays) from B&H Photo which pretty much sealed the deal for me. 

 

 

Good to hear!  I see B&H and Projector People are currently selling this one for $1699.  Were you able to get a better price?

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My Panny has been excellent.  I have a DIY gray screen and quite frankly I've never noted poor black levels.  I'm sure there are better projectors in that area, but I'm happy.  I watch mainly football, NASCAR, F1 and movies.  The 3D capability seems very good.  I got a good buy on Sony Playstation glasses for $8 pair on the bay so when we have the whole family there we can all enjoy.  If you go for the 3D then make sure your receiver can handle it or you go with a Panny Bluray with two outputs. 

 

Good tips.  3D isn't important to me so I won't make too much effort or expense to use it.  My pre/pro is older and does not have 3D.  I plan to go directly from the BR player to the projector.  My kids will probably enjoy the 3D so I may give it a go, but won't spend much to get there.

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not sure I follow your thought on not using the lens memory. I have a fixed screen. When I watch tv there are bars on the side. Not often cause I don't watch more than an occasional football game downstairs. But for movies which 85% are 2.35 my projector zooms out and utilizes the whole screen. Has nothing to do with fixed frame or not. And also most who do dedicated rooms do black ceilings so black is what you will find on more professional models. Notice once you go past the Epson 50330 to the 6030 it's black ;)

 

 

I know a lot of people get those screens that have adjustable masks because they don't want to see any bars so that is what I was thinking of.  However you make a great point in that with a 2.35:1 screen the bars will be on the sides for most TV or game content while movies will take advantage of the full screen.  Perhaps I need to give the Panasonic some additional consideration because being able to hit a button to zoom content to take advantage of the full screen size would be nice.  Originally I had assumed I'd just go with a 16:9 screen and live with some black bars at the top and bottom for movies, but there is a lot to be said for the 2.35 format to get the biggest image for films as possible while using black bars on the side (where they are less distracting) for television content.

 

Interesting point about the color of the projectors - I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense.  Of course I won't be painting my ceiling black anytime soon (that would be a tough sell to the Misses) so it probably doesn't matter for me but interesting either way!

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not sure I follow your thought on not using the lens memory. I have a fixed screen. When I watch tv there are bars on the side. Not often cause I don't watch more than an occasional football game downstairs. But for movies which 85% are 2.35 my projector zooms out and utilizes the whole screen. Has nothing to do with fixed frame or not. And also most who do dedicated rooms do black ceilings so black is what you will find on more professional models. Notice once you go past the Epson 50330 to the 6030 it's black ;)

I know a lot of people get those screens that have adjustable masks because they don't want to see any bars so that is what I was thinking of. However you make a great point in that with a 2.35:1 screen the bars will be on the sides for most TV or game content while movies will take advantage of the full screen. Perhaps I need to give the Panasonic some additional consideration because being able to hit a button to zoom content to take advantage of the full screen size would be nice. Originally I had assumed I'd just go with a 16:9 screen and live with some black bars at the top and bottom for movies, but there is a lot to be said for the 2.35 format to get the biggest image for films as possible while using black bars on the side (where they are less distracting) for television content.

Interesting point about the color of the projectors - I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense. Of course I won't be painting my ceiling black anytime soon (that would be a tough sell to the Misses) so it probably doesn't matter for me but interesting either way!

yeah I'm it a person who likes to fiddle. Fixed screen no masking. Doesn't bother me one bit.

Let me do you another solid. There is no button pushing to zoom. It senses it all by itself and zooms accordingly. Boom! Mind blown right. I simply turn mine on and off. Nothing else.

And my ceiling is only half black. From where the screen it. Made a huge black panel to soak up reflective light. Ceiling is white above the black projector but I still believe the black looks much more professional. I had a white Epson before the panny.

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I do have some reservations though and thus the reasons I haven't pulled the trigger yet.  I know that this model came out several years ago (2012) so it is older technology than a lot of the newer projectors out there.  I did hear from the Projector People that Panasonic is getting out of HT projectors so there apparently won't be a new model coming out from Panasonic.

This was one of the reasons I chose Epson. I was concerned about support and availability of replacement bulbs.

 

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.  Although the Panasonic bulbs are supposed to last something like 4,000 hours.  By the time I watch this thing for that long, the 4k projectors will probably be within range of upgrading.

 

I got 5500 hours out of my last bulb.

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