Some 1080p projectors are getting down below the US$2,000 mark, but the real news is that insanely good projectors are appearing in the US$3,000 range. On the heels of Sony's VPL-HW10 comes Panasonic's AE3000, which has 60,000:1 contrast ratio using LCD projection technology. The US$3,500 system handles motion blur withsomething like the 120Hz seen in LCD flat panels: 120 frames per sec for 60Hz content; 96 frames per second for 24P content. It's smart on power consumption, reducing the drain on the lamp according to the scene's requirements. More details below:
PANASONIC LAUNCHES NEW 1080p FULL HIGH-DEFINTION LCD HOME THEATRE PROJECTOR
New PT-AE3000 Provides A Bright and Dynamic Widescreen Home Viewing Experience with Crisp Motion Images Via Frame Creation Technology
DENVER - CEDIA Expo - Sept. 3, 2008 - Panasonic Projector Systems Company, Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, announced today the debut of its newest LCD home theatre projector, the PT-AE3000. With full high-definition 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) native resolution, the PT-AE3000 gives home theatre enthusiasts a higher level of picture quality entertainment, producing crisp and clear images through new state-of-the-art projection technology.
As an evolution of its award winning predecessor the PT-AE2000, the PT-AE3000 delivers a captivating 1,600 lumen brightness and powerful 60,000:1 contrast ratio. To achieve sharp and detailed reproduction of fast moving motion images, Panasonic has developed and equipped the PT-AE3000 with new Frame Creation Technology optimised for large screen viewing. And for easy adjustment to different widescreen movie formats like 21:9 or 16:9, the projector is also upgraded with a Lens Memory Load feature which is capable of memorizing and restoring zoom/focus positions for multiple aspect ratio flexibility.
Higher Picture Quality with Brightness Upgrade
The dramatic increase in the contrast-ratio and dynamic range was made possible by the newly engineered Pure Contrast Plate technology that effectively blocks unwanted light from the path of projection. In addition, the polarization filter system surrounding the Pure Contrast Plates has been redesigned to achieve the PT-AE3000's higher level of brightness.
Together with a host of carefully engineered Panasonic technologies including the high precision optical lens unit, Dynamic Iris and Smooth Screen technology, the PT-AE3000 truly distinguishes itself against its competition and as a projector solution that home theatre enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy.
"Each year with advances in our AE Home Theatre series, we continue to strive for the best 'real theater' environment for our customers," said Rena Yotsu, home theatre specialist, Panasonic Projector Systems Company. "To reach this goal, Panasonic Projector Systems Company engineers have designed many innovative technologies and have collaborated side-by-side with Hollywood colorists and image experts to manufacture our outstanding, upgraded PT-AE3000 home theatre projector."
Crisp and Clear Details for In-Motion Images
The PT-AE3000 now incorporates a Frame Creation technology that interpolates an additional frame by analysing the characteristics of two adjacent frames, creating sharp and clear images of fast moving scenes in sports and action movies, especially for large screen viewing. For crisp motion images with high resolution, users may set their frame count preference to 120 frames/1 sec from 60 frames/1 sec for 60Hz video signal input, while 24frames/sec (24p) signals are quadrupled to 96frames/1sec by interpolating three additional frames to allow natural frame-to-frame transitions.
The new and advanced Detail Clarity Processor V2.0 allows the projectors' digital processing engine to extract information of the low, mid, high, and even the super-high frequency components. The ability to apply these different degrees of sharpness permits the PT-AE3000 to reproduce natural, lifelike images with exceptional clarity and three-dimensionality to the smallest details.
The PT-AE3000 comes equipped with professional-level features that let users personalise the images they see on the screen. First, the projector's Split Adjust mode allows users to split the screen into two halves; one to make picture adjustments and one to see those adjustments as a baseline reference. Second, the PT-AE3000's waveform monitor—seen mostly on professional video and film equipment—measures the level of brightness output from a given video signal source. This feature also automatically verifies that the source device is outputting at full dynamic range, and quickly makes adjustments to optimise it for the home theatre setting. Users can easily see a graphical representation of any changes made to the unit's colour settings.
Ease of Set-up and Use
Many movies come in aspects that are even wider than the projector's 16:9 aspect ratio to match the image size 21:9 seen at movie theatres. More and more projector customers are using the 21:9 wide screens to mirror the movie theatre experience. The PT-AE3000 enables users to pre-set three different zoom/focus positions and enables easy recall of those positions with the Lens Memory Load function.
Initial set-up and installation are quick and simple, as the 2.0x zoom can cast a 120-inch diagonal image from as short as 3.6 meters (about 11 feet) to 7 meters (24 feet) from the screen. The projector's lens shift capability enables 100 percent vertical adjustment and 40 percent horizontal adjustment so that viewers can suspend the projector either close to the ceiling or on wall mounts. The lens-centered design and maintenance features such as the replaceable side filter and top lamp, make the projector easy to install and maintain.
The projector is also equipped with an abundant selection of connections; including three HDMI 1.3 inputs and two component input terminals. The three HDMI 1.3 inputs are all Deep Colour and x.v.Color compliant. The Deep Colour supports 10 bit (over 1.07 billion) and 12 bit (over 68.7 billion) colour depths for smooth tonal transitions and subtle gradations between colours, while the x.v.Color compliance realises accurate reproduction of actual, true-to-life images.
In addition to its outstanding features, the new PT-AE3000 is also an ecologically conscious product. The intelligent power management system within the projector reduces the lamp power to the exact required level of brightness depending on what content is displayed. Other than in scenes where full brightness is required, the lamp intelligently determines the necessary power output by analysing more than 3 billion different image patterns. This advanced analysis process reduces the main power consumption by as much as 10 percent when the dynamic iris function is in operation, thus saving energy.
Other ecological considerations include an off-timer that reduces wasteful power consumption, as well as an extremely low standby power consumption of 0.08 W , which is the lowest in its class.
The Panasonic PT-AE3000 LCD home theatre projector will be made in Japan, available starting in October 2008 to authorised presentation systems dealers with an MSRP of $3,499. To learn more about this projector, please visit http://www.panasonic.com/projectors or http://panasonic.net/pavc/projector/.