Review Snapshot
Pros

This is a cinemaphile's dream, delivering cinema-like movie quality in the privacy of your own home.

Cons

Switching to 3D mode alters its brightness level, and not in a good way. It's also very expensive, costing around $3,000 on average.

Verdict

If you crave that cinema experience, this is the product to get.

Reviewed by:
Annie Oh : I am a 20-something freelance writer who specializes in technology and health re...Member Reputation 124 • 110 active Krits
Panasonic PT-AE7000U HD Projector from Panasonic
Panasonic PT AE7000U HD Projector Review
Annie Oh rates this 4.5/5
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Panasonic PT-AE7000U HD Projector detailed information
Product Details at Amazon ™

FULL REVIEW: Panasonic PT-AE7000U Projector (HD, 1080p)

Picked as an Editors' Choice by PC World, the Panasonic PT AE7000U HD Projector is a cinemaphile's dream, offering up a crystal clear image that easily converts from 2D to 3D mode.  It performs well in most settings, but with a few hitches.  Casual watchers beware: This projector may be too advanced and too pricey.  Here's my review.

Pros
  • Offers cinema-like image quality from the privacy of your own home
  • Delivers excellent 2D video quality
  • High quality device allows you to see the smallest of details

Cons
  • The price: Costs over $2,700 on average
  • Brightness issues plague its 3D mode
  • Fan noise is a problem

Design

Design-wise, the Panasonic PT AE7000U HD Projector is unique: Instead of being just white, like most projectors, the entire projector is black instead, with a thick, vented base that lies flat against any surface.  The side panel contains its most important features--a control panel, which controls the video's output.  It also controls the projector's lens controls, which controls horizontal and vertical shift.  Using the control panel also allows you to control the size of the video output, which, as PC World reported, can display videos up to 300 inches in size.

As a HD projector, the Panasonic PT AE7000U is thicker than most models, standing about as tall as two books lain supine.  Its size mainly accounts for its quality: It delivers cinema-like quality that few projectors have even met, nevertheless surpassed.  Three warning lights also mark the top of the projector, which light up to warn of overheating or lamp bulb issues.

After evaluating the design of this projector, I found very few issues: It appears to be well designed and should fit on any sturdy surface, though its weight and size may be an issue.  Easy access to controls and multiple control features also make it a very alluring product for cinemaphiles; casual cinema enthusiasts will probably find these features overwhelming and unnecessary.  But don't take their word for it--these features all help shape the ideal cinema experience.

Functionality

Unlike other models, the Panasonic PT AE7000U HD Projector's controls are all contained in its control pad, which is easily accessible from the side panel.  There's no fudging around or the need to remove panel covers; simply maneuver yourself to the side panel for immediate access.

The control panel contains a multitude of features--from turning the projector on and off to adjust lens zoom and focus.  A navigational pad allows you to browse through options, and using them was not a challenge, according to most consumers.  Users can also switch from 2D to 3D mode, but keep in mind you'll need to purchase 3D glasses--sold separately--in order to view the video properly.

Oh--and if you were wondering, setting up this projector is a breeze.  Connect the appropriate cables, mount the projector into a sturdy, easily accessible spot, and you're good to go.  Compared to the Epson Powerlite, it's just as easy to set up.

Image Quality

Image quality as a whole is excellent here--the best you could ever expect from a home projector.  Saturation levels were excellent, as well as its depictions of blacks and brightness levels.  It also produced a very detailed image, making even the smallest of details, such as individual facial hair strands or pores, visible in even substandard image settings.

Unfortunately, problems arose when switching to 3D mode, which seemed to compromise the projector's brightness levels.  The image simply looked duller and darker--while definitely being passable, it wasn't the best quality image.  

"Unless you have excellent light blocking, 3D enabled just doesn't produce a very bright image," says one customer.  "It's "bright enough," but this is definitely an area that can be improved on."

Other customers also share the same sentiment--though the 2D image produced is crystal clear, its 3D mode could use some improvement.  Still, many customers seem to love this product, raving about its excellent video quality when playing movies, TV shows, or even video games.

Verdict

If you're a die hard cinemaphile that wants to recreate that cinema look in the privacy of your own home, this is the projector to get.  Though it has some issues in 3D mode, it is an otherwise perfect product.  My recommendation: It's an absolute must.
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2012, 11:54 am
Reviewed by Annie Oh
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