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Panasonic PT-AE900U LCD Projector Review

by October 27, 2005
Panasonic PT-AE900U projector

Panasonic PT-AE900U projector

  • Product Name: PT-AE900U LCD Projector
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: October 27, 2005 20:00
  • MSRP: $ 3199 (discontinued)
  • Buy Now

Brightness: 1100 ANSI lumens
Contrast: Up to 5500:1 (full on/off)
Resolution: 1280 x 720 native HD resolution (1920 x 1080 maximum)
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen native 16:9 aspect ratio (4:3 compatible)
Supported Screen Size: 40-300 inches diagonal
LCD Panel: D-5; 3 x 0.7" polysilicon active matrix
Optical System: Dichroic mirror separation/prism synthesis system
Iris: Dynamic Iris optical system constantly adjusts the brightness and gamma characteristics in real time
Video Features: New Dynamic Sharpness Control adjusts video signal waveforms based on the difference in brightness of adjacent pixels, Progressive Cinema Scan (3/2 pulldown) and HD IP, Cinema Color Management technology for faithful and accurate color representation, 10-bit full digital processing and 10-bit gamma correction, 7 picture modes for customizing color adjustments, Smooth Screen technology for smooth, film-like images
Scanning Formats: 480i/576i/1080i and 480p/576p/720p (PAL equivalents supported)
Video Inputs: HDMI-HDCP, component, composite, S-video, and PC/RGB (HD15)

Projection Lens: 2x optical zoom; f = 21.7 - 43.1 mm. F/1.9 - 3.1, manual focus & zoom
Lens Shift: Vertical and horizontal (65% vertical, 24% horizontal)
Keystone Correction: +/- 30 degrees
Lamp: 130 W UHM lamp
Mounting: ceiling, desk, front/rear (menu configurable)
Power Supply: 100-240 volts, 50-60Hz
Power Consumption: 180 watts (maximum), 0.8 watts (standby mode with fan stopped)
Operating Temperature: 32 - 104 degrees F (0 - 40 degrees C); 20-80% humidity (no condensation)
Fan: Whisper quiet 26dB operation (in low mode)
Projection Method: Front/rear/ceiling mount/table-top

Uniformity Ratio: 85% (center-to-corner)

Remote Control: Learning remote; 7m range on axis, 3 VDC power supply, AAA x 3 batteries
Standard Accessories
: Power cord, Wireless remote control unit, batteries for remote control (UM-3 x 2)

Operating Noise: 26dB (minimum)

Dimensions: 13.2" x 3.7" x 10.6" in (335 x 95 x 270 mm)

Weight: 7.9 lbs (3.6 kg)

Pros

  • ZERO screen door effect from real viewing distances
  • Excellent contrast
  • Deep, rich colors
  • Consumer adjustment of RGB gain, cut and gamma
  • Backlit LEARNING remote
  • Finely adjustable color temperature
  • 3000 hour lamp life
  • Can move OSD position

Cons

  • Requires calibration out of the box
  • IR sensor on front only
  • Overscan enabled by default
  • More optical zoom would be welcome
  • Friends may show up unexpectedly to watch movies
  • No 12V trigger

Introduction

We got our first glimpse of the Panasonic PT-AE900U at this year's CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. While the projector wasn't displaying picture at the booth, we were excited to see that it sported the new D-5 LCD panel and had a significantly improved contrast metric, a tweaked ANSI lumen output and dynamic iris optical system. What really, mattered, of course, was whether it outperformed the PT-AE700U.
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

imrjones posts on February 07, 2008 16:37
Hello,
Is there any way I can do any manual adjustment to the picture on a Panasonic PT-AE900U? I get like a bit of a ghost image or blur around images on the screen and I have adjusted it from the lens but is there anything else I can do? Is there anything inside that I can adjust?
BMXTRIX posts on April 25, 2006 15:57
If you can put the projector ANYWHERE… Then I would look at where a typical mounting distance would be for projectors without as much versatility. Say, the InFocus IN76 or Optoma HD72. If those models are supposed to be 13 feet from the lens to the screen (or so) then that is where I would put the projector. That way, you are at least marginally sure that should you upgrade down the road you will be able to swap out the current projector for a new projector that may not have as much versatility in the setup.
docferdie posts on April 25, 2006 12:36
Thanks for the reply. As far as general installation is concerned, given the wide range of throw distances for a given screen size, is it better to mount this projector closer to the screen or as far back as possible, or does it not make a difference? Basement is still unfinished so this is my one shot to get it right.
BMXTRIX posts on April 24, 2006 22:41
I can't imagine that you would get that much from almost any projector over the current lineup of 720p $2Kish projectors on the market.

When I got my projector 3 years ago (Panny PT-L300U) the first thing I did was put it right under a $12,000 Runco projector. The Runco was a LITTLE bit brighter, had a little bit better image processing, colors were a tiny bit more accurate - and it was no less than five times as noisy.

The store manager walked in and said “Yep, that's why we don't sell those, they look way to go for the money.”

Bottom line is that there are very, VERY few projectors over $5K or $6K that I would recommend. Some of the 3-chip DLP models (Sim2) or the Sony Ruby (1080p SXRD).

But, that's my opinion on all of it. Looking for 90%+ of the quality?
Panasonic AE900
Sanyo PLV-Z4
Optoma HD72
InFocus IN76
docferdie posts on April 24, 2006 15:19
can somebody please do a head to head with this projector and the yamaha DPX-1300? I don't want to spend an extra $7000 if I'm not getting that much more in terms of image quality.
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