Panasonic PT-AE2000U 1080P 3-Chip LCD Front Projector Reviewed

Published On: October 11, 2008
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Panasonic PT-AE2000U 1080P 3-Chip LCD Front Projector Reviewed

Panasonic, makers of some of the finest HDTV the world has ever seen, has also been making top quality projectors for home theater enthusiasts on a budget for some time now and their latest, the PT-AE2000U, may be their best projector yet.

Panasonic PT-AE2000U 1080P 3-Chip LCD Front Projector Reviewed

  • Andrew Robinson began his career as an art director in entertainment advertising in 2003, after graduating from Art Center College of Design. In 2006, he became a creative director at Crew Creative Advertising, and oversaw the agency's Television Division, where he worked for clients such as TNT, TBS, History, FX, and Bravo to name a few. He now has one of the most popular AV-related channels on YouTube.

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panasonic_pt-ae2000u.jpgPanasonic's latest LCD front projector is certainly one of their best offerings to date. This relatively tiny powerhouse features the company's second-generation 3-chip 1080P LCD light engine (2.07 megapixels), offering 1,500 ANSI Lumens and a (reported) 10,000:1 contrast ratio, with expected bulb life of 2,000 hours. Building on the success of their earlier PT-AE1000U engine design, the new C2Fine D7TM LCD panels, which are characterized by a new inorganic alignment layer and vertically aligned liquid crystals (similar to Sony's SXRD technology as used in the SRX-R220 cinema projector and their wide array of front and rear projectors) and is capable of producing enhanced black levels, very even gray scale tracking, accompanied by a vastly more seamless and detailed image, thanks to new internal 16 bit processing. 

Additional Resources
• Read more front projector reviews by the staff at
• Find the perfect projector screen to pair with the PT-AE2000U.

A 16-element. aspherical, 2:1 motorized zoom lens with extensive manual horizontal and vertical lens-shift allow for easy creation of images that are optimal at 100 inches diagonal (87 inches wide) with cinema light levels in excess of 24 foot-Lamberts, but can also create larger or smaller images, just as easily. Thanks to Panasonic's continued quest to create the most realistic cinema experience possible, consultation and testing of this design were conducted in various movie post-production facilities around the world. The result is an extended color space, including XYZ (xvYCC) compatibility on HDMI, as well as color space settings for HD and SD sources on all inputs. There are generous input options, including three HDMI 1.3 jacks, two component video, RGB on D-sub HD 15-pin, one "S-video jack, and even a composite input on RCA jack. The projector can accept signals from 480i up to 1080P @ 24, 30, 50, and 60 fps. The diminutive and almost portable PT-AE2000U is priced at $3,499 MSRP.

When one considers a major projector purchase, many factors contribute beyond just price. But the Panasonic PT-AE2000U offers both great price and is easy to set-up in just about any home theater. So many 1080P projectors these days are still on the largish, heavy side, making them difficult to set up optimally, which sacrifices picture quality and viewing time. Yet, even with manual lens offset, the Playstation 3 sized PT-AE2000U can be set up in under ten minutes, and thanks to the generous input support and light weight (15 pounds), you can just as easily take it with you wherever you need a big, bright, colorful image. And speaking of color, few others outside of this projector come out of the box looking so well adjusted, regardless of price. The performance is more than you might expect, and there are numerous user adjustable controls that can dial in any source to extreme view-ability. Should you desire, the Panasonic can be calibrated to great effect, with near dead-on color temperature, gray scale tracking, white field uniformity, and an actual contrast ratio of a more realistic 2,965:1, which makes this projector pop out and say "look at me!" The immediate response I had from the start was to watch one great program source after. In the course of this exploration, it became clear that this unit is designed to offer the very best pictures with a 1080P source, followed by 1080i, and finally 720P, and 480P or 480i. The internal video processor is quite reasonable given this projectors retail price, but it does soften the very highest frequencies, subtly. And 720P has noticeable edge enhancement and ringing that cannot be calibrated out. So watch 1080 sources (of which most programming currently is, other than ABC, ESPN, and Disney HD. There is a very slight hint of the red LCD panel lagging being the green and blue, producing an almost un-scene red echo during fast motion pans. But most will not see small artifact by comparison to all this projectors great assets. And don't forget to hook up your computer or laptop and allow yourself the opportunity of a life sized slideshow - the immediacy, color accuracy, and overall fine definition will have you spending many, many hours of enjoyment in blissful viewing.

Read about the high points and the low points of the PT-AE2000U projector on Page 2.


This Panasonic LCD projector is simple to use, produces a very enjoyable and transparent image on a variety of different screen sizes, and begs to come along on an extended trip or vacation. If you want better picture quality, you'll likely have to spend more or sacrifice color fidelity and ease of set-up. You can find projectors with better black level, but all things considered, the PT-A2000U produces a consistently more enjoyable experience. And it is easy and inexpensive to replace the bulb. This is a very good projector.

High Points
• Full 1920 x 1080P HD three-chip LCD light engine offers very nearly full resolution of high definition sources.
• Good black level is achieved, thanks to the new dynamic auto iris.
• XYZ (xvYCC) color space compatibility on HDMI, along with HDTV Rec. 709 and NTSC Rec. 601 automatic color space selection for all inputs.
• Three HDMI 1.3 inputs, two component video (and RGB on D Sub-15) capable of accepting 480i to 1080P at 24, 30, 50, and 60 frames.
• Ultra-Wide manual lens offset (+/- 100 Vertical, +/- 40 Horizontal) allows for easy placement of the projector while preserving square geometry on screen.
• Long life user replaceable bulbs (up to 2,000 hours) make this projector both economical as well as bright.
• There are very extended on-board calibration facilities for Color Temperature, Gamma, and Color primaries to let the user achieve unusually transparent and eye popping flesh tones using instrumentation and external test patterns.

Low Points
• Color Setting 1 is the only color space that does not over saturate and distort the presentation.
• Black level is only acceptable, not fantastic, and does not compete with other more expensive projectors.
• Slightly noisy fans can be heard if the unit is ceiling mounted, particularly with regard to a continuous rushing or whirring sound.
• The Ultra-Wide lens offset exhibits some visible pincushion distortion and light fall off in the corners at the short end of the zoom's range.
• Internal video processor softens extreme fine detail, and adds ringing to 720P and 480 sources.
• The inputs are all located very close together, which can make for a tight fit, once everything is connected.
• There is some slight hint of ghosting from the red LCD panel, suggesting its refresh rate is slightly longer than the blue or green LCD panels.
• The extensive user calibration controls need external test patterns and some expert knowledge (IFS, SMPTE) to utilize effectively.

Half a decade ago, Panasonic could only be found to offer 720P front and rear projectors. But then, a few years ago, there appeared their first foray into full 1080P HD, the PT-A1000U, and it turned people's heads for both it's performance improvements and small and light character. Now, Panasonic has created that unit's successor, the second generation PT-AE2000U. Given the tiny size and weight of this gem, and 1,500 ANSI Lumens output combined with their unique take on the dynamic iris, a substantially enjoyable viewing experience is easily possible. With a cost of $3,499, this projector falls in the middle price range expected for a front projection product, but offers a significant leg up over much of the competition when it comes to color accuracy and flesh tones. While other projectors made by Sony and JVC can claim to have better blacks and contrast ratio, the ease of setup, portability, and generous input options almost guarantee that one will have a great time, no matter where one is. And in a dedicated, light controlled home theater with an array of 1080P sources like Blu-Ray or even HD-DVD, everything comes out looking quite stunning, particularly when showcased on a good, large, motion picture screen, such as a Stewart StudioTek 130. The Panasonic will fill that screen and bring the show alive for all who watch.

Additional Resources
• Read more front projector reviews by the staff at
• Find the perfect projector screen to pair with the PT-AE2000U.

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