Brawny best describes the Panasonic’s no-nonsense cosmetics, with sharp raked accents and louvered ventilation slots flanking the lens. The prominent lens sits front and center and features motorized zoom and focus, with two different test patterns for easy installation. Lens shift is provided, both horizontal and vertical, but those adjustments are of the mechanical (manual) type via thumbwheels set in the top panel. The Panasonic’s 165-watt lamp is a powerhouse, putting out enough light that even large screens can be handled while running in the low power (Eco) mode for maximum bulb life. Video enthusiasts will love the Panasonic’s extensive adjustability and the projector’s Auto Iris function works very well, with no discernable latency giving any indication that the light output is being constantly massaged.
Note: Since the projector maker doesn’t know your screen size or screen material type, you’ll need test discs to properly adjust brightness and contrast, among other things.
(Damages: First Season)
|First episode’s poolside breakfast scene shows Ted Danson’s knitted shirt fine details, individual gray hair strands (is it his real hair?).||Same poolside scene is an explosion of color, vivid blue pool juxtaposed with lush green landscaping.||As it’s a legal drama, there are lots of dark pinstripe suits, blouses, etc., that are easily discerned. Flashback scenes have gritty black accents.||Police station’s interrogation room dimly lit, excessively grainy on purpose—dark wall details and reflections in one-way mirror well defined.||None noted, although it should be pointed out that the many flashback scenes are excessively grainy and noisy on purpose, and the Panasonic handles them well.|
|Veteran Aussie character actor Bill Hunter gets lots of close-up head shots showing his over-the-top ham acting faces. He apparently likes to hang out in tanning salons when he’s not judging competitions.||It’s a Baz Luhrmann movie— the color is dialed up to “11,” with the many dance costumes highly saturated, and the Panasonic’s wide color gamut does the movie proud.||It’s in the costumes, again— with the gentlemen dancers wearing black pants, sometimes in tuxedos. The Auto Iris function works well to bring out the black details.||Lots of backstage conniving going on at the dance competitions, with onlookers in the shadows nearby, clearly resolved here with no murkiness.||A dated DVD transfer that can look on the soft side with some displays, but comes through just fine on the Panasonic with no obvious visible noise.|
Although the Panasonic’s 165-watt bulb is only 15 watts more powerful than other projectors in its class, it manages to put out substantially more light than the average projector, which allows for very large screen sizes (I calculate that it can handle up to a 13-foot diagonal screen in the high lamp mode). The PT-AE2000 is a video enthusiast’s dream come true, with a huge array of picture adjustments, along with a novel split-screen feature that freezes a frame and presents a “before and after” side-by-side view. The Auto Iris function works very well, as the Panasonic’s unique “butterfly wings” motorized shutter design has lightning quick response with no discernable lag, extending the visual dynamic range in darkly lit scenes.