Targeted at the niche crowd, the Panasonic’s AE projectors try to bring home a cinema experience. While the AE 7000 came with an impressive 2000 lumens lamp, the latest AE 8000 stands out for its 3D projection quality. This full-size projector comes with a 2400 lumens lamp, which is red rich for more brightness. The projector also offers a contrast ratio of 500000:1. There is a 480 Hz full HD panel that also aids in projecting bright and clear content. The colours look natural, even when you are projecting in 3D, the USP of this unit.
Usually, the brightness decreases drastically while viewing 3D content, but here the videos were bright and impressive. There is a 3D viewing monitor onboard to help increase and decrease the depth of the 3D content. Considering there isn’t much 3D content available in the market, Panasonic has 2D to 3D upscale feature that works really well. But the 3D viewing monitor does not work in the 2D to 3D mode. Unlike LG, Panasonic continues to stick to active shutter 3D glasses (not accompanied with the projector). For connecting 3D glasses, an infrared transmitter with a 10 metre range is placed on front of the projector. The company also has an accessory that can increase this range.
The neat design of the AE 8000 is dominated by the big lamp in front. Three HDMI ports are placed at the back along with composite in, S-Video In, etc. There are two triggers with 12V added at the back that can be used for connecting the lights and other essentials for setting up the projector. The AE 8000 has a back-lit remote control that illuminates when used. We spotted a Viera Link key that can be used to operate all connected Panasonic products (post 2010) with a single remote. There is also a ‘memory load’ key that can store six different lens and zoom settings.
The company claims a lamp life of around 4,000 hours on low-power mode where the brightness is reduced by 30 per cent. In regular mode the lamp life is up to 3,000 hours. The lamp can be replaced for 25,000.