AUGUST 2015 - UPDATE
"AU lack of service is trashing the brand"
Coming to the end of its life the good old Panasonic PT-AE8000 has seen better days.
The once proud hallmark for Panasonic projectors, the PT-AE800 has just had its 3rd birthday. The old girl is now being overtaken by the newer 3-LCD alternatives, especially for value and service.
It seems in Australia at least that Panasonic have lost interest in looking after the growing number of clients with "DOA" (dead on arrival) AE8000 projectors.
We've numerous e-mails from frustrated owners that have been given the run around from Panasonic Australia over their faulty projectors.
"Go see the shop" but when "the shop" contacts Panasonic, or their distributors they too get the run around.
If it only happened once it could be forgiven, but it's not a one off, here is a very small section of one example:-
"..After many attempts at contacting Panasonic by phone and giving up after 15 minutes of being on hold and also taking in to consideration that they are only open until 3pm Monday to Friday Perth Time I finally made contact in early March 2014. I contacted Panasonic three times over a ten day period (leaving work early to do so) spending anything up to 45 minutes each time on the phone being passed from one warranty / support person to another meanwhile trying all the bits of advice that they gave me, nothing worked. In the end Panasonic told me to take the projector to one of their local repair centres in Perth.
On the day that I took the projector to the service centre I found out that the company had gone in to receivership and was obviously not accepting any work. I contacted Panasonic and they gave me another local company to contact which I did only to find out that they don’t deal with Panasonic residential type projectors only large commercial units and they told me to contact Panasonic again. Panasonic gave me contact details for another company called Tech works whom I contacted and was told that they were based in NSW and used a contractor.."
This level of service is Pathetic, it's the same higher up in Panasonic Australia, if you actually get a return phone call (let alone when promised) you'd better buy a lotto ticket because it's your lucky day.
Management seem clueless about how to provide service at any level, it may only be because it's now an "old" projector, other areas may be ace, but if you sell it support it!
We've not heard of such problems with say Epson, who also have DOA projectors now and then, the difference is call Epson and the problem is fixed pronto. Epson management actually call you back without you having to beg them or call numerous times, what a difference in culture between the two companies.
If the AE8000 price is low enough (as it is in US) sure, have a bet on this great projector (don't import one, you'll regret it if DOA). Be warned, it seems to us that given the up-tick in faulty units (DOA) something is now wrong with the build quality.
Panasonic's PT-AE8000 (in Australia) is the walking dead of projectors. Panasonic's AE8000 projector service in Australia makes the "walking dead" statement look like a compliment.
Most other projectors have say 100ms between the user’s input and the projected output. Panasonic's AE8000 offers approximately 30ms or 1/3 that of the other models in this price range.
HCC full review on the new 480-Hz LCD Panel 3D AE8000 has noted the improvements
The upgrade is modest but it's getting very hard to improve projectors in this price range.
Epson's improvements in their TW home cinema projector range are also modest for the same reason.
The main AE 8000 vs. AE 7000 changes
A 220-W Red-Rich Lamp allows the AE8000 to pump out some serious brightness without trading off the film like projection quality Panasonic has been renowned for via Smooth Screen technology, using the double refraction property of crystals to arrange pixels on a screen with no gaps between them.
500,000:1 CON-trast ratio
Don't blame Panasonic! It was Epson who started the CON-trast "let's add more zeros" war.
We seriously doubt anyone would be able to pick the difference between the AE7000 and AE8000 because the box has more numbers on it. That takes nothing away from the amazing performance this projector offers.
Later on HCC will let you in on an example to illustrate the point. We shouldn't spoil it by saying "what is the CR of your 3D glasses?" .. a chain is only as strong as its weakest link!
Cuts all color that has higher frequency than yellowish-green for pure green Cuts all color beyond yellowish-red for pure red.
Detail Clarity Processor 4
Brightness processor combats brightness over saturation.
New 3D motion remaster feature.
The diagrams below explains the upgrade.
Panasonic have made a real effort to minimise 3D headaches by adjusting frames and parallax so images appear to the viewer in a more natural way.
If you want to avoid a trip to the hospital (or at least feeling like you've had a really big night drinking and want to die) do not view a full 3D movie on a single chip DLP projector.
3-LCD such as this Panasonic model or 3 chip DLP is a better way to view 3D & 2D movies if you're "DLP Sensitive".
3D Parallax Adjustment
Feature allows you to check and adjust amount of parallax in the image.
Controls display negative and positive parallax with red and blue color for parallax adjustments.
The AE8000 has a native 16:9 aspect ratio. Some movies are mostly 2.35:1 (Cinemascope, or Anamorphic) but still naturally widescreen. Displaying 2.35:1 on a 16:9 projector shows "letterboxes" above and below the movie content.
Panasonic PT AE8000 Automated lens memory saves the need to manuaally zoom out, resulting in an image that fits horizontally (not vertically) digital zoom digitally moves the image vertically to fit so you get a great 2.35:1 image from a 16:9 native projector.
HDMI X 3
AE8000 vs. Panasonic AE7000 Projectors (RED = New)
Panasonic have taken key roles in establishing the industry standards for 3D and bringing the experience from large screens to homes.
PT-AE8000E has been redesigned from the ground up to achieve higher basic 2D performance and packed with unique 3D features to deliver the studio-grade 3D content to the consumer.