Secrets Product Review

Panasonic PT-AE900U Three-Panel 16:9 LCD Digital Projector

Part II

December, 2005

John E. Johnson, Jr.


In Use

The PT-AE900U gave me ample brightness (as I grow older, I find I need brighter images). We used the HDMI input and Normal picture mode for all tests and measurements.

It also has great color quality. This is a result of the excellent contrast that the projector has, irrespective of the Dynamic Iris.

Before color correction, I measured a contrast ratio of 2246:1 with the Dynamic Iris on, and 917:1 with it turned off. This is very good for an LCD projector, which has notoriously bad contrast compared to DLP. After correction, the contrast was 1716:1 with the Dynamic Iris on, and 757:1 with it turned off. Still very good. We performed the tests in the Normal picture mode, but using the Dynamic picture mode will give more brightness and contrast.

The Screen Door Effect (SDE) is under control with this projector. I have never been one to really pay attention to this problem, but for those of you who do, it is easy on the eyes with the PT-AE900U. (The Rainbow Effect, seen with DLP projectors, is the artifact that I can't stand.)

Shown below in the first three graphs, are the Color Temperature, RGB, and Luminance Histograms for the HDMI input, before any color correction, and with the Dynamic Iris off.

You can see that it tended towards the blue, with green being near ideal levels, and red being weak. The Gamma was about 2.2.



The next series of three graphs show the Color Temperature, RGB, and Luminance Histograms after I corrected the color as best as I could, Dynamic Iris off. The color temperature was now much closer to 6500 K. The blue peak below 10 IRE is due to leakage through the blue LCD panel. Projector output at this point was 430 Lumens at 100 IRE. Gamma was reduced a bit, to 2.14. We decided not to use a red color CC filter to improve the contrast further, as this would have reduced the overall brightness too much.




The Panasonic PT-AE900U is a terrific little projector. It has a good image quality, reasonable brightness and contrast, and all the preferred features, including Dynamic Iris and lens shift.

At the $2,000 price point, this Pannie is one of the projectors to beat.

- John E. Johnson, Jr. -

Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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