Panasonic PT-AT5000E review
Panasonic’s previous high-end home cinema projector, the PT-AE4000E, won an Ultimate award in our last projector group test, so we were eager to see how well the latest model would stack up against the competition, especially with the addition of 3D support.
Like every previous model in this range, the PT-AT5000E is something of a behemoth – it won’t fit on a standard bookshelf. Being black, this is a projector designed to be permanently installed in a dedicated cinema room; you won’t want it on your (most probably) white living room ceiling. However, the powered zoom and focus can be remotely adjusted, making the ceiling the best place for it. The manual joystick that controls lens shift is slightly more awkward – it’s surprisingly imprecise and tricky to align the projected image with any accuracy. The older twin-wheeled system worked better.
Around the back, there are plenty of video inputs, including three HDMI ports. VGA, composite, component and S-Video are also available for older devices, along with two screen triggers and a serial port. There are no audio inputs or outputs, and the PT-AE5000E doesn’t have an integrated speaker.
The compact remote control duplicates all the buttons on the side of the projector, as well as adding picture mode and adjustment options and a shortcut to the 3D settings menu. The entire keypad is backlit, so we had no problems using it in the dark.
We were expecting good things from the LCD projected image, and the PT-AT5000E didn’t disappoint. At the default settings, our test footage looked stunningly sharp and colours were vibrant without looking unnatural. There was no sign of any noise or pixellation, and fast-moving scenes were almost completely free of any visible blur or judder. Black levels were fantastic for an LCD projector, with our high contrast black and white scenes looking almost as good as on a decent HDTV.
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