Panasonic PT-AT6000E review
1,920x1,080 resolution, 2,400 ANSI lumens, 151x470x364mm, 8.7kg
Panasonic projectors have always been an object of desire for home cinema fans, and the PT-AT6000E is unlikely to be an exception. It’s the company’s latest three LCD projector and has plenty of inputs, intelligent frame creation and active 3D support, among other great features.
It’s also intimidatingly large. Even with its slightly curved edges, it’s a big, bulky box that will struggle to fit on a coffee table or bookshelf. It’s built to be mounted from a ceiling, although the extendable feet mean you could perch it on a desk or dining table if necessary.
The lens is mounted off-centre, with the lens shift control stick hidden beneath a removable panel. Unfortunately, there’s no electronic shift, but there’s great vertical range and reasonable horizontal range, so you should be able to set up the projector without resorting to keystone. Zoom and focus are both electronic, letting you adjust for different aspect ratios once the unit is installed, and there’s even a lens memory mode to save different presets.
As with previous Panasonic home cinema projectors, there are no integrated speakers on the PT-AT6000E. Considering the cost of the unit and its target market, we’d expect any onboard speakers to go unused anyway.
Its inputs are located on the back of the projector and include three HDMI ports, component, composite and S-Video inputs, a VGA input and an RS232C port to integrate the unit within a fully automated home cinema system. If you’re lucky enough to have a home automation system, you can use the PT-AT6000E’s two trigger outputs to perform actions such as activating blinds, drawing curtains and lowering projector screens.
There’s a set of buttons on the side of the projector, but the compact remote control is much more convenient for switching inputs and changing settings. It’s backlit, which makes finding the right button in the dark far easier, and it has a shortcut key for every major feature, including picture mode, switching from 2D to 3D, loading saved lens configurations and adjusting the image.
Out of the box, the PT-AT6000 coped fairly well with our brightly lit test room. It produces 2,400 lumens thanks to its new 220W lamp, which is roughly 20 per cent more lumens than is produced by the Panasonic PT-AT5000E’s 200W lamp. Panasonic has redesigned the lamp module for 2013, improving heat dissipation without forcing the fan to spin faster. It was certainly quiet in general use, never becoming too loud. Although you could feasibly use the PT-AT6000E to watch football without putting the room in complete darkness, you’ll definitely want to dim the lights for films.