The Panasonic 2.35:1 PT-AE4000 is to projectors what the Philips Cinema 21:9 is to HDTVs. Aside from being something that most of us can only drool over and never hope to own, the PT-AE4000 is aimed at serious home theater enthusiasts and audio video professionals who are looking to eliminate the Cinemascope issue - a problem that sees the picture frame either shrunk down to ensure the entire width is visible, the edges cropped, or the image squished together making everyone on screen look thinner than Kate Moss.
The PT-AE4000 allows cinemaphiles to enjoy 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies in all their wide screen glory, just the way the director intended. The projector’s new Lens Memory 2 technology memorizes up to six different zoom/focus positions, while the PT-AE4000’s new signal aspect detection capability allows automatic switching between 16:9 and 2.35:1 sources. It also delivers 1080p resolution images, 1600-lumen brightness, 80,000:1 contrast ratio and 100Hz Intelligent Frame Creation blur reduction technology.
Home cinema buffs are a notoriously finicky bunch, so Panasonic has equipped the PT-AE4000 with a host of professional-level features so users can fine-tune the image to their hearts content. These include Advanced Gamma Adjustment, which allows users to control the output and input level of the gamma curve, and a Waveform Monitor to measure the level of brightness from a given video source and quickly make adjustments to optimize it to the specific home theater set-up.
To maximize mounting options the projector’s lens shift capability enables 100 percent vertical adjustment and 40 percent horizontal adjustment, meaning it can be suspended close to the ceiling or on wall mounts. A lens-centered design and maintenance features such as the replaceable side filter and top lamp, make the projector easy to install and maintain, while the inclusion of three HDMI inputs lessens the need for an HDMI switcher for connection to multiple sources.
The projector also features an intelligent power management system that reduces the lamp power to the required level of brightness depending on the image being displayed. In scenes where full brightness isn’t required the lamp determines the appropriate power output by analyzing more than three billion different image patterns. Panasonic claims this reduces the main power consumption by as much as ten percent when the dynamic iris function is in operation.
The Panasonic PT-AE4000 LCD home cinema projector will be available from October for EUR€2699 (approx. USD$3,859 at time of publication).