Panasonic PT-AE2000U LCD Projector Real-World Performance
I normally start my real-world watching with chapter 8 of Mission: Impossible III on HD DVD at 1080i. The Panasonic did an excellent job with the pan across the staircase, exhibiting only minor moiré. Also, the shadow detail in the catacombs was superb.
I recently got Master and Commander on Blu-ray, so I checked it out. The shadow detail in the below-deck walk was very good, and I saw no evidence of black-level pumping in transitions from dark to bright shots with the dynamic iris enabled, so I left it on to improve the black level and contrast. Even so, many scenes looked a bit dim, but not the bright outdoor shots in the Galapagos Islands.
Detail was reasonably good, but not quite as tack sharp as I've seen from other projectors. Still, the ship's rigging was well-defined, and the sweat on young Will's face and body was very clear as his arm was amputated. It seemed to me that Smooth Screen was living up to its name, producing a smooth, film-like picture.
Colors looked exceptional, including natural skin tones, blue sea, and green foliage on the Galapagos. The same was true of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City on Blu-ray. Likewise, detail was smooth and well-defined, though it lacked that extra snap found in the sharpest images. Shadow detail in the audience and backstage was excellent, and there was no apparent black-level pumping from the dynamic iris.
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer on Blu-ray is one of the sharpest titles I know of, and it showed even on the AE2000U, exhibiting more snap than the other titles I looked at. On the other hand, the opening credits and other moving objects were fairly blurry as they flew around the screen, and the city skylines looked just a hair less sharp than I've seen from other displays. Color was spot on, and the black level was steady and deep.
Turning to DVD, I watched a bit of Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi and saw a few jaggies in the title as it fades into the distance—the opening back story also shimmered a bit as it scrolled. Structures on spaceship exteriors were as sharp as one can expect from DVD, but fast motion—such as the speeder chase through the forest—was more blurred than I'm used to seeing. Shadow detail in Jabba the Hutt's lair was not quite as good as the HD material I watched, but bumping up the Gamma Low control took care of that. As with the other material I watched, color and black level were superb.