Panasonic PT-AE2000U LCD Projector User Interface
The remote is fully illuminated and surprisingly uncluttered, given that it's a universal type capable of controlling up to seven devices other than the projector. Right below the handset's little LCD display are three "soft" function buttons that can be assigned to do different things, such as select a particular input or initiate an auto-setup routine.
As with most universal-type remotes, there are no direct-access buttons to select the input (except the three function buttons if you assign them that way). On the other hand, there are several buttons that provide immediate access to commonly used controls, such as aspect ratio, picture mode, picture menu, and settings memories.
Unfortunately, the remote couldn't reliably operate the projector at the back of the room by reflecting its IR beam off the screen from my seat about 10 feet away. I had to hold the remote at arm's length toward the screen or aim it backward at the projector.
I like the menu system a lot—you can see the most commonly used controls of the selected menu without having to drill down. Of course, there are lots more controls than can fit on one screen—in fact, the AE2000U has more than many other projectors. Each time you enter the system, it returns to the point at which you left the last time, even as you dive down through the menu's levels, which is really great. Controls that you adjust away from their default values are highlighted in green so you can see what you've changed at a glance.
The only downside is that you must back out of the menu system one level at a time. There is no way to completely exit the menu from within its depths with a single button push. During setup, this got old really fast.