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Tis the Season for a new Projector! (1 Viewer)

Rick Westfall

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 8, 1998
Hi all,

Well...I started my home theater experience two years ago and bought the Sanyo PLV-Z4. Great buy and great picture. Now that I am playing blu-ray on my PS3 I'm starting to think 1080p. I was at a buddies house and saw a couple of movies on his 50" Samsung LCD 1080p monitor. Holy Crap!!! So what I would like help with is this. Given how great that was, is it possible to reproduce that image with a projector? I have a 104" screen and the current set up is where the projector is 15' away. I have full control of the lighting. No ambient light if I don't want any. I'm sure some will want to give me the "sure...buy that $10k projector and you are good to go" so I'll stop you there and say I still have a budget. If you can, I'll like to start researching about 3 projectors in the $2500-$3000 range.



Joseph Bolus

Senior HTF Member
Feb 4, 1999
The 1080p "projector du Jour" is currently considered to be the Panasonic PT-AE3000.

The main selling point of the machine is its ability to optionally create a constant height setup without requiring *any* external lens. This means that your 2.35:1 aspect ratio movies will look wider than your 1.85:1 movies - and both will be rendered at the same height without "black bars". (Of course, the 1.85:1 AR movies will have "side bars" -just as 4:3 transfers have on a traditional 16:9 set. But this is more like what you would experience in an actual theater.)

It accomplishes this feat via a feature that Panasonic calls "Lens Memory". Lens Memory simply takes advantage of the fact that the projector has powered zoom and focus along with image shift. Once the 2.35:1 transfer has been adjusted to properly fill a 2.35:1 screen, pressing a "Lens Memory save button" preserves all those settings. Do the same thing for a 1.85:1 transfer (saving the settings to a separate "Lens Memory") and the end user can then switch between 2.35:1 and 1.85:1 by simply pressing two buttons. It's very simple and the end-user response to this unique feature has been terrific. Of course, you can also set the projector up as a traditional 16:9 system - or anything in between. (Some people prefer to setup a 2.0:1 aspect ratio setting. They then shift the 2.35:1 transfers to the top of the screen leaving just one (small) black bar below the image. The 1.85:1 transfers are then rendered without "side bars" and seem wider to boot!)

Irrespective of "Lens Memory", the PT-AE3000 has some spectacular specs, and is available for less than $3000.

It should definitely be on your short list of 1080p projectors to consider.

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