Hardware & HandlingPanasonic has redesigned the casing of its old models for this new video projector. It now has more pleasing rounded edges and the lens is now on the left instead of the centre. Overall the redesign is a success and nice to look at, which is a positive thing if it's going to take pride of place in your living room.
The spec tells you that it uses tri-LCD technology with a new optical core giving maximum brightness of 2000 lumens. It also has a mechanical zoom and focus and very extensive connectivity.
The lens-shift system is well-designed allowing you to place the video projector wherever you want. Unfortunately, the disadvantages found on the PT-AE4000 persist: there's a high whistling coming from the lens (28 dB) and the rather simplistic remote lacks shortcuts.
2D Image Quality: perfectionThe out of the box image given by the PT-AT5000 is far from being perfect. The colours are false, the grey shading is too blue and the gamma curve unbalanced. You can however reset the image to sort these issues out (see inset).
Under these conditions the video projector offers a decent contrast ratio and was measured at 1720:1 on our 1% white test card and 570:1 on our 35% card. The PT-AT5000 is therefore not quite a match for its competitor, the HW30, which scored 2620:1 and 570:1 under the same conditions.
The colours are accurate with a deltaE of 2.6. Bright and dark areas are both well managed with no loss of detail (average gamma of 2.2 without variation).
To improve fluidity in films, Panasonic has included motion interpolation at a frequency of 480 Hz. This setting is slightly difficult to locate, with Panasonic calling it 'Frame Creation’ and with three levels of settings. Fluidity with mode 1 is excellent, with no image degradation.
When it comes to upscaling, low definition sources (DVD, SD digital TV and so on) are still a little fluid. Sharpening up the image in the settings won’t do any harm here. The HD image is however perfect!
3D Image Quality: some crosstalkAs with televisions, you can also convert a 2D image to 3D on this projector and as with televisions, the 3D effect isn’t then all that great. Some depth, but not all that much, is added to the image.
We therefore advise you to settle for watching actual 3D content (3D Blu-rays, games, programmes) where the movement and depth is well rendered. Unfortunately you will find some crosstalk – overlapping of left and right images. Although it’s not as marked as on the Sony HW30, it does come up in some film scenes and you’ll then notice a doubling of the image.
Here’s a representation of the image you get using glasses (Panasonic PT-AT5000 at the top and the Sony VPL-HW30 below):
Only Panasonic and Samsung TVs are perfect here.
Note that the video projector comes with one pair of glasses and you therefore have to shell out a bit more to equip the whole family. They are however compatible with Panasonic TVs.
The receiver is also built into the projector, unlike on the Sony HW30 where you have to pay another sixty pounds or so.