Next was Superman Returns, ideal for seeing colours at their brightest and boldest. Again the projector passed with flying colours. Colours are great and I could see every bit of the disintegrating wing that comes off the plummeting plane in Superman. It’s this sort of thing that gives 1080p the edge of 720p and it’s positively thrilling. I did detect some brightness fluctuations at times, which I couldn’t quite work out, especially as it occurred even with the auto iris function off.
The real test of a projector though is its black levels and the PTAE1000E delivers in spades. You get visible information in the dark shadows but also enough brightness to make the images appear vivid and involving. Motion is always handled well and everything looks wonderfully natural. Make no mistake, this is real home cinema.
I also tried out regular DVD, first upscaled and then not. Noise and grain inevitably become more noticeable but the pictures were still extremely watchable, which is important as we’ll be watching DVD for some time to come.
Purely out of interest we fed the projector a composite feed from a PlayStation 2 – and it has to be said, the results were not pretty. Even this great projector could do nothing to save the dated graphics fed via a dire connection – avoid doing this. Feed it quality fare though and this projector will delight.
As far as fan noise goes I would describe it as good - not too intrusive, though it was there, so it’s best not to be right on top of it in quiet scenes. Panasonic claim 22db in Eco-mode, but we tested in Normal mode – mostly with the roar of mighty engines in Forza 2 so the projector was inaudible.
The fact is that I was mightily impressed when the price was close to £3,500 and with a grand now shaved off that, I was positively jumping up and down. The PT-AE1000E is easy to setup, has loads of connections and delivers pictures filled with detail, and accurate natural colours. It will have a proper competitor in Epson’s similarly priced TW-1000, which we haven’t seen yet, but the Epson will have its work cut out to beat the PT-AE1000E. But, if you can’t wait for our verdict on that you will not be disappointed by the Panasonic PT-AE1000E.
With the PT-AE1000E Panasonic has raised the bar, making 1080p more accessible than ever. It’s easy to setup and use, delivers wonderful detailed, natural looking pictures and with the recent price drop, it’s practically a steal. If had the money and somewhere to put it, I'd buy one today, so on that basis it walks away with a rare Editor's Choice award.