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Panasonic PT-AE3000 LCD Projector - Panasonic PT-AE3000
Particularly significant is a colour management system. Beloved - to the point of being a basic requirement - of most reputable custom installation companies, proper colour management tools allow you to fine tune colours across the palette to within an inch of their lives, so that you can compensate for any colour-adjusting effects caused by the design/colour/etc of your viewing room.
Thanks to this system you can, at its most basic level, adjust the individual high, mid and low gamma settings across multiple levels, while also adjusting the contrast and brightness levels for the red, green and blue image components. But what's really cool about the system is the way it allows you to select an actual point in a picture if you're not happy with the colour tone there, and permanently adjust the colour saturation, tint and brightness of that tone.
What's more, to make life even easier, when you select a point in the picture to adjust, the colour shade there appears in a larger box superimposed over the picture, with a second box opening up alongside the first one once you start to make your adjustments so you can compare the results of your tweaking on the colour tone with the original tone retained in the left-hand box.
Obviously this system isn't nearly as technically sophisticated as the extraordinary computer software-driven colour management found on the aforementioned SIM2 C3X 1080. But it's a damn sight more than we'd expect to get on a £2,145 machine.
More exceptional thoughtfulness comes from the way you can choose a portion of a picture, then have that portion appear ‘split screen', with two versions of the picture side-by-side, so that you can try adjusting the picture while comparing the results of your efforts against the ‘original' image settings. There really is no overstating just how useful this is, and how much time it takes out of the calibration process.
Also extremely helpful is the rather scary-sounding Waveform monitor, which allows you to keep tabs on whether the image is being shown using the best luminance level. A bobbing line graph pops up showing the luminance range of the picture, and you can then tweak the image settings so that the bottom line of the waveform hits 0% (optimising the brightness) while the top line hits 100% (optimising the contrast).
If all this sounds like too much hassle, or you are in the habit of watching widely divergent source types, you can set the projector to auto-calibrate the correct waveform adjustments for you. With very impressive results, I might add.