I wanted a big screen display that was at least 1080p and good for games or movies. I also wanted to try 3D since it can be a lot of fun to watch. The problem was that I didn’t want to have to carry a huge TV upstairs.
So I got the PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector. Its not heavy or huge so I can move it on my own. It was easier to carry upstairs than my 2 year old.
I was considering the Epson 5030UB because it had similar specs and looked cooler (I know, that shouldn’t matter right?). I went with the Panasonic because it had less expensive, lighter, 3d glasses. It had better refresh rates. And it was on sale for $450 less than the Epson. Granted, I had to purchase glasses separately, but because they are less expensive the whole system was still a better deal.
I am currently projecting from about 16 feet away onto a white wall with orange peal texture. It looks amazing! It looks so good that I am having trouble deciding if I ever want to get an actual screen.
3D works well. The projector documentation says it can handle up to 200″ screen for 3D and all I can say is, the bigger the better! 3D needs the biggest screen you can manage to make the effect more entertaining.
My projector has one stuck blue pixel off center to the upper right. I can only really see it when the image is completely black. Rather than return this unit for repair, I will just live with it. I got a 1 year extended warranty so if it starts getting worse I can get it repaired later. In the mean time, I would rather enjoy the projector and not have to worry that it gets damaged further in shipping or that they do a poor job with the repair.
I have not bought a spare lamp. My sales guy says I should wait a few months, then buy one and put it in immediately. The old lamp will stay good and the new one will be sure to work as well. I am not sure if I am going to do this. I will periodically track lamp price and availability to make sure there is no problem sourcing a new lamp.
I am using the projector with a PS3 and a PC and have also tested with a MacBook Pro. All 3 look perfect. I am a happy customer.