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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 28, 2007 0 comments

New developments in video displays are cropping up almost faster than we can keep up with them. Many have been exclusive to flat panel LCD and plasma sets. The once-dominant rear projection models are now relegated to the low end of most manufacturers' lines. Yes, there are RPTVs with dynamic irises, LED backlighting, and creative color adjustments, but these refinements are usually reserved for the few high-end models still on the market.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 25, 2007 0 comments

The introduction of a 1080p projector for less than $5,000 would have been big news early last year. While that field is now getting increasingly crowded, with projectors from Sony, Mitsubishi, and JVC muscling in on the action, it's still big news—news that now includes the new PT-AE1000U from Panasonic.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 18, 2008 0 comments
A chip off the old block?

Panasonic has been making pro video projectors for years, but its first home theater projector to catch my eye was the PT-AE700U. Both that model and its follow-up, the PT-AE900U, were competent 720p LCD designs in deceptively small, businesslike black boxes that offered good value for the money.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 14, 2013 2 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,499 At A Glance: Crisp and detailed picture • Good black levels • Thorough but com- plex calibration controls

Panasonic entered the home theater projector market in 2001. But the company already had decades of experience in the business projector world, beginning with CRTs in 1975 and later moving into its current mix of LCDs and DLPs. All of the company’s home theater designs have used LCD imaging chips, however, and the PT-AE8000U is the latest link in a long chain dating back to that 2001 model, the PT-AE100.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 12, 2005 0 comments

All videophiles are looking for the holy grail—a video projector that will blow everything else out of the water and cost next to nothing. Short of the industry adopting the business model used for computer printers (charging $100 for the projector and $4000 for a replacement lamp), that next-to-nothing price will likely remain a dream. But manufacturers are competing hard to make good home theater projectors much more affordable, if not exactly cheap.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2015 2 comments
While the Panasonic booth was heavy on things other than HDTVs and Ultra HDTVs (unlike past years, where walls of the Panasonic were covered with now defunct plasma sets), there were a couple of items of video interest...
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 08, 2009 0 comments
Price: $1,700 At A Glance: Good performance out of the box • Excellent resolution • Impressive black level and shadow detail • Accurate color

It Keeps Getting Better

When I visited Panasonic in Japan in the fall of 2004, with a gaggle of other journalists, plasma was the dominant flat-panel technology. But it was still pricey. On that visit, Panasonic told us that its goal was to get plasma prices down to $100 per diagonal inch.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 01, 2011 4 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,900 At A Glance: Good blacks and shadow detail • Odd gammas in Custom mode • THX certified • Uniformity and calibration issues

The GT30 line is the baby bear in Panasonic's range of 3D plasma HDTVs—not to expensive, not too bargain-basement, but, for many buyers, just right. And at 50 inches, one of today's most popular sizes, the P50GT30 lands right in the sweet spot. But does it offer more than Panasonic's entry-level ST30, perhaps even challenging the pricier VT30 lineup? We're here to find out.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 01, 2011 10 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,500 At A Glance: Crisp, detailed images • Odd gammas in Custom mode • Little to complain about • Exceptional value

Panasonic means plasma. Yes, the company now offers a line of LCD displays, but only in smaller sizes. If you want a 50-inch or larger Panasonic, it will be a plasma. And that's not a bad thing. The TC-P50ST30 is Panasonic's latest, budget-priced, 50-inch 3D model. Only a few short years ago, you couldn't touch this level of quality in a 2D-only flat panel for five times the price—or more.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 14, 2012 6 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,700 At A Glance: Superb resolution • Vivid yet natural color • Solid black level and shadow detail • Outstanding value

HDTV manufacturers’ fortunes have been in a perpetual state of flux for years. With prices continually dropping, profit margins are slim. While the TV makers haven’t quite yet adopted a business plan that calls for losing money on each sale, there isn’t much further they can go without them paying you to take the set home. Just kidding, of course. But apart from the dicey economy (or perhaps because of it?), this is a golden age for the consumer to buy a great HDTV for not a lot of cash.

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