Panasonic has announced an upgrade to its 3D Full HD LCD projector range in the shape of the PT-AT6000 (otherwise known as PT-AE8000 in the US). It will be coming to home cinema specialist stores and online retailers in September, but Pocket-lint has already had a chance to go hands-on with the new model in Panasonic's own, brand new cinema screening room.
A step-up from the PT-AT5000, the 6000 has a number of new features that help Panasonic stay as one of the top companies in home cinema tech. The most notable of these revolve around 3D and are obvious examples of a close working relationship the company has with Hollywood, through its Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory.
The stand-out feature, both on paper and visible to the eye, is that the PT-AT6000 is claimed to be 20 per cent brighter than the company's previous model. Many moan that when viewed through 3D glasses (in this case, Panasonic's active ones) pictures dull and are darker. While this is inescapable - after all, the glasses have darkened LCD lenses - the 6000 pumps out a dramatically brighter image to punch through more effectively.
Another immediately visible improvement is with cross talk. Again, 3D can often show slight signs of blurring or overlap between images for the left and right eyes. The clever wizardry that's been added to the mix this time around nigh-on eliminates that entirely.
We watched 3D sequences from Ice Bear, a 3D documentary soon to hit National Geographic, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Notebook (in 2D, to see its conventional talents), and a Japanese Anime clip converted especially for Panasonic. All of them looked stunning.
As well as the tightening of 3D technologies, there is now more control over them and their effects. A new 3D Viewing Monitor allows you to reduce or enhance the parallax of 3D images in order to ensure the footage shown won't blow the roof off anybody's heads. And a 3D Picture Balance mode shows the left and right eye images side by side so you can correct the colour balance of each individually.
There are plenty of other interesting enhancements and new features on the PT-AT6000, many too numerous to list here (we'll save that for a full review soon), but core specifications include 2,400 Lumens of brightness, Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, a claimed contrast ration of 500,000:1 and a new 220W lamp.
Lens memory now caters for 3D as well as 2D - it will remember your settings to fill different aspect ratios depending on your screen and the source footage. And, as with the PT-AT5000, it has a similar level of fan noise (in Eco mode) of 22dB.
Optical axis shift is exactly the same as before (+/- 100 per cent vertically, +/- 26 per cent horizontally), but gamma adjustment modes have been improved to now allow for up to 15 points (from nine).
The build of the PT-AT6000 is identical to the PT-AT5000, so if you're looking to upgrade, you don't have to change your wall mount.
As previously mentioned, it will hit stores in September. Panasonic is yet to reveal pricing.