* Prices may differ from that shown
Well this projector does not seem to be available to buy new anymore, as it came out about 3 years ago at the time of writing, but as I own it and it may help someone:
Panasonic produced this model just as high definition was starting to become widely accepted, and it is high-def compatible or 'ready', but only up to 1280 x 720. It does have the HDMI input (one socket), and also the SCART, S-Video, PC, Component RGB Video and Composite Video inputs. I have used the PC, S-Video and RGB inputs and was very pleased with the results. The RGB is obviously the best, short of HDMI, as long as you have a DVD player which will output that type.
The onscreen menu is not the world's best design, but it's easy enough to get to grips with, and it usefully shows you how many hours of lamp life you have used. It allows you to choose how high you want the lamp brightness, how fast for the fan, the type of colour model you prefer (Natural, Vivid, Cinema, etc.) and is also where you set the fine tuning custom settings.
The lens at front has a simple click-on cover, and has a rotating outer ring for focus, and an inner ring for optical zoom. Combined with the lens levelling lever at the side of the lens, it is possible to get aligned with the screen fairly quickly. The fan runs very quietly and there is very little other noise produced.
There are two little feet at the front of the projector which you can use to raise or lower the height, not by very much but just enough to avoid having to use bits of paper twedged underneath.
The design is rather basic - a silver box with a hole in the front was my first impression. But the colour looks good and with the Panasonic logo to inspire confidence, it does in its own way look the part. The buttons on top include the main On/Off and Menu functions, which saves reaching for the remote after you've watched the film.
Talking of the remote, one slight annoyance with this projector is that the infra-red receiver for remote signals is at the front, which is fine if you sit in front of it, but not at all useful when sat behind, as I was when using it recently at a friend's house. It can't be that difficult to have one on both front and back, surely?
A final word - this projector has the 'descreening filter' by Panasonic, which filters out the mesh you sometimes see on LCD images, and it works very effectively.
If you see this one going second-hand, seriously consider it. It received rave reviews in 2006 and mine is still going very strong.
The PT-AE900 is a 16: 9 native widescreen high-definition home theater projector and was developed with the assistance of Hollywood motion picture colorists to ensure the PT-AE900 achieved the most film-like picture characteristics. The result is true "Hollywood picture quality" that faithfully reflects the intentions of the movie director.
The PT-AE900 features an enhanced Dynamic Iris, which improves the efficiency of the optical configuration at more than 15 points, boosting image brightness to 1, 100 lumens. While increased brightness normally means lower contrast, the PT-AE900's Dynamic Iris has been extended, enabling contrast to be kept at a stunning 5, 500: 1 ratio. This reproduces dark colors in dimly lit scenes with stunning definition and depth and displays bright scenes with excellent clarity and detail.
Picture quality is further enhanced using Panasonic's exclusive Smooth Screen technology. This is already acclaimed for reducing what is commonly known as the 'chicken wire effect', black lines between pixels that mar the smoothness of images produced by conventional LCD home projectors.
The PT-AE900 features a high-definition (1, 280 x 720 x 3 (RGB)) LCD panel with approximately 2.76 million pixels in a 3-layer RGB construction delivering vibrant, clear and natural widescreen images with superior fidelity.
Add the 2x optical zoom lens and joystick controlled lens shift for easy set-up and you're ready for the home theater experience of your life.