Panasonic PT-AX100U First Impression

Got the projector Friday and saw two movies over the weekend – Deja Vu and Ghost Rider. I am never going to the theater again and dealing with noisy people, tall people in front (which wouldn’t be a problem if theaters in the US were designed nicely) amongst other things. End Rant. Back to Review.

We saw Deja Vu at a distance of about 12 feet from the screen (projection distance of 10 feet) and screen size about 100″ at max zoom. Brightness was excellent. However in “Dynamic mode”, jaggies were very visible in some scenes. Changing to “Natural Mode”, jaggies were less visible and after a few minutes they were forgotten. The screen is visible clearly and brightly with excellent contrast even with some amount of brightness.

Ghost Rider was at about 25 feet, projection from about 20 feet, screen size about 180″ and projection was fantastic. There were some visible jagged edges but they were not at all disturbing. I found them less annoying than the noise in theater film. Picture was bright with excellent contrast and great color even in daylight with curtains (not opaque) closed and at night it was as good as a theater.

Both movies were anmorphic widescreen so they did not make use of the entire projection area. The black bands above and below the films were invisible on the walls we projected on (yes the clarity was so nice on the wall that I don’t think a screen is required). I have not tried zooming in, will do in the next movie.

This is my first projector and I don’t have comparisons with other projectors (except the Sharp XR-10XL which was I would say equally good in brightness and clarity but was not widescreen or native HD). We used regular DVDs without HDMI for now. Hopefully the HDDVD/BlueRay battles will end sometime in the near future with one format winning or a cheap dual format player and I’ll be able to make use of the HD.

Also, the projector was extremely silent. We were sitting right next to it and could hear no audible sound regardless of the brightness. The vertical lens movement (and the excellent 2x zoom) was very helpful in placing the screen exactly where we wanted without keystone correction.

Update: I noticed that the DVD Player was outputting 480i, not 480p by default. I switched that to Progressive Scan and all visible jaggies are gone and I am no longer looking for any upconverting player or HD player for the time time being 🙂

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