Panasonic PT-AR100U Home Theater Projector Review

Below we discuss the image quality of the Panasonic PT-AR100U home projector. As you have already seen, we provide a lot of photos of movies and other content, projected with the PT-AR100U.

A lot goes on: The projected image -any shifts due to the camera, a Canon 60D professional dSLR, a Mac laptop for cropping and resizing, etc, using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop, then saved “for web” (super compressed), and displayed with your graphics card, monitor, and browser all, further coloring the PT-AR100U photos. In other words, they are useful only to a point, as colors are not going to be all that accurate. Rest assured, the Panasonic PT-AR100U will look far better in your darkened theater, than these images on your computer monitor.

 

Panasonic PT-AR100U Out of the Box Picture Quality

This Panasonic projector is downright impressive when it comes to out-of-the-box image performance.  The Panasonic has many color modes and while none of them is dead on the money, the surprising thing is how good they all look!

Let’s start with the most optimized for movie viewing.  That would be Cinema 1, and REC 709.  While both of these modes are a bit on the cool side with white measuring upward of 7,000K temperature they both really do look very good. REC 709 definitely has the best color management, the best CIE chart, so Mike used it for calibration, and our “best” mode.  REC 709 is extremely watchable without any tweaking, or you could try sliding down the color temperature slightly.  Of course we have published Mike’s calibration settings for you to try out.

Click Image to Enlarge

Most impressive perhaps is that the brighter modes look rather good on the Panasonic PT‑AR100U projector.  Dynamic is downright brilliant, at brightest about 2400 lumens.  There is a touch too much yellow in the picture, so bright yellow greens can pick up a touch of neon look.  Other than that, which can mostly be cured by reducing color saturation, Dynamic works well and is easy to watch.  This is unlike most of the competition, where Dynamic modes are downright ugly tons of extra greens or other problems.

In most cases Mike does a quick calibration of the brightest mode to make it more watchable.  He did that this time too, but as he pointed out, he couldn’t improve much on the default without a big drop in brightness.

This Dynamic mode is enough to keep most people happy when you need bright.  Overall, I can’t recall another projector that had as many modes that basically look pretty good right out of the box.  Definitely for those of you not interested in tweaking or calibrating, the PT-AR100U makes an excellent choice.

Panasonic PT-AR100U Projector - Flesh Tones

After calibration, skin tones, which were already rather good using the REC 709 color profile, got even better.  Mike’s calibration proved nice and tight and the result was some really good looking skin tones.  I will note this: Every projector has some sort of minor shift even when the numbers look great as they do here.  In watching the PT-AR100U, if anything I noticed that skin tones are perhaps the slightest bit reddish but it’s more of a slightly grayish feel to them that I noticed.  This is not unusual in the course of projectors.  I’m talking about a very small thing here, and may even be improved by a different calibration.

There are several side-by-side pictures with other projectors, where you can take a look at this.  All considered though, you’ll find many close-up pictures from X-Men First Class and I think you’ll agree with me that in calibrated mode best mode, the Panasonic looks great.  And in fact, it looks great in dynamic too, just not as great.  Below you will find a large number of images demonstrating skin tones.  As I pointed out above, remember what we see on the screen here is not what you are seeing on your small monitor.  Too many factors make this unreliable to use as a demonstration of precisely the picture this Panasonic will deliver for you.

 

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Panasonic PT-AR100U Image Quality Slideshow

SKIN TONES

Star Trek

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Gandalf, from the Blu-ray version of Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

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Arwen, from the Blu-ray version of Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

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James Bond images from Casino Royale

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James Bond images from Casino Royale

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James Bond images from Casino Royale

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SKIN TONES

SKIN TONES

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