Panasonic PT-DW5000U DLP Projector Review

Starting from the front, the DW5000U widescreen projector has a centered lens. There are a total of seven lenses to choose from, from a 0.8:1 fixed lens ($2900 list price) for rear screen applications, to an extra long throw 4.5 – 8.4:1 zoom lens. All lenses but the fixed lens are $2500 list price.

Immediately to the left (facing the projector) is the release button for the bayonet style interchangeable lenses. Immediately to the right is a dial that controls horizontal lens shift of 10% in either direction. The Panasonic’s vertical lens shift is powered, and controlled from the remote, or the control panel. Vertical lens shift is an impressive 50%, allowing the center of the lens to be placed anywhere from even with the bottom of the screen surface, to even with the top of the screen surface.

There are also four indicator lights, one for power, one for temperature, and one each each of the two lamps.

Also on the front, is the front Infra-red sensor for the remote control. Two large, screw style adjustable feet are located at the bottom front left, and right, respectively.

Moving to the top of the projector, you will find no controls, however the top panel is removable, if desired, and can be replaced with one with a customized look, allowing businesses to place their name and logo on it, or a rental and staging company to place their name and contact information, whatever is desired by the customer. It’s a nice touch, that has been available on the D3500 we previously reviewed, and the D5600U as well.

he back of the Panasonic projector houses (on the right side if you are facing the rear of the projector), the control panel, shown here. The two buttons highlighted in red are power off and on. There is an auto setup button, for the projector to automatically adjust to the input signal (in case it didn’t get it 100% right the first time).

Immediately below those buttons are five buttons for direct selection of your sources, including RGB1 and 2, DVI (digital), composite Video, and S-Video. There is also a shutter button which, when pressed, uses a physical shutter to block off 100% of the light coming from the lens.

The lower half of the control panel houses the Menu button, four arrow keys and the usual Enter. Lastly is the Lens button which allows you to select and adjust: Focus, Zoom, and Vertical Lens Shift. Just below the Enter button is the rear Infra-red sensor.

At the very bottom is the hard power off/on switch, which must be in the on position for the control panel, or remote, to turn on the projector.

That takes us to the right side (if you are looking from the rear, which houses all the inputs and outputs. As you would expect from a commercial, feature laden, projector, the PT-DW500U, has plenty of flexibility.

Let’s start with the main inputs. There is a DVI-D connector for digital sources. There is also a standard HD15 connector labeled RGB2 for a computer input, or a component video input. The five BNC connectors (RGB1) suppor an additional analog computer input, or component video input, or full RGBHV source (like many workstations out there have). There is also the standard DIN connector for S-Video. Of course the PT-DW5000U supports composite video too, but instead of a standard RCA connector, it has a locking BNC connector, more in line with commmercial usage. (Adapters are easily available at Radio Shack, etc.)

On the far right of that row is an ethernet connection for the Panasonic’s networking capabilities. (More on that in the General Performance section).

Moving to the bottom row, you’ll find in and out connectors for hard wiring the remote control, which solves the problem of the limited range of IR remote controls, if you are installing the projector far back from where the user might be working from. There is also a serial connector for computer control of the remote features. Lastly you’ll find Serial In and Out connectors, for more command and control capability.

Just forward of the Input panel is the removeable air filter (shown here, partially extended). It easily slides out for cleaning, without the need for any tools. A few seconds and a Dustbuster, and you are back in business with a clean filter. There is a matching air filter on the other side of the projector.

Also on the side, near the back, is the power receptacle.

This Panasonic primarily vents hot air out the back. Interestingly the Panasonic was designed to work well in positions other than the traditional horizontal. It can be tilted on either access. For this reason, the projector has a main fan system, but also a control for horizontal or vertical fan venting.

That pretty much covers the physical attributes of the PT-DW5000U. Time to look at how it performs from an image quality standpoint!

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