Panasonic PT-AX200U Home Theater Projector Review

PT-AX200U User Memory Settings

If there’s one thing Panasonic does with plenty to spare, it is provide user savable settings. The PT-AX200U offers 8 savable settings, which is more than just about anyone will need. Better, though to have a couple to spare, than too few. Generally I consider 3 to be just barely acceptable, 4 is better, and having 7, 8, or 9, to be downright generous. You save your favorite settings from the option on the Picture menu (which opens up the list of all of them), and retrieve them the same way.

PT-AX200U Projector - Remote Control

Panasonic has changed the remote control, from the learning remote on previous models, to a smaller, compact, and easy to use remote. It definitely has far less buttons. Despite missing a few features, I really like this remote.

From the top: A red power button (press once to power up, and twice to shut down). Opposite it, is the backlight button.

Please note, the backlight on the Panasonic PT-AX200U is about the brightest I’ve ever seen, and the labels on each button are large and easy to read. Almost all of the competition can learn from Panasonic in this regard.

OK, the next two rows have lots of goodies, and an interesting scheme.

On the left is a button marked Theater Room, and it lets you toggle through all the Presets designed for darkened rooms. Cinema 1, 2, and Natural. Next to that button, in the center, is the Livingroom button. It toggles you through the Presets, that would be used in rooms with ambient light: Vivid Cinema, Normal, Game, and Dynamic.

Favorite, as mentioned, lets you bring up the one mode or other feature you want to set as your “favorite.”

The next row gives you control of aspect ratio, Picture Adjust lets you toggle through all presets, and Color Management lets you access some specialty color managment profiles that you can create.

Next comes the Menu and Return buttons, and immediately below, the four arrow keys with a center Enter button.

Down at the bottom is a Default button, a Freeze (frame), the Input Select (source select), and a Function button.

Many remotes have more buttons and features, so that you don’t have to access items from the menus, or can select a particular source, or Preset, but overall, the Panasonic keeps things simple. You might have to go an extra step, but they sure make it easy. Definitely a favorite remote.

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PT-AX200U Lens Throw and Lens Shift

The PT-AX200U has a 2:1 zoom lens, which is “classic” for many LCD projectors. This provides exceptional placement flexibility, and means you’ll be able to table, ceiling or shelf mount your projector in almost any room.

To fill a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, the front of the projector needs to be between 10 feet 2 inches and 20 feet 4 inches.

The Panasonic has extensive vertical and horizontal lens shift. For that same 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, you can position the projector anywhere from about 6 inches below the bottom of the screen surface, to 6 inches above the top.

A few LCD projectors offer even more vertical lens shift, which is, of course nice, but the Panaonic has all most people would need. The only real advantage to having more lens shift, would be for those with high ceilings who want to ceiling mount. With more lens shift, the projector would not have to hang down as far from the ceiling.

The PT-AX200U uses a joystick to adjust the vertical and horizontal lens shift. Understand, few need horizontal lens shift (only if you can’t mount your projector centered with the screen, horizontally), but if you do need horizontal, the more horizontal you use, the less vertical is available. The numbers above, assume no horizontal lens shift is used. If you only need a few inches of horizontal shift, it will have very little effect on vertical lens shift.

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