Panasonic PT-DW5000U Review: Summary, Pros, Cons
Panasonic should have tremendous success with the PT-DW5000U. They have taken their very successful PT-D5500U (just recently upgraded to the PT-D5600U) commercial projector, and created a widescreen version. The two projectors share virtually every feature, except that the D5500U/D5600U is a standard XGA resolution projector while the PT-DW5000U is a 1280x720 widescreen model. In addition, there is a slight difference in brightness, with the XGA projector rated at 5000 lumens compared to the DW5000U being rated at 4500 lumens.
Our image quality analysis shows this Panasonic projector to actually meet it's brightness claims. Even more importantly it does a very impressive job in terms of color handling, with especially good handling of the tough colors for DLP projectors - bright reds and yellows. True, the yellows have a definite greenish caste in it's brightest (Dynamic) mode. In other modes, such as Standard, where you give up some brightness, the reds and yellows get even better.
As a true commercial projector, this is a heavy duty contender capable of 24/7 operation, and even being able to go almost a full year on one set of lamps. A liquid cooling systemwill allow the projector to even operate in 110 degree temperatures.
And it will tie into networks allowing IT to even control up to 65 of them (or other D series models) simultaneously, or one at a time, from a remote location. If there is a problem with it, it will send an email over the network to notify those designated.
When it comes to placement flexibility, you can get it with a standard lens, or without (the UL version) and choose from a total of 6 different lenses. Not impressed yet, the projector has horizontal and vertical lens shift so you can stack more than one projector vertically, or horizontally to double total brightness.
There is competition for the DW5000U, but very little. If you are looking for a widescreen with dual lamps, Sanyo has their WF10 (List $12,995) , but it can't match the operational flexibility (such as the long life lamps or wide temperature range). In addition there are a couple from Christie and one from Projectiondesign. There are also the 3 chip DLP widescreen projectors but since they start at over double the price, they aren't exactly competition.
The list of capabilities goes on, and on, so I might as well get to the Pros and Cons before I end up mentioning everything twice.
- Very bright
- Very good contrast, black levels and shadow detail
- Especially good color handling
- Industrial strength build quality
- Dual lamps for non-stop operation
- Six quick release bayonet style lenses to choose from
- Optional long life lamps allows up to 47 weeks of continuous 24/7 operation
- Horizontal (manual) and vertical lens shift for placement flexibility and to allow multiple projectors to be stacked for maximum brightness
- Liquid cooled: Unbelievably w ide operating temperature range
- Networking capabilities, with web browser control, and email notification for up to 65 projectors
- 3D color control (not mentioned elsewhere in the review)
- RGBCYM color control
- Wireless presentations (with remote, plus optional wireless mouse receiver)
- Lamps can be replaced without unmounting the projector
- Good compression technology
- Very good video performance
- 3X color wheel
- Easy filter cleaning
- Cool down with power disconnected
- Can operate with projector at any angle
- Plenty of inputs
- Reasonably quiet
- 8 built in test patterns for easy professional setup
- Very good manual
- 2 year warranty with overnight replacement program both years
- Color in brightest mode not quite as good (yellows and reds) as LCD projectors
- Standard lamp life at full power is only rated 1300 hours
- A little bit of image noise in video
- Remote control
- Menu layout and navigation
As you can see, there are tons of Pros, and I could barely come up with a handful of Cons and Typicals. The PT-DW5000U is simply loaded with high performance capabilities, and innovative design features. More to the point, there are no serious deficiencies that I could find. Whether your application requires heavy duty operation cycles, harsh operating environments or you just need a high power widescreen projector, the PT-DW5000U should be at the top of your shopping list. Boardrooms, auditoriums, church sanctuaries, command and control centers, the list of environments and applications where the PT-DW5000U would be exceptional is extremely long.
If I had to come up with my biggest complaint, it is probably that this projector should have been on the market sooner. And, as long as I mention bringing projectors to market, it is my hope that Panasonic will quickly follow the PT-DW5000U with a widescreen version of their much less expensive less powerful, non-liquid cooled, single lamp PT-D3500U.
True, dual lamp projectors (if you need to run both lamps simultaneously) are fairly expensive to operate, but, if you need high power and reliability, they are sure easy to justify.
There are less expensive widescreen projectors available, but I'm not aware of any with that can match the DW5000U's 4500 real lumens, video performance or operational flexibility.
I almost hate going on and on with such enthusiasm, but I would have to say that the DW5000U is simply the most impressive commercial projector I have tested to date. I believe that, overall, to surpass this projector's overall performance, you will need to look to 3 chip DLP projectors costing $25,000 to $75,000+. I think that says it all. Congratulations to Panasonic.