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Panasonic PT-AR100U - Review Summary 2

Posted on July 28, 2013 by Art Feierman

The Very Bottom Line on the PT-AR100U projector

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: Panasonic PT-AR100U "Projector Reviews TV" Video Summary

Extremely bright and ideal for the family room type environment, the PT-AR100U offers extensive placement flexibility, especially compared to most of the similarly priced competition. Choose your color modes for your content and tastes (and brightness).

The projector itself, physically looks good - a mid-sized home projector. Its remote control is great, and the menus are well designed. The memory area lets you save settings, as we propose you do on our Calibration page. The projector has a waveform generator for those so inclined to use it. Overall, there are a few downsides, mostly due to the PT-AR100U being so bright. Fan noise is a little louder than most, and lamp life is below average. I recently made the same comment about BenQ's W7000 a favorite $2500 range projector, which is about equally bright, just in a higher quality and price class. Considering you can run this projector in eco-mode where the lamp hours aren't bad, prevents this from being a significant issue.

About the only thing missing is Creative Frame Interpolation - aka smooth motion, which sadly, is pretty much absent when it comes to projectors in this price range. Lack of CFI is not a big thing, even at best, but it's nice to have the option. The Detail Clarity control let's you enhance sharpness (don't overdo it - noise will also become more noticeable).

The bottom line, is that for general purpose, 2D only, full-HD resolution home entertainment projectors, the PT-AR100U is about as good as it gets these days for under $1000.

Panasonic PT-AR100U Projector: Pros

  • Brightest affordable 1080p resolution 2D projector specifically designed for home
  • Impressively good (watchable) color modes - right out of the box
  • Full color controls for those planning to get theirs calibrated, or to use our settings
  • Excellent placement flexibility
  • Lamp can be changed without unmounting the projector
  • Frame Interpolation (not CFI)
  • Waveform Monitor for tweaking, etc.
  • 2 HDMI inputs
  • 2 12 volt screen triggers
  • Game mode - only 18 milliseconds of lag time - should make this a strong gaming projector
  • Excellent remote
  • Light Harmonizer - adjusts projector brightness as room brightness changes
  • Color filter in best modes for improved color accuracy
  • Easy to use, well laid out menus
  • An excellent value propositioin

Panasonic PT-AR100U Projector: Cons

  • A bit noisy, both modes are noisier than most competition, but not unreasonably so for a "family room" projector
  • Lacks CFI (smooth motion) - as does all the low priced competition so far
  • Shorter than average lamp life
  • One year warranty, like most in the price range, but shorter than others (some up to 3 years)
  • No support for an anamorphic lens
  • Lens loses higher percentage of brightness than most, at full telephoto
  • Black levels could be better (even for the price range)

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