Panasonic PT-AX100U Projector Review – General Performance 6

Four main menus, but most of the action is on the Picture Menu, and its sub menus. Let’s start there. This image shows the main Picture Menu, and as you can see, there are a great many options. The first lets you select the preset (Cinema 1, Dynamic, Normal, etc.),

100 IRE (White) 6827k
80 IRE (light gray) 6676k
50 IRE (neutral gray) 6369k
30 IRE (dark gray) 6224k

Which overall just favored red, very slightly. I used these settings for most of the images in Cinema 1 mode.

Mind you the difference between the two sets of settings is very slight. A professional calibrator I know pointed out last year, that when he goes in to calibrate a projector (that costs many hundreds of dollars), and the projector to start is not more than off by 500K, clients often want to know what they are paying him for! Of course, there are other aspects of the image besides overall color balance that a professional calibrator tunes, but the point is, my settings improved the image, but it was not a huge improvement, by any means.

At last: I found a flaw. The unit sent to me to review (brand new, not tweaked by Panasonic) had a slight shift in color from the right side of the screen to the left, with the left being slightly bluer, the right, slightly redder. This type of issue has been seen on LCD projectors in the past, including those from Panasonic, and Epson. I watched at least 8 hours of content on the projector before starting testing and calibration, and can say, that I never noticed it on movies or HDTV. When I put a full white screen up, though, there it was. The range in color temperature actually varied by almost 1000K (extreme left to extreme right) in Dynamic mode. Once spotting this while testing, I started looking for it during the next almost 15 hours of content viewing. I still found it not to be visible, except rarely, on just the right type of bright scene (white clouds across the whole top of a scene), and then, only really noticed it when looking for it.

I expect that this is something that may vary from unit to unit, and definitely do not consider it a major issue. However, it may be something to look out for. If you do notice it during casual viewing, your unit may be worse than most, and you may wish to contact Panasonic. I’ve got a call into their product manager, for more info, but, again, I wouldn’t worry about it. This is the worst I can say about the PT-AX100U, and that means, I have no complaints with its performance!

Image Noise

I ran the full gamut of tests from the Silicon Optix HQV test disk, which looks at handling jaggies, image noise, motion noise, detail, cadence and how a projector handles sometimes tricky overlayed broadcast type scrolling text. The Panasonic passed all tests with no problems at all, one of the better projectors on this test so far, and I’d have to say, the best near its price range. General noise in the picture was very good, the kind you see on the sky on a non moving sunset sky shot. The only test with any issue at all was one relating to motion. It’s perhaps the toughest test, and it took the Pansonic a fraction of a second to stabilize a moire’ type image as the camera pans across empty stands at a race track. Still it adapted faster than any other projector I have tested recently. The PT-AX100U definitely gets an A, or maybe an A- overall.

That’s it, next is a brief page on warranty, then the summary. (Got any clue, yet, as to what I think about this projector? Or, have I been too subtle?)

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