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Panasonic PT-F100NTU Business Projector Review - General Performance - 1

Posted on October 3, 2013 by Art Feierman

Panasonic PT-F100NTU and PT-F100U User Memory Settings

These Panasonic projectors do not seem to offer any User savable memory settings, although, of course the projector remembers any adjustments you have made. Bottom line, you can set the projector the way you want it, but cannot choose from multiple saved settings for different requirements.

Panasonic PT-F100NTU, PT-F100U Remote Control

Panasonic provides a good, uncluttered, and easy to use remote control. At the top, a large red power button (press once for On, twice to power down. Across from it, the Auto Setup, for locking on to a computer signal. The next row has Computer and Video source buttons, and a Network button i the middle. Unlike most projector remotes, the F100 series offers a laser pointer. There are also Page Up and Page Down buttons. Below all that, is the usual Menu button, Return button, and four arrow keys, with a center Enter button. Special note, the laser can be deactivated for safety concerns via a switch inside the remote control's battery compartment.

After that, some special features - Freeze frame, a Shutter (mute), which, nicely, in this case turns off the lamp to save usage, a Default button (a reset), a Computer Search button, and Index-Window, a very cool feature. With it, you can grab a frame, and store it in memory. You can then recall it, and split the screen to project it, and "live" content. For example, you could freeze a spreadsheet, or, perhaps a table of contents, to display along side a slide from Powerpoint, or anything else.

The Multi-Live button, lets you connect to multiple computers at the same time, as mentioned in the networking section at the beginning of this page.

That leaves two more rocker switches, Digital Zoom, which lets you zoom in on any portion of the screen (navigate with the arrow keys), and volume up and down.

All-in-all, the remote is nice sized, has good range, fits well in (my) hand (and most others), and overall, is easy to navigate. Good job.

Panasonic PT-F100NTU and PT-F100U Lens Throw and Lens Shift

As noted in the Overview, these Panasonic projectors have a 2:1 zoom lens, for plenty of placement flexibility. This allows all but a small percentage of users, those needing very short throw, or long throw lenses. To fill a 100" diagonal 16:9 aspect ratio screen, the front of the Panasonic projector can be as close as 9 feet 10 inches, or as far back as 19 feet 8 inches!

A joystick controls lens shift - both horizontal and vertical. As is typical, if you are using maximum vertical lens shift, there is no horizontal shift available, and the opposite it true if using full horizontal shift. Using just vertical lens shift, the projector image can be raised or lowered 50% of screen height. can be as low as a half screen height. Translated, the center of the lens an be as low as even with the bottom of the screen, or as high, as the top.

Panasonic PT-F100NTU, PT-F100U - SDE and Rainbow Effect

These Panasonic projectors are LCD based, thus, no spinning color wheel, and along with that, no rainbow effect is possible. Some people are sensitive and can see a rainbow of colors (red, green, blue), caused by a color wheel. When it comes to SDE - screen door effect, the Panasonic's are typical XGA resolution LCD projectors. Pixels are slightly visible when viewing close to the screen. On fine objects, sometimes it may appear as if looking through a screen door, as the fixed pixel structure, and fine detail, (ie looking at a grassy field), may cause a pattern distortion. This is not normally considered a major issue with XGA resolution projectors.

Panasonic PT-F100NTU and PT-F100U Audible Noise Levels

These Panasonic projectors are rated 33db noise levels. This is very respectable, in fact as quiet as the noisier home theater projectors, and quieter than most projectors in this size/weight/brightness class.

Panasonic PT-F100NTU and PT-F100U - Projector Brightness

The F100NTU's brightest mode is Dynamic, which measured 3274 lumens. Standard mode, drops brightness to 2736, while Blackboard mode puts out 2184. The least bright mode is natural (great for videos), with 1629 lumens.

The color temperature for each of these modes is pretty consistant, with Dynamic offering the warmest (shift towards red) color balance at 6629K color temperature. Not surprising, Dynamic also has especially strong green output (the trick to getting out maximum lumens). The other three modes all measured between 7124K and 7295K (for all purposes, identical, in terms of color temperature. I should note that Natural is almost the opposite from Dynamic, in that it is a little low on greens (but not anywhere as much as Dynamic is strong on greens).

Panasonic PT-F100NTU and PT-F100U Lamp Life and Replacement

Although Panasonic doesn't clearly state lamp life, within the manual, it does mention that the lamp indicator warning light comes on at 2800 hours, telling you it's almost time to replace the lamp. Our assumption is that the lamp life, therefore, is 3000 hours.

The Panasonic projectors have a 3 watt speaker system. It throws a decent amount of sound, plenty for smaller rooms. Three watt speakers don't make for "hi-fi" quality, but it is adequate for typical business presentations. If you are working a larger room, and use audio, you'll want some additional speakers (as is true for most projectors).

On using the Panasonic PT-F100NTU and PT-F100U for Home Theater

These are definitely not home theater projectors. First of all, they are 4:3 aspect ratio. Note: Panasonic also offers the PT-FW100U, a widescreen version of these projectors that we hope to review in the not to distant future. Color accuracy for home theater, is so-so, as we would expect. Thereal downside is the low contrast ratio typical of all business LCD projectors.

The image above is from Lord of the Rings, and photographed with the PT-F100NTU set to the Standard mode.

As a result, black levels are high, and a lot of shadow detail is lost in dark scenes. This projector may work if you really need all that sheer horsepower, because you can't darken your room enough for a typical home theater projector (most are 300 - 800 lumens in their better modes. Only a couple of home theater projectors can even muster 2000 lumens in their worst (green pushed) modes, so the Panasonic's are significantly brighter.

Bottom line, it might make sense for a sports bar, but rarely would find a home, in someone's home. Because of the black level issue, most needing a bright projector for their home theater would choose a bright DLP instead, with their much better black levels.

Since I mentioned sports bars, if your home projection needs are primarily for sports - which call for bright and dynamic, the F100's might just work for you, but if movies are your thing, look elsewhere.

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