Posted on May 15, 2020 By Phil Jones
Panasonic PT-MZ16KL Laser Projector Review – Special Features: Laser Light Engine, Interchangeable Lenses, Information Monitor. Edge Blending and Projection Mapping
The PT-MZ16KL uses a liquid-cooled, multi-laser module light source along with a sealed phosphor wheel to deliver a rated brightness of 16,000 lumens. Like most 3LCD projectors, the PT-MZ16KL produces as many color lumens as it does white lumens, which ensures an incredibility bright and vibrant image.
Panasonic claims 20,000 hours of laser life for the PT-MZ16KL. As with a lamp-based system, the life rating is the point where 50% of the brightness has been lost. If the PT-MZ16KL was used 40 hours a week, 20,000 hours equates to over 9 ½ years of operation.
For maximum reliability, the PT-MZ16KL utilizes Panasonic’s Multi-Drive Laser Optical Engine with Failover Redundancy Circuits. This means the laser diodes are grouped into multiple laser modules. If one diode in a module fails, only the laser diodes in the affected series are bypassed. The remaining diodes continue to operate, maintaining close to full brightness. This is different than many laser projectors which if a laser diode fails, the entire module shuts down resulting in a dramatic loss of brightness. The Multi-Drive Laser Optical Engine used PT-MZ16KL Series adds an invaluable layer of insurance when image presentation must not be interrupted.
The Phosphor wheel is also sealed to protect it from dust particles and cooled to extended reliability. The PT-MZ16KL’s airtight optical unit that makes this projector ideal for use in dusty environments, from high-traffic classrooms and lecture theaters to large-scale outdoor events. The PT-MZ16KL projector’s reusable filter can be washed and reused. The filter should last as long as the laser light engine which is 20,000 hours.
There are three modes to adjust the brightness output of the laser light source:
The PT-MZ16KL laser light engine can be modulated frame-by-frame to accurately increase the projector’s dynamic contrast performance, particularly with video where scenes frequently change from light to dark. For example, if the PT-MZ16KL encounters a “black frame” of information, it can shut down the laser engine completely projecting a true black frame. Unlike lamp-based projectors, the power consumption is greatly reduced when implemented.
The PT-MZ16KL as well as the MZ13KL and the MZ10KL, which share the same chassis, ships without a lens. While the projector does not have a lens in the box, it is compatible with seven powered Panasonic lenses. The seven compatible lenses range from a 0.480–0.550 Short Throw Zoom lens up to a 4.14–7.40 Zoom lens so you have plenty of installation flexibility. The image above shows the model number and throw range for each compatible lens.
For this review, Panasonic provided one lens, the ET-EMS600 which is a middle-throw zoom lens with a range of 1.35 to 2.10 on a 16:9 screen. The PT-MZ16KL also includes is an AFO sensor which corrects focus distortion caused by fluctuations in lens temperature. This maximizes image sharpness and reduced the need for manual focus calibration.
Located on the rear of the PT-MZ16KL is an Information Monitor. This small LED display can be utilized for menu-based navigation of things like Projector ID as well as basic network configuration. You can also use the display to monitor the projector status including temperature, runtime, and active signal data, as well as error codes should a problem be detected.
DIGITAL LINK is based on HDBaseT™ so the PT-MZ16KL is compatible with a wide variety of HDBaseT transmitters from manufacturers like Gefen, Extron, and Atlona. By using DIGITAL LINK, you can transmit 4K video up to 50m (164ft)* with a single LAN cable. In Long Reach Mode, you also send 1080P content up to 150m (492 ft) using a ET-YFB200G DIGITAL LINK Switcher.
We’ve all been in meeting rooms where several presenters we’re trying to share a single HDMI cable. Panasonic offers the optional DIGITAL LINK Switcher which allows the connection of multiple sources which can then be routed to a DIGITAL LINK-ready projector like the PT-MZ16KL via a single CAT5e or higher ethernet cable.
Using the DIGITAL LINK Switcher (ET-YFB200G) or any other compatible HDbaseT switcher eliminates the need to move a single HDMI cable from one presenter to another because multiple presenters can be simultaneously connected to the PT-MZ16KL.
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