Posted on September 23, 2019 By Phil Jones
Panasonic PT-VMZ50 Projector Review – Special Features: Laser Light Engine, Daylight View Basic, Digital Link (HDbaseT), US Image Viewer, Digital Image Zoom, Mounting Flexibility, Wireless Connectivity.
The PT-VMZ50 uses a laser light source along with a phosphor wheel instead of a conventional lamp. Perhaps the most obvious advantage that a laser light source has over a traditional lamp-based projector is the life of the light source – Panasonic claims 20,000 hours of laser life for the PT-VMZ50. As with a lamp-based system, the life rating is the point where 50% of the brightness has been lost. If the PT-VMZ50 was used 40 hours a week, 20,000 hours equates to over 9 ½ years of operation.
Another advantage is the image quality should be more stable over time than with lamp-based projectors. The PT-VMZ50 has a reusable air filter that in a normal environment shouldn’t require cleaning for 20,000 hours. The filter can be washed and used up to two times before replacement.
As with all 3LCD projectors, a dichroic prism is used to re-assemble the three different colors into a single full-color image. Like most 3LCD projectors, PT-VMZ50 produces as many color lumens as it does white lumens, which ensures a bright, vibrant image.
There are four modes to adjust the brightness output of the laser light source:
We know projectors look best in a darker environment but that’s not practical in most business and classroom applications. Daylight View Basic improves the amount of detail visible in the dark areas of the projected image, which would normally be hard to see in high ambient light. The PT-VMZ50 has a built-in sensor located on the top of the projector which measures ambient light so the unit can automatically adjust halftone color and brightness to best suit the viewing environment. In addition to AUTO mode, for those who like more control, there are also three preset modes to tailor the picture to your needs.
DIGITAL LINK is based on HDBaseT™ so the PT-VMZ50 is compatible with a wide variety of HDBaseT transmitters from manufacturers like Gefen, Extron and Atlona. By using HDBaseT, you can transmit 4K video up to 50m (164ft) a single LAN cable.
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-VMZ50 via a single CAT5e 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-VMZ50.
There are times in a classroom or meeting that you might want to zoom in on a specific area on an image, such as a map or blueprint. This feature makes it simple to magnify a portion of the image on-screen up to three times. After pressing the D-Zoom button, you can use the arrows buttons on the remote to reposition the area to be magnified.
The PT-VMZ50 is suitable for applications where an orientation other than traditional landscape placement is required. The unit can be installed universally at any angle. Tilt-free, roll-free, and portrait installations are supported. The projector can be rotated freely (360°) to point up or down depending on the installation requirements and can be rotated and installed on its side to create a portrait image.
We’ve all been to meeting rooms with an HDMI or VGA cable hanging down from the projector mounted on the ceiling. Not only is this ugly, it is also cumbersome for multiple users to share content simultaneously. There are a couple of free software applications available from Panasonic that enable you to display your device’s screen (computer, smart phone, tablet) on the PT-VMZ50 via wired or wireless LAN. This makes it easy project content from a source located across the room from the projector without having to run a long video cable.
Wireless Projector App
Optional AJ-WM50 Wireless Module
The wireless projector is a free app available on the Panasonic support site for iOS and Android devices. To utilize the app with the PT-VMZ50, the optional AJ-WM50 Wireless module is required. Once connected, you can display images, PDFs and even mirror the camera of your mobile device. You can use the app rotate, resize or mark up an image that is being projected on the screen. In Multi-Live Mode, you can simultaneously display from up to 16 mobile devices. Several split-screen modes are supported that can display up to 16 thumbnail images in a 4 x 4 grid. Lastly, you can also use the app to control the PT-VMZ50 via a virtual remote control.
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