updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu June 21, 2007
Panasonic on Thursday afternoon grew its fixed-install projector line by two with brighter, longer-lasting DLP models ideal for large rooms and theaters. Both the standard-ratio PT-D5700U and widescreen PT-D5100U swap in a new, AC-power lamp (versus the DC of earlier models) that puts out 6,000 lumens of brightness -- significantly more than their 5,000-lumen predecessors and about three times more than the average home projector. This in tandem with an improved 10-bit color processing technique also helps clean up HD video signals while sharpening them, Panasonic says. The change in current also has the side benefit of putting less stress on the electronics and ups the useful life of the lamps to 3,000 hours when using a darker, low-power mode.
Also new is a long-distance wireless remote bundled with either projector that controls its functions from as far as 98 feet away, Panasonic says. Either DLP set is also controllable through Ethernet for businesses or more elaborate automated setups. 2X optical zoom also lets the projectors cast their image to exceptionally long distances, though the company declines to mention the viewable range.
Also absent is the mention of resolution and inputs for the projectors, which are slated to arrive at specialized dealers in August at the same $11,500 price premium. Two barebones versions without lenses, the PT-D5700L and PT-D5100L, will be ready at the same time for $500 less.