updated 10:40 am EDT, Thu September 6, 2007
Panasonic at CEDIA 2007
Panasonic this morning contributed to CEDIA with two fresh AE and AX series home theater projectors. The AX200U (shown) is the company's first projector targeted explicitly at console gamers: a special toggle cuts response times to one third of their normal rate and tunes the image to help reveal details in dark areas. Players can also set as many as eight preset image settingss for different games. The 720p projector is flexible with a 2X zoom lens that allows a wide range of positions and dual HDMI inputs for multiple game systems or a stand-alone movie player.
The electronics maker claims a 6,000:1 contrast ratio and a 2,000-lumen brightness that can withstand gameplay or movie watching in daylight. The AX200U should be available by October and is expected to receive its pricing during this week's CEDIA show, though the company has yet to take action.
A second model, the AE2000U, shifts attention to home theater viewing with a native 1080p image and three HDMI inputs that largely eliminate the need for a breakout HDMI hub. Brightness has been lowered to 1,500 lumens but is countered by a higher 16,000:1 contrast ratio achieved with an improved color filter. Images should also be sharper through a new detail clarity processor that automatically gauges the amount of refinement needed at different points in the picture.
The 2X zoom system also includes pro-level color calibration tools and a universal remote to control both the projector and other home theater gear. Like the AX200U, the AE2000U is due in October but hasn't received its official pricing as of press time.