A few years ago, Panasonic made particularly handsome Home Theater projectors. With this short throw projector we see for the first time in a long time a model in this category. The Panasonic TX-100FP1E comes with a lot of clarity and an unusual shape.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – specifications
- What: Full HD short throw DLP projector
- Setup: 1,920 x 1,080, light output 2,700 ANSI lumens, dynamic contrast 2,000: 1, projection ratio 0.14 (100 inch diagonal at 0.37m), noise level 34/27 dB (standard, ecomode)
- Connections: 2x HDMI, 1x USB, 1x optical digital off, 1x stereo minijack out , 1x stereo minijack out, WiFi, Bluetooth
- Lamp life: 3,000 / 5,000 / 10,000 hours
- Extras: 4x 4 Watt squawkers, 2x 8 Watt woofers, DLNA, screen mirroring, BT speaker
- Dimensions: 327 x 313 x 231 mm
- Weight: 11,0 kg
- List price: 1,800 euro
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – design
Projectors often look like flat shoe boxes, not so these Panasonic. In width and depth it falls within the limits of a typical compact DLP-projector, the device is especially considerably higher than we are used to.
The finish and housing are very nice, a combination of speaker dust and black plastic with a rib pattern. The legs at the bottom are adjustable. The most striking part is the projection lid that you have to open with a soft hand if you want to project. In short, a striking but quite a beautiful appearance.
The connections are at the front of the device (the side pointing towards the wall in other words). This way you can lead the cables to the wall without too much hassle. The projector is equipped with two HDMI connections, a USB connection (for the media player), a digital optical audio output and a stereo cinch output.
The projector is also equipped with WiFi, but no wired network connection. Bluetooth is also provided, the projector’s built-in speaker can be used as a Bluetooth speaker.
We also find a hard on / off switch at the back, for whom the device really wants to completely remove the power supply.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – Installation
You do not have to place an Ultra Short throw projector at the other end of the room like a traditional projector, on the contrary. You can often put UST projectors right in front of the projection screen and realize a fairly large image. For the Panasonic, the projection ratio is roughly 0.16, which means that you get a 100-inch image when the front of the projector is about 37 cm from the wall.
The projector only has a digital zoom (with which you digitally reduce the image). The focus button is on the right side of the device, it is a small slider. It works rather stiffly, so that the right focus can be set for work. The lens offset is 114%, the bottom of the image appears 14% of the image height above the lens. For example, an 80 inch image (image height, 1 m) appears at the bottom of the image 14 cm above the projector.
This lens offset is certainly not uncommon for a DLP projector, but combined with the considerable height of the device itself, you have to think about the placement. If you place the projector on a classic TV stand, you will notice that the image appears relatively high. Not problematically high, but in some cases you may consider better to place the device on the floor or a lower piece of furniture. It depends on your sitting and viewing situation.
Setting up requires patience, as is the case with all UST projectors. The extreme lens causes quite a bit of trapezium distortion at the slightest shift. Set the projector as flat as possible (with the adjustable feet) and correct residual distortion with the keystone correction. Try to avoid keystone correction, you always lose detail (the neutral position of that institution is strangely enough ’32’). Then you fine-tune the focus, you have to provide a test pattern yourself. Getting the focus correctly over the entire screen is impossible (also a feature of all UST projectors), but the end result is solid. Finally, keep in mind that even a slight unevenness in your projection surface can cause picture distortion.
The fan noise is very good. With the lamp in standard mode it is audible, but since you are normally quite far from the projector, that is not too bad. In the ECO modes, the projector can even be called quite quiet.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – Ease of use
The menus appear on the right side of the image. They are reasonably clear, but that is mainly because they are also very limited.
Also in the picture menus you have the absolute minimum to update the image. There is an option to adjust the image if you do not project on a white wall. In addition, you have color temperature and gamma, an adjustable white scale and CMS.
Navigating went pretty smoothly, although the underlying Android betrays here and there by an occasional slow reaction.
The remote is a typical Panasonic model. It is well in hand and the keys are easy to operate. The inscriptions are clear, but the remote is not illuminated. In a dark room that can be quite difficult. There are keys to quickly change picture or sound mode, and separate keys for each source.
The remote is unfortunately not illuminated, given the target audience is not necessarily a serious problem. But keep in mind that it is really difficult in the dark.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – features
This is a Full HD DLP projector that delivers 2700 lumens and a contrast of 2,000: 1 on paper. The lamp lasts 3,000 hours (in standard mode) and even 5,000 hours in ECO1, and 10,000 in ECO2. These are good figures.
The built-in loudspeakers (4x 4 Watt squawkers and 2x 8 Watt woofers) provide a moderate performance. The size of the projector, and the fact that you can use it as a Bluetooth speaker, had raised our expectations a bit higher. Especially in the layer view it is missing the Panasonic, good techno you will not get out of it. But the overall sound image is also somewhat shrill and sometimes messy. On the plus side he performs fine with voices and quieter soundtracks, the speaker seems to be more tuned for film / TV than for music.
The projector is equipped with WiFi, but those who were hoping to find a built-in YouTube or Netflix app should disappoint. A DLNA player and the option to mirror your smartphone or laptop are the only options. The USB / DLNA player does not support HEVC, DTS soundtracks and no mkv files, so the usefulness may be limited depending on your library. The built-in USB reader can not handle NTFS-formatted disks, which is a rather difficult restriction.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – Image quality
We know from experience that image processing on projectors rarely lies at the level of televisions. The Panasonic confirms that again. Deinterlacing and detection of film and video framerates scores pretty well, but a good Blu-ray player (like Panasonic’s) does it often better. The noise reduction is quite aggressive, the lowest position seemed appropriate to us to avoid loss of detail. We also notice that the sharpness in all image presets is too high, so the images often show false detail, by lowering this setting to ’25’ you solve that problem. Motion interpolation is missing, and unfortunately the projector shows some judder.
The ‘Presentation’ image mode provides the highest light output, good for about 1700 lumens, a good end under the specifications. The image is then predominantly green. ‘Dark Room’ gets about 815 lumens with a contrast of 1120: 1. Those are figures that easily illuminate 100 inches with some ambient light. In ECO1 and ECO2 you get respectively 413 (52%) and 550 (67%) lumens. The ECO1 mode makes the image slightly cooler, ECO2 costs you a bit too much light. ECO1 is still good for 70 to 80 inches in ambient light.
‘Bright Room’ mode has been calibrated incorrectly, this mode lifts the black value much too high. It is striking that the Panasonic is often set weaker than it actually can. In the user mode (settings you read a little further) we could achieve a much better result. After setting five minutes, we reached 1120 lumens with a contrast of 1500: 1 and a good color reproduction. Do yourself a favor and get some calibration images to adjust the settings.
Keep in mind that you can not count on earth dark black values. This highly overexposed photo shows the difference between the black bars above and below the image and the unexposed screen.
The best image, without tinkering, is taken from the ‘Dark Room’ image mode. The gray scale is reasonably neutral, and the gamma value of about 2.3 is a good choice for obfuscation. The color reproduction is somewhat on the dark side, typical of a DLP projector.
Because there is still a lot of room to improve the contrast, you can get even better results by starting the user mode , with Brightness 36, Contrast 70, Sharpness 25, Color temperature standard and gamma 2P2. (2P4 is certainly possible if you look at eclipse). With these settings you get a contrast of 1,500: 1 and put 1120 lumens on the screen, more than enough to look at what ambient light.
The Panasonic TX-100FP1E has a lay of 118 ms and that is very much for a good gaming experience.
For the lay-measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. To analyze any HDR problems, we use an HDFury Vertex.
Panasonic TX-100FP1E – Conclusion
Panasonic leaves us with mixed feelings. The Wi-Fi functionality offers relatively little added value due to the absence of more apps, and the media player can support slightly more formats. The built-in speakers deliver decent results for average film or sports enjoyment, but they are a bit too short for music performance or epic soundtracks. The picture settings pull the performance a bit down, but fortunately that is easy to adjust. The price is not too high, but unfortunately you pay a bit more for the features that offer less added value.
On the other hand, you get enough light from the clever design to fill an 80-110 inch screen, even in a somewhat illuminated area. living room. If you dim the lights, you can still have a good cinema experience thanks to the reasonable contrast, although this is clearly not the first target group of this projector. Colors are a bit too dark, but the image still has enough punch. The projector is also fairly quiet, and anyone who wants some background music can use it as a Bluetooth speaker. Are you looking for a nice projector in the living room and Ultra Short Throw is a must, then the Panasonic may be on your list.