For a generation, TVs have been in the background – in more ways than one – of household entertainment.
Hitachi Australia PJ-TX100
- Great value for money, nice contrast for an LCD
- Lacking details in some scenarios, some motion lag
One of the best value for money projectors on the market.
Price$ 3,299.00 (AUD)
At just $3999 at the time of writing, the PJ-TX100 offers one of the best price/performance ratios around. And it looks good too. A stylishly sloping fascia gives the projector a modern appearance that should suit just about any lounge room. The design is practical as well: the ventilation grills expel hot air out the front of the projector so it can be placed on a shelf without suffocating it and turning it into a few thousand dollars' worth of molten plastic.
A large lens is a visual clue to the rather decent 1.6 optical zoom the PJ-TX100 sports. This means it would suit most room sizes and will happily throw a 100", 16:9 picture on-screen from as close as 2.8 metres or as far away as 4.6 metres. Optical lens shift is also incorporated, allowing the user to move the entire lens barrel horizontally and vertically to attain perfect image alignment without resorting to man-handling the projector. It's a welcome feature that, when coupled with the superb zoom capability, makes positioning the PJ-TX100 a hassle-free affair.
The projector has a brightness of 1200 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio of 1200:1. During our tests, the 150W lamp pumped out more than enough light for most viewing situations.
The contrast was excellent for an LCD projector, though still not as good as a comparably priced DLP unit. A motorised, ten-step iris cuts down on unwanted light that might otherwise end up turning blacks into greys. It did a great job, but it also decreased detail in darker areas of the picture. Sure it's a trade-off, but only a small one, and colour reproduction and overall detail more than made up for the black level problem.
This is, after all, a high-definition projector capable of producing a 720p image, thanks to three 0.7" 1,280 x 720 LCD panels. Even standard definition DVDs will take advantage of the high resolution. Old favourites such as Ice Age and Solaris (two vastly different films in just about every way imaginable) looked great. Finely detailed fur and the vividly blue sky in Ice Age was nigh-on faultless, while the shadowy but impressively detailed world of Solaris looked great, even if there was a distinct loss of detail in dark portions of the screen. Skin tones were excellent and the film was eminently watchable. Motion lag was evident in fast-paced scenes, which proved a slight distraction, but there was no sign of the flyscreen effect.
On the whole, the pros far outweigh the cons and we think this is a great little projector. The menu system is a breeze to operate (so is the entire projector for that matter), the remote is simple yet fully featured, image quality is very good and placement is supremely easy, thanks to features like lens shift and the 1.6X zoom, short-throw lens. For the price, it's an absolute bargain.
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