Setup, Installation and Remote Control
Physically, the Panasonic is among the easiest business-class projectors to set up. With a 2x zoom lens and the ability to lens shift up to 50% vertically and 32% horizontally, the projector fits in well with any desk, shelf or ceiling installation. If you get the projector reasonably centered and within the top or bottom of the screen (horizontally) you'll be able to get a squared up image without the use of digital keystoning.
In terms of connectivity, simply hook up any analogue video source and select it by using the Input Select buttons on the remote or the projector itself. If you are connecting a PC, you can use the "Computer" input button to toggle between the two HD15 inputs. The screen also shows a helpful image with the common laptop commands (Panasonic/NEC, Dell/Epson, HP/Sharp/Toshiba, Fujitsu, Apple & IBM/Sony are included) for activating the external display. I noted with some humor that the Apple command was only F7 while the others involved a combination of an F-key with the Function button. Hopefully no Apple users will accidentally turn off their displays while reaching for the number 7… There is no auto-input search function but the projector remembers the last-used input when powered up - for most applications that's all anyone will need. In addition, it also remembers the last used input on each of the buttons: Computer (HD15 1 and 2) or Video (composite, S-video, component).
If you are using this with a 4:3 aspect ratio screen you'll want to set the projector's Position > Aspect menu setting to 4:3. This will use all of the available (native) pixels for projection of the image. The S4:3 mode is a squeezed mode that reduces the size of the image by 25% and makes 4:3 images more easily projected onto 16:9 screens without having to adjust the physical zoom lens. And of course, 16:9 mode squeezes the signal down for use with 16:9 screens. This is the setting you'll want to use with DVD video sources. Position > Resizing will also need to be configured to On, though this is the default.
Throw Chart for 16:9 applications
|Size (Inches)||Distance (Feet)|
|70||61.0||34.3||7' 6”||15' 1”|
|90||78.4||44.1||9' 6”||19' 4”|
|100||87.2||49.0||10' 9”||21' 3”|
|120||104.6||58.8||12' 9”||25' 11”|
|200||174||98||21' 7”||42' 11”|
|250||217||122||27' 2”||53' 9”|
|300||261||147||32' 5”||64' 7”|
The remote control is very average except for a couple of noticeable points of interest. First, the Digital Zoom function is bound to come in handy and it works very well. In fact, the Zoom amount is recalled on the first press of the Zoom button, and you can hit the Return button to go back to normal mode. Using this method you can quickly jump in and out of Zoom to emphasize the center of the image. Digital Zoom does not, however, remember the horizontal or vertical repositioning which is possible through the use of the cursor buttons while in Zoom mode. There are no direct input buttons on the remote, though COMPUTER does cycle directly between the two HD15 inputs as opposed to the VIDEO button which cycles all inputs. The two buttons also remember the last selected input for each, so if you are jumping between a laptop and a DVD, for example, you can do so with relative ease. There is also a laser pointer on the remote, so you can use it to point to interesting items on the screen, or just use it to temporarily blind inattentive students (PS. That was a JOKE). The intriguing AUTO SETUP button on the remote merely allows the system to set the dot clock and clock phase for PC inputs sent to the projector. It doesn't automatically perform an ISF level calibration to your screen or get you a cup of coffee.