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Panasonic PT-AX100U User Reviews

Panasonic PT-AX100U Projector

Panasonic Home PT-AX100U

HD 720 (1280x720), 2000 ANSI Lumens,
10.8 lbs, $2,999 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.2 out of 5
51 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.6
Features 4.5
Construction 3.9
Ease of Use 4.7
Reliability 3.6
Value for Money 4.0
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User Reviews

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Review by Bohnzy

Purchased late 2007, installed in a smoke free dedicated cinema room from the ceiling and never removed untill problems developed in March 2011. Great unit up until time to replace the first bulb, then MAJOR problems

Any Problems: AT 1980 hours the unit began shutting off by its self after 3 min of running. I checked the web, found the advice for the iris, did the lube job, no help. Called Pana in Heartland and was told that Kansas was the ONLY repair facility. I took it to a great local shop that is part of the web's top 5 electronics dealers, and they pulled the cover and found a broken cinema mode system (gears stripped and broken) and a faulty main board. The shop told me that Pana knew they had a problem and had extended the warantee on this unit but reciently ended it. I WILL NOT BUY ANOTHER PANASONIC PROJECTOR!!!

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1080P Home Theater Projector
Review by Allen Edwards

This projector has two serious problems. One is that the iris grease hardens up and the projector fails after 300 hours or so. They probably fixed that in later models. You have to open it up and take a q-tip and dab some Super-Lube on the iris and that seems to fix it. Second is that many people have flicker problems, myself included. Panasonic claims that it is not a known problem but it is certainly a known problem online. If you look at the AX200U reviews and search on flicker you find 26 hits in 46 reviews. Someone knows about it. I do not know the solution to that problem but getting a new bulb every 700 hours at $440 a pop is not what I was expecting when I bought this unit. So, other than the fact that they only go 300 hours before failing, they are fine.

Any Problems: I will never buy another Panasonic Projector again.

Review by marley

Image was very good and controls were fine. Unfortunately it encountered shutoff problem that many others are having. Huge hassle having to send off for repair and about a $300 bill. Panasonic should be offering repair at no cost.

Any Problems: Machine started shutting off and I had to reset main power switch at the back. At first one or two resets did the trick and it would stay on. Finally it got to a point where numerous resets didn't work. Going through Panasonic (Heartland), they are charging $276.26 to replace the iris. Judging from the numerous complaints about this, Panasonic ought to recall and make the repair at no cost. Very disappointed.

Review by David Ma

I was quite happy with the quality and features of the unit until it suddenly started shutting down and the iris started doing odd things. As you have probably read in other reviews this apparently was a manufacturing defect by Panasonic. Quite disappointed not only that this occurred, but also that they would not cover the repair costs. My unit is now out of warranty, but its one thing for normal course failures but, I think, something else altogether when the unit was designed in a manner that causes it to fail. Needless to say, I'm not happy, and would suggest that the approach taken so far is likely the same approach that would be encountered with any Panasonic product, and would therefore recommend avoiding them altogether.

Any Problems: Defective iris - well known manufacturing defect for which Panasonic indicated the customer should pay for.

Review by Jim G

I have had this projector for about 2 years of which 18 months it has not been working/working properly. Had a the IRIS problem and had to fight with Panasonic to get them to fix it. Very poor support. Finally got it fixed and got prism block, yellow spot that continually gets larger. Costs more to fix than replace. So...I replaced it with an Epson 720. Much happier now.

Any Problems: Everything

Review by Jon McClean

My projector has started failing with a known issue with the Iris after 990 hours of excellent viewing. Panasonic don't want to replace a defective part FOC, instead want $350 ; this does not seem fair.

Any Problems: shuts down after a few minutes; this is a known issue with the Iris .

Review by banks

This model sucks

Any Problems: I have this projector for 12 months now 1) The projector powers off after 30-60 seconds on starting and goes on stand by (yellow light). It then shows a red light of power off 2) The projector does not start after this with the remote 3) It has to be powered off from the mains and then restarted 4) Earlier, this used to happen once and now it behaves abnormally and sometimes it has to be restarted even upto 8 times or sometimes even just 2 times 5) After this, the projector does not shut down and movies can be watched for even as long as 8-10 hours The projector was given to a service centre who did not find any problems in the hardware (power ballast, fans, bulb etc is ok). They have suggested that the PCB mainboard should be changed which costs as much as a new projector.

Review by Robert

This is the biggest pile of (*&&%) I've ever owned. I bought it at the end of July in 07 and by August I was having problems. For one thing it's flimsy. It has the look and feel of a toy. The picture is respectible, but the unit really requires darkness for the best effect. I had problems with the HDMI syncing with my DVR. The picture would blink on and off. Contacted support via email. No response for 3 weeks, and then they blamed Dish (they fixed it when I sent it in for repair). I had the iris issue starting in October, but I really didn't want to have to sent it in. I also started experiencing the subtle change in brightness every now and again. I tried to negotiate with Panasonic based on the numerous problems that they've had with this unit to replace it with an AX200U (which supposedly has all of these problems resolved - see the reviews and buyer beware). They did not return my calls and support basicly said I had to send the unit in at my expense. Ok fine. I bit the bullet and sent it in. Got it back 2 weeks later. The HDMI issue was fixed. But the first day I had it back the internal fan stopped and the unit shut down. I powered it off, and then back on and it worked for a while then it happened again. It's still happening but usually only once per day. Again I contacted Panasonic through Costco's Carnecierge program, and again have not been contacted. Spoke with the manager at Costco and they have agreed to refund the $1700 I paid for this unit, but that doesn't really change the fact that Panasonic has not and still will not take responsibility for thier faulty product. Costco is going to eat the cost of the projector in the interest of customer service, and Panasonic will not allow them to return the unit because it's been more than 90 days. That saves me as a consumer from being out $1700, but it doesn't require the manufacturer to take any responsibility for their poor product. I will never in my life time buy another Panasonic procuct. Their support is non-existent; utter appathy comes to mind.

Any Problems: Stuck iris shutdown problem. Incompatible HDMI protocol problem. Fluctuating brightness issue. Terrible customer support.

Review by Matt Peloquin

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SHUTDOWN PROBLEMS, see my link below: http://avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=12816058#post12816058 Unbeatable price performer when it was new, very bright, good contrast and good image. Using with a 2.35:1 150" screen. Usually run "Vivid Cinema" in mostly dark room, sometimes "Cinema 1" fully darkened for extra contrast. Dynamic mode does work well in lighted room. The zoom and pan are very handy for repositioning material depending on aspect ratio. The fan could be quieter, but it isn't very noticeable (ceiling mount overhead) -- and is whisper quiet compared to the Xbox 360.

Review by Matt

I purchased this projector in Jan 2007 and by and large it has performed very well. I use it a lot (TV and movies) and I'm very satisfied with the picture. However, like so many others, I ran into the evil IRIS ISSUE at about 1000hrs. For those considering purchasing this projector just know that it's likely that this will happen to you. To Panasonic's defense, however, I did experience very good technical support and have sent it in for repair, no questions asked. Looking forward to getting it back! Bulb is a bit expensive $395. I would probably consider this more when I purchase my next projector.

Any Problems: IRIS ISSUE: When turning the projector on, the iris gets stuck and projector automatically shuts itself off. You must then cycle the power and the projector will work normally. Well documented on the internet if you want to check it out.

Review by b carras

have several as rentals no reliablity issues perfect $1000 projector. really no difference between AX200 in video quality , eco mode is bright as a Dark chip2 mitsHD1500 OptHD70 in reg lamp mode.it can bring out detail missed in less powerfull projectors got 2880 hrs on first lamp have 550 on second unit and have a new AX200 with 120 hrs. Exellent video game projector

Any Problems: paid $350 for lamp !needs to come down before i buy another panasonic projector . have several Hitachis with $180 lamps

Review by iggymama

Love the image, but reliability is poor. Went through 3 projectors. First had color uniformity issues. Fixed with later models? 2nd and 3rd units had dreaded IRIS failure with less than 400 hours on lamp. Fortunately, bought from the big C store. Just got the ax200. We shall see whether this one is any more reliable. Hearing flicker issues are common, though!

Any Problems: Iris failure on 2 units with under 400 hours. Stupid firmware should be changed so it doesn't shut down right away when the iris is sticking!

Review by Bohnzy

After much reading and research this is the projector I selected. Living in N. Idaho with no option to view prior to purchase I took the reviews like this to heart, I'm glad I did. The picture is fantastic, fan is quiet, and easy to set up. Feed: Toshiba HD-A2 HDMI, Screen: 154" diag, throw: 20 feet. Lord Of The Rings NEVER looked so good!

Any Problems: I wish it was a flat black case other than that nota.

Review by DarthClem

You've read all the great things about the picture quality of the PT-AX100U, and there is no denying that. Sadly, the reliability of this unit is highly suspect. In the 7 months I have owned my unit, it has had to go in for repair 3 times. The issue each time is the same: the light output will vary, sometimes going brighter by 10%-20% for a few seconds, some times darker for a few seconds. Other times the image will actually flicker or strobe, almost like someone is jiggling a loose wire inside the projector that controls the brightness.

Any Problems: Besides the issue with image flickering, I've found that Panasonic's technical support and customer care departments are essentially worthless. I would upgrade to the PT-AX200U if I weren't afraid that I'd soon encounter the same problems with that unit.

Review by William Allen

After extensive research and reading of reviews, I chose the PT-Ax100U based on value for the buck. I've had it for 2 weeks and am very satisfied. I'm charging the neighbors $9.50 to see movies at my place.

Any Problems: Yes. Bad picture right out of the box. Got it exchanged from vendor and all is great now.

Review by Angry Panasonic Owner

Projector was great until it started randomly shutting down. They were all manufactured with a stuck Iris problem, read the forums. As soon as you hit 800 lamp hours, you have to send it back for repair. Thanks Panasonic!

Any Problems: STUCK IRIS. UNRELIABLE PROJECTOR.

Review by Dan

My first AX100U last till about 400 hrs. At that point the unit show its defective iris issues. The store I bought the projector from had a good return policy. The second AX100U show the same problem at 325 hrs. One of my co-workers also has an AX100U that he is sending in for repair for the same issue. The projector should be recalled.

Review by China Clipper

This is my first foray on with projection TV. I was stunned by the clarity of this projector. I read all the reviews, and made my decision. I started having the dreaded "flickering" problem about 3 months after I bought it. (or at least that is when it became more noticeable)I sent it back to Heartland for service, and it came back with the same complaint! I am probably going to have to send it in again.... Major bummer! It has a great picture right out of the box especially the aforementioned "Planet Earth" series on Discovery HD. I REALLY hope I can get this flickering/dimming problem solved, when in my opinion I would give Panasonic "excellents" in almost all catagories.

Any Problems: Flicker!! What happens to me is that periodically the screen brightness subtlely decreases then comes back to normal. It's kind of like what your house lights do when someone turns on a vacuum, only not so dramatically. Sometimes, I won't notice it happen for an hour or more; other times, I can wait for a minute or less and will see it. I generally run my PJ in eco-mode, but I've experimented and witnessed it on normal. I've also noticed it with or without dynamic iris turned on

Review by Urs

I bought my AX100 projector after using an AE500 for 3 years. The PJ has two sides... On one hand, it is very easy to install and has a lot of useful and even fancy features. On the other hand, the quality lacks and the projector is not very reliable. The picture quality was good for the first 200 hrs of operation. Afterwards the colors changed more and more. This happened together with a (increasing) brightness oscillation. The manufacturing quality of the optics is not very good, the picture is slighty distorted in some lens shift positions. I sold the unit in the meantime and went for a mitsu HD1000 (which has definitely the better picture).

Any Problems: Quality & reliability at all. From my point of view an overestimated PJ.

Review by Afonso Mesquita

Versatile. This projector works like a DLP projector in cinema and with native quality on LCD projector for PC image (web, games). Excellent in illuminated environments.

Any Problems: None.