Right out of the box, Hitachi's PJ-TX100 delivers a picture that puts many LCD projectors to shame. And with proper calibration, it can get even better. At $3,500 list, this projector won't outperform models costing five times as much, but it's a big step up from less-expensive projectors such as the . The PJ-TX100 competes with models such as the Panasonic PT-AE7000U, the Sanyo PLV-Z3, and the Sony VPL-HS51.
The PJ-TX100's attractive curved exterior is a far cry from the squared-off boxes found on cheapo projectors. It measures 13.4 by 5.6 by 11.1 inches (WHD) and weighs 9 pounds. Power, menu, and input buttons, along with a four-way rocking controller for menu controls are on the top of the box. The small remote includes dedicated buttons for each input, as well as brightness, contrast, and color. Most of the buttons are backlit.
With a native resolution of 1,280x720, the PJ-TX100 has enough pixels to display full 720p HDTV; everything else, including 1080i HDTV, is converted to fit those pixels. Keystoning is vertical only, so placement must be more precise than if horizontal keystoning were also onboard. Happily, you may not have to use keystoning at all since the projector includes both horizontal and vertical lens shift. This allows you to place it higher, lower, or to either side relative to the screen and not experience the detail loss that comes with digital keystoning.
Five picture presets are available, in addition to four user-defined modes. The Normal setting's color temperature is closest to the 6,500K standard. Optical Black adjustment--Opt Black on the remote--actually controls the iris. Setting it to Normal or Deep Black will result in deeper blacks at the expense of light output. There's also an eight-step Gamma adjustment to further fine-tune the grayscale. The Progressive setting activates the 2:3 pull-down circuit, and aspect-ratio controls include 16:9, 4:3, Wide (to expand 4:3 sources so that they fill the screen), Normal (which keeps the input signal's aspect ratio intact), and Movie-1 and Movie-2 zoom modes.
Connectivity options include one component video, one S-Video, one composite video, one computer RGB, one RS-232 control port, and one DVI with HDCP.