Panasonic's new AX200, AX2000 home theatre projectors

PT-AX200-Angle.jpg If you find big TVs an inelegant solution to your big screen needs, then I'm sure you're a projector lover, right? Well Panny pointed out their latest home theatre options yesterday too, though after teasing us with the prospect of the AX2000E - update to the excellent AX1000 - we were told they couldn't talk about that one just yet, because the design and spec isn't final, even though it is due in October. Damn.

So it was all about the AX200, the more affordable 720p neighbour that can't quite keep up with his friend Jones next door. Due late September, this puppy will run at 2000 lumens and get some help from their 'Light Harmonizer II' system to set the image to suit ambient light levels. It's a wanky name, but it isn't just a brightness adjust - it changes gamma, iris, lamp power, and sharpness settings. Sure, power users will probably turn it off, but it's nice for those who are more casual about this business.

More, more, more below.The Advanced Dynamic Sharpness Control is another nice touch, with sharpness managed to reduce noise amplification. It basically reduces the sharpening in the brightest screen areas, increasing in the darker areas to give higher definition where needed and keeping the blend in bright areas looking good.

The Game Mode is a big winner, as we got to get a good look at the difference it makes. The demo used an underwater scene from Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and showed how the mode boosts the very dark areas to give better contrast where a gamer needs it, and it also improves the almost-imperceptible-except-to-mad-gamers lag between controller and projection.

More video orientated options include their Pure Colour Filter, Smooth Screen system and Dynamic Iris - all about silky smooth sexy cinema style. There's a 'Cinema 1' mode to take their auto optimised route to movie goodness.

Oh yeah, and there are also now two HDMI connectors on board. Yay team.

PT-AX200 has an RRP of $2,749.