Hands on: Panasonic PT-AH1000 auto-adjusting projector
We catch a glimpse of a home cinema projector with intelligent brightness adjustment
While there are a number of projectors around that are capable of performing well in both bright-lit rooms and a darkened movie-watching environment, tweaking their settings can be an epic task.
With the intention of making like easier for the thousands of sports fans keen on having their own big-screen view of Euro 2012 and the London Olympics, Panasonic has released the 2D-only PT-AH1000. Billed as the world's brightest home cinema project, with a maximum light output of 2800 ANSI lumens, it's designed so you that you don't have to sit shrouded in darkness to appreciate its pin-sharp LCD image quality in full HD.
To make life easier for everyone who'd rather relax and watch the match than spend half an hour poking at their remote control, the projector uses Panasonic's Light Harmonizer Technology, most often seen in its education and business ranges.
Built in ambient light and colour sensor analyse the quality of the light in your room, whether it's warm incandescent bulbs, cold fluorescents or natural daylight. The projector than uses the information it gleans to automatically adjust the brightness, gamma, colour temperature and other image settings so that every mode produces consistent and predictable image quality.
Sports fans will also appreciate a dedicated mode which automatically applies a gamma curve that's designed to pick out individual moving players and a motion effect processor to minimise blur and keep fast movement in sharp focus.
The results of the motion smoothing are impressive - a swiftly moving football remained in perfect focus, as did a darting sportsman. During a demo in a brightly lit room, the automatic brightness adjustment ensured that all the action was visible, although some of the colours appeared rather muted.
With the lights dimmed, however, the colours adjusted to become richer and the brightness less intense, making the projector more suitable for watching films in the dark. However, the adjustments are very subtle - you'll get more dramatic changes by switching between the projector's detected sports, cinema and gaming modes.
The projector is set to cost under £2,000 and should be in the shops very soon.