Panasonic PT-52DL10 Employs Rear-Projection DLP

Big, bright, and beautiful: that's Panasonic's new PT-52DL10. The rear projector set is a 52"-diagonal HDTV with a 16:9 aspect ratio, with images provided by the latest Digital Light Projection (DLP) technology from Texas Instruments. The combination is "the highest picture quality available in rear projection televisions," according to a recent Panasonic announcement. With properly decoded signals---as from the optional set-top decoder box, the TU-HDS20---the PT-52DL10 will display both 1280I and 720P images.

Placing the PT-52DL10 in any room should not present a problem. The set is less than 18" deep, due largely to a wide-angled diffusion screen panel and short-focus lens. Panasonic is justifiably proud of what it calls the PT-52DL10's "ultra-compact, lightweight and elegant design."

The PT-52DL10 achieves an XGA resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, thanks to TI's Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), and to Panasonic's advancements in image processing and optical technologies. The PC-compatible display includes 3 sets of component video inputs, 4 S-video input jacks, 4 sets of A/V input jacks, 2 RF inputs, and an array of fixed and variable audio output jacks. A pair of wide-bandwidth ten-watt amplifiers powers the built-in stereo speakers. Panasonic also make a matching stand, the TY-S52DL10, available as an option.

In NTSC mode, the PT-52DL10's twin tuners offer picture-in-picture capability. The inset picture can be used to scan while watching another program. No "black bars:" Panasonic is hyping the PT-52DL10's "digital stretching" capability, in which ordinary 4:3 ratio images are expanded to fill the sides of the screen, a feature that may please consumers who are confused by varying aspect ratios. The set comes with a lighted home theater remote control that can be programmed to operate all associated equipment, including VCRs, DVD/CD players, cable TV boxes, and DBS receivers. PT-52DL10 is available at upscale electronics dealers at a suggested retail price of $12, 500.