The sleek, stylish PJ-TX200 keeps the same look and feel of its predecessor, the PJ-TX100. Curvaceous yet compact, this home entertainment projector is a far cry from the boring, boxy units you may be used to seeing in the boardroom.
Measuring 340mm by 299mm by 113mm and weighing a solid 4.7 kilograms, the TX200's size is fairly non-obtrusive but it is a little on the heavy side. The body of the unit seems modelled around the huge lens which definitely attracts attention with its size and placement. Two built-in scroll wheels -- vertical and horizontal -- control the lens shift and wide-zoom angles.
Aesthetically balancing the arrangement of the unit is a front fan exhaust which sits to the left of the lens. More than just eye-pleasing, having the fan in this position allows more air-flow to prevent overheating if the projector is setup in an entertainment unit or confined shelf space. All the inputs are lined up along the left-rear side of the unit. The package comes with a tiny, lightweight backlit remote control.
The PJ-TX200 is HD-ready (High Definition) with a native resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. A 10-bit full digital video processor allows a total of 1.07 billion colours, with a Digital Shutter mode for black wide-screen movie borders, Super focus ED (Extra-low dispersion) lenses and 1.6x optical zoom that can fill a 60-inch screen from a mere 1.7 metres included as some of the major features. A Short Throw Optical System has been incorporated to require only minimal projection distance. This is an impressive feature as space can be a concern when installing a projector into an average-sized room.
As with its predecessor, the TX200 has a useful memory function that can store four different screen settings to reduce the manual configuration. This is particularly handy when using the projector in various lighting conditions, most commonly daylight and night-time.
Hitachi provides strong video connectivity options with HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, S-Video and PC inputs. All connectors auto-detect so it's literally a case of plug and play.
Setting up the projector was simple and straightforward enough that first-time users shouldn't have difficulty, though an instruction manual is included. We were pleased with the image quality and the extremely high contrast ratio of 7000:1 (compared to the TX100's 1200:1 ratio) was evident in the colour depth and shadow detail. The introduction of Dual Iris optics helps to control colour tones with an active iris to set the black level and projection system iris which sets the white balance.
Operation noise has been slightly improved since the PJ-TX100, with the unit now claiming 24dB noise in Whisper mode. We could hear the projector whirring quietly when standing right next to it, but were not disrupted while watching a DVD while sitting a few metres away.
We did notice the unit getting quite hot after just a short period of use. Though not afraid of a meltdown, by the end of a movie we felt it necessary to turn off the power and let it cool.