The Panasonic PT-MZ880 is a hefty projector, weighing 41 pounds with a lens and measuring 22 3/32˝ x 8 13/16˝ x 17 9/32”. On the front of the projector, a center-mounted lens is interchangeable, depending on your needs. On either side of the lens are air intake vents. Access to the reusable air filter and an air intake vent is on the projector’s right side from the front. Behind this is the control panel which I get into further down the page. On the back of the PT-MZ880 chassis are the projector's inputs and connections flanked by two exhaust vents.
Looking from the front, the left side of the projector has a single air intake vent.
From the top-down, are the projector’s indicator lights located at the top right. Behind that is the Luminance Sensor that works with the Daylight View Basic I talked about earlier. There is also a top slide cover that hides the lens lock and the release controls.
DUST-RESISTANT CABINET & REUSABLE ECO FILTER
Panasonic has designed the PT-MZ880’s cabinet to have one-way airflow and be sealed around the filter module and air-intake vents.
The filter can last up to 20,000 hours, depending on how dusty the environment is, at which point it can be removed, washed out, dried, then replaced. The specific filter cleaning procedures are essential, so be sure to consult your manual.
As a former events projection technician, I can tell you that mounting flexibility is at the top of my features list for installing a projector in a challenging install environment. Flexibility is one of the biggest strengths of the PT-MZ880. This projector is designed for applications where an orientation other than traditional landscape placement is required. The unit can be installed at almost any angle. For example, tilt-free, roll-free, and portrait installations are supported.
The projector can be rotated freely (360°) to point up or down depending on the installation requirements and can be rotated and installed on its side to create a portrait image. By combining a wide range of optional lenses with geometry correction, the PT-MZ880 can be mounted in any way desired without causing unwanted picture distortion, making for a faster, pain-free installation.
INPUTS AND CONNECTORS
The PT-MZ880 projector’s power and input connections are on the back of the projector. There are a variety of video inputs, including three HDMI, Computer In, and Serial/Multi Sync In. See the photo I’ve included above and the chart below providing all of the connection types.
Facing the lens, the Panasonic PT-MZ880’s control panel is located on the projector's right side.
The first row of buttons has a large On/Off button above a somewhat standard 9-button configuration. At the center is the Enter button, surrounded by four directional arrow keys. The left and right arrow keys also function as the volume controls.
At the top left, next to the Power button, is the Menu button. On the opposite side of this top row is the Input Select button. The lens button in the corner below opens up the motorized lens controls and doubles as a Cancel button. Opposite of that button is the one for Shutter.
There are only two buttons at the top of the remote: Power and Auto Setup/Cancel. The row below has three buttons relating to the motorized lens functions – Focus, Zoom, and (Lens) Shift.
Below those rows is the standard navigational configuration – an Enter button surrounded by four directional arrow keys, with four buttons surrounding that, positioned into each corner of the section. On the top left, there is the Menu button and the Return button on the other side. Below that is the Function button, with the Default button opposite of that.
The next section consists of six input buttons: HDMI 1, HDMI 2, HDMI 3, Computer, Digital Link, and CEC. Under that is the numerical pad, with two buttons surrounding “0” at the bottom. Most of these buttons have another function (all except “8”), which you can see in the picture to the right
That ECO button brings up the ECO management menu, where you can change your brightness settings from full power to ECO for saving energy. The remote is not backlit.
The PT-MZ880 has an extensive but well-laid-out menu structure. The menu images included in this section represent only a small number of all the sub-menus available. I tried to show the sub-menus that contain frequently used adjustments like image, setting, and networking, etc.
That does it for our tour of the Panasonic PT-MZ880’s hardware! Next up is our discussion of the projector’s performance.