Panasonic is launching yet another successor to the projector it developed for the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, the PT-SZ21K. The successor boasts many of the same features as the original model, albeit with a laser light source, and it’s called the PT-RZ21K.

The Panasonic PT-SZ21K has been a big seller for Panasonic, and is Europe’s best selling high-brightness projector. Even without the sales numbers, it’s an important model for the Japanese manufacturer – as it was developed specifically for the London 2012 Olympics. Since then the projector has been used in thousands of events, and even went back to its roots recently at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

So how do you follow-up a projector with such a pedigree? Well, Panasonic has unveiled the PT-RZ21K and it offers much of the same functionality that users have come to love from the PT-SZ21K, albeit with a laser light source.

“The industry is ready to make the switch from lamp to laser,” notes Hartmut Kulessa, European marketing manager at Panasonic. “Panasonic research identified that many projection projects are not being realised because of the high operating cost caused by replacement lamps and service requirements. We believe moving the industry’s most popular high brightness projector to laser will grow the market for projection even further.

The RZ21K generates up to 20,000 lumens of brightness at WUXGA or SXGA+ resolution using dual solid-state laser drives. A durable dust-proof optical system means that the projector offers extended maintenance free operation beyond lamped rivals.

This isn’t the first successor to the PT-SZ21K; in 2015 Panasonic unveiled the DZ21K Evo series, which promised improved image clarity, resolution and contrast, alongside reduced power consumption and a 50% reduction in perceived noise. This is the first successor to offer a laser light source, however.

Despite not being available until Autumn 2017, the technology has already been shown off on the public stage. Panasonic confirmed that the projector was also used at the Rio Olympics, alongside its predecessor.

The PT-RZ21K is intended for the rental, events, and large venue markets, especially those where space is a premium. Panasonic has confirmed that there will be two models available, the PT-RZ21K (WUXGA) and the RS21K (SXGA+).

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