Home Theater Projector Shootout: Home Theater Projectors under $1,000

If you want to spend less than a thousand bucks on a good home theater projector, here are five of the best new options on the market. This shootout compares five newly released 1920×1080 resolution home theater projectors that are priced between $799 and $999, including in alpha order the BenQ HT3050, the BenQ HT2050, the Epson Home Cinema 2040, the Optoma HD28DSE, and the Viewsonic LightStream PJD7835HD. To start with, here are the prices, warranties, and technology type:

MODEL PRICE WARRANTY TYPE
BenQ HT3050 $999 1 year DLP
BenQ HT2050 $799 1 year DLP
Epson Home Cinema 2040 $799 2 years 3LCD
Optoma HD28DSE $799 1 year DLP
Viewsonic PJD7835HD $899 3 years DLP

 

Which is the BEST Projector?

There is no such thing, at least in this group, as the “best” projector. Why? Because each of our five projectors has unique attributes that may be of more or less importance to you. For example, when one projector has deeper black levels but is not quite as sharp as another, people would disagree on which is the “best.” One projector might do an outstanding job with 2D but its 3D image is lackluster, while a different model has terrific 3D, but its 2D image is less impressive. Which of these projectors is the “best” for you depends on how important 3D viewing is to you.

No single projector in this shootout does everything the best — they’ve all got advantages and they’ve all got flaws. Our purpose here is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each product, and let you decide which one most closely meets your needs.

The Calibration Issue

There is a lot of discussion about color balance and calibration in these reviews. Let’s put this into perspective right up front. There are two truisms to bear in mind:

  1. Most consumers will think the factory calibrated pictures they get from any of the five projectors in this shootout are just fine as they are coming out of the box, without any need for adjustments or calibrations.
  2. The picture quality on virtually all projectors can be improved with a professional calibration.

Projector manufacturers are paying more attention to proper video calibrations than they used to. Some are promoting the fact that they are making a specific effort to target HD Rec 709 standards in their Movie or Cinema factory calibrations. Other vendors have created Cinema or Movie calibrations designed to target HD color standards without specifically marketing them as such. So the good news is that you are much more likely to pull a new projector out of the box, fire it up, and get a picture that blows you away without having to bother with a professional calibration.

HOWEVER. Though vendors are paying more attention to calibration for best video, it is only by the rarest of accidents that a projector comes out of the box perfectly calibrated. Factory calibrations are always approximations, as each unit and (more importantly) each lamp is different. The high pressure lamps used in inexpensive projectors do not emit the ideal 6500K white light; they tend to be biased toward blue-green. The Cinema or Rec 709 factory calibrations help to compensate for the anticipated color errors introduced by the lamps, but there is no way that vendors could afford to custom calibrate each unit for each individual lamp during the manufacturing process.

Bottom line, if you set up two different projectors side by side that have both been “factory pre-calibrated to Rec 709,” odds are the colors will look different. And, odds are, they are both wrong. But they will both look a lot better (that is, a lot closer to the theoretical ideal) than if no attempt at calibration had been done.

If you want your projector to be tuned up to its absolute best potential, a certified technician will need to spend a couple hours dialing it in. And even then, one person’s “optimal” picture may not be another’s. While there are objective targets defined as ideals, there is a lot of room for personal taste when it comes to setting up a video picture to your ultimate satisfaction.

The problem is, professional calibrations can cost $300 or more, which is a huge chunk of change to add to the cost of an $800 projector. Most buyers won’t do that. And for most buyers, it isn’t necessary. Think about this — TVs are just as erroneous as projectors, often more so. But when’s the last time you heard of anyone needing to hire a professional to calibrate their TV before they could enjoy the picture? Probably never.

So take the discussion about color balance and accuracy in these reviews with a grain of salt. They will mean something to serious home theater fans, and the issues are legitimate because people going to the trouble to install a projection system generally want better performance than the typical TV watcher. But all of the projectors in this group have factory defined picture modes that will dazzle and delight most consumers. They give you a big screen experience you can love without messing with any calibration at all. Once you install one of them and get familiar with its features, how much of a stickler you may want to be for fine tuning and technical precision is up to you.

Performance

This section contains meter measurements on the five projectors pertaining to lumen output, brightness uniformity, and input lag.

2D Brightness. For traditional 2D movie and video display, all five of these projectors produce more than ample light for dark room home theater. In their brightest configurations that are still balanced for very good video, four of the five come in so close that it would make no sense to choose one or the other based on brightness. The Viewsonic PJD7835HD is the one exception that puts out more light.

ANSI Lumens in Brightest Cinema Modes

MODEL Lumens
BenQ HT3050 1550
BenQ HT2050 1688
Epson 2040 1725
Optoma HD28DSE 1667
Viewsonic PJD7835HD 2310

 

ANSI Lumens in Standard Cinema Modes (lamps on full power)

MODEL Lumens
BenQ HT3050 1160
BenQ HT2050 1255
Epson 2040 1519
Optoma HD28DSE 1601
Viewsonic PJD7835HD 1616

 

In their preset Cinema modes, the Epson 2040, Optoma HD28, and Viewsonic 7835HD are somewhat brighter than the BenQ HT2050 and HT3050. But even the least bright measurement of 1160 lumens is more than ample light for most dark theater applications.

Eco modes. All five projectors have eco-modes that reduce total lumen output in all modes in the event light output at full lamp power is too much for your needs. Optoma’s eco-mode cuts light by 26%, Epson’s by 34%, and the two BenQ models are reduced 32%. The Viewsonic has two eco modes. The standard Eco cuts light by 27%, and the Super-Eco cuts it by a whopping 78% (a curious option for which we cannot see a high demand).

Zoom lens effect. The 1.3x zoom lenses on the two BenQ models will allow you to reduce lumen output by up to 27% as you move to the telephoto end of the zoom range. Why? As you move the lens from wide angle to telephoto, it reduces the amount of light that is transmitted through the lens. The Viewsonic has a 1.36x zoom that will reduce light up to 23% at the telephoto end. This gives users of these models a bit more latitude for lowering maximum brightness if they need to. Meanwhile the Epson 2040 and Optoma HD28 have shorter zooms of 1.2x and 1.1x respectively. The light output of the Epson and Optoma projectors is not significantly altered by the zoom position.

3D Brightness. Though these five projectors are similar in 2D image brightness, the similarities evaporate entirely when switching to 3D operation. The Epson HC 2040 has a commanding advantage in 3D image brightness over all four of its competitors. It is well over twice as bright as the closest runner up, the Optoma HD28DSE. In turn, the HD28DSE is obviously brighter than the remaining three.

Brightness Uniformity. A theoretically perfect projector will have 100% uniformity, displaying identical illumination across the screen side to side and top to bottom. We’ve never seen one do this. Practically speaking in today’s world, 90% uniformity is excellent, 80% is good, 70% is fair to mediocre, and 60% is poor. These numbers represent ratios between the brightest part of the image and the dimmest. So a projector with 60% uniformity will be 40% less bright in the dimmest area of the image than in its brightest.

For the most part, low brightness uniformity is not noticeable when viewing a video or film image. What you generally get is fading toward the sides or corners that you are not conscious of unless the projector has some visible vignetting. So the flaw is subtle — you are not seeing the picture as it is meant to be seen, but you are not aware that it is wrong. Once you throw a 100 IRE white test pattern onto the screen, the degree of unevenness of your projector’s image becomes apparent.

Our five 1080p projectors in this group yield brightness uniformity measurements as follows:

MODEL Uniformity
BenQ HT3050 73%
BenQ HT2050 67%
Epson 2040 84%
Optoma HD28DSE 71%
Viewsonic PJD7835HD 65%

 

Input Lag. The time lag that exists between the time the projector receives the signal and the time it appears on the screen is called input lag. A lengthy input lag will produce visible lip synch issues and may have some impact on video gaming results. The lip synch problem can be easily overcome with the use of an audio delay that brings the sound and the picture back into synch. But there is no fix for video gaming, so those who are into serious competitive gaming tend to look for video displays with the lowest input lags.

MODEL INPUT LAG
BenQ HT3050 49.7 ms
BenQ HT2050 33.1 ms
Epson Home Cinema 2040 24.6 ms
Optoma HD28DSE 49.7 ms
Viewsonic PJD7835HD 49.7 ms

Set Up / Installation

None of these five projectors have long zoom lenses or extensive lens shift, so your options are limited on where you can place them to fill your particular screen. The BenQ models have a 1.3x zoom lens and some limited lens shift, and the Viewsonic has a 1.36x zoom, so they offer a bit more latitude.

The throw distances for the BenQ and Epson units are almost identical. If you have a 16:9, 120″ diagonal screen, the HT3050 and 2050 will fill it from a distance of 10 to 13 feet, and the Epson 2040 will fill it from 10.5 to 12.75 feet. The Viewsonic gives you the ability to position it slightly closer, from 9.6 to 13 feet. The Optoma HD28DSE needs a bit more throw distance, 13 to 14 feet, to accommodate the same 120″ screen. This can be a good thing since it may allow placement of the projector behind the seating area and a bit further from the audience.

If your screen is something other than 120″ diagonal, you can find throw distance details using the Projector Central Projection Calculator. Here is the Projection Calculator pre-loaded with each of the five models … BenQ HT3050BenQ HT2050Epson HC 2040Optoma HD28DSEViewsonic PJD7835HD. Adjust the screen size and throw distance parameters to suit your needs.

Image offset is another factor to keep in mind. Each of these projectors throws an image that is entirely or mostly above the centerline of the lens. The two BenQ models and the Optoma throw a picture so that the bottom edge is above the centerline of the lens by about 8% of the picture height.

In addition, the two BenQ projectors have a lens shift capability that will let you raise the picture up to another 10% of the picture height (or about 6″ on a 120″ screen). This lets you compensate for minor errors in mounting in a way that the other products don’t, and makes it easier to target a pre-installed screen.

The Epson HC 2040 is unique among the five in that its projection offset is quite a bit lower — the bottom edge of the projected image is located below the centerline of the lens, by an amount equal to about 13% of the picture height, or about 8″ below the centerline on a 120″ screen. The advantage of this placement is that it makes it easier to install on a rack or shelf located behind the audience without having to tilt it to position the image properly on the wall. This lets you avoid the keystone correction that would be required to square up the image if you had to tilt the projector downward, as you would need to do with the BenQ, Optoma, and Viewsonic units.

There are two further issues to be aware of if you plan to place the HC 2040 on a rear shelf behind the seats. First, it will require you to sit at a position of about 1.3x the screen width or closer. You may or may not want to sit that close to the screen, and it is worth sorting that out before you make your final decision. Second, fan noise may be bothersome if the projector is placed immediately behind and too close to the heads of the audience. This is especially the case if the projector is to be run in full power mode.

The downside to the Epson 2040’s lower throw angle is that if you place it on a coffee table it may throw the image too low, or if you invert and ceiling mount it, it will throw the image too high. For ceiling mounting, this is fixed by using an extension drop tube. The HC 2040 will need to be suspended one or two feet lower from the ceiling than would be required with the competing units.

The bottom line is that the lens throw geometry of the BenQ HT3050 and HT2050 favors a ceiling mount or coffee table placement, and its lens shift makes it easier to target a pre-installed screen. The Optoma HD28DSE and Viewsonic 7835HD also favor a ceiling or table mount, but they have no lens shift. All four of the DLP projectors are a bit more problematic for rear shelf placement due to the probable need to tilt the units downward and use keystone to square it up (which is scaling that compromises the 1 to 1 pixel mapping from an HD 1080p source). The Epson HC 2040 is designed to accommodate a rear shelf placement more easily, and if you ceiling mount it, you will need to position it at a greater vertical distance from the ceiling than you would the competing units by using a longer drop tube.

Lamp Life and Replacement Lamp Cost

Lamp life has continued to improve in the industry. Keep in mind that lamp life specs are based on the anticipated time the lamp’s brightness will diminish to 50% of its original luminance. However, high pressure lamps do not degrade on a straight-line basis; they lose about 25% of their power in the first 500 to 1000 hours, and then degrade more slowly after that. For this reason, many serious home theater users replace lamps more frequently than the official lamp life in order to keep their projectors performing their best. If you want to follow this strategy, the lamp replacement cost becomes a factor in your decision.

Lamp Life Specifications

MODEL FULL Power ECO Mode
BenQ HT3050 3500 hours 6000 hours
BenQ HT2050 3500 hours 6000 hours
Epson Home Cinema 2040 4000 hours 7500 hours
Optoma HD28DSE 4000 hours 8000 hours
Viewsonic PJD7835HD 3500 hours 8000 hours

 

Replacement Lamp Prices (as quoted by the manufacturers)

MODEL Price
BenQ HT3050 $249
BenQ HT2050 $249
Epson 2040 $  79
Optoma HD28DSE $179
Viewsonic PJD7835HD $329

BenQ HT3050

The BenQ HT3050 is an impressive projector that succeeds in part by avoiding the common flaws typical of home theater projectors in this price range. It delivers an exceptional picture out of the box that many will find perfectly enjoyable without any tweaking. On our sample, we selected the Cinema mode, and preferred to open up the mid-tones a bit by boosting Brightness to 51, Contrast to 53, and adjusting gamma from 2.2 to 2.1. This is not a recommendation, as your unit and your tastes may vary.

Strengths / Advantages

Pre-calibrated Rec 709 Cinema mode. One of the key features of the HT3050 is its Cinema mode that has been factory set to target Rec 709 standards. No factory precalibration will be ideal for all units coming off the line, but this one gets the picture closer to standards than typical factory settings. The picture looks great standing on its own, and we suspect few users would want to bother with the expense of a custom calibration. It can be improved with further tweaking, but it is not necessary.

Rainbows? What rainbows? The RGBRGB wheel configuration and rapid refresh rate bring rainbow artifacts to an absolute minimum, which for all practical purposes will be non-existent for many users.

Outstanding Audio. The twin 10W stereo speakers blow all the others away. If you want or need your projector to have some robust audio, this is the one to get.

Low Fan Noise. The fan noise on the HT3050 (and HT2050) in full power mode is the lowest and least noticeable in the group in both sound pressure and frequency. It also does not vary in pitch or pressure which is a good thing that is not true of all projectors in this shootout.

Lens shift. While not extensive in range, the HT3050 (and HT2050) lets you shift the lens in order to move the image up and down about 10% of the picture height. This can make it much easier to target a pre-installed screen, or make a small adjustment after you’ve made an error in screen installation after the fact. None of the competing units have this.

1.3x zoom lens. The 1.3x zoom lenses provide a bit more flexibility in throw distance, and the choice of throw distance can be used to fine tune the projector’s light output if necessary.

Black levels. Black levels, while not as deep as the Optoma HD28, are the second best in the group, and are sufficiently deep to produce good snap. Contrast is equally competitive, not quite at HD28 level but solid and nothing to complain about.

Weaknesses

3D performance. The HT3050 has the least bright 3D picture in the shootout. Color saturation is somewhat muted compared to the Epson 2040 and Optoma HD28. Standing alone, the HT3050’s 3D picture is certainly quite engaging and enjoyable, so if you have only a passing interest in 3D, this projector will get you by. But if you are a big 3D fan and tend to complain about the dimness of 3D imagery, the HT3050 would not be the first choice.

Light output. Light output in 2D display is around 1160 lumens in Cinema mode, which is plenty sufficient for most home theater needs. It is only a weakness by comparison with competing units in this group that average closer to 1600 lumens and thus would be able to accommodate more ambient light, should that be desired.

Input lag. The HT3050’s 49.7 ms matches the Viewsonic and the Optoma, but it is not as quick as the HT2050 at 33.1 ms, or the Epson 2040 at 24.6 ms. If you are not into serious gaming this is a non-issue, but if you are, this may be an issue to consider.

Brightness uniformity. The HT3050 and HT2050 both have relatively low brightness uniformity compared to ideal home theater standards. However, they share this limitation with the other DLP models in this shootout, so they are not uniquely poor in this regard. This is a flaw that tends to get lost and unnoticed in a video image, so as flaws go it is easy to live with.

Slow signal lock. The HT3050 is the slowest of the five units to find and lock on a signal. This is noticed typically when loading a new disc. You see a lot of “searching for signal” messages when the Blu-ray player is sending different signals that alternate between 480 to 1080/60 to 1080/24. The practical consequence is that you may never see preliminary notices like the MPAA rating screen or the FBI warning, and you may hear the dramatic fanfare of the movie studio’s logo on your sound system before the video image appears on the screen. However, once the projector locks onto a stable 1080p/24 movie signal it is fine, so most users will consider the initial instability to be a minor nuisance. All of the DLP projectors in this shootout do this to some degree; the Epson 2040 is the only one in this group that rapidly locks on a new signal format.

One-year warranty. BenQ offers a one-year warranty on the HT3050, which is the minimum found in the industry today.

Price and Replacement Lamp. The $999 price is the highest in the group and the $249 replacement lamp price is rather hefty; it is not as bad as the Viewsonic lamp at $329, but Epson’s $79 lamp price stands in a league of its own.

Summary Assessment

The BenQ HT3050 produces a solid and thoroughly engaging picture without the need for pro calibration. Its black levels, shadow definition, and contrast are competitive, rainbows are rare, and fan noise is low, steady, and unobtrusive. The 1.3x zoom lens with lens shift makes it the easiest of the projectors in this group to ceiling mount. Part of the charm of the HT3050 is that BenQ has eliminated most of the common flaws people object to in lower priced projectors.

Furthermore, the weaknesses that it does have do not rise to the level of big problems for most buyers. Its 3D is the least bright and saturated of the competing models, but for those who watch 3D only occasionally this is not a big deal; it provides sufficiently good 3D performance to satisfy the occasional use. Brightness uniformity is lower than ideal, but it is not generally noticeable on the screen. Input lag of 49.7 ms may be a concern for serious gamers, but not for the rest of the world. And its slowness to lock on a signal is a minor nuisance that only happens before the movie gets going.

The HT3050’s price of $999 is the highest in this group, the one-year warranty is minimal, and $249 for a replacement lamp may be a concern for people who plan to put a lot of hours on their projector. But overall, we expect that many will see the particular configuration of benefits offered by the HT3050 to be a very attractive value proposition.

BenQ HT2050

The BenQ HT2050 is built on the same platform as the HT3050, and it also is an impressive projector that succeeds in part by avoiding the common flaws in home theater projectors in this price range. It lacks a few features that are found on the HT3050, including a factory calibrated Rec 709 Cinema mode, stereo sound, horizontal keystone adjustment, MHL-compatibility, and the option to add a soon-to-be released wireless module for an additional $399. But you save $200 by going with the HT2050 instead of the HT3050.

Strengths / Advantages

Rainbows a non-issue. The RGBRGB wheel configuration and rapid refresh rate bring rainbow artifacts to an absolute minimum, which for all practical purposes will be non-existent for many users.

Low Fan Noise. The fan noise on the HT2050 (and HT3050) in full power mode is the lowest and least noticeable in the group in both sound pressure and frequency.

Input lag. The HT2050’s 33.1 ms is quite good. It is faster than the HT3050, the Optoma HD28 and the Viewsonic which all measure 49.7 ms, but it is not quite as quick as the Epson at 24.6 ms.

Lens shift. While not extensive in range, the HT2050 (and HT3050) lets you shift the lens in order to move the image up and down about 10% of the picture height. This can make it much easier to target a pre-installed screen, or make a small adjustment after you’ve made an error in screen installation after the fact. None of the competing units have this.

1.3x zoom lens. The 1.3x zoom lenses provide a bit more flexibility in throw distance, and the choice of throw distance can be used to fine tune the projector’s light output if necessary.

Black levels. Black levels, while not as deep as the Optoma HD28, are the second best in the group, and are sufficiently deep to produce good snap. Contrast is equally competitive, not quite at HD28 level but solid and nothing to complain about.

Above Average Audio. The single 10W stereo speaker does not compare to the twin 10W configuration on the HT3050, but it outperforms the audio on the other competing units in this group.

Price. At $799 the HT2050, along with the Epson 2040 and Optoma HD28, are the three least expensive models in the group.

Weaknesses

3D performance. The HT2050 is just slightly brighter than the HT3050, but one of the least bright 3D pictures in the shootout. Color saturation is muted compared to the Epson 2040 and Optoma HD28. Standing alone, the HT2050’s 3D picture is certainly engaging and enjoyable, so if you have only a passing interest in 3D, this projector will get you by. But if you are among those who complain about the dimness of 3D imagery, the HT2050 would not be the first choice.

No MHL Compatibility. The HT2050 is the only projector in this group of five that does not have MHL.

Brightness uniformity. The 2050 and 3050 both have low brightness uniformity, which they share with the other DLP models in this shootout. This is a flaw that tends to get lost and unnoticed in a video image, so as flaws go it is easy to live with.

Slow signal lock. The HT2050 is relatively slow to find and lock on a signal. This is noticed mostly when loading a new disc. There are a lot of “searching for signal” messages as the Blu-ray player may alternate between 480 to 1080/60 to 1080/24. However, once it locks on to a stable signal it has no problem retaining it. The HT2050 appears to be a bit faster than the HT3050 in this regard.

One-year warranty. BenQ offers a one-year warranty on the HT2050, which is the minimum found in the industry today.

Replacement Lamp. The $249 replacement lamp price is rather hefty; it is not as bad as the Viewsonic at $329, but Epson’s $79 price stands in a league of its own.

Summary Assessment

Much of what was said of the HT3050 can be said of the HT2050 as well. At $799 it is competitively priced and delivers an impressive picture for the money. Its factory calibrations are perfectly watchable as they are, but color in Cinema mode is not dialed in quite as well as it is on the HT3050. Though not required to enjoy the projector, a custom calibration will noticeably improve the picture quality. If you DO plan to spend $300 on a custom calibration, the HT2050 would be the more cost-effective choice over the HT3050 unless you want or need the HT3050’s other features — MHL, horizontal keystone, more robust stereo on-board sound, and the option to add a wireless module.

As with the HT3050, black levels, shadow definition, and contrast are competitive, rainbows are rare, and fan noise is low and unobtrusive. The 1.3x zoom lens with lens shift makes it the easiest of the projectors in this group to ceiling mount. Most of the common flaws people object to in lower priced projectors do not appear on this one. Furthermore, the weaknesses that it does have are not big problems for most buyers. Though slightly brighter than the HT3050, its 3D is similarly low in brightness and saturation compared to the competition, but for those who watch 3D only occasionally this is not a big deal; it provides sufficiently good 3D performance to satisfy the occasional use. Brightness uniformity is lower than ideal, but it is not generally noticeable on the screen.

The HT2050’s input lag of 33.1 ms will look more attractive to gamers than the 49.7 ms on the HT3050. On the other hand, the absence of MHL compatibility will hinder the use of smartphones and tablets as sources, and the HT2050 is the only projector in the group without this feature. The one-year warranty and $249 price for a replacement lamp may be a concern for people who plan to put a lot of hours on their projector. But overall, we expect that many will see the HT2050’s particular configuration of benefits to be a very attractive value proposition for $799. People who buy it will love it.

Epson Home Cinema 2040

The Epson HC 2040 is the best home theater projector yet produced by Epson in this price range. It is the only 3LCD product in the group of five, and in many respects it is radically different than its DLP competitors. It has performance features and advantages none of the others have, along with a couple of unique weaknesses. To the videophile, the 3LCD picture looks qualitatively different than DLP, with both advantages and disadvantages. Preference for one over the other is a matter of personal taste, so we’ll try to describe the differences and let you decide which appeals to you the most.

Strengths / Advantages

3D Performance. The single most dramatic advantage of the 2040 is its performance in 3D. Image brightness is the chronic problem with most 3D implementations, and the 2040 is by far the brightest of the five units in this comparison. When in full power mode it is double the brightness of the next closest competitor, the Optoma HD28, which in turn is twice as bright as the rest of the competition. And even when the 2040 is in eco-mode, its 3D picture is visibly brighter than the HD28 in full lamp. Not only is the 2040’s 3D image bright, it is rich and vibrant in color, and high in contrast. The black level limitations that appear in 2D display do not exist in 3D; instead you get deep solid blacks and ample shadow detail definition. For buyers who are heavily into 3D, the 2040 is the standout choice among the five.

Very Sharp Picture. Perhaps the sharpest image of the five, rivaled only by the Optoma HD28. Sharpness is due in part to the Detail Clarity Processor brought down from the 5030/6030 models. As with any sharpening algorithm, it can be overdone to the point where the picture looks artificially harsh. However, in modest use (we set ours to 30%) it lends a natural refinement of detail and makes the picture look higher in resolution than it does on competing units.

Film-like image. The 3LCD picture on the 2040 has a more natural, analog looking aspect to it than do the DLPs in this group. This is difficult to describe, but there is a qualitative smoothness in the image that will appeal to videophiles.

Input Lag. The 2040 measures 24.6 ms input lag, the fastest of the group, and in fact the fastest projector we’ve measured in a long time.

Frame Interpolation. The 2040 is the only product among these five that has frame interpolation. This optional feature can be set to Low to reduce the occasional camera panning judder in movie projection. If set to Medium or High it will produce too much hyper-reality (the soap opera effect) for movie viewing. However, the High setting works well for stabilizing video of live performances such as concerts or dance, where the more visual reality the better.

Rainbows are non-existent. The 3-chip light engine delivers simultaneous color updates, so rainbow artifacts do not exist.

Low Fan Noise in Eco-mode. The fan noise in eco-mode is identical to the noise on the BenQ models, which is to say the lowest that it gets among these five models.

Lower throw offset. The 2040 has a lower throw offset than any of the DLPs which makes it more suitable for mounting on a shelf behind the seats. This may or may not be an advantage depending on how you plan to install it. Shelf mounting saves you the cost of a ceiling mount and long run cables as well as the work to install it. However, if you do plan to ceiling mount your projector, the 2040 will require a longer drop tube than you would use with any of the DLP models.

Brightness uniformity. Our 2040 test unit measures 84%, compared to the low 70’s or worse on the other four units. So the 2040 is the only model among the five that can be said to have good uniformity.

Miracast, Intel WiDi Option. Epson offers a variation of the 2040 called the Home Cinema 2045. It is $50 more than the 2040, and it includes support for Miracast and Intel WiDi.

Rapid synch on new signals. The 2040 is the fastest of the group to recognize and synch on a new signal format. So when loading a Blu-ray disc, as it initially cycles through varying signal formats for the MPAA rating, the FBI alert screen, and the movie studio logo splash sequences, it displays these without any stumbling around or multiple intermittent “searching for signal” messages. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is a difference you experience every time you load a new disc.

Price. At $799 the Epson 2040, along with the BenQ HT2050 and Optoma HD28, are the three least expensive models in the group.

Cheap Replacement Lamp. The $79 replacement lamp price is pretty much unheard of, and seriously undercuts the high prices of the competition. At this price, there is a real benefit to be aware of. You can always expect high pressure lamps to lose 25% of their initial brightness during the first 500 to 1000 hours of operation. They will then degrade more slowly until they hit 50% of their initial brightness at end of life. Because of this, serious home theater users with higher priced projectors often replace lamps more frequently than the lamp life would suggest, in order to keep their equipment performing at its best. At a price of $79, you can adopt this practice on the 2040 without serious financial impact.

Two-year warranty. Epson’s two-year warranty on the 2040 beats the one-year programs offered by BenQ and Optoma, but Viewsonic’s three-year deal is the best in this group.

Weaknesses

Black levels in 2D. The most notable weakness in the 2040 is black level in 2D display, which is not as deep as it is on the DLP competition. By comparison, the Optoma HD28 has the deepest blacks and highest contrast. The weakness in black level is most apparent on a 2D image that is mostly black, such as rolling credits, and in predominantly dark scenes where there is a lot of shadow detail. With this subject matter the DLP projectors will render a blacker background and provide better shadow detail definition.

Fan noise in full lamp mode. The 2040 is the loudest of the five models when in full lamp mode. We presume many users will opt for eco-mode, which brings fan noise down to the equivalent level of the BenQ units. The good news is that even in eco-mode the 2040 has a brighter picture than most of the competition.

No lens shift. The two BenQ models have some lens shift range that will make them easier to install. The 2040, the HD28, and the PJD7835HD lack this feature.

Average on-board audio. It’s not bad for a portable unit and it beats the anemic HD28 audio, but the audio on the 2040 pales in comparison to what you get on the HT3050 and even the HT2050.

Summary Assessment

The Epson Home Cinema 2040 is the most impressive home theater projector yet produced by Epson under $1000. It is uniquely outstanding in 3D, easily outperforming the competition with this type of content. Its image with 2D content is bright and sharp with excellent color, clarity, and a natural film-like quality.

The HC 2040’s factory calibrations in its Cinema and Bright Cinema modes are reasonably good and certainly watchable without calibration. However, some tweaking by a knowledgeable user or a professional calibration will improve its ultimate performance. We ended up making some tweaks to the Bright Cinema mode that produced a brilliant and very satisfying image. Its primary weakness is black levels and shadow definition in scenes with an abundance of dark and shadow. Fan noise is also louder than desirable when the projector is run in full power, but it is quiet in eco-mode. Since the projector produces exceptional brightness in eco-mode and we suspect most users will opt for that.

Epson’s consumer friendly 2-year warranty and $79 replacement lamp price, along with the fact that its $799 price is attractive in itself, will make it easy for many to make a decision for the HC 2040.

Optoma HD28DSE

The Optoma HD28DSE is capable of producing what many might consider to be the best 2D picture in this group of five models, but it does not come that way out of the box. When you first fire it up, its factory default calibrations are disturbing. Saturation and sharpness are way overdriven, white is extremely out of balance, and the picture looks quite harsh. However it is remarkably easy to fix with a few simple adjustments. First, switch it from Vivid to Cinema mode. Second, reduce the Sharpness control from 12 to 8. Third, reduce color saturation from 10 to 0. Fourth, reduce Brilliant Color from 8 to 2. Fifth, reduce the DarbeeVision video processing from its factory 80% setting to 20%. And voila, you have a vastly improved 2D video image with solid black levels, sparkling contrast, impressive three-dimensionality, and reasonably well calibrated color that will compete well against any of the competition in this shootout.

Strengths / Advantages

Deepest blacks, best contrast. The HD28DSE carries a contrast rating of 30,000:1 compared to the 15,000:1 ratings on the BenQ models and 22,000:1 on the Viewsonic. In this instance the contrast ratings do translate to a visible competitive advantage. We see marginally deeper black levels, better shadow detail separation, higher overall contrast, and more image three-dimensionality on the HD28 than on any of the competing models. However, we would describe the differences as more subtle than dramatic.

Rainbows are scarce. We see a few more rainbows on the HD28 than we do on the BenQ models, but they are scarce enough that they don’t rise to the level of a concern. By comparison there is more rainbow activity on the Viewsonic.

Very good 3D performance. The HD28 cannot match the Epson 2040 in 3D brightness or richness, but it occupies an impressive second place, surpassing the other DLP models handily in both image brightness and color vibrancy.

Sharp picture. The HD28DSE is unique in that it has the DarbeeVision video processing system which none of the other models have. (“DSE” in the model name stands for Darbee Special Edition). This can be enabled or not as the user wishes. In our experimenting, we find that using the DarbeeVision system in a modest setting of about 20% contributes beneficially to image sharpness and clarity without making it appear unnaturally processed. So it is a significant feature that places the HD28DSE in a tie with the Epson 2040 as the two sharpest projectors in the shootout.

Four corner correction. The HD28 has not only vertical and horizontal keystone correction, but independent four corner correction as well. So if you need to install this unit at oblique angles to the projection surface, it is easy to square up the image. Anyone setting up the projector for permanent use in a home theater should make every effort to position the projector square with the screen to begin with so no keystone adjustments of any kind are required, but if you need this feature it is available.

Weaknesses

Variable fan noise. The fan noise oscillates somewhat and appears to be related to average picture level and internal operating temperature. There is an intermittent higher pitched tone that comes and goes, which does not exist on any of the other units. Moreover, overall loudness of the fan increases and decreases over time. The varying pitch and tone of the fan noise draws more attention than does any fan with a constant pitch and sound pressure.

Factory presets excessive. When first firing it up, the HD28 defaults to a rather bright, oversaturated, very harsh image. The good news is that it is easy to fix as described above.

1.1x zoom and fixed throw offset. With no lens shift and almost no zoom, the HD28 is the most restrictive of the five models in terms of the precision required to install the projector.

Lower than expected lumens. The HD28 has ample firepower for most home theater and home entertainment use and it is competitive with the other units in the group. But it falls noticeably short of its 3000 lumen rating.

Weak onboard speaker. If you listen carefully the speaker will give you an idea what a movie’s audio track is all about, but despite its 10-watt rating it is not very loud even at max volume. Onboard sound is the worst of the five models here.

Input lag. The measured lag of 49.7 ms matches the BenQ HT3050 and Viewsonic PJD7835HD, but it is slower than the HT2050 and Epson 2040. If you’re a serious gamer, this may be a consideration.

One-year warranty. Optoma’s one-year warranty on the HD28DSE is an industry minimum, matching BenQ, but falling short of Epson’s two-years or Viewsonic’s three years.

Price and Replacement Lamp. The $799 price is attractive and the $179 replacement lamp price looks good compared to BenQ and Viewsonic, but it is quite a bit more than Epson’s $79 lamp.

Summary Assessment

After getting rid of the overdriven factory presets, the Optoma HD28DSE turns into a beautiful projector with best in class black levels and contrast. The DarbeeVision system is a unique feature that can enhance the picture if used modestly, but can destroy the picture if used at aggressive settings. The HD28DSE’s Cinema and 3D modes in particular can be enjoyed without calibration, other than the initial adjustments needed to remove the excessive processing. Rainbows occur infrequently enough that they do not amount to an issue of consequence.

3D performance is above average in the group. It is more robust than the other DLP projectors, but falls short of the Epson. The only ongoing annoyance is the unpredictable fan noise. The HD28DSE is best suited for low table or ceiling mounting. Be careful where you put it, as the 1.1x zoom and zero lens shift severely limits placement options for any given screen size and location.

At $799, you get a projector that is capable of delivering a beautiful, relatively bright high contrast 2D image that is highly competitive with the BenQ models, but it needs a bit of tweaking to get it there. The DarbeeVision system gives it an edge in image sharpness/acuity when used modestly. Overall, a great value in an entry level projector.

Viewsonic LightStream PJD7835HD

The Viewsonic PJD7835HD, priced at $899, is in many respects the best home theater projector yet released by Viewsonic. It comes with several pre-calibrated operating modes including Viewmatch, which targets Rec 709 standards. On our test sample, the Viewmatch mode is rather lackluster and slightly biased toward green. We get a far more dynamic, balanced, and exciting picture when switching to Movie mode and adjusting the color temperature to Warm. In this mode the PJD7835HD puts out a beautiful, bright, and very competitive image.

Strengths / Advantages

Brightest of the bunch. The 7835HD is rated at 3500 lumens, and our sample measured 3503 lumens. This is the brightest of the five models in the group. It produces a reasonably well balanced video image at about 2300 lumens, notably brighter than the brightest of the competition. So it offers a unique advantage in combatting ambient light.

Solid red, excellent color. The red primary on this projector is more solid than on any of the competing units which tend to have a touch of orangish hue in the reds. Once calibrated, the 7835HD is capable of extremely accurate color.

1.36x zoom A slightly longer zoom range than the 1.3x on the BenQ models gives the 7835HD the award for the longest zoom range in the group. Practically speaking, it means that you can place the projector slightly closer to the screen for any given screen size than you can any of the competition.

Good onboard audio. While the HT3050 is the king of audio and the HT2050 is in second place, the 16W speaker is a good performer with reasonable volume and no distortion. It comes in third, but very close to the HT2050. It is much louder and clearer than the speakers on the Optoma or Epson units.

Black levels and contrast. Despite the higher light output, the 7835HD is capable of generating solid black levels. They are not quite as deep as the Optoma or BenQ’s but they are very close. Contrast is highly competitive with the BenQ models, matching or edging them just slightly.

3-year warranty. Viewsonic includes an aggressive 3-year warranty in the price, which is something nobody else does.

Weaknesses

Rainbow activity. The 7835HD’s most problematic weakness is rainbow artifacts, which tend to show up more frequently than on the other DLP projectors in this group. This comes from an RGBCYW color wheel rotating at 7200 RPM. Rainbows will tend to be most problematic for people who like to sit close to the screen, a practice that maximizes the eye movement. You will never see rainbows if you don’t move your eyes, so sitting farther back from a screen reduces your cone of vision and thus eye movement.

Fan noise. In full power mode the fan noise is somewhat more present than it is on the BenQ models in full lamp mode, or the Epson 2040 in eco-mode. But you get a brighter picture for that as part of the trade off. It is not as loud as the Epson in full power mode. It is very low in pitch, so it is not terribly distracting. However, as with the Optoma HD28 it does tend to vary up and down apparently in response to internal operating temperatures.

3D picture. Though the 7835HD is quite bright in 2D it loses its brightness advantage in 3D.

Input lag. The measured lag of 49.7 ms on the 7835HD matches the Optoma and the BenQ HT3050, but it is slower than the Epson 2040 and the BenQ HT2050.

Low Brightness Uniformity. None of the DLP projectors perform well on this parameter, but the 65% measured on the 7835HD was a tad lower than the competition.

Replacement lamp. If you want or need a new lamp, the price is a hefty $329, which is noticeably more than any of the competition.

Summary Assessment

Viewsonic is on the move, looking to become a significant player in home theater projection. Their beautiful little PJD5555W, a 1280×800 resolution projector now selling for under $500, was the first model in their line to offer the Viewmatch Rec 709 mode. The PJD7835HD boosts resolution to 1920×1080 and continues their focus on excellent color dynamics.

At $899, the LightStream PJD7835HD is priced in the middle of the group. Its key advantage is extra brightness and it is capable of putting out a superb picture. Its extra brightness comes in part from the white segment in the color wheel. In its very brightest preset modes the extra white light compromises color saturation and rendered an imbalanced picture. But the projector offers sufficient controls to dial in a very appealing trade off that gives you a picture that is brighter than the competition with ample color saturation that is not visibly compromised.

The biggest concern for some buyers will be the level of rainbow activity which is higher than any of the competing units. But if you are among those who are not sensitive to or bothered by rainbow artifacts, the Viewsonic PJD7835HD is a solid alternative for buyers who want a bright 2D picture with great color, black level and contrast.

Top 10 Portable Projectors

When it comes to an impactful presentation, refining the message and delivery are essential. Equally important though are the tools used to convey the message to the audience. You’ve spent countless hours developing your product, brand, or idea, now it’s time to tell the world. What is the best, and most efficient, way to do that? For most of us, it will mean utilizing a portable projector. These projectors have come a long way in recent years. Weighing in at just a few pounds, with a footprint that allows them to fit into your briefcase, these projectors are often equipped with advanced features such as wireless connectivity and are capable of displaying high definition images.

With so many portable projectors to choose from though, which ones are the best? Here are 10 current options that we like, and would highly recommend to you.

  1. Epson PowerLite 1264 Wireless HD WXGA 3LCD Projector
    • Up to 10,000 Hours of Eco Mode Lamp Life
    • MHL Connectivity via HDMI
    • USB Plug and Play Connectivity
    • Built-In 2W Mono Speaker
    • Includes Soft Case
  2. NEC NP-L102W 1,000-lumen Mobile Projector
    • Solid state LED light source improves total cost of ownership
    • Compact size and lightweight design simplify transport
    • Filter-free design eliminates hassle and time spent monitoring and changing filters
    • 1GB internal memory and SD input to expand storage up to 32GB
    • HDMI input connects you to high-definition sources
  3. Optoma W304M 3100 Lumens WXGA Mobile Projector
    • Ideal for on-the-road presentations
    • HDMI connectivity for maximum compatibility
    • 3D Ready for the most amazing, most immersive viewing experience
    • Advanced energy saving features to reduce the cost of operation
    • Easy to operate
  4. Epson PowerLite 1776W WXGA Multimedia Projector
    • Brilliant Widescreen Performance – HD WXGA resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio
    • iProjection App – Project documents and photos wirelessly from your iOS device
    • Eco Features – Energy-efficient 3LCD light engine and a recyclable product
    • Quick Start – Minimize energy use during start-up, shut-down and non-operation
    • USB Plug ‘n Play – Compatible with Windows and Mac
  5. Casio XJ-A257 Slim Series 16:10 Multi-Media Projector with Wireless LAN Adapter
    • Small footprint – Less than 2” thick
    • Lamp Free Technology – LED/Laser light source lasts up to 20,000 hours
    • Versatile connectivity options – HDMI, VGA, Composite, and more.
    • Give “PC-less” presentations – USB port and 2GB Built-In Memory
    • Wireless – Includes Wireless LAN adapter for easy networking
  6. Optoma ML1000P WXGA 1000 Lumens Ultra Portable Projector
    • Perfect for traveling presenters
    • Wireless presentation capability included
    • Intuitive touchpad control for ease of operation
    • LED light source lasts for the life of the product
    • HDMI connectivity for maximum compatibility
  7. InFocus IN1146 LED Projector
    • 30,000-hour LED light source
    • Only 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)
    • PC-less presentation via USB or SD card
    • Optional USB wireless connectivity
    • Built-in stereo speakers
  8. NEC NP-M282X 2800-Lumen Portable Projector
    • Easy wireless communication enhances portability.
    • Maintenance free design eliminates hassle and time spent changing filters
    • USB Viewer allows you to present without a PC using a USB flash drive
    • Powerful 20W speaker provides volume needed for large rooms
    • ECO Mode™ technology helps extend lamp life and lowers power consumption
  9. Sony VPL-DW127 2600 Lumen WXGA Mobile Wireless Projector
    • Lightweight and portable at less than 6lbs.
    • Up to 10,000 hour lamp life
    • Auto brightness adjustment function, depending on the contents
    • “Off and Go” technology for convenient tear-down and mobility
    • Includes carrying case
  10. InFocus IN1112a Portable Projector
    • Less than 3 lbs. for easy travel
    • High Definition WXGA resolution
    • Present and annotate wirelessly from tablets and smartphones with free apps
    • Display files from a USB drive
    • Includes carrying case

If you don’t see the one you’re looking for, you can browse over 400 other options on our site here. Not quite sure what you need? Feel free to give us a call at 888-525-6696, and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect projector for your application!

 

NEC NP-M402X Portable Conference Room Projector

Review Written By: Marc Davidson | View original article on Projector Central here.

NEC calls the NP-M402X portable, and, indeed, it’s light enough to carry if you need to. It even ships with a soft carrying case. But it’s also heavy enough, at eight pounds, not to mention bulky enough, at 3.5″ x 13.4″ x 10.1″ (HWD), to make it more appropriate for permanent installation or room to room portability on a cart. Built around a 1024×768 DLP chip and rated at 4000 lumens, although it came in a little lower on my tests, it can be a good fit for a mid-size conference room or classroom.

In addition to its brightness, the M402X delivers near-excellent data image quality, an audio system with enough volume for a mid-size room, and a 1.7x zoom lens that helps justify the $959 price. That’s easily enough to make it a potentially attractive choice.

The Viewing Experience

Image quality is a bit of a mixed bag, but the M402X handles data images like word processing and graphics well, which is the single most important issue for a data projector. Like the vast majority of DLP models, it shows occasional rainbow artifacts, in the form of red-green-blue flashes. With video, they showed up often enough, and were obvious enough, that anyone who sees them easily will almost certainly consider them annoying. However, I saw them infrequently enough with data and other static images that few people, if any, are likely to be bothered by them.

Near-excellent data image quality. The M402X scored well for data image quality despite a moderate problem maintaining fine detail. Although black text on white was crisp and readable at sizes as small as 7 points, for example, white text on black lost readability at sizes below 10.5 points. This won’t be a problem with programs like word processors, and it won’t be a problem unless you need to show images with fine detail. But it could be a problem if you need to show complex line drawings with white or other bright lines on a black background.

Very much on the plus side, the M402X did a good job with color balance. It maintained suitably neutral grays at all levels from black to white in every predefined image mode except the brightest, which showed a slight greenish tint in the brightest shades. Given that the brightest modes of most projectors have color balance problems, that’s not really an issue, however. Color quality was also good. Yellow was a little mustard colored in all predefined modes and red was a little dark in the brightest mode, which is typical for DLP projectors. More generally, colors were nicely saturated and vibrant in all modes.

Also on the plus side is that images designed to bring out pixel jitter were as rock solid with an analog (VGA) connection as with a digital (HDMI) connection.

Problematic video quality. With a 1024×768 native resolution, the M402X’s video quality is necessarily limited in crispness and in the detail it can show. Beyond that, I saw unusually obvious, and annoying, judder in clips with the camera panning across the scene, and I saw rainbow artifacts often enough and obviously enough that anyone in your audience who’s sensitive to them will likely find them annoying. All this makes video best limited to short clips with the M402X, if you use video at all.

Setup

Good connectivity. The M402X’s back panel offers a bit more than a typical set of connectors by today’s standards.

  • 2 HDMI
  • 1 VGA IN (for RGB or component)
  • 1 RCA composite
  • 1 USB A (for reading files from USB memory keys or for an $80 optional Wi-Fi dongle.)
  • 1 VGA OUT (monitor loop-through)
  • 1 USB B (for mouse control from the remote plus USB direct display.)
  • 1 LAN (for image and audio data and network control)
  • 1 Stereo mini plug IN (paired with the VGA port by default)
  • 1 RCA stereo IN
  • 1 Microphone mini plug IN
  • 1 Stereo mini plug OUT
  • 1 RS-232 (for external control)
  • 1 VESA 3D RF sync

Setting up. Setting up the M402X is easy, with the 1.7x zoom giving you a lot more flexibility than most models offer for how far you can put the projector from the screen for a given size image. For most of my tests at the native 4:3 aspect ratio, I used a 98-inch diagonal image with maximum zoom (full widescreen) and the projector 117″ from the screen.

Both the zoom and focus rings offer smooth control. However, the focus changes a lot with very little movement, so even though it’s not hard to get crisp focus over the entire screen, it’s a little harder than it should be to get it just right.

With the projector sitting on a table, the vertical offset puts the bottom of the image roughly 15% of the screen height above the midline of the lens. If you need to, you can move the image up with a drop-down foot on the front of the projector. In a nice touch, the foot also includes a screw adjustment for fine control. You can also move the image down by adjusting the screw-on feet at the back. As a finishing touch, you can adjust image shape if necessary. The menus offer both horizontal and vertical digital keystone controls and a choice of setting the feature to automatic or adjusting both settings manually.

Key Features

Potentially long lamp life. NEC rates the lamp life for the M402X at 3500 hours in the Normal setting for Eco mode and 8000 hours for the Eco setting. There’s also an Off setting, which is brighter than either Normal or Eco, and which presumably results in a shorter life, although NEC doesn’t provide a rating for the Off setting. In any case, with a $299 replacement cost for the lamp, taking advantage of one of the Eco modes can significantly lower the total cost of ownership.

Capable audio. The 20-watt mono speaker delivers good enough audio quality to be useful plus enough volume to fill a mid-size room. If you need better quality, stereo, or still more volume, you can plug an external audio system into the audio output.

Test Results


Bright image with wide brightness range. The M402X came in at a solid 91 percent of its 4000-lumen rating in my tests, at 3626 lumens in with its brightest predefined setting and with Eco mode set to Off. As a point of reference, following SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) recommendations, that’s bright enough for a 260″ diagonal image with a 1.0 gain screen in theater dark lighting. It’s also easily bright enough for the 98″ image I used for most of my tests to stand up to moderate ambient light.

For smaller screen sizes or lower light levels, you can switch to one of the Eco modes, choose any of six other predefined modes, or both. Normal mode dropped the brightness by about 20%, to 2868 lumens with the brightest predefined setting. Eco mode dropped it by about 55%, to 1990 lumens. With Eco mode off, the six other predefined settings came in at 972 to 2602 lumens.

Keep in mind too that as with most DLP projectors, the actual brightness is more complicated than with LCD models, because the color brightness is lower than the white brightness. This can make color images less bright than you would expect from just knowing the white brightness, and can also affect color quality. As is typical, the difference between the two for the M402X is most significant for the brightest predefined mode, which explains why red looks a little dark in that mode.

Good, but not great, brightness uniformity. Brightness uniformity across the screen came in at 71%. That’s low enough so I could see the difference between the brightest and darkest areas on a solid white or color screen. However the change was gradual enough across the screen to make it almost impossible to see a difference with the screen broken up by text or graphics.

Limitations

3D. For most people, 3D isn’t much of a factor for a 1024×768 data projector. To the extent that it matters, however, note that the M402X can work with a video source like a Blu-ray player or game console to show 3D images over an HDMI connection. Unlike most recent projectors, however, the M402X doesn’t automatically switch to 3D mode. You have to turn it on each time and then turn it off again manually to regain control over some settings on the menu. This can quickly get tiresome, with more than ten button presses needed for turning it on and off each time.

No MHL support. Although you can show images from an MHL-enabled phone or tablet using one of the M402X’s HDMI ports, the projector itself lacks MHL support. That means you need a special cable that can connect to a power source as well as the mobile device and the projector.

Conclusion

The NP-M402X is the wrong choice if you need to show much video. However, it also offers a lot to like otherwise, starting with its near-excellent data image quality. Beyond that, it’s easily bright enough, and the sound system is loud enough, for a mid-size room; the 1.7x zoom lens helps makes setup easy; and it offers lots of flexibility for image sources from PC-free presentations with a USB memory key to sending presentations over a network. If 1024×768 is the resolution you need, the NP-M402X offers more than enough to be worth considering.

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can view the NP-M402X on our site here. You can also browse a variety of other projectors available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About NEC- NEC Display Solutions designs, produces and delivers leading-edge visual display technology for a wide variety of markets. We specialize in desktop and large-screen LCD displays, and a diverse line of projectors for customers who demand the most high-quality, reliable display solutions to meet their needs. You can learn more about NEC on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

Apple TV: A “Must-Have” for Your Office

Written by: Jordan Cary

Initially, that title might sound a bit contradictory. Like trying to combine work and play, which don’t really belong together. But it’s not contradictory. The Apple TV is a perfect fit, and in fact a “must-have” for any office, conference room, work room, or auditorium… Here’s why:

Background

In recent years, the conversation regarding BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has gained momentum. With more and more people having laptops, smartphones and tablets that contain the vast majority of their information, gone are the days where people wanted a computer at their meeting location where they could load a presentation or image. Now, people have the content on their device, and they want to be able to show it quickly, accurately, and consistently. While many projectors, TV’s, and other display devices feature a form of BYOD or mobile presentation compatibility, most require either the user download a unique application to their device, or that the content be in a unique format, or that the device be connected with a wire. None of these are good solutions. Additionally, most BYOD solutions allow for only static images to be presented. They don’t allow for motion, such as video, or scrolling through text or webpages. Another reason these are not good solutions.

The Solution

So, what is the solution? If none of the other alternatives are worth the investment, which device is worth the investment? Enter, the Apple TV. Whether you’re in a corporate, education, non-profit, house of worship, or government setting, the Apple TV provides a cost-effective and feature-rich solution to the issue of BYOD.  At just $99, the Apple TV allows iOS and OSX users to connect to a display device via a wireless network and present any form of content. From device mirroring, to HD video, to webpages, and everything in between, content looks great on your display with the Apple TV.

With an Apple TV, your team can all bring their own devices to any meeting or event and be able to present their content at the appropriate time, all without having to walk to the front of the room to connect, deal with converting files for use on another computer, or pass around a cable or device for connecting. Instead, each person can connect with ease from wherever they are in the room, whether it is around a conference room table, or in a large auditorium.

Configuration

The Apple TV is available online or in-store from Apple, as well as from a variety of other retailers. You can view it on Apple’s website here. Simply purchase the device, plug in the power cable and connect it to your display device using a single HDMI cable. Follow the simple on-screen steps to connect it to your WiFi network, or connect to the network via a LAN cable and the configuration is complete! It’s just that easy.

Some advanced set-up features are available as well, though they are not necessary. These include creating a unique name for your Apple TV, such as a room or department name. This is helpful if multiple Apple TV devices will be connected to the same network. Another option available is password protection. In certain applications, it is necessary to restrict who is able to access the display device. For example, in an education setting, the teacher likely would not want the students to simply connect and display content, and disrupt the presentation in the process. By enabling password protection, this password must be entered by anyone attempting to connect to the Apple TV.

Another advanced set-up feature you may consider is linking it to a unique photo album that contains company logos or images. The images cannot be stored on the device itself, but are just linked via the cloud. These images can then be used as the screen saver, visible when no one is connected, or as a slideshow that can loop continuously for digital signage applications.

Once you’ve set-up the Apple TV, the next step is to display content from your device. As was mentioned before, you can display content from any iOS or OSX device. Just connect the desired device to the same network as the Apple TV and you are ready to display content.

On an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, iPod, etc) running iOS 7 or later, simply swipe from the very bottom of your screen upward. This will launch the Control Center where all of your connection options are shown. If you’re not familiar with the Control Center, learn more about it on Apple’s website here. When both the Apple TV and the device are connected to the network, you will see the option for “AirPlay”. You can either choose to “mirror” (show the same content on your screen, on the display) or to just connect and use it as an extended display for apps that support a dual screen interface such as Netflix, Keynote, and others. Connecting via AirPlay will also route all audio through the wireless connection as well.

On an OSX device (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, etc.) running Mountain Lion or later, go to Settings, and then to Displays to configure the wireless connection to your display. For the option to appear, both the Apple TV and the OSX device will need to be connected to the same network. Once in the display settings window, you will see the option to connect to the Apple TV via AirPlay. You will then also have the option to choose mirroring or extended desktop configurations. You can also choose to have the audio route through the AirPlay connection, output via the headphone jack, or through the internal speakers on your computer. If you are not familiar with how to complete these configuration steps, you can read more information on Apple’s website here.

Summary

As you can see, the features of the Apple TV are helpful, if not essential, for almost every application. It adds a huge element of flexibility to your conference room presentation system and allows for greater collaboration within your team. It can be connected to any display device whether it’s a TV or a projector and is simple enough that anyone can set it up in only a few minutes. There is no question, productivity increases when an Apple TV is brought into the equation, so begin using one in your office today!

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Have additional questions about the Apple TV or presentation solutions? Give Projector SuperStore a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

Which Projector is the Right Kind of Projector?

It used to be as simple as, “Should I buy a projector… or not?” Now, with great developments in the technology, there are more options to meet the varying needs of consumers—from businesses, to homes, churches, schools and other organization. It may seem unnecessary to ask about the “right” projector, but it really does make sense when you think about it: projecting an image in a fully lit church auditorium or concert hall requires a lot more than a 100” image in your living room. Beyond that there’s the question of installation, use, and simple preference.

So here are some questions you can be asking yourself when deciding what the right projector is for you:

DLP, LCD, or LCOS?

If someone asked you that question with no context, you might look at them like they were crazy, but there are different ways that the machine actually projects the image. DLP stands for “Digital Light Processing,” which uses small mirrors to project the image. While it projects a great image, and can generally last a very long time, businesses may have a hard time with the “rainbow effect” that the colors may give off (though this isn’t a problem for home theaters).

LCD, Liquid Crystal Displays, are the same technology used in many TVs, can be brighter than a DLP projector, and offer a higher resolution and a varying aspect ratio. LCOS, Liquid Crystal on Silicone, offers as sharp of a picture as LCD, and is very bright, but likewise will more commonly show dead pixels than DLP.

The bottom line is that each has its pros and cons for longevity, brightness, and display, which are all valued differently depending on your use.

Where Am I Installing it?

While this also seems like a simple question, it has two different aspects that make it very important in buying the right type of projector. Short throw projectors, for example, can be put very close to the screen and will still cast a large image—utilizing a smaller amount of space for a larger image—whereas common projectors may cast a very small picture when displayed close to the screen.

Consider a short throw for a tiny home theater, and for a larger auditorium something with a longer throw and a higher brightness.

When am I Using It?

Simple enough, right? Pico projectors can easily fit into your briefcase, making them great to take on business trips for on-the-fly presentations, whereas in big stadiums or at concerts and the like, you may want to opt for a heavier, more powerful projector that can cast a clear image in any light.

Do you need a 3D-ready projector for business meetings? Well, maybe. But it’s not always a given, so it’s important to ask yourself where it’s practically going to get used. And once you answer that, you can consider mounting it, or keeping it free to move around your house, office, or building.

Conclusion

There are countless projector manufacturers and models out there, and finding the right one can seem overwhelming. However, by asking a few simple questions such as the ones shown here, you can easily narrow it down to a few specific options. Whatever you’re using your projector for, the good news is that the right one for you is out there. Be an informed buyer, ask the right questions, and get a projector that will serve you well!

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can browse from a variety of other solutions available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

____________________________________________________________________________

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

How To: Loop Videos on iOS Devices

Have you ever wanted to connect your iPhone, iPod or iPad to your projector or display and have it continuously loop a video? This is a question we have been asked multiple times by customers looking to display a demo video, advertisement, or other promotional content that is in the form of a video. Sure, it’s easy to connect the device and have the video play, but getting it to loop is a bit of an issue.

Recently, our technology experts sat down and developed a list of instructions and resources that are needed in order to complete this task. It served to get one of our recent customers up and running in their application, and we wanted to share the information with others in case you’re looking to do the same thing.

Wired or Wireless

The process starts by determining whether you will be using a wired connection from your device, or if your connection will be wireless. For wired connections, you will need to purchase the correct adapter cable from Apple. You can view all of the available adapters on the Apple Store here. Wired connections will always be more reliable, and less subject to interference and glitches than wireless will be. However, it’s pretty cool to be able to have everything running without a mess of wires and devices visible. So, if you’re ready to embark on wireless, far and above, your best bet will be the Apple TV. There are other potential solutions, but you’ll spend far more time than it’s worth trying to make it work. Apple’s devices are designed to work with the Apple TV from the ground up, and they work very well. Plus, at only $99, it’s very affordable. You can view the Apple TV on the Apple Store here. One discreet HDMI cable from the Apple TV to the display, and a functional WiFi network is all that you need to connect your iOS device. You will then connect to the Apple TV via AirPlay (in the notification center on your iOS device) and enable the mirroring feature there as well.

Looping via iOS Slideshow

Once we’ve established the connection, the next step is to play the video. The first of two ways we recommend playing the video is utilizing the “Photos” app that comes on all iOS devices. Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to play the video this way:

  1. Locate the video on your iOS device. It will have either been saved from an email, or copied through an iTunes sync.
  2. Create a new “Album” in your photo library and add the video you want to have loop.
  3. Go to the “Settings” app and under the “Photos” section, enable the option to “Repeat” the slideshow.
  4. Go back to the “Photos” app, and to the newly created album, and then select the video you want to play.
  5. In the lower left hand corner of the screen, you will have an arrow you can press, which will give you the option to play the slideshow. (Note, you need to be in the album in order to see the slideshow option. It will not be visible if you simply navigate to the video through the Camera Roll.)
  6. Your video will now play continuously until stopped.

The only downside we discovered with this option, is that each time the video restarts, there is a momentary display of the play arrow icon. This can be disruptive, and when we noticed it, we immediately looked for another solution. We discovered that when we used a third-party app, this issue went away. This leads us to the next section of the post.

Looping via CWG’s Video Loop Presenter

CWG’s Video Loop Presenter is a free app from the App Store that allows you to continuously play videos without having to see the momentary display of the play arrow icon between each restart. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to play the video this way:

  1. Download the app “CWG’s Video Loop Presenter” to your iOS device. (See it on iTunes Preview here.)
  2. Open the app on your device. It will show up as “vloop” with a blue/green icon and a “V” with a circular arrow on your home screen.
  3. In the lower right hand corner, select the option to configure the video.
  4. Under “Media Library” select “Add”, then select “Video from Camera Roll”.
  5. Locate the video on your iOS device. It will have either been saved from an email, or copied through an iTunes sync.
  6. Under “Configure Presentation” tap the text that says “Select Video to Loop”
  7. Select the video that you just added to the Media Library.
  8. Choose the desired option under the “Scale Mode”. We recommend “Aspect Fill”, however you may want to do “Aspect Fit” to avoid cropping.
  9. Once complete, select “Show Home Screen” in the upper right hand corner.
  10. Select “Play” in the lower left hand corner to begin playing your video.

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Ready to begin shopping for a projector or display? You can browse from a variety of other solutions available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

____________________________________________________________________________

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

Header image obtained from Digital Trends here.

Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU Large Venue Projector Review

Review Written By:Bill Livolsi | View original article on Projector Central here.

The Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU is a 6000-lumen WUXGA projector built with large venues in mind. WUXGA resolution is 1920×1200, the new gold standard for conference room and auditorium projectors. It used to be a high-end format, but at this writing there are two hundred WUXGA projectors in production across a wide range of price points. It has broad market appeal due to its versatility — WUXGA projectors will display both 1920×1200 computer signals and HD 1080p video in native format, so it has become the go-to resolution for sharp, detailed projection display.

As installation projectors go, the Epson Pro G6900WU is compact and easy to handle, weighing in at just over 20 lbs. It is a single-lamp projector that is not only rich in features, but also more affordable than dual-lamp models. The Pro G6900WU is powerful enough to light some seriously big screens, versatile enough to handle just about any connection or media type, and aggressively priced within its performance class. It also has some features not found in other Pro G-series projectors that make it ideal for digital signage. And at $6,499, you can’t beat its combination of features and performance.

The Viewing Experience

At 6,000 lumens, the Pro G6900WU is built to be used on large screens, typically in the presence of ambient light. As such, our light-controlled theater is not exactly the ideal environment. It was not a surprise when the projector started up and bathed the entire room in reflected screen light. We toned down the image brightness by switching into ECO lamp mode and increasing the screen size, but the Pro G6900WU is clearly intended for larger, brighter spaces.

The most striking thing about the Pro G6900WU’s image is its excellent color. The Pro G6900WU produces bright, saturated color in every image mode, and this goes a long way towards creating a natural-looking image. This is especially helpful when displaying data graphics or photography, because brightness does not drop off when a full-color image is put on screen. While this is not unique in data projectors, it is also not a given.

The projector’s color performance made us curious how it would perform with 1080p video. As it turns out, the answer is “quite well.” The Pro G6900WU uses Faroudja DCDi technology to process video signals, and the result is a smooth video image with great detail. The only weak point is black level, and even then the Pro G6900WU performs admirably for a projector in its class. It is not built to be a dedicated video projector, but it does very well in a pinch or for part-time use. And on the bright side, the projector’s dynamic range is sufficient to prevent crushing of shadow detail.

The Pro G6900WU includes quite a few little touches that make video more pleasant to watch, such as an automatic iris and frame interpolation. The iris brings down black level and can be very helpful when viewing video or film, but only if room lighting can be reduced as well.

Frame interpolation smooths out judder in film and video. The Pro G6900WU’s FI circuit is more or less identical to those found on Epson home theater projectors. There are three different modes, labeled Low, Normal, and High. Low mode was most appropriate for film, as it displayed the fewest artifacts and the least amount of digital video or “soap opera” effect. High mode is overkill for film and 24p content, but has no negative effect on 60p video signals. Keep in mind that Frame Interpolation is not for everyone; some folks do not enjoy the effect when viewing film, but there are no real downsides to using it with video.

In short, the Pro G6900WU’s image is bright, color is excellent, and video quality is superb for its class. The projector’s black level is typical for a data projector, but in an auditorium this actually matters very little — and with the auto-iris engaged and the lights dimmed, black level becomes quite good.

Setup and Configuration

Gone are the days when a 6000-lumen projector was a heavy behemoth that required a lot of muscle to install. The Pro G6900WU is small enough to be easily deployed pretty much any way you want to use it. It can be ceiling mounted, installed in a projection closet, or even placed on a rolling cart if mobility is desired. There is an assortment of six optional lenses to choose from which will allow you to fill a 180″ diagonal screen from a throw distance of anywhere from 8’2″ to 84’7″ (with the exception of a break in the range from 10 to 16 feet).

The Pro G6900WU comes with the Standard Zoom lens, a 1.82:1 manual zoom/focus lens that will put a 180″ image on screen from 16′ to just over 29′. The projector is available either as a bundle with the Standard Zoom, or as a bare body (Pro G6900WUNL, with the “NL” standing for “No Lens”). The latter is priced at $5,199 to the former’s $6,499. The lenses vary in price, with the Standard Zoom selling for $1,399, the Short Throw Zoom selling for $2,999, and the other lenses all priced at $1,899.

As for lens shift, the projector allows for both vertical and horizontal adjustment using manually-operated thumb knobs on the top of the projector. Once lens shift is dialed in, the projector has a sliding lock bar that prevents further adjustment or drift.

The exact range of the lens shift changes with each lens, but the standard lens allows for approximately 70% vertical adjustment in either direction and about 33% adjustment to the left or right. On a hypothetical 180″ diagonal image (95″ high by 153″ wide), that’s 66.5″ range up or down and 46″ of adjustment to the left or right.

The Pro G6900WU can be installed in an auditorium, but it can also be used on curved surfaces, hard corners, ceilings, floors, and portrait orientations. Digital signage-oriented features like arc correction, edge blending, corner wall projection, and 360-degree display make it possible to install the Pro G6900WU in positions that are either difficult or impossible for many other projectors.

The Pro G6900WU is easy to install and maintain, and even a surface-level examination of the projector reveals some thoughtful touches. The projector’s lens mount uses a quick-release system, so you can swap out lenses without a screwdriver. The air filter door uses a sliding lock system and filters can be changed without tools — though the air filter is built to last 10,000 hours, so it’s only an occasional maintenance item. The lamp door on the projector’s side is attached with two Phillips screws, so unfortunately lamp changes still require a screwdriver.

One final note: The Pro G6900WU includes a third lamp power selection called “Temp Interlock.” This mode keeps the lamp at full power unless the surrounding temperature rises outside the range for normal operation, at which point lamp power switches to ECO. If you were going to keep the lamp at full power, there is no reason not to use this setting, as it can help preserve your projector and improve lamp life.

Key Features

Image quality. The Pro G6900WU’s stand-out feature is the balanced, natural quality of the image even in the projector’s brightest modes. The Pro G6900WU has well-saturated, bright color, a sharp and detailed image, and great dynamic range. The projector is as strong in video display as it is in data thanks in part to a Faroudja DCDi image processor, an automatic iris, and frame interpolation.

Connectivity. Nearly the entire rear surface of the Pro G6900WU is taken up by its connection panel. As the flagship model of Epson’s new G series, the Pro G6900WU features connectors for HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, VGA monitor out, S-Video, composite, 5BNC component, wired LAN, WiFi (with a $99 adapter), both 1/8″ and RCA audio inputs, HDBaseT, and HD-SDI. That last one in particular is not found on any other projectors in the G Series line-up and is unique to the Pro G6900WU.

HDBaseT is getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. It combines HDMI, ethernet, and RS232 control over one inexpensive, non-proprietary, easily sourced Cat5e or Cat6 cable. Epson sells an HDBaseT transmitter box for $499 that bundles HDMI, Ethernet, and RS232 and sends them out over a single wire, but aftermarket products are also an option.

Arc correction. If your screen isn’t flat, the Pro G6900WU can correct for that. Arc Correction allows you to digitally fine-tune the projection geometry to compensate for a screen surface that is not perfectly flat. In other words, the Pro G6900WU can be used on curved screens without pincushion or barrel distortion. Moreover, the projector is capable of correcting focus in non-flat images, keeping your entire image crisp and clear. Arc correction does apply scaling to the image, so if you are using WUXGA or 1080p content you will lose the benefit of 1:1 native display.

Edge blending. For large-scale screens that require more than one projector, the Pro G6900WU has Advanced Edge Blending. All projectors in Epson’s G Series offer edge blending — the ability to seamlessly stitch the edges of two or more projectors’ images in order to make one fully integrated image. But the Pro G6900WU has the “advanced” version, which also includes support for curved surfaces and corner walls.

360-degree installation. Many projectors can only be installed horizontally due to heat concerns, but the Pro G6900WU can be installed in any position. One of several features aimed at digital signage, this allows the projector to be mounted in any orientation without fear of overheating or malfunction.

When you combine these three features — arc correction, edge blending, and 360-degree installation — you gain the ability to install the Pro G6900WU in some radically non-traditional setups, making it perfect for digital signage. You can aim the projector at a floor or ceiling, or project onto a vertically oriented screen. Getting more creative, you can use the Corner Wall feature to project a portrait-oriented image onto a curved pillar or sharp 90-degree corner. Getting more creative still, you can use a series of Pro G6900WU projectors to edge-blend a huge display all the way down one wall, around a corner, and onto the next. You could extend that display up onto the ceiling or down onto the floor. The flexibility afforded by these features make the Pro G6900WU a perfect projector for use in digital signage applications.

Scheduling and control. Like most large-venue projectors, the Pro G6900WU can be monitored and controlled over a wired network. Unlike most other comparable projectors, though, the Pro G6900WU has a scheduling feature that allows the projector to be programmed based on a timer and internal clock, which is especially useful in places where network connectivity is unavailable. Using the Scheduler, you can program the projector to turn itself on and off, change sources, change lamp power, mute sound and video, and adjust the volume. These actions can be programmed for a specific date or a repeating day of the week. While the scheduler is not as comprehensive as network monitoring, it is a great way to ensure that a projector does not accidentally stay on all night. It’s also ideal for digital signage — all of your displays can be set to turn off at the close of business, automatically.

Low fan noise. The Pro G6900WU is a bright projector, but it doesn’t sound like one. Fan noise, while not whisper-quiet, is comparable to what you’d get out of home theater projectors from a few years back – a low rush of air, noticeable but not annoying. That is a nice bonus, particularly if you’ve got the projector on a rolling cart close to the audience in the center aisle of a conference room.

3 year warranty with overnight replacement. When it comes to projector warranties, three years is about as good as it gets. But the Pro G6900WU’s warranty also includes Epson’s Road Service program, so if your projector fails while it is under warranty, Epson will overnight ship a replacement projector to you, free of charge. The warranty also includes 90 days of coverage on the lamp.

If three years isn’t long enough for you, extended warranties are available and include a one-year Exchange plan for $199 or a two-year Repair plan for $299.

Performance

Light output. The Pro G6900WU is rated at 6,000 ANSI lumens, and using its internal white test pattern did give a maximum reading of 6021 lumens on our projector using Dynamic mode. Switching to an external source over HDMI, Dynamic mode measured 5012 lumens with 85% brightness uniformity. On most projectors, Dynamic mode is a green-tinged mess designed to pump white light output at the expense of color and contrast, but Dynamic mode on the Pro G6900WU actually produces a respectable picture that would be appropriate for text and data graphics in a high ambient light setting.

The next mode, Presentation, has a cooler bluish tone and better black levels than Dynamic. At 3922 lumens, Presentation mode does give up some of Dynamic’s brightness, but the trade-off is worth it for color-rich PowerPoint presentations, graphs, or charts.

Theatre mode, at 4049 lumens, has better color saturation and accuracy and a very good default gamma calibration. Theatre mode is more likely to be used with the lamp at low power and with the auto iris engaged, in which case light output drops to 2632 lumens. That’s a more appropriate level of brightness for a room with dimmed lights and a more comfortable configuration for the viewing of film or video.

Sports mode, at 4285 lumens, has the same blue tint bias as Presentation and is appropriate for live television and video content, just as the name implies.

The final image mode is sRGB, which at 3268 lumens has both the most natural color of any preset mode on the projector and the lowest light output. If you plan to view a lot of photography and can afford to sacrifice the light output, sRGB mode is the way to go.

Any image mode can be reduced in brightness by switching to ECO lamp mode. ECO mode reduces lamp power by 36% and can bring the Pro G6900WU to a more appropriate level of brightness for smaller screens or rooms with better control over ambient light.

Contrast. In a room with ambient light, the Pro G6900WU produces a well-balanced image with sufficient contrast for viewing text and data graphics, though contrast is not the projector’s strongest suit. Content like video, film, and photography is much improved if room lighting can be dimmed. The projector’s automatic iris is useful for deepening black level when room conditions allow. There is little muddiness in shadows, and black is black, not dark gray, when the lights are off.

Color. Even in its brightest modes, the Pro G6900WU’s color performance is more than adequate for data graphics. Color light output matches white light output, meaning that color appears natural and color-rich images do not seem dark or undersaturated. This all comes together to give the Pro G6900WU a bright, vibrant image that is not just limited to black-and-white data, but is a good choice for video, film, and photography use in a non-theater setting.

Sharpness and Clarity. The Pro G6900WU’s image is sharp and clear at just about any resolution. The Pro G6900WU is capable of natively displaying both WUXGA and HD 1080p. These native-res signals are tack-sharp on the Pro G6900WU, which does an excellent job of rendering fine detail from both video sources and data.

Lower-resolution signals can either be displayed natively in a window or scaled to fit, but the projector upscales cleanly and shows few signs of blurring or detail loss. Up-conversion of a text document from a WXGA (1280×800) laptop did not result in any significant loss of legibility.

In our testing, there was significant digital noise in Dynamic mode, especially when watching film or video. The noise was much less noticeable in still content like photographs, PowerPoint presentations, and web pages. The other image modes were less noisy than Dynamic, with sRGB being the cleanest mode available.

Input Lag. Straight out of the box, the Pro G6900WU measured 92.3 milliseconds of input lag, or five and a half frames on a 60 FPS signal. Film and video playback might have visible audio delay if a correction circuit is not used. Like other Epson projectors, the Pro G6900WU includes an option to use either “Fast” or “Fine” image processing. Fast processing reduces input lag to 40 milliseconds, or just over two frames, but also reduces detail clarity in the image.

Limitations

Light loss due to zoom. Long zoom lenses all share one thing in common: they reduce the amount of light that reaches the screen as you shrink the image down. All of the above readings were taken with the Standard Zoom lens at its widest position (the biggest image for a given throw distance). At maximum telephoto, light output is reduced by 35%. If you need to mount the Pro G6900WU at the long end of its throw range, maximum light output falls to 3260 lumens. That’s enough of a drop that you might want to consider using the next lens in the lineup rather than trying to make do with the Standard Zoom.

Light loss due to lamp age. In the projector industry, all projectors carry brightness ratings based on new lamps. High pressure lamps typically diminish in light output about 25% during the first 500 hours of use, and degrade more slowly after that. At the end of a lamp’s anticipated life it will be putting out 50% of its initial brightness. When planning any installation with any projector, one should make allowances for diminished lamp output over the life of the lamp. It can be advisable to plan for running in eco-mode during the early phase of the lamp’s life and full power in the later phase in order to equalize brightness over the lamp’s life. If maximum light output is required for the application, one might plan on replacing lamps more frequently than the estimated life. Replacement lamps on the Pro G6900WU are $549, which is typical for large venue projectors.

Screw closure on lamp door. On the Pro G6900WU, both the lens mount and the air filter cover use a tool-free closure — a push-lever in the former case and a sliding lock in the latter. However, the lamp door still requires a screwdriver. Since the projector lamp (2,000/4,000 hour life) requires attention more often than the air filter (10,000 hour life), and lens swaps are unlikely once the projector is installed, it would be ideal if the lamp access door was tool-free as well.

Manual lens adjustments. The Pro G6900WU’s manual zoom, focus, and shift adjustments may require a second person to eyeball the screen up close as these adjustments are being made at long throw distances. This is a non-issue once installed in a permanent location, but focus could be done with one person standing at the screen if the lens adjustments were powered.

Conclusion

Taken as a whole, the Pro G6900WU is an impressive package. The projector couples WUXGA native resolution and a small, light-weight package with high light output and great color performance to create a sparkling and engaging image. The projector’s connection panel is packed tight with high-quality digital connections ranging from HDMI to DisplayPort to HDBaseT and HD-SDI. The projector is designed from the ground up with installers in mind. Arc correction, edge blending, and 360-degree projection make it possible to install the Pro G6900WU in just about any situation.

All in all, the Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU is a powerful, highly capable WUXGA projector that strikes a compelling balance between affordability and feature set. It brings some high-end features to a more affordable projector than the massive two-lamp models. It is among the most attractively priced WUXGA projectors available at its brightness level. For that reason and many others, the G6900WU is an excellent value in today’s market.

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can view the G6900WU on our site here. You can also browse a variety of other projectors available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Epson- Epson’s vision is to transform how people share ideas and information — simply, visually and in ways they never thought possible. They are a  leading manufacturer in the printer, professional imaging, projector, scanner, systems devices, and factory automation categories. They deliver high performance products, services and solutions that exceed their customers’ expectations. Additionally, Epson goes the extra mile to build long lasting relationships with their end users, their co-workers, and their accounts. You can learn more about Epson on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

Optoma GT760 Projector Review – Big Screen Gaming on a Budget

Review Written By: Allan Abbott | View original article on Projector Central here.

The Optoma GT760 is a portable home entertainment gaming projector with the convenience of a short throw lens. You can set it up anywhere on a coffee table less than 4.5 feet from the wall and get a big bright 120″ diagonal picture. If you want a smaller picture, just move the unit closer to the wall. At 2.2 feet it gives you a brilliant 60″ image. And its 33 ms input lag is about as fast as it gets, so video gamers will get the best results their talents will allow. If you need fast action and the convenience of portable short throw set-up, the GT760 delivers for about $650.

If you are thinking of a more permanent installation, you can always ceiling mount the GT760. This is a native 720p projector, so it will compress a Blu-ray 1080p signal, but it will display all 720p signals in native format.

The Viewing Experience

The GT760 can produce a very nice picture for $650, but its best picture is not achieved out of the box with the factory preset operating modes. Without some tweaking, colors are low in saturation and contrast is a bit flat. Usually full color images show their best on a projector’s Movie or Cinema mode, while Presentation mode is best used for higher brightness data display. In this case, we found the best overall full color image was obtained by selecting Presentation mode and reducing the Brilliant Color setting from 10 down to 1. With this simple adjustment, we got a very pleasing full color image in both gaming and film sources. Colors and contrast were natural and engaging, skin tones were reasonably accurate and certainly natural looking, and there was sufficient shadow detail to avoid any sense of muddiness in the picture.

Gaming operation was responsive, and the images were well saturated. The GT760’s brightness overcame ambient light even in sunlit rooms, so if you are one of the many gamers that likes to play with some light in the room, the GT760 has it. For bright rooms, keeping the image diagonal under 60″ is recommended, but darkened rooms you can easily go to 120″ diagonal which can really add to the gaming experience.

Set-up Considerations

The GT760, like most short-throw projectors, has a fixed focal length with no zoom capability. You can produce a 60″ image from 2.2 feet, and a 120″ image from 4.4 feet. Which image you choose will depend on personal preference and ambient light. If you watch in the dark, you can go big. If the room is brightly lit, you will want to reduce image size to improve contrast and color saturation.

Vertical keystone correction may be adjusted over a ±40° range, but there is no horizontal keystone correction so you have to make sure the projector is facing the screen squarely.

As with all short-throw projectors, screen flatness can have a noticeable impact on the quality of the image (horizontal and/or vertical waviness) because of the acute projection angle. This may be a problem if you are using a portable tripod screen which doesn’t have the rigidity of a framed screen. Focusing is smooth and positive, and the remote control is full-size with clearly marked buttons.

Fan noise is remarkably low for a projector that puts out this much light. Heat being generated by its 190W lamp is exhausted from the GT760 through grates on the right side and front of the projector. This arrangement keeps what fan noise and heat flow there is away from the audience since they will be seated behind this short-throw projector.

Key Features

Lamp Life: The GT760 has an unusually long lamp life specification. Optoma says you can expect 4,500 hours in normal mode, but Eco mode increases lamp life to 6,500 hours with a corresponding reduction in fan noise. This ranks the GT760 at the top of its class for lamp life, and it means a lower cost of ownership. A replacement lamp (Optoma P/N BL-FU190D) is available for $179.

Picture Modes: The GT760 has five Picture Modes: Presentation, Bright, Movie, sRGB, and Blackboard. Each has its own color bias, gamma curve, and color temperature chosen to fit the specific presentation content. There is also one User mode for storing your favorite brightness, contrast, color temperature, and gamma settings (see the earlier caution on User settings).

Audio: While the GT670’s 2-watt speaker may not do the trick in a large room, for gaming in a small room it is more than adequate. Even at full volume, there is no rattle or buzz, and dialog and music are faithfully reproduced.

3D Capability: Like many of its DLP-chip contemporaries, the GT760 is full HD 3D ready. Separately priced shutter glasses are required (Optoma P/N BG-ZD301 @ $59 ea.), and 3D operation is initiated in the Display menu. Three 3D formats are accommodated: side-by-side, top and bottom, and frame sequential.

Remote Control and Menus: The remote control is laid out with menu directional keys at the top and special function keys at the bottom including a conveniently color-coded Eco mode key. The GT760 can detect sources automatically, but if you wish to select a particular input, there are direct selection keys for HDMI, VGA, and video sources. Menus have several layers, but they are easy to identify and select.

Image Settings: The GT760 provides a comprehensive Advanced sub-menu of the Image menu where individual color hue, gain, and saturation can be adjusted. It takes a while to adjust all seven color segments, but a little experimentation will provide you with all the flexibility you need to fine-tune the image.

Connectivity: Most standard sources can be accommodated by the GT760. HDMI, audio in and out, and composite/component/S-video all have individual connections, and there is a monitor loop-through connection. Dual VGA connectors simultaneously serve either two computer connections or one computer and a component video source. An RS-232 connection allows for connection to remote monitoring and control equipment.

Maintenance: Like most DLP projectors, there are no air filters to be replaced, but it is recommended that the intake and exhaust ports be vacuumed occasionally to remove dust or lint that might collect near the DLP chip. Lamps are replaced through the top of the GT760, so even ceiling mounted units are easy to service.

Warranty: Optoma offers a one-year warranty on the GT760, and its lamp is warranted for 90 days.

Performance

Brightness and Uniformity: Our test model of the GT760 exceeded its brightness specification by 10% with 3,750 ANSI lumens in Bright mode. Presentation delivered 2,540 lumens while Movie and sRGB modes put up 1,745 and 1,090 lumens, respectively. Brightness uniformity was 70% with the upper right portion of the image slightly brighter but with no discernible hot spots. Eco mode reduced brightness by about 20% in all modes. Unless maximum brightness is a requirement, Eco mode provides a bright image with reduced fan noise.

Image Size and Displacement: The GT760 can put up a 150″ diagonal image when placed just 5’5″ from the screen. At that image size, the bottom of the image is offset about 10″ above the centerline of the lens, and this is a good displacement for tabletop mounting. Since the GT760 has no zoom capability, a different image size will require moving the projector.

Frame delay: Gaming projectors should have no more than a two-frame delay, and the GT760 meets that requirement. Frame delay was 33 msec which is excellent for projectors of this class. That makes for good gaming performance.

Limitations

Resolution: This is an odd thing to list as a limitation. This projector’s 1280×720 resolution is a perfectly respectable resolution for the 3400 lumen brightness and short throw feature. However, if you want to spend another $100, if short throw is not a critical concern, you can get the Optoma HD131Xe or HD131xw instead. These are full 1920×1080 resolution projectors which will show 1080p sources like Blu-ray in native format. You lose the short throw feature so you need to move them back from the screen to get the same image size. Also they don’t have quite the same light output, but practically speaking they are not that much different after calibrations for optimum video quality. If short throw is not a big deal for you, you end up with a more refined and detail picture for not much more money.

Menu Layering – The GT760 offers many setting options, so its four on-screen menus are heavily layered to keep the menus from looking cluttered. Initial setup requires lots of button pushing, but once you have the image adjusted, menu layering ceases to be a problem.

User Setting: There is an undesirable interaction between the custom User calibration and any of the preset Picture modes. If you are in any preset mode such as Presentation and you adjust any settings, it will default to User mode and wipe out previous settings. We would prefer to see the ability to tweak Presentation mode without defaulting to User mode, and have a separate Reset command that returns Presentation to factory default settings if desired.

Conclusion

If gaming is your thing, the GT760 is an excellent short throw choice if your viewing room real estate is limited and you want a large, bright image. Video images also look good after some tweaks to brightness, contrast, and color saturation levels. Lamp life is long at 6,500 hours in Eco mode, so cost of ownership is lower than most projectors in its class. This is a personal entertainment projector, not one for the conference room, and if that is what you are looking for, the GT760 delivers.

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can view the GT760 on our site here. You can also browse a variety of other projectors available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Optoma- Optoma Technology, the number one supplier of DLP® projectors in the Americas, delivers projectors and related accessories to consumers, businesses and educators, as well as professional installers. Optoma’s product portfolio features digital projectors for mobile or fixed installations, as well as home theaters. With advanced optical engineering and dedication to quality, Optoma’s innovative products incorporate the latest refinements in video display technology. Optoma’s products meet the needs of business users and general consumers by combining superior image processing technologies with exceptional engineering in order to deliver images that are bright, crystal clear and finely-tuned for tone and color. You can learn more about Optoma on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

ViewSonic Pro8520HD Projector Review

Review Written By: Bill Livolsi | View original article on Projector Central here.

ViewSonic’s newest 1080p projector, the Pro8520HD, is a big bright model designed for use in conference rooms, board rooms, and other business environments. Promising up to 5,000 lumens of brightness, the Pro8520HD is designed to be flexible and friendly, with a 1.5:1 zoom lens to help it fit into your room and a cornucopia of connectivity to get all of your devices hooked up. Its MSRP of $2,299 puts it right in the middle of the pack for this class of projector, but its image quality is good and its feature set is impressive, making it a strong value.

The Viewing Experience

In our dimly lit theater space, the Pro8520HD’s light output overwhelmed the screen and did a fair job of lighting the entire room all by itself. After turning on some room lights, increasing the size of the image, and switching to Eco mode, we had a much more appropriate level of brightness.

Our testing started out with some text documents, Excel spreadsheets, and text-based PowerPoint presentations. The Pro8520HD displays all of these crisply and clearly and maintains sharpness from edge to edge, with no trace of softness in the projector’s 1080p image. All of the projector’s image modes did an excellent job with these types of material.

Color performance, on the other hand, varies. The Viewsonic Pro8520HD is a single-chip DLP projector optimized for high light output, which means two things: one, it has a color wheel that is not solely RGB, and two, it makes heavy use of BrilliantColor to boost white light output. Image modes like Brightest and Standard emphasize white light output at the expense of colored light output, so color-rich content like photos and video tend to look out-of-balance, with over-bright highlights and poor color saturation. To get satisfying performance for these types of content, you can switch to either the Theater or Dark Room modes, which cut light output but have much better color saturation and overall image balance.

Perhaps the most surprising application for the Pro8520HD is gaming. While the Pro8520HD is not a gaming projector, it is bright, high resolution, has fairly accurate color in Theater and Dark Room modes, and measures just 10 milliseconds of input lag. These qualities make it a great choice for large-screen gaming use in a partially light-controlled environment, where the extra brightness gives the Pro8520HD an edge over products marketed for home theater.

Setup and Configuration

The Pro8520HD has a manual 1.5:1 zoom lens, which is a bit more reach than is typically seen on this class of projector. This zoom range allows the Pro8520HD to hit a 150″ diagonal 16:9 screen from 15′ 4″ to 23′ 4″. The lack of lens shift, typical for this class of projector, means you’ll need to esnure your installation is planned out properly. The Pro8520HD has a fixed throw offset of 32%, meaning the edge of the image (bottom edge for a table mount, top edge for a ceiling mount) is offset 32% of the image’s height from the centerline of the projector’s lens. On our 150″ diagonal image, that’s an offset of 24″.

The Pro8520HD has a full connection panel, with two HDMI inputs, two VGA inputs, a dedicated VGA monitor passthrough, audio in/out, and both wired and optional wireless networking. Most users will have more than enough ports to connect any device that’s needed.

Key Features

Great for video gaming. Despite the Pro8520HD’s business pedigree, it excels as a video gaming projector. In our input lag testing, it measured a super-fast 10 milliseconds, or less than one frame of delay. Coupled with a bright picture and reasonably accurate color in Dark Room mode, the Pro8520HD can create a bright, high-resolution gaming image that’s incredibly responsive. And with almost 2,000 lumens at your disposal in Dark Room mode, you can keep some of the lights on as well.

Placement flexibility. A 1.5:1 manual zoom lens makes the Pro8520HD easier to install in a variety of conference rooms with different installation needs. Often, an organization will require projectors in several different rooms, and those rooms may not all be identical, which can make it more difficult to pick projectors for each situation. By making one projector that can fit in a variety of rooms, life for purchasers, installers, and support staff becomes much simpler.

Connectivity. The slate of connections on the Pro8520HD’s rear panel makes it a simple task to connect a variety of sources, from laptops to Blu-ray players to digital video cameras. The projector also has a 1/8″ audio input for a microphone along with a separate microphone volume slider in the menu system, so you can provide amplified narration during presentations.

Three-year warranty. A three-year standard warranty protects you in the event that the Pro8520HD fails in some way to perform up to expectations. Three years is long for a projector warranty, and the added value should be considered in purchasing decisions.

10W stereo speakers. The Pro8520HD’s speaker system packs a punch. It’s no match for dedicated external speakers, obviously, but it’s better than nothing at all.

DICOM SIM. DICOM stands for “Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine” and the part that we’re concerned with describes a standard used for medical imaging devices — think x-rays. The DICOM SIM mode on the Pro8520HD simulates a proper DICOM imaging environment. The idea is that it can be used for lectures and education, but not for actual patient diagnosis (hence the “SIM” part, for “simulation”). This opens up the Pro8520HD to medical classrooms and doctor’s offices, as well.

Performance

Light output. As a projector built for use in ambient light, the Pro8520HD is sufficiently bright for most conference rooms. “Brightest” mode, the projector’s default, measured 2942 lumens on our test sample with the lamp set to full power and the projector’s lens at its widest angle. Brightest mode emphasizes white light output over color and contrast, and as a result is best for monochromatic or text-based content like Word documents or spreadsheets. Standard mode, at 2656 lumens, shows an incremental improvement in contrast and color saturation but is still largely similar to Brightest mode.

Theater mode produced 1781 lumens on our projector, but contrast and color performance were much improved over the Brightest and Standard modes. Theater mode, as the name implies, is more appropriate for the display of film and video than Brightest and Standard modes.

However, when it comes to color fidelity and contrast performance, the projector’s best mode is Dark Room. Not only does Dark Room mode produce 1988 lumens, making it brighter than Theater mode, but it also has the best color saturation and color brightness of any image mode. If you’re going to be watching movies or looking at photographs, Dark Room is your best bet.

The final preset image mode is DICOM SIM, which measures 3896 lumens. This actually makes it the brightest mode on the projector, about 1000 lumens more than “Brightest” mode. However, it is not appropriate for all types of content due to its specific calibration, so Brightest mode still does have its own distinct application.

Any image mode can have its light output decreased by selecting ECO lamp mode from the menu. ECO reduces light output by 29% in all operating modes. This can be useful when in a darkened room or using a smaller screen, or if you use the projector at night when ambient daylight is less of a concern.

Contrast. As a data and presentation projector, contrast is much less important to the Pro8520HD than brightness. However, the projector does a respectable job with video and photography. Dynamic range is more than sufficient to bring out most shadow detail, though you do lose a bit in the deepest shadows due to the lackluster black level. If contrast is important, it helps to optimize your environment and switch to ECO lamp mode, which cuts down on the projector’s brightness and makes it easier to see shadow detail in dark areas.

Color. The quality of color you get out of the Pro8520HD depends on which image mode you use. If you select Theater or Dark Room mode, you end up with color that is reasonably accurate, well saturated, and balanced well with white. If you use Brightest or Standard mode, you get a much brighter white and by comparison dull, undersaturated color. Since BrilliantColor is not configurable on this projector, your best bet is to use Dark Room or Theater mode when color matters and Brightest or Standard mode when it does not.

Sharpness and clarity. As a native 1080p projector, the Pro8520HD will look its best when given a 1080p input signal, but it will do an admirable job of converting non-native signals to 1080p as well.

Input lag. While the Pro8520HD is a business projector first and foremost, it also measured a blazing fast 10 milliseconds in our input lag testing. That gives it less than a single frame of delay in bringing content from source to screen, making it a good choice for gamers who need fast response times. In fact, 10ms is one of the fastest times we have ever measured on a projector, period.

Limitations

Brightness. Though the Pro8520HD is advertised as a 5,000 lumen projector, it does not have a pre-calibrated image mode that reaches this specification. Its brightest mode is DICOM SIM at 3896 lumens (just under 80% of spec), but DICOM is not appropriate for all types of content. More importantly, the projector’s white light output is significantly higher than its color light output. In Brightest mode, color light output only amounts to 28% of white light output — so while white measured 2942 lumens, a full color image will look like it is only about 825 lumens. The best mode for color saturation is Dark Room mode, where color measured 79% of white.

BrilliantColor. BrilliantColor has a place on presentation projectors such as the Pro8520HD where it can boost white light output at the expense of colored light output when that is what the user requires. The objection here is that BrilliantColor is not adjustable on the Pro8520HD, so there’s no way to turn white peaking down or off when you need better color performance.

Lamp life and cost. The Pro8520HD’s lamp is expected to last 2500 hours at full power and 3000 hours in Eco mode, which is a touch shorter than the average these days. What’s more, replacement lamps cost $499 from Viewsonic, bringing the estimated cost per hour to between sixteen and twenty cents. Compared to other presentation projectors in the Pro8520HD’s performance class, that’s on the expensive side.

No 3D. The Pro8520HD does not have 3D capabilities, while several competing models do. While this isn’t a problem if you don’t plan to use any 3D content, it does rule out 3D gaming as a possible application. Then again, 3D projectors tend to have higher input lag than non-3D projectors, so it is possible that those competing models are less appropriate for gaming.

Conclusion

The ViewSonic Pro8520HD is a great projector for conference rooms and other business environments. It pairs high light output with a full feature set and excellent connectivity to create a presentation projector that’s easy to use. It couples this performance with an industry-leading three year warranty to ensure your continued satisfaction. And with only ten milliseconds of input lag, it also serves surprisingly well as a gaming projector. Whether you’re building out your business, lecturing the doctors of the future, or just saving the world in your favorite game, the ViewSonic Pro8520HD has something to offer.

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can view the Pro8520HD on our site here. You can also browse a variety of other projectors available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Viewsonic – Founded in Walnut, California in 1987, ViewSonic is a world leader and pioneer in desktop display technology. As an innovator and visionary, ViewSonic continues to build an ever-connected and enriching digital future. We have evolved our product lines to exceed the world’s demands for performance, value, and simplicity. ViewSonic delivers the latest in desktop virtualization and cloud computing, along with a diverse portfolio of projectors, displays, digital signage, and touch devices that will change the way you compute, communicate, and connect. You can view additional information about AViewSonic on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

“Which Projector Do I Need?” – A Guide to Selecting Your Next Projector

Perhaps the million dollar question when it comes to projection systems is “Which projector do I need?” There are so many models out there for all sorts of different applications… It can certainly be overwhelming. However, when you break it down, there are a few simple questions you can ask that allow you to ensure you’re getting the right projector.

When buying a projector, you want the perfect balance of functionality and affordability. You don’t want to overspend, but on the other hand, you don’t want a projector that doesn’t meet your needs. A projector that isn’t bright enough, doesn’t have the right inputs, or doesn’t fill the screen isn’t ideal by any means. Once you’ve taken that step and invested in a new projector, you want that investment to shine. Additionally, you want it to shine for years to come. You don’t want something that is always in for repair. You want it to be installed and to be a reliable addition to your meeting facility.

So, now that we’ve established the goal, how do we get there? Truth be told, there are about as many guides to selecting a projector as there are projectors themselves. Well, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find a guide that will be of help to you, and point you in the right direction. Prepared by one of our manufacturing partners, the following areas are ones to consider when selecting your next projector-

Budget: In today’s economy, budget is often the first consideration for any purchase. However, it is not wise to purchase a projector that does not meet your needs even if it is priced within a budget.

Application: First, consider how and where you plan to use the projector. Ask yourself questions, such as: Will it be a fixed installation or does it need to be portable? Is the main usage in your sanctuary/auditorium or in a classroom or board room? How large of a screen will you need so the person in the last row can see and read your message? Can the ambient light conditions be controlled or must you overcome some adverse direct sunlight from windows?

Content: What is the main purpose for the projector, video, data or both? Video content is typically 25% lower in brightness than computer data and will require a brighter projector.

Room Configuration: Long narrow rooms require larger screens than a short wide room when the audience is closer to the screen. On the other hand, narrow rooms require screens that reflect more light directly back to the audience, whereas screens used in wide rooms require a wider angle of dispersed light and will require a brighter projector.

Brightness & Contrast: Projector brightness is specified in lumens and contrast defines the ratio comparing the brightest white of an image to the darkest black. In most cases, brightness is more important than contrast. There are very few applications when a projector is too bright.

Aspect Ratio: Until recent years, both video and computer images were in the old TV format 4:3 screen ratios. Today however, with the advent of High Definition (HD) most video and computer images are now wide screen format 16:9 or 16:10 ratio. When considering a new facility or future projector replacement wide screen format is the way to go.

Technology: Currently there are two main affordable projector technologies on the market: DLP (Digital Light Processing) and LCD, (Liquid Crystal Display). Each offers their unique advantages and disadvantages, and depending on application and personal preference, both are capable of displaying great images. DLP is often preferred when the content is primarily live video. Images from a high-end DLP projector will closely resemble the images we see at the motion picture theaters. Small low cost portable DLP projectors are often bright with high contrast ratios, but are usually week in color saturation and do not always accurately display the colors the same as on a computer monitor. LCD is the older of the two technologies and is very similar to the flat screen TV’s and computer monitor except the image is magnified and projected on a large screen. LCD projectors are best known for their high color saturation and accuracy. Computer generated images are accurately displayed like you seen on a monitor.

Support: Probably the most important consideration is the support provided by both the manufacturer and the selling dealer. A professional sound and video dealer can offer valuable insight and critical analysis by doing a site survey. When necessary they can arrange product demonstrations to determine the best projector for your application and budget. Always consider the manufacturers brand, warranty and history of supporting the products they sell.

Ready to select your next projector? Begin by browsing through a variety of quality options available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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This guide was originally published by ASK Proxima, a PSS manufacturing partner.

About ASK Proxima – ASK Proxima, Inc. is a leading subsidiary of Shenzhen ACTO Digital Video Technology Co., Ltd. a high–tech enterprise specializing in research, development and manufacturing of digital video technology. They distribute a full suite of high-performance projectors, ranging from short-throw, ultra short-throw, large venue, portable and developing new lampless models. Their wide variety of projectors offer the best display LCD and DLP imaging technology available, yet all our feature-rich products are priced competitively in this dynamic market. ASK Proxima can meet your projector needs by providing quality solutions that are designed for most display and presentation markets, including: Educational, Corporate, House of Worship, Large Venue, Digital Signage and Small Business. ASK Proxima boasts an engineering team that offers some of the best technical expertise in the industry.  Many of their top-rated talent originated from leading R&D facilities around the world.  They stand by our work through extensive quality testing and excellent warranty programs that will make you feel secure in your decision to select them as your projector supplier of choice. You can view additional information about ASK Proxima on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.