Projector Review: PowerLite Home Cinema 1440 1080p 3LCD Projector

Written by Evan Powell, January 19, 2016 | ProjectorCentral.com

Angled Product ImageThe Epson Home Cinema 1440 is one of the new cinema projectors released by Epson that targets ambient light situations from Super Bowl parties to sports bars. If you want big screen display of live music concerts to liven up your cocktail parties, the HC1440 is a natural. This new model pumps out 4400 lumens of HD 1080p video, enough to light up 150″ to 200″ screens without having to turn the lights off. And it is a compact, 10 lb model that you can install yourself with no muss no fuss. Best yet, all of this lumen power will only set you back $1,699.

Picture Quality

The whole point of the HC1440 is getting the brightest HD picture possible for the money. The projector is rated at a maximum of 4400 lumens, and on our test sample the brightest preset, Dynamic, measures 4350 lumens, essentially on target. Meanwhile, the two Cinema modes which have a more neutral color balance measure about 2800 lumens. The Dynamic mode has a somewhat greenish bias, although not severe or objectionable. The big question is whether you’d want to give up 1/3 of your total light potential to get more accurate color?

The answer for most users will be “no way.” This is a Super Bowl party projector, intended for big screen use in ambient light. You are buying it because you want 4000+ lumens. Even at its default settings, the HC1440’s Dynamic mode delivers an engaging and exciting picture. Despite what a professional would describe as a greenish bias, nobody at a party would think the picture looks green, or notice any color biases in the image at all–for the most part colors look perfectly natural. A low-saturation light blue sky may appear bluish-green, but saturated colors all look solid and accurate.

However, there is an easy way to improve the picture quality without bothering with a professional calibration. In the onscreen menu, go to Image/Advanced/RGB and drop Offset G from 0 to -1. Believe it or not, this tiny adjustment takes out a noticeable amount of the green, improves color saturation and contrast, and renders better flesh tones. Meanwhile it reduces lumen output by only 3%, so you still end up netting out 4200+ lumens. This is the way I would run this projector at my own Super Bowl party.

As far as sharpness is concerned, the HC1440 has a Sharpness control that ranges from -5 to +5, and it is set to default to 0 in all color modes. This produces a picture that, to my taste, is not quite sharp enough. The interesting thing about the HC1440 is that the sharpening algorithms do not produce gross edge enhancements like they do on many other video displays. Instead it gives you an artful refinement of the image. You can boost sharpness to +2 or +3 to produce a noticeably sharper picture without imparting any sense of artificial processing that makes it look harsh or digital. You can experiment with it yourself to find your own preferred setting, but the traditional mantra of us videophiles who insist that Sharpness controls be turned off does not apply to this projector.

The same is true of the noise reduction filters. The projector’s color modes default to a setting of NR1 out of the three options Off, NR1 and NR2. Noise reduction filters reduce digital noise at the expense of some image detail, but in this case the trade-off is worth it. To my taste the NR1 is the overall optimized solution, as there is a bit too much noise in many sources with noise reduction set to Off.

The HD1440 has three color presets other than Dynamic. They are Bright Cinema, Cinema, and Game. Oddly enough, they all measure about the same 2800 lumens. The two Cinema modes have more accurate color than Dynamic as well as a slightly smoother, more refined image quality. But the difference is quite subtle. The primary difference between Bright Cinema and Cinema is the default gamma settings rather than total lumen output. These operating modes would be more appropriate for use in lower ambient light, and if I did not need Dynamic’s lumen power I would opt for the Cinema modes.

As far as Game mode is concerned, the fastest input lag we could measure on this projector is 56 ms. So it is not going to be the ideal choice for gaming enthusiasts who want the fastest response times possible (Epson’s HC 2040 measures 24 ms, so if your interests are primarily gaming you’d probably want to look at something like that.)

Overall, the HC 1440 is a party projector, ideal for big screen HD video and sports presentations in ambient light, whether in the home or a sports bar. And for this purpose it is outstanding.

Key Features

Excellent value. Superb combination of high resolution, high lumens and color brightness, for a great price.

Epson 1440 connection panel

Mobile/portable. At only 10 lbs, the 1440 is easily transportable. An onboard 16-watt speaker gives you some room-filling audio if you need it in portable applications.

Long zoom range. A 1.65 zoom ranges lets you fill a 120″ diagonal screen anywhere from 12 to 19 foot throw distance.

Stream HD shows. Supports MHL-enabled devices, Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Split Screen Viewing. Watch two shows at once. Pictures are displayed either side by side in equal sizes, or one large and one small. A full image of both signals is always 100% visible (no picture in picture where one is overlaid on the other).

Low fan noise in eco-mode. Fan noise is surprisingly low in eco mode for a projector of this size and brightness.

Inexpensive replacement lamp. At just $149, new lamps are noticeably cheaper than competing lamps that often run $250 or more.

H+V keystone. +/- 30 degrees Vertical keystone, +/- 20 degrees horizontal

Security. Password protection is an option if you want to use it, and the projector comes with a Kensington lock.

Performance

Brightness. The Epson Home Cinema 1440 is rated at 4400 lumens of white light and 4400 lumens of color brightness. It has four factory preset operating modes and no separate user programmable modes, although all four factory presets can be modified by the user. With the lamp on full power and the zoom lens set to its widest angle position, our test unit produced ANSI lumens readings as follows:

Epson Home Cinema 1440 ANSI Lumens

MODE Normal Lamp Eco mode
Dynamic 4350 3175
Bright Cinema 2810 2051
Cinema 2800 2044
Game 2790 2037

Zoom lens effect.The HC 1440 has a 1.65x zoom lens that will curtail light output by up to 36% as you move from its brightest, most wide angle position, to its most telephoto (longest throw for a given image size). This light loss is not particularly unusual for a 1.6x zoom lens, but it means that if you need the full lumen power of the projector, you should plan to install it as close to the screen as you can in order to use the wide angle end of the lens.

Eco mode. The 1440’s eco mode reduces light output in all modes by 27%. It also curtails fan noise considerably and increases anticipated lamp life from 3000 to 4000 hours.

Brightness Uniformity. Uniformity measures a very good 84%, with light fading off just slightly to the upper right and left corners. But uniformity throughout the rest of the image is excellent.

Epson 1440 remote

Input lag. The Bodnar meter measures 73 ms input lag in Fine mode and 56 ms in Fast mode.

Fan noise. If you are in a quiet room, fan noise on the 1440 Audible noise is moderate and quite noticeable in full lamp mode — normal for a data projector that produces this amount of light, and certainly louder than a typical home theater projector. If you are using it for party entertainment to show music concert videos, or football parties, the fan noise will never be heard. If you are watching Bubba Watson about to tee off and the Quiet signs are up, you will become aware of the fan if the projector is anywhere near you. This is not surprising since the unit is rather small for the amount of light it produces so there is little opportunity to baffle fan noise internally.

In eco-mode, it’s a different ball game. Fan noise drops substantially to where it becomes remarkably quiet and perfectly acceptable for even a relatively small home theater room. On the other hand,High Altitude Mode is required at elevations above 1500 m, or about 5000 feet. In this mode the fan noise is increased loud enough that you’d want to take steps to baffle it behind a wall if it is used in a home theater room. But for party environments (the most likely usage) it is still not a problem.

Lamp life and price. Epson estimates lamp life at full power to be 3000 hours in Normal lamp mode and 4000 in eco-mode. Replacement lamps cost $149, which is noticeably less than most of the competition.

Set Up

The Epson Home Cinema 1440 will thrown a 120″ diagonal 16:9 image from a distance of between 11.7 and 19.3 feet, give or take a couple inches. It is easily bright enough to fill a much larger screen. At 180″ diagonal, you’ll need to set it back between 17.5 and 29 feet. Use the Projection Calculator to determine your actual throw distance options based your desired screen size.

Since the zoom lens curtails light output at the telephoto end by 36%, if you need the full lumen power of the projector you will want to place it relatively close to the screen in order to use the wide angle end of the zoom.

There is no lens shift. The HC1440 throws the image so that its ideal placement is on a shelf or stand behind and just above the heads of the audience. About 88% of the projected image is above the centerline of the lens and 12% is below the centerline. So it can be positioned on a shelf or stand without requiring much if any tilt.

If you wish to ceiling mount it, that’s no problem, but the projector will likely require an extension drop tube so that it is placed at a height that will accommodate its throw angle without a tilt. The manual does not stipulate any maximum tilt, but 15 degrees is about the maximum recommended for most projectors due to the fact that tilting the unit will interfere with its cooling system. A few projectors are built to withstand non-horizontal installations, but the 1440 is not one of them.

As you can see below, the 1440 has a form factor with relatively shallow depth, about 11.5 inches. So it can be placed on a bookshelf as long as there is sufficient clearance to the sides and above it for heat dissipation.

Important warning. Due to the unique throw angle of this projector, you might be tempted to invert it and set it on a high shelf. Never invert a projector and set it on its top in direct contact with a shelf — it is pretty much guaranteed to overheat in that situation.

Epson 1440 top view

Installation Trade-offs

Ideal throw distance. The big question is this — where is the ideal placement when you’ve got a 1.6x zoom and you can choose to ceiling mount it anywhere between 12 and 19 feet to hit a 120″ screen? The trade-offs are these:

1. If you place it at 12 feet, you get the maximum light output from the projector which is good if you need it. The downside is that in this position it throws the widest angle cone of projected light, and light striking the screen toward the sides of the image will tend to bounce off away from the center viewing position. So it is a bit less than ideal for even screen illumination.

2. If you place it at 19 feet, you get the minimum light from the projector, but if that is already enough it doesn’t matter. The advantage is that you narrow the cone of projected light, providing a more even illumination of the screen since light hitting the sides of the screen does not bounce off at as much of an oblique angle.

3. If you place it at 15-16 feet, you get equal trade-offs of the above. Also, in theory the midpoint of the zoom lens is its optical sweet spot, but a 1080p resolution image is not going to tax the optical resolution of the lens enough for you to notice.

Plan for lamp degradation. In planning your installation, keep in mind that a good rule of thumb is to anticipate that high pressure lamps will lose 25% of their brightness in the first 500 hours of operation, then degrade more slowly after that. With this in mind, many people choose their screen size and screen gain assuming they will use the projector’s eco-mode for the first 500-750 hours, then switch to full lamp mode for the remainder of the lamp’s life. By following this strategy you can even out the average light levels on the screen over the lamp’s entire life.

On the other hand, if you need the full 4000+ lumens, you can keep it up at that level by replacing the lamp more frequently than the estimated lamp life. This is particularly easy to do with the HC 1440 since replacement lamps are only $149.

Limitations

No 3D capability. If 3D is your thing, look elsewhere as the 1440 does not do it.

No lens shift. A bit of lens shift would have been helpful for easier installation. Since there is none, make sure to take extra care while planning the set up.

No frame interpolation or detail enhancement. These features are present on many Epson home cinema projectors, but they are not on the 1440.

Fan noise. In normal (full lamp) mode the fan noise is higher than desirable for home theater applications, although it is remarkably quiet in eco-mode. On the other hand, it is no issue if you are using it for Super Bowl parties, live concert videos, or in general for any sports event viewing.

16:10 Aspect Ratio. For cinema use you will probably be using a 16:9 screen. You can set up the 1440 to fill the screen with a 16:9 image, and the small black bars top and bottom will project onto the black frame and become invisible. If you have a need or desire to use a 16:10 format screen, a 16:9 image will be displayed with small black bars at the top and bottom of the screen image.

Air filter. The air filter needs periodic cleaning which is easy to do with a small computer keyboard vacuum cleaner swiped over the intake vent. How often you need to do this depends on how much dust there is in the room. If you forget to do it at all, the filter will eventually clog and the unit will overheat and automatically shut down.

Competition

We’ve given the Epson HC 1440 five stars for value. You may wonder at this given that there are a number of HD 1080p DLP projectors rated at 4000 or more lumens that sell for prices much lower than $1700.

The issue is that in this brightness range, most DLP projectors continue to rely on a large white segment in the color wheel to boost the ANSI lumen rating. This does indeed boost white light output, but it leaves colors relatively flat. As an example, we are currently reviewing the new Dell 4350, a 1080p DLP projector rated at 4000 lumens and selling for several hundred dollars less. And indeed, when we do the standard ANSI lumen test our sample measures 3907 lumens, or very close to its rating. However, when we measure the red, green, and blue components individually, they add up to 694 lumens. By comparison, the Epson 1440 still measures 4200+ lumens when the color components are measured individually. The result is that when you put these two units side by side, the color on the Epson 1440 is much more vibrant and saturated than it is on the Dell 4350.

This is not to say that all DLP projectors behave this way. DLP projectors built for home theater quite often have RGBRGB color wheels that deliver as much color light as they do white light. And in a number of recent DLP projectors that do have white segments in the wheel, we’ve seen a trend toward a reduction of the size of the white segment. This leads to much higher color brightness measurements than we’ve seen on DLP projectors in the past. On models with a reduce white segment there can be excellent color saturation and a very well balanced video image despite the presence of the white segment in the color wheel.

Nevertheless, when we look at inexpensive DLP projectors that are rated at 4000 lumens and above, it is still generally true that most of that lumen power is coming from a white segment, and that color brightness falls far short of the white potential. So if you are in the market for a bright video projector and are looking for 4000+ lumen models, keep these performance differences in mind. The lumen ratings can be quite misleading.

Conclusion

For what it is, the Epson HC 1440 is an outstanding projector at a superb value. It gives you full HD resolution and 4000+ lumens of reasonably well balanced color brightness for a relatively moderate price — perfect for home entertainment with some ambient light in the room, or any venue where you need bright video in some level of ambient light. The HC 1440 does not have the extra processing and performance features found on other Epson cinema projectors like frame interpolation, detail enhancement, and 3D capability. But for straightforward, bright, HD video in ambient light situations, the 1440 is tough to beat.


Ready to purchase? Click here to see the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1440 1080p 3LCD Projector on Projector SuperStore!


Written by Evan Powell, January 19, 2016 | Originally seen on ProjectorCentral.com. View original posting here.

Tips For Choosing Portable Sound Systems For Any Event

Anchor Audio specializes in portable sound systems, and they have for over 40 years. Theystarted out with one portable sound system, but long ago expanded to include options and features to cover all kinds of events. Their systems are most commonly used in settings such as education, worship services, weddings and other community events, sports and band, auctions, government, as well as specialty systems for first responders and military.

What they have found is that customers who have never purchased a portable sound system aren’t really sure what they need in a sound system. Taking the time to consider carefully what you need in the way of a sound system or public address system and also considering what you may value in the future can help narrow down your options.

How and Where to Use a Portable Sound System

The most significant advantage of a portable sound system is there is no restriction on how or where it can be used. This makes it ideal for community centers, schools, businesses and event managers to have on hand.

Knowing a little bit about your application will help in picking the right system for your needs. Some factors to keep in mind are approximate crowd size, indoor vs. outdoor use, and who might be using the system. Anchor offers portable sound systems for smaller crowds (ideal for education applications), larger crowds (a great versatile option), as well as systems that will do it all (best value). Knowing where you will use the system also helps in deciding if you want a traditional speaker set up on a stand or if you’d be better off with a simple setup line array.

By choosing a system with multiple uses there is a greater range of possibilities and applications for the sound system. This is an important consideration for the future as well as for your current needs. Making the choice to purchase a top-quality, US made, portable sound system is rewarding to those who value both intelligibility in their sound as well as longevity in the life of their product.

Battery Power Means Portability

To Anchor, portability means having the ability to provide top quality sound, anywhere. They believe portability means location that is not dependent upon a power outlet.

Give yourself 6 – 8 hours or more with a battery powered system. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use alike, these come as a fully contained sound system, just connect a microphone and a media player you are ready to go.

Sound Requirements

Anchor and PSS always recommend our clients look to a portable sound system which will exceed their maximum requirements for today. This keeps your options open to address different sound needs in the future without needing to upgrade or add on services.

In addition, many portable sound systems can be doubled in capacity and crowd coverage by just adding a companion speaker. This is the most cost effective and versatile way to upgrade so that you are ready for your next event, before it’s even ready for you.


This post was brought to you by Anchor Audio, a PSS Featured Vendor.  Anchor Audio is a manufacturer of top quality portable sound systems that are made in the USA and are covered by a six year warranty. Click here to browse all of their products.

Optoma’s Latest 1080p Home Projector Range

Movie fans, TV buffs and keen gamers can now enjoy a super-size cinema quality picture in any room in their home. Packed with features, Optoma’s range of 1080p home projectors deliver vivid clarity with pure, deep colors and high contrast thanks to deeper blacks and crisp whites. This means live sport, action-packed games, TV and movies can be enjoyed in stunning Full HD resolution any time of day.

See Optoma’s full line of projectors on the Projector SuperStore 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.

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.

“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.