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Video Projectors Get the Picture

There was a time when video projectors were big, bulky and not very bright, at least when it came to their video outputs.

Latest video projectors provide bright, clear images with reliable performance and small footprints

There was a time when video projectors were big, bulky and not very bright, at least when it came to their video outputs. But times have changed, and modern video projectors combine bright, vibrant images with small footprints, surprisingly efficient energy consumption and reliability.

Here are some of the video projector options that are well suited to a range of government video applications.


BenQ USA’s SH940 For the company’s government users, Eric Hass, BenQ USA director of U.S. distribution, recommends the BenQ SH940.

Why the SH940? “It is a true native 1080p projector,” Hass said, adding it delivers 4000 lumens and is equipped with a high-quality video processor. “When you’re doing high-end video graphic work, having a high-quality video processor embedded into the projector makes for very seamless and loose transitions, whether it be for video work, simulation work or video processing.”

The BenQ SH940 also has a 50000:1 contrast ratio—“very important because it creates a crisp, clean image,” said Hass—supports multiple video formats including 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p and delivers five times more detail than traditional 480p projectors.

The SH940’s “Lens Shift” enables users to overcome any minor miscalculations during projector installation. Just adjust the switch next to the lens to shift the projected image left or right by 40 percent, or up or down by 125 percent within the projector housing, according to the company.


Canon USA Inc.’s REALiS WUX450 Introduced in May, Canon USA Inc.’s nine REALis “compact install projectors” fill the gap between tabletop projectors and the company’s high-end projectors designed for large venues.

“These new compact, install projectors are small in size,” says Chuck Westfall, technical advisor with Canon U.S.A.’s Professional Engineering & Solutions Division. “They only weigh 14 pounds, and they are more likely to be mounted in an enclosure that will hang from the ceiling or be placed on some type of pedestal,” he said. All nine employ new technology “that improves their brightness and reduces their power consumption substantially,” he added.

The Canon REALiS WUX450 Pro AV Compact Installation LCOS Projector features high-performance WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution and a lightweight (13 pounds), compact (13.3 inches x 4.6 inches x 16.9 inches) design. It outputs 4500 lumens of light with a 2000:1 contrast ratio. “The WUX 450 has a resolution spec of 1920 x 1200, which is full HD,” said Westfall. Meanwhile, Canon’s new WX520 projector has 1440 x 900 standard broadcast resolution, a 2000:1 contrast ratio and more brightness with 5200 lumens.

“What they share is a new zoom lens that has an f2.8 aperture,” Westfall said. “What that does for them is, even if the projector is moved further back from the screen, it maintains the brightness that is seen on the screen to a much greater degree than most conventional projectors,” he said. Therefore, users still get the brightness they paid for and a reduction in operating costs by up to 30 percent per year when compared to a conventional projector, he added.


Casio America Inc.’s XJ-H2600 Replacing burned-out lamps is an ongoing expense for most video projector owners, but not those people using Casio America Inc.’s lamp-free projectors.

“What makes our projectors different from other projectors in the industry? We do not have lamps in there,” said Matt Mustachio, general manager of Casio’s Business Products Division. “There are no bulbs,” he said. “Lamp-free basically means there’s no lamp to blow,” which can save users money, he added.

Mustachio estimates that video projector bulbs fail, on average, twice a year. “At a cost of $300 per bulb, that’s an additional expense of $600 [per year] that a user is going to have to put into that projector,” he said. “At a university, they actually blow four times per year. So you’re up to $1,200 per year, just to put bulbs in. Over five years, that’s an additional $7,000.”

Two of Casio’s newest WXGA Pro Series 3500 Lumens projectors, the XJ-H2600 and the XJ-H2650, are equipped with the company’s lamp-free Laser and LED Hybrid Light Source. That system works by combining blue laser light and a fluorescent element to generate a high output of green light. The green light and the light emitted by red and blue LEDs are projected through a DLP chip, which, in turn, is passed through the projection lens to form the video image.

In addition, the XJ-H2600 and XJ-H2650 offer connection options such as two RGB computer inputs, HDMI, composite and S-video inputs, plus separate audio inputs for computer and video inputs. Outputs include an RGB monitor connection and variable audio. Each model’s built-in, 10-watt speaker provides audio reinforcement suitable for most installations. The XJ-H2650 is also “interactive whiteboard-ready,” enabling users to transform any surface into an interactive workspace.

“We’re also focused on Casio’s Dual Projection System,” said Mustachio. “It’s a stacked situation, where we have two projectors and a control box that enables users to get up to 6500 lumens of brightness. The control box controls 81 points on the screen to get perfect correlation so you end up with one picture from two projectors. That control box also enables users to project a perfect picture on a curved screen.”


Christie Digital Inc.’s DHD550-G Christie Digital Inc. has a number of video projectors aimed at the government video market, which Douglas Grant, the company’s marketing manager, said provides users with “not only fantastic results with respect to an incredible display, but also the quality and clarity of image.”

Both the Christie DHD550-G and the Christie DWU550-G series projectors provide 5000 lumens of light, using 1-chip DLP technology and a single mercury-lamp design. Offering a resolution choice between HD (1920 x 1080) or WUXGA (1920 x 1200), the Christie “G Series” is aimed at board and conference rooms, government users and higher education facilities. The G series also offers contrast ratios up to 5000:1, plus “Picture-in-Picture” and “Picture-by-Picture” features.

In addition, Christie’s four new E Series projectors are designed for economical performance with high brightness and deployment flexibility. All of the new models, the Christie DHD675-E, Christie DWU675-E, Christie DHD775-E and the Christie DWU775-E, use 1-chip DLP technology and a dual lamp design that provides brightness ranging from 6450 to 7200 lumens, a choice between HD (1920 x 1080) and WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolutions and up to a 5000:1 contrast ratio.

In the 3LCD projector category, the Christie LW401, Christie LW551i, Christie LWU421, and Christie LWU501i feature wide screen capabilities, with light levels ranging from 4000 to 5500 lumens. Those units are meant for small-to-medium sized venues such as government agencies, education and business settings. The 3LCD projectors also have Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture capabilities, which can be useful for videoconferences when two inputs need to be displayed on a single screen.


Epson’s BrightLink Pro 1410Wi Those who use a whiteboard might want to consider using an Epson BrightLink Pro1410Wi video projector, said Sean Gunduz, Epson’s product manager of high lumen projectors. The BrightLink Pro1410Wi delivers 3100 lumens of brightness using 3LCD, 3-chip technology, and this WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution projector enables any wall to be used as an interactive surface to insert images or templates, or to add new pages to notes or presentations, according to Gunduz.

“The BrightLink Pro 1410W is the most innovative meeting room productivity tool from Epson,” Gunduz said. “This product is targeted to anyone who uses a whiteboard. Its advantages are that it does not require a computer or software, there’s no need to get trained on it, and it works like an appliance. You turn the BrightLink Pro 1410Wi on, pick up the pen and start writing.”

In addition, those who depend on their own devices— such as an iPad or laptop—at meetings or presentations, can use the Pro1410Wi to project content from that device, according to Gunduz. “Annotate on it and capture all your notes,” he said. “At the end of the meeting you can share your notes over e-mail, save them to a thumb drive or print them out.”


Hitachi’s CP-AW2519N The CP-AW2519N LCD projector from Hitachi offers WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution, 2500 lumens of white/color output, a 2000:1 contrast ratio, and the letter “N,” which stands for “networking” said Edgar Jimenez, sales manager for Hitachi America.

That means that the CP-AW2519N can be connected to a network and be controlled or monitored remotely, according to Jimenez. Should a user want to manage the lamp hours, or turn the projector off remotely, the user can do that, he said. “You can even send content wirelessly to these devices if you purchase an optional wireless card.”

Optional interactive features enable CP-AW2519N users to move content around on-screen using an electronic “pen,” and to even add annotations, Jimenez said. “There’s also software that allows it to automatically search the Web,” he said. “It’s a very intuitive, interactive projector.”


NEC Display Solutions of America’s PH1400U The new PH1400U digital projector is equipped with what NEC Display Solutions of America describes as “a unique 3-chip 0.96 inch DLP system.” It is a WUXGA resolution projector with a compact design that nevertheless “creates quality, larger-than-life images under virtually any operation condition to take on the most demanding integration projects,” according to the company. The PH1400U is a professional installation model capable of running 24/7. It has been designed for higher education, corporate and retail environments, and it produces from 13500 to 14000 lumens.

“The PH1400U is designed for venues where there is high ambient light and the need for a large screen size,” said Rich McPherson, NEC’s senior product manager of projectors. “Its capabilities give the AV market a powerful tool for the most demanding application requirements.”

The PH1400U uses “integrated device technology HQV,” which is described as a high-performance video processing and scaling system that is designed for computer signals and standard or high-definition video. According to NEC, that technology produces superior video processing using pixel-based, motion-adaptive de-interlacing to remove undesirable motion artifacts typical of interlaced signals. The result is a life-like image that is useful in videoconferencing applications, NEC said.

Meanwhile, NEC’s 5000-lumen PA500U is for corporate and higher education users. It is equipped with integrated RJ45, and has the option for high-speed wireless connections as well as a range of asset-management technologies, according to the company. Another feature of the projector is its ease of use, McPherson said. “The PA500U is great for users because it’s easy to use,” he said. “Its capabilities give the AV market a powerful tool that is ideal for bigger screens, and settings with substantial ambient light.”

The PA500U can be combined with three other similar projectors, to provide up to 20000 lumens, which is ideal for larger-sized screens and environments with heavy ambient light, McPherson added.


Panasonic’s PT-DZ13K Series PT-DZ13K Series video projectors by Panasonic provide exceptional brightness in four small packages that use 3-chip DLP display technology. Offering a 10000:1 contrast ratio, the PT-DZ13KU, PT-DS12KU, PT-DW11KU and the PT-DZ10KU range in brightness between 10600 and 12000 ANSI lumens. The DZ13KU and DZ10KU provide WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution, while the DS12KU has SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) resolution and the DW11KU has WXGA (1366 x 768) resolution.

“Normally a very bright projector can weigh upwards of 200 pounds and require 240 volts to run itself,” said Dan Miller, Panasonic’s digital light projection products specialist. Referring to the 12000 lumens PT-DZ13KU video projector, Miller said, “This projector is very exciting for us in that it is [uses] our standard voltage and weighs 50 pounds, while its resolution enables it to operate just a few feet from a screen to ten-times the screen width.” In addition, Panasonic has also been able to double lamp life from 2,000 to 4,000 hours, he said.