Projectors, especially those in large venues, must have high reliability but they are still machines and things sometimes go wrong. When the innards must be accessed, it can be an emergency situation requiring the technician to work like a NASCAR pit crew. Fortunately, such situations have been foreseen by designers and dual lamp systems, sophisticated diagnostics and advanced remote control have become widespread and basic features for these big guys. More routine service has also been made easier and less demanding as large-format projection systems have evolved. The feature sets of the models in our survey testify to the creativity and experience applied in the ongoing quest to make these high-end devices as tough and foolproof as possible.
Barco’s projection solution for rental and staging is the HDQ-2K40 with wireless control and a built-in color LED screen that can be used to preview connected sources. The projector’s modular design is intended to simplify installation and servicing. Carried on BNC coax, BarcoLink signals speed video distribution between projectors and image processors and for the ultimate in customization for specific shows and venues, the unit’s light output can be programmed in intensity from 26,000 lumens up to 40,000 lumens in 2000-lumen steps. The 3-chip DLP machine using 7kW Xenon lamps has a resolution of 2048×1080 with horizontal and vertical edge blending. Two sources can be displayed simultaneously with picture-in-picture and there is an integrated Web server. Input connections can be customized with a wide range of options for analog and digital sources and remote controllability includes LAN, RS232, IR, and Wi-Fi.
The PU9730 from BenQ provides 7000 ANSI lumens at 1920×1200 resolution and it is compatible with seven types of optical lenses from short to long throw. Installation versatility is maximized with motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift. The unit can be tilted at any vertical angle for projecting onto a range of different surfaces. Customizable memory settings for image size, position, and focus can be instantly recalled for full-screen viewing different aspect ratios. The centralized lens also aids in installation and there is a built-in test pattern generator with 14 patterns for image setup. Features include an interchangeable color wheel, dual lamp operation, and large LED indicators on the front for quick diagnoses and warnings. Ten thermodynamically positioned fans keep the projector cool and there is quick-and-easy lamp and color wheel access. Dual side handles enable the unit to be easily carried and lens replacement is fast using a quick lens release button.
Canon REALiS WUX6000
With 6000 lumen display power and 1920×1200 resolution, the Canon REALiS WUX6000 uses LCOS display technology and it is compatible with all current interchangeable genuine Canon projector lenses. Part of its ease of use is based on the powered horizontal and vertical lens-shift, independent four corner keystone functions, and lens position memory, as well as built-in edge blending, and a vertical projection function. Input formats include HDMI, DVI, VGA, and USB A with remote controllability on LAN, RS232, IR, and through a wired remote terminal. Compatibility with PJLink, and Crestron and AMX systems is built in for remote monitoring and control. There is a variety of image modes to best suit the venue and application. Audio inputs and outputs are on mini TRS 3.5mm jacks. A built-in network multi projection (NMPJ) function enables the Canon REALiS WUX6000 to project the output of one or more locally or remotely networked PCs. It can be run in direct, classroom, or meeting modes for connecting multiple PCs and multiple projectors.
Christie Boxer 4K30
The Christie Digital Boxer 4K30 is a 3DLP projectors weighing less than 150lbs. and it delivers 30,000 lumens. Its wide range of connectivity includes 3G-SDI, Display-Port, HDBaseT, DVI, and HDMI inputs, and there is built-in image warping and blending. Omni-directional mounting and single-phase power widen the installation options and its Integrated Near Field Communication (NFC) allows for lamp information tracking in the projector or on the shelf. The onboard preview screen provides updates on lamp hours, voltage, temperature, warnings, and IP address. Color reproduction is optimized through Christie TruLife processing and imaging is enriched through enhanced HD upscaling. Expected lamp life is 1,500 hours to 70 percent of original brightness while control options include LAN, local keypad, and RS232. There is a tool-free lens insertion system, motorized horizontal and vertical lens offset, and motorized zoom and focus adjustments.
Digital Projection Titan Quad 2000
Designed by Digital Projection to get the most light power and features into the smallest possible package, the Titan Quad 2000 product line of 3-chip DLP projectors feature 3D connectivity, an intelligent lens mount, and ColorMax calibration technology. They also enable the user to project onto complex surface areas using geometric warp correction along with edge blending and multi-projector tiling. Each projector in an array can be assigned a position within an image matrix with smooth edge blending. The Titan Quad 2000 outputs 20,000 ANSI lumens at a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels while its geometry correction includes Cornerstone, Vertical and Horizontal Keystone, Pincushion and Barrel, and Image Rotation. With picture-in-picture, sources can be simultaneously displayed one inside the other or side by side. Input ports include DVI-D/DVI-A, HDMI, 3G-SDI, VGA/RGB, S-Video, and composite. There is also a SPDIF digital audio output. Remote control is available on RS232, LAN, and a wired remote input on a 3.5mm TRS jack.
The EIP-UJT100 3-chip DLP projector from Eiki shines 14,000-lumen images at native WUXGA resolution from its range of input sources including HDMI, DVI-D, 15-pin Dsub, and BNC. HDBaseT video can also be used on twisted-pair. It has a DICOM Simulation mode for viewing grayscale images such as X-rays, and it can use a range of optional lenses with motorized lens shift, zoom, and focus. Wired remote control is available via LAN, handheld IR, RS232, and wired control on a 3.5mm TRS jack. Imaging features include built-in edge blending and warping, picture-in-picture (second image on any corner) and picture-by-picture. The high-density air filter can be easily accessed and vacuum cleaned. Lamp/power options include single lamp, dual lamp, normal, Eco, and custom power level modes. 12V trigger outputs support screen control while LED indicators warn users on a wide range of possible error conditions. For installation and setup the internal pattern generator can provide a variety of test patterns. Both lamps are easily accessed from the rear of the unit.
Epson PRO G6570WU
The Epson PowerLite Pro G6570WUNL large-venue projector delivers WUXGA performance with Full HD support and uncompromising image quality. Ideal for conference rooms, auditoriums, or houses of worship, the G6570WUNL features 5200 lumens of color brightness and 5200 lumens of white brightness. Offering 3x brighter colors than competitive models, Epson 3LCD projectors ensure brilliant images. The projector offers simple integration with HDBaseT connectivity, and supports Crestron, AMX, Extron XTP, and Control4 protocols. Installation is easy, with six optional lenses, built-in edge blending, 360-degree projection, and projector setting tools. Users can simultaneously project from multiple sources, plus remotely monitor and control projectors. This one offers a wide range of input formats including HDMI, DisplayPort, Computer D-sub, 5 BNC, composite on RCA, and BNC along with S-Video. Remote control can use RJ45, RS232, a hardwired controller, and IR.
Hitachi made the CP-WU8461 small in size but big in power for installations in which the viewing room is big while the projector mounting area may be tiny. It can show HDMI and HDBaseT sources with 6000 lumens and 1920×1200 resolution. The normal lens is a standard throw model but there are four alternatives to suit specific installation needs and the unit has a 360-degree orientation capability. There is also motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift control. The Perfect Fit feature allows each corner of the screen to be adjusted individually to suit the geometry of the projection surface. The CP-WU8461 includes a detailed status monitor and PCless presentation using a USB memory stick or other device. iPad, iPhone, and Android devices can be used for control and display of photos, document files and web site contents. Its embedded networking enables scheduling of events, centralized reporting, image transfer, and e-mail alerts for reactive and routine maintenance.
The NP-P502HL 5000-lumen laser phosphor projector from NEC has HDBaseT for simplified installation along with two HDMI inputs, VGA, and composite video. With native 1920×1200 resolution, the laser module delivers 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operations, and the unit can be controlled and monitored on LAN and RS232. There is also USB and IR control. The 20W speaker assures good sound coverage even in rather large rooms. Fan noise is only 39dB in normal mode operation and it drops to 33dB in Eco mode. Integrated software applications such as Crestron Roomview, AMX Beacon, and PJ Link allow for complete interactivity and control. The projector can be rotated freely to orient the image depending on the installation requirements.
With 7000 lumen output and WUXGA image resolution, the Optoma EH7700 projector uses dual lamps while it is capable of 360-degree operation and the lamp power can be adjusted in eight steps. The unit can be fitted with five different motorized lenses and there are flying frame options. It has full support for Crestron, Extron, AMX, PJ-Link, and Telnet LAN commands. The adjustments include powerful image blending and installation is further aided by motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift along with interchangeable color wheels. Maintenance is minimized by the dust-sealed, filter-free design. Inputs include two HDMI, two VGA, RGBHV BNC, YPbPr component, S-Video, and composite. There is also a VGA output and the unit can be controlled and monitored on LAN and RS232. For motorized screen operation a 12V trigger port is included.
For rental staging, museums, auditoriums, control rooms, houses of worship, and digital signage, Panasonic offers the PT-RZ12KU, a 3-chip DLP unit with 12,000 lumens and 1920×1200 resolution. It can run in DICOM Simulation mode for medical applications and keep going on the laser light source for up to 20,000 hours while its liquid cooling system keeps things very quiet. The multi-screen support system seamlessly joins screens with edge blending, color matching, and digital image enlarging. Projection on curved or spherical surfaces is no problem with built-in geometric adjustment capability. Input formats include SDI, HDMI, DVI-D, and RGB on five BNCs and 15-pin D-Sub. Control can connect on serial in/out, RJ45 and wired remote.
Sony’s VPL-GTZ270 projector combines 4K imaging with a laser light source. Designed for entertainment uses such as planetariums, theme parks, museums and retail, the 5000 lumen model has native SXRDTM 4K (4096×2160) resolution and can operate in 4K 3D mode. The VPL-GTZ270 is designed to deliver up to 20,000 hours of operation with virtually zero maintenance. Constant brightness mode and periodic auto calibration further contribute to longer life operation. The projector’s SXRD panel also creates a deep black image with reduced white band visibility for multi-projection blending. The VPLGTZ270 has sealed optics for dust resistance in high-traffic areas, and runs quiet with operational noise of less than 35dB. The new projector offers flexible installation options with complete tilt angle free capabilities including clockwise or counterclockwise, portrait or landscape orientation, forward or back. A new chassis design enables easy handling and stacking of multiple projectors. A wide color space covers the full DCI range and simulates the new ITU-R BT2020 color gamut.
The Pro8520HD from ViewSonic is a DLP projector with 1920×1080 native resolution, 5000 lumen light output, automatic vertical digital keystone correction, and manual zoom and focus. Two 10W speakers provide good audio coverage. There is even a microphone input on 3.5mm mini and the range of input connections can accommodate a wide range of analog and digital video sources. External control and monitoring is possible via LAN and RS323. The unit also features a 12VDC trigger for operating motorized screens and lifts. With its network capability, the Pro8520HD allows projection of up to four PCs at the same time with the ability to broadcast up to eight projectors. The USB input provides a method of PC-less presentation showing jpeg images directly from a USB flash drive.