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Infocomm 2003 – Projectors

Audio | Flatscreens | Presentation, Conference & Video Systems | Projectors | Pete Putman's Show Summary | Exhibitor & Attendee Reactions InFocus rolled

Audio | Flatscreens | Presentation, Conference & Video Systems | Projectors |
Pete Putman’s Show Summary
| Exhibitor & Attendee Reactions

InFocus rolled out the LP120 personal projector. This tiny XGA (1024×768) DLP design weighs just 2 pounds (1.98 lbs, to be exact) and looks like a small brick with a lens at one end. In addition, there’s a Proxima version (DP1200x) with the same specs. Proxima also has new desktop/installation projector, the Proxima DP8200x (1024×768, 3000 lumens) and (of course) there’s an InFocus version of it (LP820). Finally, InFocus unveiled a companion plug-and-play 802.11b wireless system called LiteShow that works with any of their projectors having M1-DA or M1-D interfaces.

Sanyo, as usual, brought along a truckload of new projectors (most of them IP-ready with Sanyo’s PJ Net Organizer software). In the ultraportable arena, there’s the PLC-XU50/55 (1024×768, 2000/2500 lumens) and PLC-SU55 (SVGA, 2000 lumens). All three models have 1:1.5 zoom lenses and are aimed at the education market. The PLC-XT16 and PLC-XT11 are two new desktop/portables under 20 pounds with 1024×768 resolution and 3500 and 2650 lumens, respectively. They’re joined by the PLC-XP55/L and PLC-XP50/L (lens not included) with 4500 and 3600 lumens. The crowd is filled out by the PLC-EF13N/L and PLC-XF13N/L installation designs, which can crank out 5800 and 5200 lumens in that order.

Digital Projection once again had their new Mercury DLP projector (1024×768, 4500 lumens) on display. This three-chip 1024×768 DLP design is much more compact than traditional xenon-lamped large-venue projectors and is aimed at the conference room market now dominated by LCD technology. DP also had the iVision compact chassis first seen at NAB; it’s a 6.5-lbs. box with single-chip 1280×1024 imaging and is rated at 3000 lumens.

BenQ placed a few new DLP projectors out for viewing, including the 1700-lumens PB2220 (1024×768), the PB7220 (2500 lumens, 1024×768), and the “combo” home theater/office PB8230 (1024×768, 2500 lumens). Next-door competitor Optoma made news with their H76 home theater projector. It uses a single 1280×720 DMD with color wheel, is rated at 1000 lumens, and will sell for under $6000 – and that is a significant price drop for this category. Elsewhere in the Optoma booth, I found the 2.1-pound EzPro 725 (1024×768, 1100 lumens) and the EZ Pro 731 (800×600, 1100 lumens, 4.5 lbs.).

Sony upped the ante with two new SuperLite LCD projectors, the VPL-CS6 (800×600, 1800 lumens) and the VPL-CX6 (1024×768, 1500 lumens). Both models weigh just over 5 pounds. A new network projector comes to the line in the VPL-PX35 (1024×768, 2600 lumens) while the venerable VPL-FX50 has gotten an upgrade to the VPL-FX51 (1024×768, 3500 lumens). Sony also ‘officially’ rolled out their PJNet! Network projector management software (about $500).

Toshiba was one of those manufacturers who opted to stay off the show floor and exhibit across the street at the Peabody Hotel. In their suite, I saw the new TLP-720/721 LCD projectors (1024×768, 2400 lumens, document camera on 721) with integrated 802.11b wireless connectivity, as well as the desktop/portable TLP-791. This box has 1024×768 resolution and is rated at 3000 lumens, plus it has a document camera with 1392×1040 pixel imaging resolution. There’s an ultraportable, too, with the TLP-D2 (1024×768, 2500 lumens, 5.3 lbs.).

NEC was all over the place with their projector intros. The eye-catching WT600 is a super-short throw single chip DLP design that can fill up a 100” 3×3 screen from as little as 26” distant. It uses 1024×768 DMDs and is rated at 1500 lumens. Need to copy a document to the screen? The DT20 can do it as well as show 3D objects from its scanner, using 1024×768 LCD panels and 2800 lumens brightness. At the other end of the scale, the high-powered VT6000 and VT6000R use new 1400×1050 LCD panels (SXGA+), claim 9000 hour lamp life, and use two lamps to crank out 5300 or 2700 lumens (GT9000) and 2000 or 1000 lumens (GT9000R).

Panasonic used InfoComm to debut the PT-LC80U, a 4.6 pound 1024×768 LCD design with a quick (1.5 second) auto setup mode, 2000 lumens, and anti-theft features like panel lock-out and text superimposition over any image (important for the education market). In the ultraportable space, you’ll find the PT-L735NTU (1024×768, 2600 lumens, networking features) and PT-L735U (same, except no networking). Both weigh just less than 10 pounds.

Barco has come out with a new “performer”, the RLM G5. It’s intended for the staging and rental market, and uses 3-chip DLP imaging with 4500 lumens. More importantly, it also employs the Mercury XGA DMD engine with dual UHP lamps, and weighs only 55 pounds. Sharp announced one new projector (PG-A20X, 2000 lumens, 1024×768, 6.4 lbs) and upgraded another (XG-C55X, 3000 lumens, 1024×768, 11.2 lbs).

Mitsubishi is another strong ‘player’ in the education market and many of their 2003 offerings include security features, too. Of interest were the XL5950 Color View (1024×768, 4700 lumens) installation LCD projector, the XD350ColorView (1024×768, 2500 lumens) DLP chassis, and the tiny XD50U Mini-Mits (1024×768, 1500 lumens) DLP microportable. There was even a home theater projector, the HC2 ColorView (800×600, 1100 lumens) on display.

Samsung apparently couldn’t resist the lure of home theater and showcased the SP-H700AE front DLP projector. This design (as yet unpriced) uses the Mustang/HD2 1280×720 chipset and much of its inner workings are the result of video guru Joe Kane’s two cents. Epson (also M. I. A. from the show floor) put the spotlight on their PowerLite 7800p (3500 lumens, 1024×768) and PowerLite 8300i (5200 lumens, also 1024×768). Both are desktop/installation models.

Hitachimade further improvements to its SVGA line with the CP-S210W, a six-pound 800×600 LCD projector rated at 1200 lumens. And for those wanting more lamp life, the CP-X870W is supposed to fill the bill. This 2000-lumens XGA-resolution lightbox has a lamp life of 4000 hours.

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