Epson BrightLink 585Wi Projector Review

BRIGHTLINK 585WI PROJECTOR – SPECIAL FEATURES:  Ultra Short Throw, Wired Networking Wireless Networking, Multi-PC sharing

Brightlink 585Wi - Ultra Short Throw

There are multiple advantages (and a couple of disadvantages) to ultra short throw projector designs.  Here we’ll consider most of them and how they relate do the 585Wi.

The key “feature” of ultra short throw is that it places right above, or right below the projection surface.  The benefit of that is it keeps the bright output of the projector out of the presenter/teacher/student’s eyes.  With a traditional, non-interactive projector that may not be a big deal, as the person speaking may not need to be near the screen, but for fast interactivity, being “right there” is critical.

Mounting right above the projection surface provides security (compared to table top), but it also typically means a simpler, less expensive installation than is typical of longer throw projectors.  Being an ultra short throw projector (as compared to a Very short throw projector, means the projector is mounted only a couple/few inches from the wall.  Very short throw projectors are typically 30 – 48 inches from the wall, which means a lot harder for the presenter to dodge the projector’s bright light.

Wired Networking

This Epson Brightlink 585Wi – and the other variations in the series, offer impressive networking.  For large networking installations, such as a corporation with these projectors in 50 conference rooms, or perhaps a school district with 150 of these scattered through a 25 school system, these Epson look extremely well endowed.  Thanks to supporting advanced networking such as Crestron RoomView, a network administrator, can receive emails or alerts should any of these projectors have a problem.  Need a lamp replaced?  A filter changed? The Epson can let the powers that be, know.  But networking goes in both directions.

With these Brightlink projectors you can present off of IP – that is, you might run a Powerpoint presentation that sits on the network, without it being on a computer.  Or, the network admin can take control of the projectors.  The classic example of push notifications might be for an emergency.  A network administrator could turn on every one of these projectors in their district, in an emergency situation, and have all of the projectors display pushed messages such as:  Hurricane threatening, all schools will close at 1pm today.  In a corporate world, a network administrator can keep an eye on a fleet of projectors scattered across the country.

We’ve taken more than a dozen photos of the key menus relating to the Brightlink projector’s networking.  You’ll be able to find those images with the occasional comment, in the Menus section of our Brightlink 585Wi Hardware Tour pages.

Wireless Networking - Brightlink 585Wi

Epson includes a small wireless networking dongle in the box with the projector.  When one removes the cable cover to plug in sources and other devices, it takes but a second to plug the dongle into its “special place” (as seen in this photo).

Once installed, the wireless configures nicely.  It was able to immediately spot our wifi network here, and upon verification, start communicating though our network.

Wifi can be used to interface with wifi equipped computers, iOS and Android devices, and more.  Using the wireless, we had no trouble getting one of our iPads to talk to the projector, and using its App, perform annotating, and other functions.  Sound easy to you?  Turns out it really was pretty easy to get up and running, and to use in practical – real world type – situations!

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Multi-PC Sharing

Although you rarely hear about this feature, it’s been around for years, probably close to a decade.  Panasonic may have had the first projectors I can recall that could split their screen and place the screens of more than one PC up on the projected image.  Epson and others also offered a projector here and there with that same type of feature set.

At this point it doesn’t really matter who was first.  (Unless it’s a matter of Apple suing Samsung, or the reverse)!  It’s not a feature, apparently, very widely used, but it certainly is a feature that offers great benefit when used effectively.

The traditional approach to Multi-PC sharing would be for the projector to receive four separate sources (usually by wireless or wired networking), and put one in each of the the four windows the projector produces.  This way a teacher, for example, could put up the work of 3 students, along with some relevant notes the teacher wishes to show for perspective.   Or, it could be used in an office environment for collaboration between four team members so that the group can see multiple points, ideas from the members, displayed at the same time.  Think about “your world”, and if you work in groups, or with groups, you’ll probably be able to quickly see some ways where having multiple computers displayed at once is of benefit.

In the case of this Epson projector, is capable of displaying up to four screens simultaneously out of a collection of about 30 computers that are tied in.

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