Hitachi CP-X445 - Image Quality
This is a bright projector. Even today, 2000 lumens or less makes up the bulk of the projectors used out there for "rental and staging" - at hotels, conference centers, and other places where meetings are held and projectors brought in for the presentations). True, many such companies are slowly adding more brighter projectors, and today, many of those will be in the 3000 - 4000 lumen range.
That said, the point is that the CP-X445 projector is plenty bright for most applications, and as long as there is some lighting control, the 445 will have no problem with hotel ballrooms with a few hundred people and screens up to 25 foot diagonal.
Under full florescent lighting, the X445 is comfortable on a 10 foot diagonal screen.
As the X445 is an LCD projector we expect better color accuracy than DLP projectors, and it delivers. Our color bar test of red, green, blue and yellow, demonstrated excellent color. While there was minor variation compared to the screen of the Dell laptop, there is nothing that indicates that the Dell's screen colors were actually better. With default settings, the grays around Excel's borders appear just a touch warm leaning toward yellow. Just about every projector does shift slightly from a perfect gray, and of course there are a wide range of controls for anyone who feels obligated to tinker.
Compression Technology - Projectors (unlike CRTs) have only one native resolution. In this case, the X445 is a true XGA projector with a native resolution of 1024x768. The challenge of any projector is to be able to do the best possible job of displaying data being fed to the projector from computers outputting different resolutions. Since more and more computers are now sporting higher resolution displays than XGA, this becomes important if you want a projector that will do the best job possible regardless of the source's resolution. Most XGA projectors today claim to be able to work with resolutions up to UXGA (1600x1200) and convert them down to XGA. The question becomes how readable and clear is small text, when compressed. Remember, depending on the resolution being fed the projector, the projector may have to display all of the info, with less than half the number of pixels, and the mathamatical algorithms determine how to best accomplish this.
As you can see from the image below, this Hitachi projector does an excellent job on compression, with even small 8 point type being readable in almost all cases. (spreadsheets are typically 10 points). Hitachi's algorithm handles compression well with colored text and colored backgrounds, although perhaps not as well as the best out there. Compression was tested up to UXGA (1600 x 1200), and also widescreen formats from today's widescreen laptops. It handled all the widescreen resolutions of my Dell, without any problems at all, and, in fact locked onto the signal and displayed it as fast as any other projector I have played with. (Some projectors may take 3-5 seconds or even longer, to lock onto a signal. The Hitachi seemed to grab most in 1-2 seconds.
Simply put, the X445 does just great. Here is a color bar created using red, green, yellow, blue from inside Excel. As you can see all are rich and dynamic. Each color looks pretty close to dead on, on my screen. Of course, capturing the image with a digital camera, and placing it online, and viewing it on your monitor can shift the colors, but you should get the idea! (Ed. note, the yellow was dead on, on the original image, but seems to have picked up a greenish caste on the website, and the green was brighter.)
It works. I hooked up the Hitachi projector to my cable box with its DVI output, and encountered no problems at all.