Posted on March 31, 2009 By Art Feierman
A detailed review of this Hitachi CP-A100 ultra short throw projector. Additional commentary to Mike’s review, provided by Art.
The Hitachi CP-A100 is an ultra short throw XGA (1024×768) LCD projector that is well suited for presentations in a conference room or classroom. While other projectors claim to be ”ultra” short throw, the CP-A100 takes the concept to the maximum. With the projector as close as 4” from the screen, it’s still able to project an image that’s 4 feet wide (60” diagonal). This is achieved by using a fixed lens projecting on a convex mirrored surface to reflect and expand the image onto the screen. This use of a fixed lens only allows for digital zooming and requires the user to place the projector at the proper distance for the screen size desired, as well as at the proper height. Please note, we have also previously reviewed another ultra-short throw projector with a similar design, that can also be placed within inches of a screen. For more info check out the review of the Sanyo PLC-XL50. The CP-A100 features a specified output of 2500 lumens with a 500:1 contrast ratio. The CP-A100 is not a particularly portable projector with its nearly 13 lb. weight, but has the flexibility to be used in a number of positions with its available accessories (more on that later).
Ultra short throw projectors are very popular in uses where there will be a presenter at the screen pointing out items in the presentation. With the projector so close to the screen, the presenter will not interfere with the projected image and doesn’t have to worry about looking away from the lens while looking back toward his audience. As the CP-A100 can throw an image of 150 inches diagonal from less than three feet, there is little chance that the presenter will be between the projector and the projected image. One popular use of projectors like the CP-A100 is to pair it with an electronic whiteboard, mounting it almost right above the whiteboard (or traditional screen) on a post that positions it a foot or so from the wall. The Hitachi CP-A100 projector should prove to be very popular in K-12 classrooms, a market where Hitachi is already the #1 seller.
The CP-A100 also has networking capability to allow for monitoring of multiple projectors from a remote location, as well as providing (through auxiliary software) the ability to display up to four still images from a networked computer. Another networking feature of the CP-A100 that we’ve seen become popular in other projectors is email notification of problems such as scheduled maintenance or problems with temperature, lamp failure etc.
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