Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Interactive LCD Projector Review

April 2012 – Anthony Arrigo

Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Appearance

The appearance of the Hitachi iPJ-Aw250N interactive projector is actually pretty similar to most other interactive projectors. One major difference was the lens door that is motorized. Upon power-up the lens door rises to reveal the lens and mirror. Almost all access to the projector is on the top. You can change the lamp from there and you can also access the filter for maintenance. Since you will more than likely be ceiling mounting this projector it will be a real breeze to maintain. The control panel is also located on the top of the projector so you can easily look up and change the projectors settings if you don’t have a remote nearby.

Moving to the side of the projector with all the inputs you will find that the iPJ-AW250N is capable of accepting just about every source imaginable. The only source that would require an adapter would be if you wanted to projector component video. In this case you would need a component to VGA adapater. The projector is equipped with an HDMI port so if you have that option on your DVD player then that would be your best bet.

In all the projector has 1 HDMI input, 2 x 15-pin VGA ports and 1x 15-pin VGA out. It also has a one RCA jack for composite video and one s-video port. As for audio inputs, you have 2 stereo mini jacks and 1 pair of L/R RCA jacks. There is also microphone jack. For audio output you will have 1 pair of L/R RCA jacks. The projector has a 10W mono speaker for built-in sound output. For command and control of the projector, Hitachi has provided a 9-pin D-Sub for RS-232 control. Finally there are two USB ports. One is Type A PC-less presentations and the other is Type B for mouse control. The iPJ-AW250N can also be networked so there is a RJ-45 jack. Included is a cover that when installed, will neatly conceal the input panel.

The bottom the projector features two adjustable feet should want to rest the projector on a table or it comes with mount holes so you can ceiling mount the projector. Most will want to ceiling mount this projector since it will be out of the way of the person at the White Board.

Setup and Menus

Setup of the Hitachi iPJ-AW250N is pretty straightforward. You have two options. You can set it on a table close the screen or you can ceiling mount it. The projector really is designed to be ceiling mounted since it is interactive. The ultra short throw of this projector means very little shadow in the image when you are interacting with the whiteboard. If you ceiling mount it, you also get the added benefit of not looking into a blinding projector when addressing your audience.

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Ultimately going for the ceiling mount approach is best. Ceiling mounts are available from the manufacturer and I would recommend using the one Hitachi manufacturers. The projector has all the mounting holes so simply secure your mount to the wall or ceiling and then secure the projector to the mount. You will want to know ahead of time what screen size you want to achieve. An important bit of information to know before you begin even looking for a projector.

The menu system might need to be accessed during setup depending on how you mount it. It is a very textual menu system but it is graphical as well to help aid in navigation. It is extensive so this projector does give you a lot of control of the image. To get a sense of how the menu looks refer to the images below.

Remote Control and Pen

The remote is pretty standard and it is laid out like most remotes. There is your typical Left, Right, Up, Down and Enter pad that has buttons shaped differently than the feature buttons, but all the rest are pretty much the same size so you will more than likely need to look at the remote when you want to change a setting. All the necessary buttons are there though, so you can control every aspect of your projector. The pen is where this projector starts to get interactive. I won’t cover here all the interactive features, but in our section of this review titled “Interactivity” I will go more in-depth into the interactive portion of the projector and the Starboard software that makes it interactive. The pen is well designed. It has two buttons near the tip and the tip itself vibrates slightly when you have pressed down on it. The vibration is just slight and you actually kind of feel more engaged while drawing because this slight tingly feel and noise it puts out. Lets move on to more detail about the interactivity.

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