Hitachi iPJ-AW250N - Image Quality
April 2012 - Anthony Arrigo
Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Picture Quality
Image quality has to be one of the most important characteristics to look for when buying a projector. This is aside from all the other important factors like cost of maintenance and whether it meets your resolution needs. A projector should be sharp, have decent color reproduction and be able to adjust the colors depending on the surface you have to present on. The Hitachi iPJ-AW250N has a pretty nice picture in terms of sharpness and it ability to handle different resolutions but unfortunately the sharpness was not uniform across the whole image.
Noticeable issues with sharpness were detectable in the upper areas of the image. The focus adjustment and positioning of projector seemed to have little effect on the image quality. This issue might have been just isolated to the demo unit I was using for testing, but I want to note exactly what was seen. Below are some screen shots of the projector performing in various resolutions. The iPJ-AW250N is a native 1280x800 projector. If you click each image you will see the same image but as it relates to the desktop.
Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Projector: Color
Color reproduction was excellent with this unit. There were various shifts in color accuracy as different color modes were selected but as is very typical of LCD projectors, the colors were really accurate. As I have mentioned in various reviews, color reproduction tends to always be better with LCD projectors than DLP projectors. The only difference is DLP projectors are often more capable of achieving higher contrast ratios. However, this is not always the case and one should check the specs of a projector before assuming all DLP projectors have superior contrast over LCD. LCD projectors used to lose out to DLP projectors because pixels were more noticeable, but this problem is slowly becoming a non-issue. Best way to get an idea of the color reproduction is to check out the color wheel stills below from each of the different color modes the projector is capable of.
It would appear from my actual viewing that the Normal Mode produced the most accurate color. As I moved through the other modes I often saw a bit of color shift to where it was more difficult to see a difference in the color nearest another color. Daytime Mode is a good example of this. Other issues were just a loss of contrast. This resulted in losing some line detail in Excel, but this is to be expected across jsut about all projectors so I would not consider this a isolated issue to just the Hitachi iPJ-AW250N.
Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Projector: Video Performance
Video performance turned out to be quite good. The sharpness issue across the upper portion of the image was still a problem. It was noticeable even when showing video. However, the projector did a nice job overall with contrast and handled the darkness of space pretty well for a projector not solely designed for home theater. As a projector that can be used for both teaching and showing films, it produces a very satisfactory image assuming this sharpness problem is isolated to the unit I tested.