InFocus IN3916 Projector - Physical Tour
November - Anthony Arrigo
The InFocus IN3916 has a pretty basic design, but is quite feature laden when it comes to all its inputs and very extensive menu system. From the front you will notice that wide angle lens. It's hemispheric glass shape is what allows it to project such a large image from close up. The knotched outer ring allows you to finely focus projector once you have set up. Keep in mind there is no physical zoom so to achieve the desired image size you must adjust it forward and back to get the image size you desire.
Moving to the top of the projector we have the control panel. All the projectors functions are able to be controlled via the top of the projector. The control panel is backlit so finding the button you need is very easy if your in the dark as most presenters are when presenting. Chang brightness, color and even presentation sources with just a few taps of the buttonless panel. Overall the control panel is very intuitive and luckily you can control all the projectors functions should you happen to lose the remote control.
Antother really great feature of the projector is its sound system. The Infocus IN3916 and IN3914 have two, ten watt speakers on the left and right side of the projector. That is plenty of sound output for a small ballroom or large classroom.
Around to the back is where you will find the incredibly well equipped input panel. Just about every kind of input is there. Starting from the left, you have the LAN port for hooking up the projector to a network. Just below that you have the infrared receiver for the remote. Next to the LAN port you will find the USB input. The USB input serves two functions. It is the interface for the optional LitePort accessory that allows you to wirelessly connect the projector to a network or allow you to connect up to 32 different computers that can project their own presentations all at the control of the main presenter. You can even show 4 presenters computers at once. This feature however is specific to the IN3916 only. This port also allows you to hook up a USB drive and give your presentation via the USB drive (special software turns your Powerpoint slides into Jpeg images for viewing).
Next we have a trigger input for a screen and next to that the serial input should you want to control the projectors internal functions via RS-232. Next up is a mini USB port which allows you to connect your projector to your laptop to not only receive the laptops image, but to also allow for the LiteBoard interactive capabilities. Keep in mind that although you can receive the laptops image and control the laptop with the LiteBoard Wand, using this as your video input can cause the video card to degrade itself so that certain video card intensive characteristics become disabled. For instance the opaque toolbar in Windows 7 often turns a solid grey. A particular issue that happens when you install Windows 7 on laptops and desktops with old video cards. However, if you use the VGA input and the USB input for the LiteBoard Wand you will not have this problem, assuming your laptop or desktop has a good video card.
The IN3916 also has an input for HDMI and high definition content. Below that you will find two VGA inputs. The second input allows you to input component video via an optional Component to VGA cable. Moving to the right you have your standard composite input and two L/R audio inputs to take advantage of the 2, 10 watt speakers. There is also a 2.5mm input for a mic and a 2.5mm input for sound. A 2.5mm output is also built-in.
InFocus IN3916 Wand
The Interactive part of the IN3916 is made possible by the Wand that is included with both the IN3916 and IN3914. The Wand is mainly like a remote mouse but with a higher level of precise control. Instead of holding the remote mouse, or in this case the Wand, you now can point it at the screen just like you would a laser pointer. The Wand allows you to draw just like you would with your mouse. It also has a scroll wheel just like a conventional mouse. An Undo button is also built into the Wand. The pressure sensitive tip works like a left mouse click which will make opening programs easier if you are close to the screen or whiteboard. Another left click button is available on the top of the Wand along with a right click button. The Wand actually feels quite nice in your hand. The ergonomics were pretty well thought out and I would much prefer a Wand to a regular remote mouse that uses Gyro technology.
You might be wondering how the IN3916 compares to other interactive projectors. Most interactive projectors work by touching a pen like device to the screen. Both the IN3916 and for the sake of example the Epson BrightLink 450wi both connect are made interactive by connecting the computer to the projector via USB. With the Epson BrightLink 450wi the pen tool must be calibrated to the screen by hitting a series of plot points on the screen. All interaction must take place by touching the pressure sensitive tip to the screen surface. The Epson BrightLink 450wi along with most other interactive projectors often come with special software that allow a wide array of capabilities such as highlighting, changing the thickness of the drawing tool and a tappable on screen keyboard. Just to point out a few. The Wand is really just a remote mouse with some extra features, however the ability to walk around the room and not be tethered to the screen is a huge advantage and is what makes the Wand solution quite interesting and useful.
InFocus IN3916 Setup and Menu
Setting up the projector is pretty straight forward. There is a front foot in the center of the projector to adjust its height. This does cause a bit of keystoning if used so use it sparingly. Keystoning can degrade the picture a bit if you decide to use the projectors keystone correction. The image offset is very slight with the IN3916. give or take about 2.8 inches above the lens center line. This offset varies depending on the size image you project, but the 2.8 inches I refer to is if you were projecting an image about 40 inches tall.
The internal menu system for the Infocus IN3914 and IN3916 is actually incredibly easy to navigate. Everything is clearly labled and easy to find. It is not particularly interesting, but finding certain settings is very simple and after just a few minutes of use getting around is easy. The menu will allow you to change presentation modes, sources, manage computers if you using the LitePort accessory and even control the output of individual colors. All in all, a pretty well laid out menu system that is easily navigated by either the remote control or the top of the projector.
InFocus IN3916 Remote Control
The remote is really just an copy of the control panel that you will find on the top of the projector. It takes some getting use to since the buttons are not discernible by their shape, size and grouping. This is the remotes only flaw. One thing I did find useful is the fact that you can navigate through all the color modes very quite easily without going into the menu system. This will keep your presentation moving smoothly if you should need to change modes for different types of presentation content.