Mitsubishi XD221U Projector - Physical Tour
2-19-2010 - Anthony Arrigo
Well start our tour of the XD221U from the front. The lens is located to the right of center and is recessed. A particular design I find to be a real benefit if you are going to be moving the projector a lot. Pretty much eliminates any chance of jarring the lens out of alignment. Fine focus is controlled at the very front of the lens and zoom is controlled in the recessed area behind the lens. Movement is very smooth for both zoom and focus knobs.
Behind, and a few inches back, you will find the only control functions on the projector itself. Provided, are a power-on button and a source control button. Simply keep pressing the source button to cycle through all the available sources. You will want to make sure you don’t lose the remote because all advanced functions like color adjustment, keystone correction, closed caption are only conveniently accessible via the remote control. If you do lose the remote you will have to use the RS232 port or LAN port to control the projectors advanced functions. You can order a replacement remote from Mitsubishi or your projector dealer.
To the left of the lens is the door to the projectors lamp. This is another smart design feature that projector manufacturers are adopting. It’s a real time and money saver if you are going to ceiling mount the projector since you won’t have to take it down just to replace the lamp. This is especially beneficial for EDU where you might have dozens or hundreds of lamps to replace.
The projectors functions are controlled using an infra-red signal. The IR sensor is just to the right of the lens and there is also an IR sensor in the rear of the projector so controlling it from either the front of the room or the back is no problem.
Heat dissipates from the left side of the projector and cool air is taken in from the right. It will be very important to have adequate space on the right side of the projector to let the projector breath. You will want to refer to the owners manual for exactly how many feet is necessary. Also always place the projector on a hard flat surface. Air is also taken in from under the projector. One nice thing about this projector is that it uses filter less technology. This is a real time and money saver for schools and large companies where you might have dozens of projectors to maintain.
Now lets move on to the rear of the projector. The Mitsubishi XD221U is well equipped and can handle just about any signal. From left to right there is an Audio Out input if you want to boost sound to a receiver and speaker system and to the right of that is a Audio In that pairs with the VGA input 1. Moving right again we have Audio Input 2 which pairs with the VGA input 2. VGA input 2 is also the input for component video. You will need a special cable if you plan to use component video. Next toVGA input 2 is a S-Video input and and a RCA input. For your convenience there is also a monitor out so you can easily see what you are projecting to your audience on a standard computer monitor.
Just to the right of the two VGA (D-sub 15pin) inputs you will find the serial input and LAN input. The serial input will allow you to control the projectors functions via a direct connection between your laptop or pc using a serial (RS232) cable where as the LAN RJ45 input will allow you to connect to the projector through your network. You will have access to all the projectors functions via the web browser. However, there is no ability to control focus or zoom. Regardless, for large deployments the ability to check lamp hours and change other setting remotely is once again a huge time and money saver.
Mitsubishi XD221U Setup and Menu
The setup of the Mitsubishi XD221U was very straightforward and simple. This is basically due to its well thought out design both physically and electronically. Upon turning on the projector it instantly recognized the one signal I had plugged into the VGA D-Sub 15 pin input. Of course, as with most laptops you have to make sure you are outputting a VGA signal. This sometimes requires holding down the Function key and the particular key that toggles your video card to send a signal out of the outbound VGA output. The XD221U is easy to align because of the two adjustable feet in the front. No adjustment can be made in the rear of the projector. Achieving a fairly large size image, ie an 80” diagonal image, is going to require you to place the projector at least 9.5 feet away. So keep in mind that this is not an ultra short throw projector. To make things even easier for the presenter, the XD221U has a feature called auto-position. A quick press of the button and the projector tries to create a perfect image for you. It does not however try to square up the image. Its purpose is to make sure full use of the VGA signal is being utilized and that the proper resolution is being shown. To make the image perfectly square at the edges you have to physically position the projector, or use keystone correction. We always recommend not using keystone correction because it does degrade the image quality. This is across all projectors.
The Mitsubishi XD221U does have two lamp modes for brightness. To get the estimated 4000 hours of lamp life you will want to set the lamp mode to “LOW” as stated by the manufacturer. There are no guarantees that your lamp will last that long, but certainly lowering the lamp brightness helps. You will lose approximately 25 percent of the projectors brightness, but you might find this to not be a problem depending on the lighting in the room. Below is a complete look at the different screens that make up the Mitsubishi XD221U.
For the more technical or IT person in an EDU or church environment where you might want to have a central location for controlling many of the projectors features, you can setup and control via the LAN RJ45 input. Just wire it to your network, determine its IP and you will be able to connect directly to your projector via a web browser and make all the necessary adjustments.
Another notable feature for travelers and those that do not want to spend extra money on a screen is a “WALL SCREEN” mode that allows you to adjust the projectors output with a few simple clicks. Pressing through the different surface colors will help you determine which mode will give the best image. The available settings are Beige, Light Blue, Light Green, Pink, Blackboard and Whiteboard. You can make further adjustments to the color even in these modes.
Mitsubishi XD221U Remote Control
The remote I have to say is laid out very well. It is not backlit, but this should not be a problem since it is not a home theater projector where you would need to be able to see buttons in a very dark room. Typically conference rooms are pretty well lit while giving a presentation. The buttons were laid out in such a way that a minute of memorizing where things are should be plenty. The button positioning, and button design, allow you to feel differences in shape; and that helps you know what feature your thumb is resting on.
You have access to the all the projectors functions via the remote. You can change aspect ratio, switch sources, control volume and even magnify areas of the image. That is excellent for spreadsheet viewing when you want the audience to really focus in on a particular piece of subject matter. Keep in mind that although the remote shows certain buttons, those features are not necessarily available with this model of projector. Mitsubishi has obviously tried to be economical by creating one remote that fits all.