NEC LT170 - Layout
A close look at the Projector:
We’ll start the tour of the NEC up front where you immediately notice that there is a shutter to protect the lens, and that’s a nice touch instead of a lens cap. (It won’t give you a better picture, but it is convenient!) The NEC has a zoom lens, with focus and zoom controls on top and recessed. You should note that the zoom has a very minimal range of 1.1:1 (10%). In English, that means you can fine tune the size of the image only slightly to match your screen, but you really need to be able to place the projector within inches of the ideal distance. (For a 6 ft. diagonal screen, it will only allow you about 10” of placement flexibility. Most featherweight projectors offer a 20% range on the zoom which isn’t a world of difference, but does help. Many projectors in the 7lb.+ range have 30% range on their zooms.
The power switch and control panel are on the top. An interesting innovation is NEC’s choice of a “jog dial” instead of arrow keys, however there is a menu button, and once pressed, the jog dial is pretty easy to figure out. NEC has dramatically improved its menu structure over the years, and the LT170’s is pretty good.
All cables, including power, plug in on the left side (when viewed from the back) of the LT170 projector. Typical of a featherweight projector (under 4.5 pounds), the LT170 has a limited number of connectors, but, in addition to power, it has the basics:
- 1 computer input (a standard HD15 connector). Component video is accessible from this input, so you can’t have component video and a computer hooked up at the same time, but that’s a rare requirement
- 1 S-video
- 1 RCA video (NTSC, PAL/SECAM…)
- 1 Audio input (stereo mini-jack) the LT170 has a .5 watt speaker
- 1 USB port (only for service upgrades)
All-in-all, other than physical appearance, the LT170 projector is typical of most featherweight projectors, so no surprises here, except:
The LT170 is one of the very few projectors on the market that lacks remote mousing. Of course, you can purchase a better (than that provided with most projectors) remote mouse solution that works directly with your computer, for $60 to $150, so it’s not like you are stuck, but it needs to be considered as an optional cost as a part of the total solution.