Optoma TW610Sti - Physical Tour
March 2012 - Anthony Arrigo
Optoma TW610Sti Appearance
I have to say the TW610Sti is a nice looking projector and laid out very well. Its white color means it will be less noticeable when hanging from a ceiling, and if you should decide to rest it on a table, it will be easy to set up. It is not very heavy at 6.9 pounds, and its size is very respectable, only having a footprint an inch or so larger than a piece of paper.
You will notice in the front, a large, dome lens. This lens provides the ability to mount the projector very close to the screen, and achieve a large image. This type of projector is considerd a short throw projector due to this lens type. Next to the lens you will see an IR sensor to receive signals from your remote control and your PointBlank pen. On top of the projector you will find a fine focus lever, and the menu system for accessing all the projectors functions. Around most of the projector you will find intake vents and exhaust vents to dissipate heat build up.
The bottom of the projector features 4 adjustable feet, and the door for replaceing the lamp. This is a unit that if you ceiling mount the projector you will have to take the projector down to replace the lamp. Some mounting situations may allow access to the lamp, but assume that will have to take it down to access the lamp door. This does increase maintenance time, so consider that when if you are installing a large number of these.
Moving to the rear of the projector we can see the input panel. It is extensive, and you pretty much can hook up just about every signal available today. From the left you will see a input for the mini-usb that connects to your computer to make the PointBlank pen work with your laptop. To the right of that, we have a HDMI port for high definition signals. Then, moving right again, we have a VGA-Out port. Next, you will see a VGA port for taking in a signal from your laptop. A S-video input is to the right of that. If you are still using a composite video source, Optoma has provided a input for that as well. For RS-232 control, there is a input for that as well. For sound input, you have two options. You can input via 3.5mm mini dim, or a RCA L and R input. Audio out to a sound system is only available through a 3.5mm mini dim cable. I should mention, there is also a 12V screen trigger, and a microphone port.
4 other things to mention about the rear of the projector would be the regular sized AC power input. Personally, I prefer it when projectors have the standard AC power input, because the cables are so easy to get. For security, there is also a Kensington Lock, and a security bar. Last, but not least, there is a mesh like opening for the speaker. This projector has two 5 watt speakers, but one delivers sound through the rear of the projector.
Setup and Menus
Setup of the projector is actually easier than most, because of the 4 adjustable feet on the bottom of the projector. I should say, that most people will ceiling mount this projector, so the adjustable feet are not as important, but if you do plan to use this a portable projector that will move from room to room, then setting up will only a take a minute.
If you plan to ceiling mount the projector, then a mount can be easily purchased. Being that this is a short throw projector, you have the advantage of not having to mount the projector far from the screen. In many cases, you can purchase a mount that attaches to the wall right above the screen. This is ideal if you are going to be using the PointBlank pen for interactive lessons, since mounting overhead reduces any shadow the presenter might make while at the whiteboard.
I have no complaints about the menu system. There is nothing unique about it, but what I did like is the graphical nature of it. Not to worry though, all the features are labeled clearly. The menu system comes in 25 different languages. See images below, for a sense of how the menu system is laid out.
Remote Control and PointBlank Pen
The remote control is pretty straigtforward. However, there were only a few issues I had when using it. The menu button was mixed in with the source buttons, and that posed a few problems, which made me have to look at the remote when I used it. Once you have the menu opens it sort of instinct to use the round Left, Right, Up and Down buttons, but that does not control the menu system. It is for the remote mousing capabilities. You actually use the subset of buttons below. This took some getting used to. Ultimately, that is my only complaint about the remotes ergonomics.
The PointBlank pen in itself, is really a remote mouse that you can control from anywhere in the room by pointing it at the screen. It has a right and left mouse click button and one other button to put the pen in Pen Mode. While in Pen Mode, you can draw on the whiteboard, and it will act as a pen in your favorite drawing program. If you want more functionality, you can purchase interactive software programs that make the pen even more useful.