Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Multimedia Projector - Physical Tour
5-5-10 -Mike Rollett
The PLC-WM5500 has a clean look with a white case and rounded edges. The removable lens protrudes quite a bit from the center of the front of the projector, but there is a thick plastic lens cap to protect the lens. To the right of the lens, along the top edge and visible from both the top and front, are a number of indicator lights (for Power, Lamp, Temp, Filter, Shutter and Lamp Replacement) and an IR receiving eye that wraps around the top edge. To the left of the lens is a small speaker.
There are two screw-adjustable feet for height adjustment in front. The rear corner feet are not adjustable, but this is clearly a projector that is meant to be permanently mounted, so the feet are less of a concern. There is also a recess on the bottom of the projector, along the front to the left of the lens, which can be used as a hand grip.
Moving to the top of the projector, right behind the lens, there is a button for releasing the lens to replace it with one of the four optional lenses. Also on the top of the projector is the cover for accessing the lamp. Having the cover on top of the PLC-WM5500 allows for easy access even if the projector is ceiling mounted. On the right side (facing it from the front) of the projector, toward the front, is a control panel. Here there are buttons for On/Standby, opening and closing the built-in shutter, bringing up the focus, zoom and lens shift modes, Menu, Navigation and Input selection. The left and right navigation keys also function for Volume control, as well as digital zoom. Also on the right side, toward the rear, is a heat exhaust vent. In the rear corner of the right side is a hook for attaching a security chain. The left side of the projector is primarily composed of a large intake vent and the air filter cartridge.
Moving to the rear panel, from left to right, there is an exhaust vent, followed by a connector for the power cord. Then, we have an IR receiving eye, LAN jack and an RS-232 serial control port. Next are computer monitor output and input terminal and an HDMI input. Below these connections are 5 BNC input jacks, an S-video input and component/composite video inputs. Next are three audio inputs jacks (including a stereo input), an audio output jack and a wired remote control input. Finally, we have a USB jack for controlling the projector via a computer and a Kensington lock port. To the right of the control panel is a compartment for the optional PJ-Net Organizer module that allows network presentation on the projector.
Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Remote Control
The PLC-WM5500’s remote is a small, black remote with mostly gray buttons. It has a raised center section for menu mouse navigation with blue buttons. There is an on-screen pointer can be brought up by a button push on the remote and then moved around with the arrow keys.
There are individual input buttons, left and right mouse buttons (when the projector is connected to a computer via USB), as well as buttons to adjust zoom, focus and lens shift. Similarly, other buttons control the electronic zoom, presentation pages, filter cartridge, PIP and speaker volume.
There is also the ability to turn the remote off completely, as well as put it in a “Simple” mode that restricts its use to buttons only needed for presentation. This keeps a user from adjusting the zoom, focus or lens shift and causing problems with the image shifting off the screen. As usual, the buttons are not backlit, but that can be distracting during a presentation where the remote may be in constant use.
Sanyo PLC-WM5500 Setup & Menus
The Sanyo PLC-WM5500 was easy to setup and start using. It does not come with a printed manual (which is available on an included CD), but does have a printed Quick Start guide that gives you the information you’ll need to get it set up. The PLC-WM5500 has two front height adjustment feet that help to quickly level the projector if table-mounted. We would prefer rear adjustable feet as well, but this projector will likely be ceiling mounted more often than not, making the adjustable feet less important. Also, the PLC-WM5550’s high quality optics makes the judicious use of keystone correction a viable option. While we usually don’t recommend using any keystone correction due to image distortion, small to moderate amounts of correction have no visible effect on the PLC-WM5500.
After leveling the projector, the power zoom, focus and lens shift make it simple to properly align and fill the screen. With a 1.7X zoom ratio, projector placement distance from the screen is less critical than with the short-range 1.2X zooms you often see in multimedia projectors.
Once setup is complete, the user brings up the menu, where the desired image mode can be selected. Depending on the input type, there are either three preprogrammed modes (Dynamic, Standard and Real for a PC input), or four modes (Dynamic, Standard, Natural and Cinema for a Video input). In addition, there is the ability to create up to ten custom modes. Unlike some of its competition, the PLC-WM5500 includes selectable gamma and color temperature. This can help optimize the projector’s display depending on room lighting conditions. For use a more technical environment where color accuracy is at a premium, the PLC-WM5500 includes RGB grayscale adjustments to assist in professional calibration. One nice feature not always found in this projector class is the ability to make the full range of adjustments to any image mode.