Sanyo PLC-WM5500 WXGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review

Special Features

Multiple Lens Options
The PLC-WM5500 comes with a standard zoom lens with a throw ratio that varies from 1.7 to 2.8.  The lens is easily released with the push of a button and can be replaced with any one of four optional lenses.  These include a Short Fixed lens with a throw ratio of 0.8, a Short zoom (1.3 to 1.7), a Long zoom (2.8 to 4.6), and an Ultra Long zoom (4.6 to 7.2).  This enables the user to place the PLC-WM5500 in any size venue at any desired distance from the screen, while retaining the ability to project up to a 400” diagonal image.

Active Maintenance Filter System

The Sanyo PLC-WM5500 has a unique filter cartridge system that in normal use requires replacement no more often than the lamp.  The cartridge has 10 filters on a roll that are advanced when replacement is necessary.  The projector monitors the condition of the filter at all times and replaces a filter with a new one automatically when it detects clogging of the filter.  Also, a timer can be set to notify the user when the filter reaches a preset number of hours of use (from 400 to 1000 hours) and the filter can be advanced by the user via the remote.

Picture-in-picture (PIP)

Sanyo has added picture-in-picture capability to the PLC-WM5500.  This allows for projection of two images from different sources, very useful for video conferencing or with a lecture from a satellite location.  PIP can be displayed in the traditional way as a smaller image within a larger one, as two equally sized images side-by-side, or any combination in between.

Appearance

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.

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