Casio XJ-L8300HN Projector Review – Special Features

Casio XJ-L8300HN Projector Review – Special Features: Lamp-Free, 4K UHD Resolution, Lens Shift, Advanced Networking, Warranty

Lamp-Free Projection

The Casio XJ-L8300HN is lamp free! That’s how Casio refers to all their projectors  that feature a solid-state hybrid laser/phosphor light engine, as does this L8300HN. The light engine in this Casio is rated at 20,000 hours. That means that you can expect this projector’s light engine will continue to perform long past the projector’s usable life before it is completely outdated. Using the projector five hours a day (8 hours a day, five days a week), the lifetime of that light engine will be about ten years. We’ll be well onto 8K and beyond by then, so the laser/phosphor light engine provides a great value compared to lamp based projectors that need comparatively frequent lamp changes.

Projectors with solid-state light engines, such as this Casio, cost more up front than lamp-based projectors. That makes lamp-based projectors a better deal, right? Not so. The trade-off there is seen in the cost of replacing lamps and in getting someone to come in to do that replacing. Say you’ve got your projector mounted 20-feet-or-so up in the air, as is the case in lecture halls, auditoriums, houses of worship, and other venues with high ceilings.

Now imagine that you’ve got a lamp-based projector mounted up there whose lamp you’ve got to change out every 3,000 hours or so. Yikes! So, in the case of this imaginary lamp-based projector, you’d have to buy roughly six replacement lamps to equate to the 20,000-hour lifespan of the Casio XJ-L8300HN’s hybrid laser/phosphor light engine. Lamps these days are mostly $300-$500 for high brightness projectors, but the labor cost may add hundreds to the cost of each replacement. By comparison, the Casio simplifies!

4K UHD Resolution

This is the major selling point of the Casio XJ-L8300HN. Its native resolution is 4K UHD – that is, it pixel shifts to get the same 8.3 million pixels as a true 4K projector.

That’s a nice feature that not a lot of projectors in the business and education markets have thus far. I just finished reviewing an NEC business/education projector that accepts 4K content, but it is a native WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution that also pixel shifts. The image looked amazing on that one, though don’t expect a WUXGA pixel shifter to match the sharpness when 4K content is being projected by a 4K UHD projector, both for the smaller pixel size, and that the 4K UHD projector is single chip, so there’s no chip alignment issues as is typical of all 3 chip devices (DLP, 3LCD, LCoS).

That said, using a Blu-Ray UHD player, or any other source with 4K content, you can project crystal-clear documentaries and other educational material. Now, for content that does not go through a UHD player, such as engineering drawings, renderings, presentations, etc., you will be limited by your computer’s maximum output resolution. For instance, if you’ve got a laptop that has a maximum output of 1920 x 1080, being able to work with higher resolution files doesn’t mean you can output them.

This is where a 4K monitor comes into play. You’ll want to get one if you’re looking to get the most out of this projector. There are several industries where high resolution is important, such as in universities, engineering, science and architecture, or anywhere where there’s “modeling” or “rendering”, etc. Projecting content at 1080p will still look rather excellent, and it will be enhanced by the projector’s processing and pixel shifting, but since you’re springing for the 4K capabilities of the Casio XJ-L8300HN, you might as well go all out.

I’d like to mention here that while the Casio has 4K UHD resolution, it does not support HDR (High Dynamic Range). HDR gives more pop and wow to the color, and is seen most often on home theater projectors that are 4K UHD or true 4K resolution. It’s not necessary for business/education/commercial applications, but I still like to see it when the projector is 4K capable. That’s not even a minor strike against the L8300HN, just something to be aware of.

Lens Shift – This Casio Has It

The XJ-L8300HN has a generous amount of lens shift, which gives a lot of placement flexibility when installing the projector. Its vertical lens shift is + 60%, while the horizontal lens shift is + 25%. This will come in handy for in variety of setups, but won’t be necessary in others. In extreme cases, the 60% vertical may not be enough, perhaps in an auditorium, lecture hall, or house of worship, the ceiling may be high or vaulted, making it necessary to use both lens shift (preferred) and keystone correction (which corrects for the projector being tilted).

Tilting causes the projected image to take on a trapezoid shape and makes it necessary to correct with Geometric Correction. Geometric Correction creates some distortion. With lens shift, any distortion is optical and extremely minor, so preferred. Ideally, you would rely on lens shift for all correction if you have enough, and in the vast majority of installations, that will easily be the case.  Bottom line – lots of lens shift is ideal, and this Casio has plenty.

Advanced Networking

The Casio XJ-L8300HN has advanced networking features, including integrated software applications and hardware for complete control. The projector works with Crestron RoomView, PJ-Link (primitive, but worth mentioning), and has HDBaseT ports. Once you have the IP address of the projector, you can use any computer that is connected to the same address to control it via Crestron RoomView or other supported protocols. The projector does have to be On or in Standby (not full off) for this to work. That is typical of networking projectors.

HDBaseT is a standard developed years ago that is used to transfer video, audio, and control signals over long distances, which is particularly useful in a large venue environment where the projector and control room or station may not be near each other. This is done using the same kind of cables used in local area networking – low-cost CAT5e, CAT6, etc., cabling.

The XJ-L8300HN, as mentioned, supports video signals of up to 4K resolution, and it can handle that resolution over HDBaseT for distances up to 100 meters. Using an HDBaseT transmitter, you can connect multiple sources over HDBaseT, though that device is not included (HDBaseT is available from third party manufacturers in the over $100 to several hundred dollar range – there are both consumer and commercial quality devices, with varying prices).

Warranty

Casio has a great warranty, with separate considerations for the projector itself and its solid-state light engine. Casio offers a three-year parts and labor warranty on the XJ-L8300HN itself, with five years or 10,000 hours on the light engine. It is unlikely that you will need to use the warranty on the light engine, as the lifetime is rated at 20,000 hours, but it is nice to know you’ve got one.  Be aware the way lamps and light engines are rated. Most people assume that the number of hours is until the lamp, or engine typically fails, but that is not the measurement used. Rather it is brightness that is used.  In this case, the 20,000 hours is how long until the led/laser engine loses 50% of brightness.  No doubt some light engines will fail before brightness drops 50% while others will last well beyond.  Still, most likely this projector’s light engine will outlast the projector’s practical usefulness – before it is obsolete.

In five years, we may be well into the era of 8K projectors (or more) and it’ll be time to swap out your outdated 4K one for the newer model. So, consider Casio’s warranty to be an excellent one that will provide you with peace of mind – and longer coverage than most.

You May Also Like

News and Comments