Projector Reviews

NEC M363W Projector Review – Hardware Tour

NEC M363W PROJECTOR – HARDWARE TOUR:   Hardware Overview, Connector Panel, Control Pad, Remote Control

Hardware Overview

The M363W comes in an attractive white plastic case.  Facing the front of the projector, the lens is recessed in the front panel just to the left of center and is protected by a sliding cover that also doubles as a video and audio mute.  To the right of the lens is an IR receiving eye and to the right of that (on the front, right corner) is an air exhaust vent.  There is one adjustable foot in the center to adjust the front height and one in each rear corner to assist in leveling the projector.  On top of the projector, right behind the lens, are recessed rings for zoom and focus.

Connector Panel

 

 

M363W-rear

The rear panel of the M363W sports a nice assortment of connections for video and audio.  Moving across the top from left to right, there is a RJ-45 LAN port for a network connection,a Type A USB jack for projecting from a USB thumb drive and a Type B USB port for projecting from a PC.  Next up are microphone input and audio output jacks, a monitor output jack, one VGA computer input and two HDMI input jacks (HDMI 1 is also MHL compatible).  Below that, moving from left to right, there is a Kensington lock port, a 3D sync jack, a composite video input with associated stereo audio inputs, a DB9 serial control port and an audio input.  The speaker for the 20-watt builtin sound is to the right of that and the power connector is at the bottom.

Control Pad

M363W-control_panel

In the middle, toward the rear, is a control pad with the most of the important controls.  Just to the right of the pad are indicators for Power (part of the Power button), lamp replacement and a warning light for other projector problems (typically overheating).  On the control pad are buttons for Eco mode, Source, Menu, Navigation, Auto Adjustment, Enter and Exit.  The left and right menu navigation buttons double as adjustment buttons for the volume of the built-in speaker.  The down menu navigation button doubles as keystone correction adjustment.

To the right of the control pad (facing the front of the projector) is the cover for access to the lamp.  Having the cover on top of the M363W allows for easy access even if the projector is ceiling mounted.  The screw to release the cover is on the top right side of the projector.  Right behind that is bar to attach a security chain and an access cover for installing the optional wireless LAN module.  On the left side of the projector, there is a large air intake port that covers most of the left side panel.

Remote Control

The M363W’s remote control is a small, white remote with mostly gray buttons.  The Power and Standby buttons have a green icons on them, but they’re barely visible on the gray background.  Similarly, there are large green dots on the buttons for putting the lamp into Eco mode and for AV mute.  Menu, Exit and navigation buttons are blue.  This makes it easy to access these often used buttons in minimal lighting without resorting to backlighting, which can be distracting during presentations.  Buttons are appropriately grouped and allow access of many of the important functions without going to the menu.  For example, while many projector remotes allow for scrolling through the various inputs, the M363W remote allows the user to individually selecting each video input.  There are also buttons for paging through a presentation and for the remote to act as a computer mouse (when attached to the computer via USB).  Also, scrolling through Picture modes and switching aspect ratios can be performed on the remote.  There are also buttons for Auto Adjustment, image freezing, audio volume, digital zoom, help, USB display and keystone correction.  One nice feature of the remote is the ability to set a Control ID for the projector, enabling a user to control multiple M363W projectors from a single remote.

Overall, the level of access and control available with the M363W remote is excellent and exceeds that of much of the competition.  Some of the buttons are a bit small and are hard to read in dim lighting, but that is normal for a multimedia projector remote.

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