Projector Reviews

Higher Education Projectors

Projectors in the Higher Education category tend to be brighter, permanently mounted units and includes projectors that are well suited for university classrooms, lecture halls, auditoriums, as well as large K-12 multi-purpose rooms. These larger venue projectors often come with multiple lens options to best suit the specific application.

BENQ LU710

BenQ-LU710-pic-1

BENQ LU710 Specs

Specification Description
Price $1,699.00
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1920 x 1200
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 4000
Contrast 3,000,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1:3
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 20,000 Hours (Normal mode)
Weight 13.0 lbs

Projector Overview

The BenQ LU710 is a 4,000 lumens Laser WUXGA business projector designed for conference and meeting rooms. The LU710’s BlueCore laser projection utilizes a dual color wheel system to achieve 92% Rec.709 color coverage that ensures colors in presentations are rich and vibrant. The laser engine light engine can be dynamically modulated to product a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1.

The feature set of the LU710 is designed to appeal to the needs of conference/meeting room users on a budget. In addition to high brightness and long-term reliability, the LU710 allows centralized management/control and is compatible with a couple of BenQ’s wireless presentation options.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are: Laser Light Engine, Wireless Projection, Auto Keystone Correction, Network Control and Management.

  • Laser Light Engine — The LU710 is based on DLP (Digital Light Processing) imaging technology with laser/phosphor illumination. LU710 incorporates BenQ’s BlueCore™ laser engine, which utilizes a dual color wheel system with additional yellow segment. In this type of system, some of the light from an array of blue lasers excites a yellow phosphor wheel, whose yellow light combines with the rest of the blue lasers’ light to produce white light. BenQ claims that the LU710 can reproduce 92% Rec.709 color coverage, which is the standard for HD video. By dynamically modulating the laser power, BenQ claims the LU710 can deliver a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1.The laser module and phosphor wheel are sealed, which results is a dust-resistant rating of IP5X. It is also rated to last up to 20,000 hours, so there’s no need to change lamps every few years. All in all, the LU710 is virtually maintenance-free. The LU710, like all BlueCore laser equipped projectors, also powers up in half the time of a lamp-based projector, reducing wait time.
  • Wireless Projection — Plug the optional Qcast Mirror Wi-Fi dongle ($59 SRP) into one of the projector’s HDMI inputs and wirelessly cast the screen of almost any device to display from the projector without requiring any special apps or drivers. It supports resolutions up to 1920×1080 at 24 or 30 fps and 1280×720 at 60 fps. Qcast is compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices along with Mac and Windows computers.The LU710 is compatible with BenQ’s optional InstaShow (WDC10), which allows up to 16 presenters to connect from any compatible device. InstaShow makes it easy for presenters to wirelessly take turns delivering seamless presentations on the LU710. It is a plug and play device that requires no driver installation and is compatible with any OS or hardware platform.Since the system utilizes Wi-Fi 802.11ac, which supports up to 400Mbps, it provides smooth wireless streaming of Full HD 1080p. Input latency lag is less than 100ms which enables natural, precise mouse movements and smooth execution of PowerPoint animations and transitions for professional-looking presentations.
  • Auto Keystone Correction — While many projectors at this price point only offer vertical keystone correction, the LU710 is equipped with two-dimensional keystone correction with a range of ±30°. The 2D Keystone feature dramatically reduces the trapezoid effect, which occurs when a projector is installed off-center.
  • Network Control and Management — Wired LAN allows you to manage the LU710 from a computer using a web browser when the computer and the projector are properly connected to the same local area network.
    BenQ Multiple Display Administrator (MDA) software provides centralized multiple-projector management. Also, up to 253 projectors on the same LAN can be updated at once with one interface.

The LU710 is compatible with several projector control systems, including Crestron, AMX, and PJ-Link for network control via LAN. The LU710 also supports RS-232 for reliable long-distance installations up to 49′.

With its bright laser/phosphor light source that lasts up to 20,000 hours, high contrast ratio, low-maintenance design, and network-management capability, the LU710 would be a good option for many meeting and conference room environments.

Maxell MP-JU4001

Maxell-MP-JU4001_Productshot1

Maxell MP-JU4001 Specs

Specification Description
Price $1829
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1920 x 1200
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 4000
Contrast 2000000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.6:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life Light Source Life | ‘20,000 hours (Normal and Whisper), 30,000 hours (Long life 1), 40,000 hours (Long life 2)
Warranty 5 Years

Projector Overview

The MP-JU4001 is part of Maxell’s 3LCD projector lineup which are designed to deliver high performance in a conference, boardroom, or classroom without breaking the bank. With the ability to deliver up to 4,000 lumens, combined with the reliability and longevity of a laser light engine, the Maxell MP-JU4001 projector could be the perfect solution for someone looking for a mid-brightness business class projector. The MP-JU4001’s native resolution is WUXGA HD (1,920 x 1,200) but the projector accepts [email protected] content.

WXGA is plenty sharp for K-12 applications. Its dynamic contrast is rated by Maxell to deliver 2,000,000:1. As with all 3LCD projectors, the Maxell MP-JU4001 produces as many color lumens as it does white lumens, which ensures a bright, vibrant image when utilized in a meeting room, classroom, or mid-size lecture hall. The MPJU4001 laser light engine can deliver up to 20,000 hours in normal power mode.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • Laser Light Engine — The J series models have a new phosphor technology with a ceramic phosphor chip. This decreases the amount of moving and magnetic parts for stable performance, higher reliability, and a lower noise level.
  • Content Over IP — The ability to transmit content over IP is a useful feature in many applications where computers and projectors are networked — for example, in business settings or schools. This feature makes it easier to project content from a laptop on one side of the room on a MP-JU4001 located on the other.The MP-JU4001 can also access and present images directly over the network. Maxell’s networking software is designed for iPad®, iPhone®, and Android devices. Users can wirelessly connect the MP-JU4001 to a network via an optional wireless (2.4GHz and 5GHz) module (USBWL5G). This is a useful feature for classrooms, video conferencing environments, houses of worship, training rooms, etc.
  • Network Management Tools — Embedded networking offers the ability to manage and control multiple projectors over your LAN. Features include scheduling of events, centralized reporting, image transfer, and e-mail alerts for reactive and routine maintenance.
    The Maxell MP-JU4001 offers support for key command-and-control software like AMX, Crestron, and PJ-Link.
  • DICOM — The Maxell MP-JU4001 has a DICOM simulation color mode that is designed to present medical images such as X-rays, CAT-scans, MRIs, and PETs. Images are ideally suited for medical schools, medical conferences, and other education purposes due to high contrast, exceptional detail/quality and minimal noise.
  • Accentualizer — Accentualizer makes pictures look more real by enhancing sharpness, gloss, and shade to make pictures display closer to images displayed on many flat-panel devices. You can also adjust the effects by three levels according to your surroundings so that the colors of projected images are closer to the actual colors of the objects they represent.
  • Perfect Fit 2 — Maxell’s Perfect Fit 2 enables the user to adjust individual corners and sides independent of one another. Perfect Fit 2 provides vertical and horizontal digital correction of either barrel or pincushion distortions. This feature helps correct geometric and complicated distortions. Perfect Fit 2 allows the projected image to fit correctly to the screen, quickly and easily.
  • HDCR — When average projectors are used in bright rooms, the darker colors of an image deteriorate, and images become unclear. Using the High Dynamic Contrast Range function, blurred images caused by room lighting or outside light sources are corrected, and an effect similar to increasing contrast occurs. The result is clear images even in rooms with high ambient light.

The Maxell MP-JU4001 is part of Maxell’s J-Series projector lineup and is intended to offer a mid-brightness business/education laser projector at an affordable price. Many 4,000 lumen business projectors under $2,000 are DLP units. Remember, the MP-JU4001 is a 3LCD unit; its color brightness output (lumens) equals its white lumen output which can result in better color reproduction.

The DICOM SIM picture mode is great for medical education applications. Maxell’s advanced menu also has more extensive video adjustments that make it easier to precisely fine tune the image to fit your environment.

The MP-JU4001’s buffet of features coupled with its sub $2000 pricing, 4,000 ANSI lumens brightness, compact chassis, and maintenance-free operation make it a great option for a classroom, a conference room, or even a home.

LG BU50NST

LG-BU50NST-pic-2a

LG BU50NST
SPECS

Specification Description
Price $4499
Technology DLP with XPR (0.47” DMD)
Native Resolution 3840×2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 5000
Contrast 3,000,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.6
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000 hours (Normal mode)
Weight 21.4 lb
Warranty 3 years

Projector Overview

The LG ProBeam BU50NST is a compact projector designed for various ProAV applications, including business, education, hospitals, and museums. It provides UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution and is rated to deliver 5,000 ANSI lumens of light output. The projector’s powerful laser light source is rated for up 20,000 hours allowing years of near maintenance-free operation.

The BU50NST offers 1.6x lens zoom along with horizontal and vertical lens shift, which is rare on DLP projectors at this price point. Combined with the 12-point warping function, these features reduce image distortion and allow precise alignment with the screen.

The 4K resolution delivers the highly detailed images often required in corporate and healthcare environments. It even includes a DICOM picture mode. In addition to a USB input, HDBaseT™ compatibility allows a single CAT6 cable to carry 4K signals long-distances to the BU50NST.

The ProBeam BU50NST is powered by LG’s WebOS with smart features designed for business and education purposes like (Miracast®) wireless screen mirroring, Wi-Fi, and a web browser.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • Laser Light Engine — The BU50NST is based on DLP (Digital Light Processing) imaging technology with laser/phosphor illumination. This approach delivers an exceptional product lifespan and vivid images for larger picture sizes in demanding spaces. Additionally, Laser Phosphor operates at a faster speed, with a much wider range of output power than a lamp-based system.
    Due to the characteristics of the laser light source, a much wider range of light output is available. This is a significant advantage over lamp-based systems allowing for incredible flexibility when used in spaces with variable lighting.
  • UHD —The BU50NST includes UHD resolution by utilizing DLP with XPR technology from TI.
    With the introduction of XPR technology, TI has enabled projector manufacturers to design cost-effective solutions such as the BU50NST, with all of the benefits of DLP. XPR leverages the immense speed of the DMD (Digital Micro-mirror Device) to process pixels faster than the rate of the video signal — exceptionally faster! It delivers the most durable option possible with DLP DMDs having an MTBF of 100,000 hours. DMDs rarely fail and don’t deteriorate in image quality over their lifespan, unlike competing technology.
  • Optical Lens Shift — The inclusion of optical lens shift adjustment in both horizontal and vertical axes provides the proper method to adjust the position of the image compared to the installed location. The ability to make this adjustment optically rather than by using digital keystone or other digital geometry correction provides the best possible image. 
  • Smart Wireless ConnectionsBluetooth audio allows you to quickly connect the BU50NST to a Bluetooth source such as a smartphone for audio playback through the internal or connected audio system, as well as the option to connect a Bluetooth audio device such as BT headphones or speakers for the playback of all sound processed by the projector (embedded on the HDMI).
  • Built-in WIFI allows for additional flexibility to connect to the infrastructure network.While not a wireless connectivity option, per se, WebOS capability empowers access to content on the web quite easily, as well as providing the GUI for accessing media and files for playback from USB.
  • DICOM Simulation — In addition to the usual Picture modes, LG has included a DICOM Simulation mode intended to display images approximating the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) used with black & white medical imaging (such as x-rays). This mode optimizes black/gray/white detail with a custom gamma curve. The DICOM Simulation mode is intended for education/classroom teaching purposes.

When considering the competition for the BU50NST there are only a few worthwhile comparisons. Models from Optoma, NEC, and first to market BenQ offer similar technology and output capacity. All of these units will deliver a similar level of performance; however, variations in chip size and lens quality, along with processing quality, will vary slightly. If a more flexible installation both optically and digitally is attractive and you want built-in wireless networking, screen sharing, and Bluetooth audio, along with WebOS for apps and web browsing, all integrated into a fresh modern design, then LG has a winning combo in the BU50NST.

NEC P506QL

NEC-P506QL-Hero

NEC P506QL Specs

Specification Description
Price $4299
Technology DLP Laser
Native Resolution 1920x1080x4
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 5,000 lumens (5,200 center lumens)
Contrast 500,000:1 with Light Adjust
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.5:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 20,000 hours (Laser Light Engine)
Weight 25.4 lb
Warranty 5 years

The NEC P506QL earned a Projector Reviews Highly Recommended Award because it offers 4K resolution, high brightness, accurate color reproduction, connectivity, and a laser light source’s longevity at a price that makes it a great value.

Projector Overview

The NEC P506QL is a laser light engine-equipped installation class DLP projector capable of displaying 4K resolution with a current street price of $4,299. Its laser/phosphor wheel light engine can deliver 5,000 ANSI lumens and has a rated life of 20,000 hours.

It is suitable for use in conference rooms, museums, and classrooms. The P506QL delivers high resolution along with the benefits of a low-maintenance laser light source. The P506QL also includes network control features.

The P506QL can simultaneously display content from multiple sources, such as four separate 1080p images at once, which is excellent for collaboration.

Like other NEC P Series projectors, the P506QL has manual horizontal and vertical lens shift, 1.5x zoom lens, dual HDMI inputs, and an HDBaseT input. It also features USB 2.0A support to power third-party devices and a LAN port for network control and asset management.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • 4K Compatible — The P506QL utilizes a Texas Instruments 2nd generation DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip to reproduce perceived 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) resolution. I use the term “perceived” because a 4K DLP chip does not actually have 8.3 million mirrors. Hence, the projector utilizes pixel (mirror) shifting to deliver the perceived sharpness of native 4K. These micromirrors’ response time is so fast that each one can be quickly wiggled back and forth to form extra pixels on the screen. This approach works very well because it is tough to see a difference in resolution when comparing a 4K DLP projector to a native 4K LCD/LCoS model for an average viewing distance.
  • Laser Light Engine — The P506QL uses a Laser light source along with a phosphor wheel instead of a conventional lamp. Perhaps the most obvious advantage that a Laser light source has over a traditional lamp-based projector is the light source’s life – NEC claims 20,000 hours of Laser life for the P506QL. 
  • HDBaseT — HDBaseT lets you run video and audio for distances of up to 100 meters (about 328 feet) over a low-cost CAT5e/CAT6 wire and supports resolutions up to 4K. The format can also transfer IR and RS232 control signals as well.
  • DICOM — In addition to the usual Picture modes, NEC has included a DICOM Simulation mode intended to display images approximating the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) Part 14 Grayscale Standard Display Function used with B/W medical imaging (such as X-rays). This mode optimizes black/gray/white detail with a custom gamma curve. DICOM Simulation mode is intended for use in a classroom for teaching purposes.
  • NavViSet Administrator 2 —NEC offers NaViSet Adminstrator2 software program, which can be used to monitor and control the P506QL projector. This free software solution is designed to simplify the control, monitoring, and management of multi-display installations. You can use this feature to adjust many of the parameters and settings on an NEC projector from a remote location. The P506QL also supports Crestron Roomview, AMX Beacon, and PJ Link for completely interactive control. 
  • Flexible Mounting — The P506QL can be installed universally at any angle. Tilt-free, roll-free, and portrait installations are supported. The projector can be rotated freely (360°) to point up or down depending on the installation requirements and can be rotated and installed on its side to create a portrait image.

The NEC P506QL offers high brightness, accurate color reproduction, connectivity, and a laser light source’s longevity. While the P506QL is missing some features found on more expensive installation class projectors, it is still a great value and is highly recommended.

MAXELL MP-TW4011

Maxell MP=TW4011

MAXELL MP-TW4011 Specs

Specification Description
Price $4,239
Resolution WXGA (1280×1920)
Technology 3LCD
Claimed Lumens 4,200 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 2,300 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 50,000 Hours
Longevity Approx. 30 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 69.4 Years
Weight 17.4 lbs
Warranty 5 Years Parts and Labor, Up to 20,000 Hours on Light Source

The Maxell won our interactive award last year

Projector Overview

The Maxell MP-TW4011 is a laser projector with a highly impressive lifespan. Maxell claims up to 50,000 hours of use when operating in Long Life 2 Mode – that’s the most I’ve ever seen on a projector. Even with heavy use – say, 6 hours a day in a typical 180-day school year – you’re looking at a projector that is slated to last up to 46 years.

Now, this is a WXGA projector (1280 x 800), which is the business and education world’s 720p. With the speed at which technology is advancing, the Maxell MP-TW4011 will still be working well past the time when you’d want to upgrade to a higher resolution.

K-12 classrooms don’t often require anything about WXGA resolution. Presentations, education films and videos, and other lessons will look clear and sharp with a WXGA projector. Some high school classrooms might prefer WUXGA (1920 x 1200), which is the business and education world’s 1080p, but they can also get by with WXGA. I imagine the only types of classes that would benefit from the higher resolution as film classes, graphic design or CAD related classes.

Some of the more notable features include:

  • Wireless Capabilities — The Maxell MP-TW4011 has wireless capabilities via an optional wireless adapter that plugs into the USB port on the back of the projector. Using the “Projector Quick Connection” app from the App Store and display the screen of their mobile device to the projector and control it from a table or smart phone.
  • Interactive Features — The Maxell MP-TW4011 is first and foremost an interactive projector. These types of projectors are highly effective in school environments for engaging students of all learning styles – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Interactivity is a great way to get students involved with the lecture so that they are actively learning rather than passively taking notes and perhaps not integrating the lesson material.

You will be very hard pressed to find another WXGA projector that can match this laser projectors’ feature set and brightness! I certainly would have expected the Maxell TW4011 to have picked up a major award for performance or price performance if we had multiple interactive projectors this year.  It’s ideal for K-12, (budgets notwithstanding) and in the university lecture hall – especially so there, when using them in pairs.

OPTOMA ZU506T-W

Optoma ZU506T-W

OPTOMA ZU506T-W SPECS

Specification Description
Price $2,799
Resolution WUXGA (1920×1200)
Technology DLP
Claimed Lumens 5,000 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 4,380 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 30,000 Hours
Longevity Approx. 20 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 41.66 Years
Ease of Use Rating Intermediate
Weight 12.1 lbs

The Optoma ZU506-T won our Best in Classroom Price Performance Award last year.

Projector Overview

The ZU506-T is a 5,000 lumen, DLP laser projector that is DICOM capable – with the contrast and capabilities to display medical films like MRIs CAT-Scans, etc. meeting teaching quality demands.

The 1.6:1 zoom combined with just a small amount of lens shift (15%, which is a bit better than typical for small DLP projectors that have shift). That makes for pretty good placement range (3LCD’s can exceed 50% shift, but that’s rarely needed). The selection of inputs and outputs rivals any of the other projectors in this collection. It does have a mic input, a nice extra that some will take advantage of. Plenty of legacy inputs, so it is one of the best equipped as a replacement projector for something around for a decade or more.

Some of the most notable features include:

  • Laser Phosphor Light Source — The great image of the Optoma ZU506T-W is powered by a laser phosphor light source. This great solution allow the ZU506T-W to deliver 5000 ANSI lumens powered by laser diodes. The Phosphor color wheel and the traditional color wheel can be used to tune the light so we can gain even more benefits by creating more exact and rich colors.
  • HDbaseT — HDbaseT allows you to use 1 cable to deliver your image, sound, and control to the ZU506T-W projector. All delivered over 1 network cable. Optoma does offer an optional HDBastT transmitter to use for this solution. Getting the projector and the transmitter from Optoma will guarantee everything works well.

When it comes to real brightness, the Optoma ZU506-T measured 4,380 lumens in its brightest mode, at mid zoom on its 1.6:1 zoom. All modes but the brightest mode (at mid-zoom) measured between 3,800 and 3,900 lumens – so down 10-15% approximately from the max. Turns out that all of the other modes do a very nice job on color. Now that is important to note as this is a DLP, here’s why: Most “business” DLP projectors, with their clear slice on their color wheels to boost white lumens, tend to very, very greenish in brightest mode, but good looking modes are usually there 25% – 40% less bright.

The ZU506T is a serious “affordable laser” projector. While its list price is on the high side, street prices are not. There is little the 506-T cannot do, from very good placement flexibility to superior color. At just over 12 pounds, it is smaller and lighter than (by at least 4 pounds) than the 3LCD competition, which also puts it with the Casio as the most portable, if mobility and brightness is required.

Count the ZU506-T as an especially well thought out projector with excellent performance, and (for education) a 5 year warranty, with…ready for this: 3 years of replacement program.

PANASONIC PT-VMZ50

panasonic-pt-vmz50-5000-lm-3lcd-portable-laser-projector-product-image-front

PANASONIC PT-VMZ50 SPECS

Specification Description
Price $2,499
Resolution WUXGA (1920×1200)
Technology 3LCD
Claimed Lumens 5,000 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 5,042 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 20,000 Hours
Longevity Approx. 20 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 27.77
Weight 15.9 lbs

The Panasonic PT-VMZ50 won our Best in Classroom Performance Award last year

Projector Overview

The Panasonic PT-VMZ50U is a small footprint 5,000 lumen WUXGA business projector with a laser/phosphor light engine which is rated for 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation.

The PT-VMZ50U fits right in the middle of Panasonic’s lineup of WUXGA portable laser projectors which range from the 4500 lumens PT-VMZ40U all the way up to 6000 lumens PT-VMZ60U. All three models utilize the same compact chassis (16”W x 5”H x 14”D) and they each weigh just under 16 pounds.

In addition to the three PT-VMZ60 series WUXGA projectors, Panasonic also offers two WXGA resolution projectors which utilize the same chassis and laser light engine. These projectors are the 5000 lumens PT-VMW50U and the 6000 lumens PT-VMW60U.

These can go into large K-12 rooms like multi-purpose, but we really see this as a higher education projector. And, it is small (very) and light enough (less than 16 pounds) to be practical to move from room to room, from say a large classroom to a lab, and back.

The feature set is rather impressive, but this Panasonic projector, stands out among a class of pretty similarly equipped projectors. First, its small size makes it one of only two particularly small models that use 3LCD.

Some notable features include:

  • Digital Image Zoom — There are times in a classroom or meeting that you might want to zoom in on a specific area on an image, such as a map or blueprint. This feature makes it simple to magnify a portion of the image on-screen up to three times. After pressing the D-Zoom button, you can use the arrows buttons on the remote to reposition the area to be magnified.
  • Mounting Flexibility — The PT-VMZ50 is suitable for applications where an orientation other than traditional landscape placement is required. The unit can be installed universally at any angle. Tilt-free, roll-free, and portrait installations are supported. The projector can be rotated freely (360°) to point up or down depending on the installation requirements and can be rotated and installed on its side to create a portrait image.
  • Wireless Connectivity — We’ve all been to meeting rooms with an HDMI or VGA cable hanging down from the projector mounted on the ceiling. Not only is this ugly, it is also cumbersome for multiple users to share content simultaneously. There are a couple of free software applications available from Panasonic that enable you to display your device’s screen (computer, smart phone, tablet) on the PT-VMZ50 via wired or wireless LAN.  This makes it easy project content from a source located across the room from the projector without having to run a long video cable.

This Panasonic, like many (most) laser projectors will work at any angle. That makes portrait use viable in an Art class and likely some other interesting classes. The wired networking has one connector for LAN. And it also has HDBaseT for running HDMI up to 100 meters (affordably with CAT6). Somehow Panasonic managed to pack a respectable 10-watt speaker system into its compact design.

Finally, it supports 4K up to 30fps. This will provide sufficient future proofing for 4K UHD player content, and intelligent streaming (that won’t try to shove too many fps to devices that can’t handle 60fps 4K). That’s an excellent compromise for a non 4K projector. And, let’s face it, in 2020, there is demand in higher ed for 4K, but typically engineering and scientific applications, simulations and simulators. But hardly needed for most classroom type use.

The PT-VMZ50 is an exceptionally small (for a 3LCD laser), quiet, really excellent picture quality, reasonable 4K capabilities for a WUXGA projector with a WUXGA price. Additionally, it is rather feature laden with everything from PC free computing, to media player to web browser…

VIVITEK DH3660Z

Vivitek DH3660Z Front

VIVITEK DH3660Z SPECS

Specification Description
Price $2,499
Resolution 1080p (1920×1080)
Technology DLP
Claimed Lumens 4,500 Lumens
Brightest Mode Measured 4,269 Lumens
Light Engine Laser
Light Engine Lifespan 20,000 Hours
Longevity Approx. 20 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 27.77 Years
Weight 15.4 lbs

Projector Overview

The Vivitek DH3660Z is a 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution, DLP projector intended for business and education environments, though it is primarily positioned as a projector most suitable for conference rooms or meeting rooms. Nicely bright at 4,500 lumens, the image seems even more vivid thanks to its laser light engine.

This projector would also be at home in K-12 Classrooms, multipurpose rooms, small auditoriums, museums, and houses of worship in addition to conference rooms, meeting rooms, board rooms, other office environments, and even medical classrooms and facilities, thanks to its DICOM SIM. Mode.

The Vivitek has excellent placement flexibility with a 1.50:1 manual zoom lens, +13% vertical lens shift, and 360° projection (flexible installation from all angles). It sports an RGBY color wheel and a 10-watt mono speaker.

Some notable features include:

  • Instant On/Off — Instant On and Instant Off are two excellent features that probably don’t receive enough credit. With Instant On, the projector turns on within 3 seconds and automatically selects an HDMI or VGA input. Other projectors might take 10 seconds or longer to turn on, and they don’t always automatically select the input.
  • Wireless Capabilities — The Vivitek DH3660Z has wireless capabilities via Vivitek’s NovoConnect. NovoConnect is a product line of external wireless devices that provide wireless connection to the projector from an external device, such as a computer, smartphone or tablet. Each product within the line has specific features, so the device you choose will be dependent on your needs for it.

OPTOMA EH330UST

Optoma EH330UST short throw projector

Projector Overview

The Optoma EH330UST is a 3,600 lumen projector with DLP technology for business and education applications. This ultra-short throw projector can project a beautiful 100” image from just inches away. The EH330UST has a native resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080), and a maximum resolution of WUXGA (1920 x 1200).

The Optoma EH330UST has an ultra short throw design, which is highly desirable for classroom environments where wall-mounted installation is prominent. The projector has HDCast Pro for screen mirroring Android, Windows, Mac, and both Android and iOS Mobile Devices, as well as PC-Free presenting of photos and documents.

Some notable features include:

  • Wireless Capabilities — The Optoma EH330UST features support for HDCast Pro, a wireless module that is not included with the projector. It can be found for about $80 online from various retailers.
  • Advanced Networking — In addition to the usual wired RJ-45 LAN input, this Optoma has support for Crestron RoomView and PJLink. Both of these programs allow for the command and control of multiple projectors at a time, which is particularly useful for schools and offices that have many projectors in their fleet.
  • PC-Free Document and Image Viewer – One of the most important features on the Optoma EH330UST. Using a USB drive (flash drive or external hard drive), you can project jpeg images and other documents. The projector is compatible with Microsoft Office, so you can easily project Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations without the need for a computer.

The Optoma EH330UST offers both standard wired RJ-45 for networking in addition to other networking features. It has compatibility with control software such as Crestron RoomView, Extron XTP, AMX, and PJ Link. The projector also has wireless capabilities via an optional wireless module, and is compatible with Android, Mac, and Android and iOS mobile devices. Its PC-Free media player works well too, with support for Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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