Projector Reviews

Projectors Considered: Larger Venue Projectors 1

This group of projectors includes larger venue projectors.  The projectors are listed in alphabetical order.

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report.


Larger Venue Projectors Considered

Larger Venue Projectors
Projector Model Image Overview Review Specs Type
Canon WUX6000  Canon WUX6000_glamor shot Overview Review Specs LCoS technology, Wired networking
Epson Powerlite Pro 1985WU  Powerlite 1985WU_beauty-2 Overview Review Specs 3LCD technology, Wired networking
NEC NP-PA521U  NEC NP-PA521U Pic-1 Overview Review Specs 3LCD technology, Wired networking
Panasonic PT-RZ670  PT-RZ670_glamor pic-2 Overview Review Specs DLP technology, Wired networking
Sony VPL-CH375  sony-ch375 Overview Review Specs 3LCD technology, Wired networking

 

Canon WUX6000

The Canon WUX6000 is the flagship of Canon’s LCoS lineup of projectors.  It boasts 6000 lumens, WUXGA resolution (1920×1200), a choice of five interchangeable lenses, and motorized zoom, focus and lens shift!  This Canon projector, as you would imagine from Canon the camera company, is all about great color, or rather image quality.

Canon pretty much pioneered projectors with DICOM abilities – that is, high enough picture accuracy for use teaching at medical schools and hospitals, when displaying medical images such as X-rays, MRI’s Cat-scans, with enough quality to see the critical details.   The MSRP is $5499, but that’s not out of line for a high brightness, high resolution projector with a choice of lenses.  BTW that list price includes the standard 1.5:1 motorized lens.

Lamp life isn’t great – 3000 hours at full power and 4000 in their eco (PowerSaver) mode.  Don’t be surprised though, these high power projectors tend to run their lamps to squeeze out every lumen of brightness, so many projectors in this class lack the 4000 to 5000 hours at full power that small install projectors seem to offer.

 

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As you would expect, there’s plenty of networking – Crestron RoomView compatible, and also AMX.  For serious installations note that there is an HDMI and a DVI instead of the usual two HDMI.  The DVI connector is a commercial one, more stable.  Nice touch.

The WUX6000 is ready for multiple projector installations in one room, with it’s built in edge blending.  Museums and large educational exhibits often call for edge blending, but relatively few projectors have it built in.

The onboard speaker is a modest 5 watt, but this is a relatively small projector for 6000 lumens and a three chip design.  In fact I suspect it’s compact size wins it a lot of business, when you consider that more than a few competitors are 2-4 times the bulk.

Consider the WUX6000 to be a very high performance projector which Mike clocked doing 5500 lumens.  One thing of note, no projector has a great looking “brightest mode”, but this Canon probably gets closest to very good color in its brightest mode than any other projector in this report.  Most of the best modes still managed to measure over 3900 lumens. Including Cinema, and Photo/sRGB.   Our measurements are a mid-zoom.  There’s an extra 110 lumens hitting the screen when the projector lens is at wide angle.

Well endowed, compact, versatile, great color.  Although not a term I would normally use for a commercial projector – Elegant – comes to mind.  Canon is a top choice for scientific, architectural and engineering uses.

Epson Powerlite Pro 1985WU

This projector is a bit unusual, in that it would make sense to include it in the “standard” group of projectors, but also plays well in the Larger Venue group.

It is the brightest overall projector for the least money – at least among the full HD projectors.  With an MSRP of just $1999, it is the only larger venue projector in this report to break the $2000 price point.

The 1985WU is WUXGA (1920×1200), 3LCD, and extremely well endowed except in two areas.   For larger venues like university classrooms or small auditoriums it has a very flexible zoom lens (1.63:1), but no interchangeable lens options.  And it lacks lens shift, settling for some fancy keystone and corner correction.   Claiming 4800 lumens it competes head to head with the more expensive Sony VPL-CH375 which is also 3LCD (and 5000 lumens).  OK, it also lacks edge blending, but that’s only needed in multi-projector displays (such as in a museum).

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Networking is Crestron RoomView compatible, which is to say very advanced with all the push notifications, email alerts, remote command and control, and presentation over network abilities (including multi-screen).  Wireless is easily added with a $99 wifi dongle, which adds lots of capabilities including mobile support of phones and tablets, via Apps.  The 1985Wi even has Miracast built in, so you don’t even have to use one of the HDMI ports for screen mirroring.  See our Miracast video.  And HDMI supports MHL for streaming content.  There’s a pair of USB’s and a lot more.   Their Moderator software (free) displays from up to four computers (or mobile devices) simultaneously, out of a total of 50 devices!

Other bells and whistles include DICOM for display of medical images for teaching purposes, and a built in Media player (not often found on high power projectors) that allows for PC free presenting.  It is, however limited to photos, videos and pdfs.  Microsoft Office would have been nice but there are other ways to bring that in anyway!

(You can do Powerpoint presentations by converting to jpgs from inside Powerpoint.)

Epson  has similarly powerful projectors with the interchangeable lenses, edge blending and more, but for those with fairly straightforward installations, the feature set and price of the Epson Powerlite Pro 1985WU are otherwise tough to beat.

NEC PA-521U

This 5200 lumen LCD PA-521U is almost one of the more “normal” high brightness projectors in this review, but not really.  True, no lasers, just six interchangeable lenses, and manual, not motorized ones at that. OK, there’s also plenty of horizontal and vertical lens shift in this WUXGA projector (1920×1200).  The standard zoom lens, it should be noted has a 2:1 throw, best of this lot of projectors.

A REALLY interesting twist is four PA521’s can be combined (tiling) to create a 4K x 2K image for high brightness 4K display! That would be the equivalent of a 20,000 lumen 4K projector!  That’s brightest lumens, of course, and as is typical, not the best looking ones.

When it comes to brightness, this projector did measure over 5400 lumens at its brightest, but also offered a very impressive 4200 lumens in several modes with very good color – so let’s say 4Kx2K at over 16,000 lumens with four.

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Now what impresses is to accomplish this, the NEC is only a $5799 list price projector.

Naturally to go along with that is edge blending.   There are a host of other alignment related features, including 360 degree display.  A very capable projector for large room environments and special displays such as in museums.

Networking is advanced, with Crestron RoomView and more.  Wireless is optional.  In addition to a pair of HDMIs (and lots of other connectors) there’s a DisplayPort.

Warranty is three years parts and labor, with a first year exchange program, that’s pretty darn good.