Projector Reviews

Education and Business Projector Buyer’s Guide: Conference Room / Lecture Hall

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

Projectors Listed In this Section

BENQ LU710

BenQ LU710

The BenQ LU710 is a 4,000 lumens Laser WUXGA business DLP 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 produce 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.

BenQ LU710 Specs

SpecificationDescription

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

The LU710 incorporates BenQ’s BlueCore™ laser engine, which BenQ claims 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.

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.

Using the optional Qcast Mirror Wi-Fi dongle ($59 SRP) you can 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 also compatible with BenQ’s optional InstaShow (WDC10), which allows up to 16 presenters to connect from any compatible device. It is a plug-and-play device that requires no driver installation and is compatible with any OS or hardware platform.

The LU710 is compatible with BenQ Multiple Display Administrator (MDA) software that provides centralized multiple-projector management of 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.

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MAXELL MP-JU4001

MAXELL MP-JU4001

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 1080@30P 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.

Maxell MP-JU4001 Specs

SpecificationDescription

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 LifeLight Source Life 20,000 hours (Normal and Whisper),

The MP-JU4001 laser light engine can deliver up to 20,000 hours in normal power mode. 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.

You can transmit content over IP 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 makes it easy to share content from an iPad®, iPhone®, and Android devices. This is a useful feature for classrooms, video conferencing environments, houses of worship, training rooms, etc.

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.

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.

The Maxell MP-JU4001 is part of Maxell’s J-Series projector lineup and is intended to offer a mid-brightness business and education laser projector at an affordable price. Many 4,000-lumen business and education 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 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, or conference room.

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LG BU50NST

LG-BU50NST

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 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.

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 BU50NST can deliver 4K UHD on-screen resolution by utilizing DLP with XPR technology from TI. 4K resolution delivers the highly detailed images often required in corporate and healthcare environments.

LG BU50NST Specs

SpecificationDescription

Price
$4499
TechnologyDLP 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

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 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. 

Bluetooth 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.

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.

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NEC P506QL

NEC P506QL

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.

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.

NEC P506QL Specs

SpecificationDescription

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 Life20,000 hours (Laser Light Engine)

Weight
25.4 lb

Warranty
5 years

The P506QL utilizes a Texas Instruments 2nd generation DLP (0.47″ DMD) chip to reproduce 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) onscreen resolution.

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.

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.

It also features USB 2.0A support to power third-party devices and a LAN port for network control and asset management.

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

In addition to the usual Picture modes, NEC has included a DICOM Simulation mode to display B/W medical imaging (such as X-rays). This mode optimizes black/gray/white detail with a custom gamma curve.

The P506QL also includes network control features. NEC offers NaViSet Adminstrator2 software program, which can be used to monitor and control the P506QL projector.

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

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.

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MAXELL MP-TW4011

MAXELL MP-TW4011
The Maxell won our interactive award last year

The Maxell MP-TW4011 is an ultra-short throw WXGA 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.

MAXELL MP-TW4011 Specs

SpecificationDescription

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
LongevityApprox. 30 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year =
69.4 Years
Weight17.4 lbs

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.

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 tablet or smartphone.

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 projector’s 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 reviewed 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.

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OPTOMA ZU506T-W

OPTOMA ZU506T-W
The Optoma ZU506-T won our Best in Classroom Price Performance Award in 2020-2021.

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).

OPTOMA ZU506T-W Specs

SpecificationDescription

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

Optoma ZU506T-W is powered by a laser phosphor light source that can deliver 5000 ANSI lumens for up to 30,000 hours.

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 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.

 

The ZU506T has an HDbaseT input which allows you to use 1 cable to deliver your image, sound, and control to the projector. Optoma does offer an optional HDBastT transmitter to use for this solution.

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 (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.

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PANASONIC PT-VMZ50

PANASONIC PT-VMZ50
The Panasonic PT-VMZ50 won our Best in Classroom Performance Award in 2020-2021.

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.

PANASONIC PT-VMZ50 Specs

SpecificationDescription

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
longevityApprox. 20 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year = 27.77

Weight
15.9 lbs

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.

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. The Digital Image Zoom feature makes it simple to magnify a portion of the image on-screen up to three times.

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.

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.

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VIVITEK DH3660Z

Vivitek DH3660Z

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.

VIVITEK DH3660Z specs

SpecificationDescription

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
LongevityApprox. 20 Hrs/Wk in 180 Day School Year =
27.77 Years

Weight
15.4 lbs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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OPTOMA EH330UST

Optoma EH330UST Front Corner

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.

Optoma EH330UST Specs

SpecificationDescription

Price
$1599

Technology
DLP

Native Resolution
1920×1080

Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
3600

Contrast
20000:1

Zoom Lens Ratio
Fixed lens

Lens Shift
No

Lamp Life
4000 hours

Weight
8.7 lbs

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.

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.

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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Sony VPL-FHZ85

Sony VPL-FHZ85

The Sony VPL-FHZ85 is a 7,300 ANSI lumens/8,000 center lumens, 3LCD laser, interchangeable lens projector that sells for $6,999 MSRP. The VPL-FHZ85 is one of Sony’s 3LCD projectors that uses Sony’s proprietary laser light engine. Unlike many competitors, this projector can function in high ambient light environments while maintaining excellent color performance. 

The Sony VPL-FHZ85 is the smallest, lightest, and most advanced mid-range pro projection system Sony has introduced. It’s an excellent projector choice for almost any professional application where a high-end, mid-tier projector is needed, including lecture halls, boardrooms, and small to medium-sized auditoriums.

VPL-FHZ85 SPECS

SpecificationDescription

Price
$6999

Technology
3LCD Laser

Native Resolution
1920×1200

Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
7300

Contrast
∞:1

Zoom Lens Ratio
1.6X

Lens Shift
Yes

Lamp Life
20,000 Hours

Weight
13 lbs

Also, the VPL-FHZ85’s laser light source will last up to 20,000 hours, just about a decade of use before that light engine could fail.

TheVPL-FHZ85 is rated at 7,300 ANSI lumens/8,000 center lumens. This rating is an increase over the previous model, the VPL-FZ75, at 6,500 lumens. Sony says that the VPL-FHZ85 is the smallest and lightest 3LCD laser projector available in its brightness class. In addition to being very bright, this new WUXGA (1920 x 1200) laser projector offers many Sony exclusive features and technologies

At the heart VPL-FHZ85 are three new Sony 19mm (0.76 in) BrightEra LCD Panels coupled with the Sony exclusive Z-Phosphor laser light source. This proven Sony light engine dramatically expands the projector’s color volume without the loss of brightness commonly found in other types of projectors that use a built-in color filter. 

The VPL-FHZ85 is an excellent projector choice for almost any professional application where a high-end, mid-tier projector is needed, including lecture halls, boardrooms, small to medium-sized auditoriums, or high-end installations such as retail locations or museums.

This $6,999 commercial-grade projector has an incredibly bright and vibrant image providing excellent color and a whole host of useful features that make it an excellent choice for almost any professional use.

We highly recommend the Sony VPL-FHZ85.

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Sony VPL-PHZ50

Image of Sony VPL-PHZ50 Projector

The Sony VPL-PHZ50 is a 5,000 lumen, WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200) projector, going for a remarkable $2,499 considering that just a few years ago, a projector like this one would have sold for about twice as much. The VPL-PHZ50 has a laser light engine coupled with a Sony 3LCD imaging system that offers a legacy of proven quality and performance. 

Compared to the predecessor VPL-PHZ12, Sony reduced the chassis size by almost 30 percent by making the optical engine smaller without any reduction in color accuracy and contrast. In fact, the VPL-PHZ50 is less than four inches high and only weighs approximately 15 pounds, making it an ideal choice for educators who frequently move between rooms.

Sony VPL-PHZ50 Specs

SpecificationDescription

Price
$2499

Technology
3LCD Laser

Native Resolution
1920×1200

Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
5000

Contrast
∞:1

Zoom Lens Ratio
1.6X

Lens Shift
Yes
Lamp Life20,000 Hours (standard mode)

Weight
15 lbs

According to Sony, the VPL-PHZ50 was the industry’s smallest WUXGA 3LCD laser projector in its lumen class at the time of its introduction. Its small size is a valuable feature in this projector class.

The VPL-PHZ50 laser light engine is designed to last up to 20,000 hours. The VPL-PHZ50 also startd up in seconds and shut down just as quickly, saving both time and energy.

The Sony Z-Phosphor laser light source used in this projector provides more than enough brightness to combat the ambient light likely to be found in museums, churches, retail spaces, and decent-sized entertainment venues.

The Brightness Priority mode is designed to maximize the unit’s picture quality in higher ambient light. While this mode’s color is not as natural as Standard mode, Brightness Priority mode produces more than an acceptable color reproduction considering the environment’s lighting limitations.

The Sony VPL-PHZ50 performance is perfect for commercial applications. The included intelligent settings offer presets designed to optimize brightness, the projector cooling system, and other projector settings to suit a wide range of usage environments automatically controlling the temperature of the installation environment, frequency of usage, and several other parameters to provide long-term stable operation.

With a wide range of lens shift and intelligent settings and a very bright light output, this projector is suited for conference rooms or lecture halls. 

The VPL-PHZ50 is designed to fit into almost any space by blending into the background of conference rooms, museums, and other sophisticated locations. Sony has created a functional, aesthetically-pleasing product that is durable, easy to set up, and easy to use. 

 

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Panasonic PT-MZ880

Panasonic_PT-MZ880

The Panasonic PT-MZ880 is an 8,000 lumens WUXGA professional projector with a laser/phosphor light engine rated for 20,000 hours of low-maintenance operation. The PT-MZ880 delivers an exceptional 8,000 lumens of brightness because of the multiple solid-state laser modules that power its light engine.

Panasonic PT-MZ880 specs

SpecificationDescription

Price
$7499

Technology
3LCD Laser

Native Resolution
WUXGA (1920×1200)

Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
8000

Contrast
3,000,000:1

Zoom Lens Ratio
1.61-2.76:1

Lens Shift
Yes
Lamp Life20,000 Hours (standard mode)

Weight
41 lbs

The light source is rated for 20,000 of maintenance-free operation and can produce more than enough brightness to overcome the ambient light found in so many environments.

Perfect for classroom situations, whisper-quiet operation prevents any audience distraction.

The PT-MZ880 ships with a motorized lens, but it is also compatible with a range of optional lenses, including an ultra-short-throw lens for incredible placement flexibility.

In addition to delivering an incredibly bright picture, the PT-MZ880 has all the connections you would expect on a higher-end business/education class projector including an HDMI, DVI-D, SDI, and a DIGITAL LINK/LAN (HDBaseT) input.

While the PT-MZ880 is a WUXGA projector, it can accept 4K content via HDMI and DIGITAL LINK (HDBaseT) inputs for increased clarity and detail. The PT-MZ880 Series projector is also compatible with Panasonic’s PressIT™ Wireless Presentation System for easy plug and play (PnP) presentations and collaboration at the simple press of a button.

Panasonic PT-MZ880 owners also receive a 3-year part and labor warranty (3 years or 10,000 hours whichever comes first on the projector’s illumination components).

The PT-MZ880 is a 3LCD SOLID SHINE laser projector that Panasonic says they engineered to deliver vibrant, bright, and colorful image quality through a compact, lightweight design that is flexible enough to fit in almost any installation space. The MZ880 is purpose-built for environments that require continual use, such as classrooms where a projector is expected to run pretty much the entire school day for the whole year.

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Panasonic PT-FRZ60

Panasonic-PT-FRZ60

The Panasonic PT-FRZ60 is an installation class DLP laser projector with WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) resolution and rated brightness of 6,000 lumens. The PT-FRZ60 uses a laser/phosphor wheel light engine, rated to deliver 20,000 hours of low maintenance operation.

The PT-FRZ60 is part of Panasonic’s FRZ Series of WUXGA installation laser projectors which also includes the 5200-lumen PT-FRZ50 and the 5000-lumen short throw PT- FRZ55. All three models are housed in a similar chassis (approx. 19-5/8” W × 6-5/8” H 19-3/8” D) and weigh between 35 to 36 pounds each. The two main differentiators between the three models are brightness and lens type.

Panasonic PT-FRZ60 specs

SpecificationDescription

Price
$4299

Technology
DLP

Native Resolution
1920×1200
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)6000

Contrast
20,000:1

Zoom Lens Ratio
1.46 to 2.94:1

Lens Shift
Yes
Lamp Life20,000 hours (Full Power @ 50% brightness drop)

Weight
35.5 lbs

The PT-FRZ60 offers a 2.0x zoom lens (throw ratio 1.46 to 2.94:1) and a large amount of vertical and horizontal lens shift for convenient installation flexibility.

The PT-FRZ60 is part of Panasonic’s FRZ Series of WUXGA installation laser projectors which also includes the 5200-lumen PT-FRZ50 and the 5000-lumen short throw PT- FRZ55.

The PT-FRZ60 has every connection and feature you would need in a classroom, museum, or lecture hall installation, including HDMI 2.0 and Digital Link (HDBaseT). While the PT-FRZ60 is a WUXGA projector, it can accept 4K@60P content via HDMI and DIGITAL LINK (HDBaseT) inputs for increased clarity and detail.

Not only does the PT-FRZ60 offer all the installation flexibility you would expect from an education projector, its picture quality rivals that of many DLP-based home entertainment projectors. Like most Panasonic projectors we have reviewed, the PT-FRZ60 delivered an outstanding color reproduction out-of-the-box.

 

At just 30dB (in quiet mode), the projector is also extremely quiet for a 6000-lumen projector. Panasonic PT-FRZ60 owners also receive 3-year parts (or 12,000 hours whichever comes first) and labor warranty.

The PT-FRZ60 would be an excellent solution for lecture halls and museums where picture quality matters as much as brightness and ease of installation.

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LG PROBEAM BU60PST

LG-BU60PST Award Image 1
LG BU60PST

The LG ProBeam BU60PST is a compact laser projector that retails for $4499. While it was designed for multiple professional applications such as conference rooms, hospitals, and museums it is also well suited for educational settings.

The BU60PST’s combination of high brightness, low maintenance, and good picture quality make it a compelling alternative to a large flat panel TV in a conference room, classroom, or any other professional application space.

It provides UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution and is rated to deliver 6,000 ANSI lumens of light output. The unit’s laser phosphor light engine has a rated life of 20,000 hours in Standard (high power) mode.

We reviewed both the LG ProBeam BU60PST and its consumer-focused cousin, the ProBeam GRU510N and we were impressed with both unit’s picture quality and feature set.  The ProBeam BU60PST is nearly identical to the ProBeam GRU510N projector, it is just brighter with some minor cosmetic updates. At 6000 ANSI lumens, the ProBeam BU60PST is the brightest projector that LG has ever produced.

LG ProBeam BU60PST Specs

SpecificationDescription

Price
$4499

Technology
DLP
Displayed Resolution3840 X2160

Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
6000

Contrast
3,000,000:1

Zoom Lens Ratio
1.3-2.1:1

Lens Shift
Yes
Lamp Life20,000 (Normal Mode)

Weight
21.4 lbs

The unit’s 6,000 lumens of output is bright enough to be utilized in classroom environments where ambient light is present. In addition, the unit’s laser light source is rated for up 20,000 hours allowing years of near maintenance-free operation.

The ProBeam BU60PST offers 1.6x lens zoom along with horizontal and vertical lens shift, which is rare on DLP projectors at this size and price point. Combined with the 12-point warping function, these features reduce image distortion and allow precise alignment with the screen.

Teachers and lecturers can connect the ProBeam BU60PST directly to the school’s network via a wired or wireless connection to access photos, videos, and files. Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel files can be opened directly from a USB device or network thanks to the built-in Office viewer, eliminating the need for a laptop.

Screen sharing and screen mirroring make it especially easy to project content from devices running the Windows or Android operating system, giving facilitators more options for displaying their lecture materials. Bluetooth sound output lets teachers wirelessly output the sound to a Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth-enabled Hi-Fi or AV system.

The combination of high output, high resolution, and smart wireless capabilities make the ProBeam BU60PST a great value. A quick search to find another smart feature equipped 6000-lumen laser 4K projector with horizontal/vertical lens shift, will show that the ProBeam BU60PST is a rare beast. If you do find that competitive 6000-lumen laser business 4K projectors are much larger and retail for thousands more. If you are looking for a business projector for a classroom or meeting room, you should definitely check out the LG ProBeam BU60PST.

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WE WISH TO THANK EPSON FOR SPONSORING THE
2022-2023 EDUCATION AND BUSINESS REPORT AND BUYER’S GUIDE.