The Sharp PG-D45X3D projector for business and education, looks just like their Z17000 home projector we recently reviewed (except that one was black). The exterior finish is a silver gray. The D45X3D could best be desribed as wide and low profile. A manual sliding door can be closed to protect the lens, or to temporarily put the projector on standby. After a designated time, it will shut off (just in case you forgot to turn off the projector). As you would expect, there's also an infra-red sensor in the front, for the remote control. Below the front, are a pair of adjustable feet, one on each side. The Sharp PG-D45X3D projector can, of course, be ceiling mounted.
The lamp door is located in the front - visible when the sliding lens cover is protecting the lens, so no need to unmount the projector to change out the lamp, which means less maintenance effort.
The lens itself is recessed. It is a 1.15:1 zoom, which is pretty minimal. If you are placing it about 10 feet from a 100 inch screen, that will give you only about a foot and a half of total placement flexibility. Of course most projectors offer 1.5:1 zooms or less, and 1.2:1 is the most popular range among the more limited.
A large control panel is located on the top, while the inputs and connections are on the back.
The rear of the projector has the connections. From the left, a DVI-I digital input that is HDCP compliant, but not HDMI 1.4a capable, and an HD15 connnector for the VGA input, or component video. As one would expect of any projector targeting the education market (among others), there's a monitor out. The next grouping has the S-video (DIN connector) and three RCA jacks for composite video, and stereo audio. There's the ethernet connection and a USB port. Below those, is the Infra-red sensor, an audio input (stereo), and an audio output. Finally there's an RS232 serial port, for command and control.
It's a pretty typical control panel. The usual three indicator lights: Power, Lamp, and Temperature, located toward the left (looking from the rear). Next is the power switch - once for On, twice to power down. Next comes four buttons: Auto/keystone correction,, Resize (aspect ratio), Picture mode (Presentation, Standard, Movie, etc.), and the Menu button. To the right is the usual menu navigation controls, up/down/left/right in a round configuration, with the Enter button in the center. To the lower left of the ring, is the Return button. The Up arrow button doubles as an Input selector, when you are not in the Menu mode.
Menus are nicely laid out, and easy to read. Missing however was an info page. I needed to see if a video feed was 24 or 30fps and couldn't. Most projectors have an info menu that will tell you things like that, resolution and more. Below are images of most of the major menus.
Overall, a very good menu arrangement. Very clean and organized. Type just a little on the small size, but personally I prefer that to much larger menus that gobble up acres of screen.
Sharp help is a nice touch. We're more familiar with Epson's but both, while they can be very useful for first time users, are very limited in the number of questions they help you with.
Sorry folks, we're just not expert on networking. If you are going to be plugging projectors into a network, you have your list of features and protocols. This Sharp is pretty well endowed, but we'll let you sort it out to see if you have a good match.
All the standard type features are found below on the Projector Adjust menu. Of particular note, the Audio out allows fixed output, or variable. Variable is a plus, allowing control from the remote, of the volume of external speakers, if they are getting the feed from the projector!
Appropriate for most things, but also includes DLP-Link, for 3D sync. Since the idea is the signal is bounced off the screen, I guess they can get away with it.
The Sharp remote is medium sized, about five inches long. Buttons are on the small side and fairly well packed, but Sharp uses different sized buttons and groupings to make it fairly easy to remember. At the top, Power, and Standby (off). The next four buttons 2x2 are the inputs. The buttons offer up choices of Computer, DVI, S-video and Video. Hitting those buttons brings up further choices when appropriate.
The next row from left to right: Break Timer, Freeze and AV Mute.
Now we come to the presentation tools, the small button on the left brings up a Pointer on the screen that you can control with the arrow keys. Pressing the Effect button offers a choice of pointers or lines. Or, try the small button on the opposite side. That puts a spotlight on the screen, actually it dims all of the screen, except for a rectangular box about 1/10th the size of the whole screen, as shown in this photo.
Navigation is below that, with the four arrow keys in an oval configuration with the Enter button in the center.
This Sharp projector offers remote mousing abilities which use these same navigation controls. There's a small Return button below and to the right of the nav, and right below that, the Menu button. In the middle on that row, is the Mode button to toggle between modes - you know. Standard, Presentation, sRGB...). The remaining buttons give you access to keystone correction (the projector has auto keystone correction, if turned on), Eco mode, and Resize (aspect ratio). Finally, alone on the bottom row, the small but magical 3D button. And that's the remote. Not bad at all!