Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Interactive Projector from Sanyo

Sanyo has just announced their latest projector, an interactive device that is geared towards educational and corporate presentation markets. This projector allows for full interactive functionality regardless of what kind of surface the images are being projected on.

The PLC-WL2503 projector from Sanyo is really an awesome device. It provides a complete interactive display, while dispensing of the need for a whiteboard or a surface with built-in sensors. The device is an ultra-short 3-LCD projector with a rating of 2,500 lumens of brightness, wide XGA native resolution, and a 500:1 contrast ratio.

Most interactive projection systems require that users utilize an interactive whiteboard that is connected to a PC. The fantastic thing about the PLC-WL2503 is that it eliminates all of that stuff. Instead, Sanyo’s projector provides two different interface devices, a pen and a pointer. Both the devices contain an infrared (IR) transmitter. So how do these devices work? When the tip of either the pen or the pointer is pressed against a screen or wall surface, an IR signal is generated that is then picked up by the camera module that is located on the front surface of the projector. The signal then allows the projector to recognize the location of the tip on the projected image. The information is then displayed on the screen through a transfer of the information to the PC through a USB connection. Another great advantage with the PLC-WL2503 is that the projection system is pretty much compatible with any software, as well as the Windows 7, Vista, XP, and Mac OS operating systems.

Because the PLC-WL2503 is an ultra-short lens projector, the projector from Sanyo can display an 80-inch projection from 34 inches away. It features a wide XGA format with a 16:10 aspect ratio with 1,280 x 800 resolution and a HDMI 1.3 input that allows for HD sources and a DVD player. There are also special settings that you can utilize when you’re using something other than a conventional screen, like a blackboard or color board surface.

Sanyo says that the projector can last up to 4,000 hours before it needs a lamp or filter replacement. The reason for the prolonged lamp life is that the PLC-WL2503 features a hybrid filter that features multiple filter stages. It provides six times the area and 15 times more dust collection than the usual projector filter.

The video inputs on the projector include an HDMI 1.3 terminal and dual D-sub 15 connectors. These allow for the use of component video and provide users with dual functions, either as an input or as an analog RGB output. There are also inputs provided for S-Video and RCA composite. For audio purposes, there are a stereo pair of RCA connectors and a stereo mini jack. The projector also allows for audio playback via a speaker driven by a 10-watt amplifier and offers closed caption display.

However, despite all of these great things about the new interactive projector from Sanyo, this is not the very first whiteboard-less interactive projector that we have seen. There have been different multi-surface projectors with interactive capabilities since as far back as 2007. Just last year Epson released its BrightLink 450Wi. It is similar to the PLC-WL2503 in several ways. The 450Wi is an ultra-short projector like Sanyo’s projector. It provides an 80-inch display from two feet away. It also features 1,280 x 800 WXGA resolution and 2,500 lumens of brightness. Epson’s 450Wi has an IR pen like the PLC-WL2503 that lets users communicate with the front-facing cameras that are built in to the projector to allow for all of the multi-surface interactivity. Unfortunately, the issue with the BrightLink 450Wi is the price. Side by side, the two interactive, multi-surface projectors' features don’t look very different, but the fact that the 450Wi is more than $500 more expensive than the projector from Sanyo makes all of the difference.

The Sanyo PLC-WL2503 is covered by a three year parts and labor warranty. It will be available by the end of the month and will cost users $1695.99.

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