LV-8215 is an excellent multipurpose widescreen 1280x800 data projector that will be equally at home either in the corporate boardroom or K12 classroom. Its 2600 lumen rating hits the sweetspot for these markets. A variety of blackboard modes, monitor loopthrough, and networking capability will make it particularly appealing to education buyers. The LV-8215 also sports a varied set of input connectors including a digital DVI-I with HDCP to handle nearly anything presenters could want. At a weight of 7.3 pounds, it is a bit too large for the typical road warrior, but it is easily portable enough to move from room to room, or to take home in the evenings. The current price of $899 is attractive for a projector that has its combination of image quality and features. And if you are buying for classroom use, education discounts are available through authorized dealers.
Brightness and Uniformity: There are five operating modes titled Presentation, Standard, Video, Cinema, and sRGB that have their own color bias and brightness levels. In its Presentation preset mode with brightness at its maximum setting, our test unit put 2,325 ANSI lumens on the screen. Standard mode came in at 1,920 lumens, Cinema and sRGB modes at 1,725 lumens each, and Video mode rounded out the list with 1,440 lumens.
Eco mode reduced brightness by about 28% in all preset modes. That is a sizable reduction in brightness, but Eco mode extends lamp life by 1,000 hours and noticeably lowers fan noise from 35 to 29 dB. So you will find Eco mode a good choice when maximum brightness is not needed. Uniformity is a solid at 90%, well above the average, with the center of the image a little brighter than the edges.
Image Size and Position: The 1.2x manual zoom lens is of average length. It delivers a 100" diagonal 16:10 image from a throw distance of 10.75 to 13 feet. At this screen size, the center of the lens is almost 5" above the bottom of the image. So getting an image properly positioned may require raising the front of the projector. The projector can be elevated by dropping and locking the single front foot, and the right rear foot can be adjusted if horizontal leveling is needed. Should it be necessary, there is ±30° of keystone correction provided.
Connections: The LV-8215 can accommodate either two analog data signals, or one digital and one analog signal, via its single VGA and DVI-I (HDCP) connectors. The projector comes with a DVI-to-VGA adapter in case you do not have a DVI cable on hand. Composite video and s-video have their own connectors, and component video is handled via the VGA connector. Each input has an associated audio in mini-jack, and an audio out mini-jack is included should external amplification be needed. Classroom presenters will appreciate the monitor loop through, and both RS-232 and RJ-45 connections are available for security monitoring and networking.
Compatibility. You can connect a wide range of data and video sources from VGA to UXGA and from 480p to 1080i, and you can use the Auto setting to select the aspect ratio for the image or manually set it with one of five choices: 4:3, 16:9, 15:9, 16:10, and Letterbox.
Blackboard modes. To compensate for non-standard projection surfaces such as blackboards and painted walls, there are nine Preset modes that change brightness and image color emphasis.
Remote Control and Menus: The full-size remote has 19 buttons (including six for navigation) and is laid out cleanly with easily identifiable icons. Input selection, image Preset mode, and aspect ratio are conveniently grouped together, and all the buttons are easy to reach. The on-screen menus are easy to understand, and navigation is straightforward. The on-screen menu is relatively large and cannot be moved from its center-screen position which may make video image adjustments cumbersome.
Preset modes: Five Preset modes and six color temperature choices make it relatively easy to get the image looking the way you prefer it. Presentation mode has a slight green tint which is typical of the brightest image mode, and the other four modes each have a hue bias designed to match their applications.
Image adjustments for saturation and hue in a Preset mode can only be made when connecting composite, s-video, and component video sources. So, if you connect a video source via the DVI-I input and want to change the color of the image, you will have to go to the Detail Settings portion of the Adjustment menu to make saturation and hue adjustments.