Hitachi CP-DW10N is a three-chip LCD 1280x800 projector with a feature set that will be most appreciated by students, teachers or the business professional. The short throw capability allows for close interaction with the projected image with a minimal amount of image obstruction. The CP-DW10N's WXGA resolution and above average image sharpness deliver a high impact image in environments with moderate amounts of ambient light. At a street price of less than $1,000, the CP-DW10N includes multiple value-add features that minimize the cost of maintenance including a 4,000-hour eco mode bulb life and a hybrid filter design that only requires maintenance every 4,000 hours. Schools and corporations will also appreciate its impressive suite of built in network capability for remote projector monitoring and control.
Image Sharpness and Resolution: The Hitachi CP-DW10N displays a sharp, finely detailed image. The clarity of the image was impressive considering the inherent challenges in short throw projector optics and the price class of this projector. Hitachi did not cut corners on the CP-DW10N's lens as demonstrated by the pixels that are clearly defined from edge to edge. One side effect of such a sharp image combined with the relatively low fill rate of LCD technology is the screen door effect. Ultimately, I preferred to view the CPDW10N with a slight defocus that helped to minimize the appearance of the screen door but did not detract from overall image quality. Additionally, the 1200x800 native resolution of the CP-DW10N provides an additional 22% of pixels when compared to the more common XGA resolution. On an equivalent sized screen, this additional resolution will help to minimize the screen door effect and will translate to a smooth on screen image.
Brightness: Our test sample of the CP-DW10N measured 1,456 ANSI-lumens in the brightest pre-calibrated 'Presentation' mode. While the measured brightness is only 72% of the 2,000 ANSI-Lumen specifications, this is enough brightness to produce a projected image of 46.6 foot-lamberts using a 100-inch diagonal, unity gain screen at the projector's native aspect ratio. Comparatively, direct view television brightness is usually between 25-35 foot-lamberts, so the CP-DW10N can easily support screen sizes up to 130 inches in diagonal with ambient light in the room, or even larger if screen with positive gain is used or ambient lighting is controlled. Switching to eco mode reduces brightness by approximately 30% resulting in 1,027 ANSI-lumens while extending the bulb life from 3,000 hours in normal mode to 4,000 hours. Brightness uniformity measured at 65%, which is below average for longer throw projectors, but not unusual for short throw units.
Template Function: While many projectors have built in test patterns, the CP-DW10N takes the implementation of 'templates' to the next level. The CP-DW10N has the ability to display a variety of image overlays on a blank screen or any projected image. The built-in templates include two different circle patterns, four different line patterns (from virtual graph paper to 'notebook' style paper) and two different world map formats. While the most obvious use of this feature is in the classroom, I can see this feature being a valuable presentation feature, such as on-the-fly pie chart construction using the included circle patterns. The CP-DW10N also includes the ability to display a custom template via the 'My Screen' function. This option allows the user to save any projected image into the projector's internal memory. This image will be displayed during start-up and can be displayed at any time using the 'blank' button on the remote control.