Christie LWU501i: High Resolution
October 30, 2012
Test Results and Connectivity
Bright image. With its brightest preset and full wide angle setting (for the largest image), I measured the LWU501i's brightness at 5126 lumens, a bit more than the 5000 lumen rating. I also measured the Normal and DICOM SIM presets at well over 4900 lumens, which is arguably more important, since both do a significantly better job of retaining individual steps in shading at both the bright and dark ends of a gray scale chart.
Other presets ranged in brightness from 2889 lumens for Whiteboard to 4079 lumens for Cinema, while Eco mode dropped brightness by only about 26%, to 3795 lumens with the brightest preset. Not surprisingly, the zoom setting had a significant effect, with the full telephoto setting (for the smallest image) dropping the brightest preset to 2672 lumens.
Excellent brightness uniformity. The LWU501i did well on brightness uniformity also, with a measured 83%. Just as important is that the gradient between the brightest and dimmest areas was gradual enough so I didn't see any difference, even on a solid white screen.
Extensive connectivity choices. The connection panel offers two HDMI ports and one set of five BNCs. You can use all five for a computer (using an appropriate adaptor) or for RGBHV component video, or just three for the more common three-component video.
Other image inputs include VGA (for RGB or component input), 3-RCA component, S-Video and composite. There is a LAN port for controlling the projector and sending network data, and you can set the USB B port for either USB direct display or for controlling your computer's mouse from the projector's remote.
Audio inputs in addition to HDMI include two stereo miniplugs and one set of stereo RCA plugs, with menu options that let you pair any audio input to any video input. For audio output, there's a set of stereo RCA phono plugs.
Also included are a pass-through VGA monitor port and two USB A ports, which both take either a USB memory key to read files directly or a plug-in $199 optional Wi-Fi dongle. Christie says the dongle can connect up to four computers at once for presentation in a split screen array. Finally, there's an RS-232 port for external control, a mini plug for remote control in, and a mini plug for remote control out, which lets you control a stacked projector along with the first projector using a single remote. Also on the back is a control panel with an LCD that shows the current image source and other information.