The Sharp Notevision PG-B10S projector was designed for budget conscience classroom and conference needs. A quick look at the basics shows it's SVGA (800 x 600 pixels), 1200 ANSI lumens, 35 dB audible noise, 350:1 contrast ratio, and 6 pounds (2.7 kg) making it light enough to travel.
With a suggested retail price is $1,399 and a street price of $999, this is more than just another projector breaking the $1000 price barrier. Nice performance and functionality, and a very unique feature makes the Sharp Notevision PG-B10S projector stand out among the other low cost, lightweight, SVGA projectors we've seen.
When we opened the carton and removed the projector, we noticed something unusual. Attached to the projector lens was a protective ring with the following message attached:
CAUTION: DO NOT THROW THIS LENS SHIPPING BLOCK AWAY.
Heed this advice. This "lens shipping block" protects a very nice
feature of the Sharp Notevision PG-B10S - Variable Lens Shift! While lens shift is not new, it is unusual in a low cost projector and it's implementation is rather unique.
Now if lens shift is about as familiar to you as quarks and you're wondering why you should care about it, allow me to expound. If you walk into a room with a projector, set it up, turn it on, and notice the image is not rectangular, you have a problem known as keystoning. This problem emerges whenever the projector is not perpendicular to the projection surface. Turn it left, turn it right, tip it up or down and that trapezoidal image you see is keystoning.
Lens shift can fix this problem. Lens shift allows a physical adjustment of the projection lens to optically correct image keystoning, in other words, make it rectangular. In the case of the Sharp Notevision PG-B10S projector this is done with a small joystick located on the front of the projector just right of the lens (see photo). It has an adjustment range of 50% of the height and 30% of the width of the image through a full 360 degrees.
If you're acquainted with keystone problems, you might ask, why not use digital keystone correction. This is a feature that is available on just about every projector that ships today, including the Sharp B10S, and it does "square" the image, if the projector is slightly askew.
Yes, but beware! Digital keystone correction has a couple of unwanted side effects. First, it squares the image by shrinking the long side of the image using digital scaling. This means information is removed and the result is that scaling artifacts become evident in the image. For example, text will be a little fuzzy in the scaled area of the image. Second, it causes some loss of lumen output because the scaled image is smaller than the native resolution of the display.
So, if you're moving a projector from room to room or across the country, or you have room constraints in a fixed installation, Sharp's PG-B10S variable lens shift is a very nice solution.