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Performance
4.5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Education
Hitachi CP-A200 Projector Hitachi CP-A200
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Street Price: n/a
Contrast:500:1
Lumens:3000
Weight: 12.8 lbs
Resolution:1024x768
Aspect Ratio:4:3
Technology:3 LCD
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:2,000 Hrs
3,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$499.00
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA In (x2), RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 525p, 576i, 576p

Hitachi CP-A200 Short Throw
Classroom Projector Review

Allan Abbott, July 8, 2010

When Hitachi bills their new CP-A200 3,000-lumen LCD projector as "short-throw", they mean it. A unique motor-driven lens/mirror combination puts up a 100" diagonal image with the projector only 16" from the screen . . . this is just about the shortest throw distance we've seen. With native XGA resolution and everything but a digital input, the CP-A200 lets you display large, bright images in the smallest of conference rooms or classrooms. At a street price of just under $1,500, the CP-A200 is slightly more expensive than many of its short-throw competitors, but if space is really at a premium, it may be the only way to get the job done.

Overview

Brightness and Uniformity: Unlike many projectors, the CP-A200 exceeds its brightness specification by putting up 3,095 ANSI lumens in Daytime mode. In Normal mode, brightness drops to 2,495 lumens, in Dynamic mode to 2,065 lumens, and in Cinema mode to 1,620 lumens. Whisper (or Eco) mode reduces brightness by 31% across the board, and uniformity is a very respectable 87% . . . a relatively high percentage for a short-throw projector. The top of the image is slightly brighter than the bottom, but the difference is not noticeable.

Inputs: Computer inputs range from VGA to UXGA (1,600 x 1,200), and video signals from 480i to 1080p are accommodated. An auto-search function will select the next active input, or it can be selected directly from the remote control.

Connections: In an unusual move, Hitachi put the connector panel on the right side of the CP-A200, and for cosmetics or for permanent installations, there's a cable cover supplied that can be attached with a single screw. There are two VGA computer input connectors and a separate set of RCA jacks for component video. In addition, you will find inputs for S-video and composite video, a monitor loop-through connector, and both input and output audio mini-jacks. An RS-232 serial port is provided for monitoring and remote projector control, but there is no RJ-45 for Web connection.

Image Size and Position: The CP-A200's maximum of 100" image size does not compare particularly well with its competition whose maximum diagonals can reach the 300" range. That said, for the small rooms where the CP-A200 hits its stride, images over 100" may not be needed anyway. For a 100" image, the centerline of the lens is about 9" below the bottom edge of the image, so tabletop mounting is ideal, and a ceiling mount may work well, too.

Image Quality: The CP-A200's data and video images are comparable to many competitors in its class. Like many LCD projectors, the CP-A200 does not have a particularly high contrast ratio (500:1), so video images are slightly washed out although flesh tones are natural and colors are balanced. Black levels are moderate at best, and some detail in bright scenes is missing. In high ambient light, however, the CP-A200's brightness can compensate for its contrast limitation.

Computer images are sharp, and small text is readable even with maximum keystone correction. Focus is maintained across the screen despite the complex optics needed in short-throw designs.

At standard lamp brightness, fan noise registers 35dB although it is low frequency and directed out the left side of the projector so that most of the audience is unaffected. Whisper mode drops fan noise to the 29dB level with only a modest decrease in image brightness.

Audio Quality: The 7-watt speaker is more than adequate for the small rooms where the CP-A200 will usually be used. Over its full output range, it is buzz- and hiss-free, and for those times when its volume is not adequate, an external amplifier can be connected to the audio out connector.

Security: To complement the monitoring capability of its RS-232 connection, the CP-A200 also sports both a Kensington lock and a locking bar to help ensure that the projector stays where you put it.

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Reader Comments(3 comments)

Posted Jul 8, 2010 11:19 PM PST

By Geoff Stepney

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"With a street price of under $1,500" - Yet the two places advertised as places to get the projector from give a price of $2495-2500 ?

Posted Jul 24, 2010 2:50 AM PST

By Amit Jolly

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Can you Pls send me more details of interactive Projectors

Posted Aug 5, 2011 5:00 PM PST

By Jahid

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Hi I'm planing to purchase hitachi CP-A200 short throw projector 3000 lumens for my retail showroom. I'm using a Displax / Prodisplay film on a clear glass to project the video to the street. To be more precise the projector will be placed on the ceiling inside the showroom and it will project on a 100" glass screen with a projection film to show the image/video to the people walking out on the street. IS THIS POSSIBLE ? Please let me know. Thank you

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