3D Projector for Business and Education
Great Warranty. In the event that your XD600 should malfunction, Mitsubishi includes a three-year standard warranty with express replacement. So not only is your projector covered for three full years, but Mitsubishi will send a replacement unit as soon as possible to minimize downtime. In addition, the lamp is covered for one year or 500 hours, whichever comes first. In a school district with a tight budget, being confident that your projectors will all be fully functional for the next three years is a nice comfort.
Connectivity. The back panel of the XD600U is positively jam-packed with connection options. The projector has one HDMI port, two VGA inputs, a monitor passthrough/VGA out, the ever-present composite and s-video connections, two 1/8" audio inputs, one set of L/R RCA audio inputs, a 1/8" audio output, a serial port, and an RJ-45 networking port. It is clearly designed with auditoriums and classrooms in mind, where several signal sources might be permanently wired to a ceiling-mounted projector.
Wired Networking. Built-in wired networking makes it easy to centralize control of all the projectors in an organization or school. With a standard RJ45 network port, the XD600U can be connected to your school or business's existing network, and monitoring software can inform the IT department in advance that a projector is experiencing problems or in need of a lamp replacement. It can also tell them when a projector has been accidentally left on, so they can turn the power off remotely.
10W Speaker. While no substitute for a proper sound system, the XD600U's ten-watt speaker goes a long way towards bridging the gap. It is loud enough to be easily heard in a small meeting room or classroom, though more powerful speakers would be preferred for lecture halls or large conference rooms. The speaker still has some of the "tinny" quality associated with small speakers, but it is quite loud, which is sometimes all that is needed.
3D Ready. The XD600U is 3D ready, but there seems to be a lot of confusion floating around as to what this actually means. When a DLP projector like the XD600U is labeled 3D ready, it does not mean that you can simply attach it to a Blu-Ray player and start watching movies in 3D. It means that the projector is compatible with DLP's new implementation of stereoscopic viewing, but you will need some extra equipment in order to use it.
First, you will need a computer with a fairly beefy graphics card, capable of outputting XGA at 120Hz. Next, you will need a suite of 3D content. Several companies now market 3D content to schools, and there is some gaming content available as well (though we have not had a chance to test this yet - check back soon for more information). Finally, you will need a pair of compatible active 3D glasses. These are not the cardboard colored-lens glasses you may have seen inside "3D" movies sold on DVD, nor are they the polarized plastic glasses you get if you go see a movie like Avatar in theaters. The glasses required for 3D viewing on the XD600 are active LCD shutter glasses, designed to strobe in synchronization with the content on screen and trick your eyes into seeing two separate images.
Once you gather all of these items and connect them together, you can view educational material or specially designed video clips in 3D. There is currently a limited amount of content available, and we have not had a chance to explore it, but most of what's available now has limited appeal to home users. Educators and business buyers who are trying to stay current can rest assured that the projector's 3D capability in no way detracts from its usefulness as a conventional 2D projector. You can purchase 3D Ready projectors like the XD600U and install them in your office or classroom, even if you never plan on using 3D content. If content is more compelling in the future, there will be no need to upgrade, since the projectors are already in place. If not, no harm done.
We will say this, though: DLP's implementation of 3D is easily the finest in-home 3D we have ever experienced. The quality is light-years ahead of the old anaglyph 3D method (the kind that uses the colored glasses) and is nearly on par with the 3D you will see in commercial theaters. If the amount and quality of available content starts trending higher, this could be a major area of growth in years to come.
Enough about the technology; how does the projector look? The XD600U is a fine 3D projector. 120Hz display with this technology gives you 60 frames per second per eye, which is enough to ensure a flicker-free, stable image. There is a color shift due to the tint of the glasses, but this is true of all 3D technology, not just this implementation or this projector. The XD600U's high brightness helps to compensate for the substantial lumen loss associated with 3D display. In the future, we will be making comparative comments about individual projectors' 3D performance abilities, but we are confident that the XD600U will be one of our reference units.
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