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Editor's Note: We originally reported that the XG-P560W had a native resolution of 1280x768 (WXGA). The projector actually has a native resolution of 1280x800 (WXGA). We apologize for the error. -bl 3/5/09
Sharp's new XG-P560W is a 5200 lumen, widescreen format projector that uses a three-chip DLP light engine and a flexible dual lamp system. With several useful lamp control options, great connectivity, and an an excellent overnight support program, the P560W is an attractive new option in the world of fixed-installation, large venue projectors.
Dual lamps. The XG-P560W uses a dual lamp system, which can be used in several different ways. You can run both lamps simultaneously at full power for a whopping 5,058 ANSI lumens, as measured on our test unit. You can run a single lamp for 2,529 ANSI lumens, then switch to the second fresh lamp when the first one dies. You can run both lamps in an auto-switching mode, such that both lamps burn down at the same rate. This gives you the light output of one of the single-lamp modes, but switching is performed automatically, and you effectively get 4,000 hours before the lamps must be replaced. Or, you can run any of these operating modes in eco-Mode, adding 1,000 hours to the life of each lamp and reducing the lumen output to 4740 ANSI lumens for both lamps or 2330 for a single lamp. Since eco-mode significantly extends lamp life with much reduction in lumen output, we suspect many users will want to take advantage of it.
Powered lens. The XG-P560W's stock lens, the AN-P18EZ, has a 1.29:1 powered zoom and focus, as well as powered lens shift. The shift has a range of 2.25 picture heights vertically, as well as a horizontal range of 1/3 of the picture width in either direction. All of this is controlled from the remote and is intuitive to operate. If this lens doesn't suit your needs, the XG-P560W can take six other lenses with varying zoom ranges, from very short to very long. The XG-P560WN is the projector body with no lens attached, in case you want to order a different lens at the get-go.
WXGA Resolution. The XG-P560W is a 1280x800 (WXGA) resolution projector. The advantage of this format is that it can natively display several different signal format. XGA and both WXGA (1280x768 and 1280x800) computer signals can be displayed in pixel-perfect native resolution, as can 720p video. This allows for a wide range of content to be used on the P560W without resorting to scaling. It is ideal for applications such as digital signage where extremely high resolution is not needed.
Great connectivity. The P560W has a good selection of inputs. In addition to DVI-D and HDMI, the projector has a VGA port and a monitor pass-through. It has a 5-BNC hookup rather than component video, but the five BNC plugs can be used for either component video or an RGB signal from a computer. Composite and s-video round out the video connections. On the audio side, each input has its own 1/8" or 2xRCA audio input, with the exception of HDMI (which carries sound already). Finally, the P560W has a wired networking connection and an RS-232C port.
"Express" warranty. For the entire duration of the XG-P560W's two-year warranty, Sharp offers an "Express repair" option. If your projector breaks, give Sharp customer service a call, and they will have a working projector in your hands within 24 hours. This level of service is very useful in "mission-critical" installations, where it is vital to minimize downtime.
3W stereo speakers. Quite often we see big, bright projectors with anemic little speakers on them. The P560W is not one of them. If the conference room is not too big, the dual 3.0W speakers may provide enough "oomph" to make them an acceptable budget alternative to a dedicated speaker system. Of course, if you have speakers installed, it would be preferable to use them instead.
Convergence. Three-chip DLP projectors eliminate color separation artifacts, and in general have better color performance than single-chip machines do. However, this comes with a price; single-chip DLP projectors don't have to worry about convergence, while three-chip models do. Our test unit was slightly out of convergence, but not so much as to impact image quality. Any projector with three imaging devices, whether they be DLP, LCOS, or LCD, may be expected to go out of convergence over the projector's life. And if you happen to have a projector with a convergence problem, you can always take advantage of Sharp's warranty and send it in for service.
Brightness uniformity. While using both lamps, the P560W had nearly perfect brightness uniformity, in the 90-95% range. However, when using one lamp at a time, one edge of the screen becomes somewhat dimmer than the other. When using Lamp 1, the right edge of the screen was 23% dimmer than the left edge, and vice versa when using Lamp 2. This phenomenon means that for photography or other content where constant, even illumination is needed, the best choice is to use both lamps simultaneously.
Weight and size. Without the lens, the XG-P560W weighs 55lbs. With the lens in place, it weighs four pounds more. While large fixed-installation projectors are nothing new, there are smaller and lighter options if all you're looking for is a 5,000 lumen projector.
The XG-P560W is a bright WXGA presentation projector that's perfect for lecture halls and other large venues. The three-chip DLP design is audience friendly and delivers great color with minimum pixelation. The projector is easy to use, has a variety of lenses, and its lamp options make it versatile enough to be installed with minimal lamp maintenance. At street prices below $12,000, the XG-P560W is one of the least expensive three-chip DLP projectors on the market. If you're looking for a fully-featured light cannon with great warranty back-up, look no further.
For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Sharp XG-P560W projector page.