Hitachi LCD projector review: a solid and reliable workhorse

The great thing about most projector manufacturers is that they are consistent in the design of their units. A projector is not complicated. It’s made up of a number of components that fit snugly into a box that then either sits on a boardroom table or hangs off a ceiling bracket. The same applies to the Hitachi CPWX 12 wn, one of the manufacturer’s latest offerings. Unboxing the unit is always fun and there is no mistaking the solid Hitachi feel of the casing. No surprises here and at least, like some projectors, you don’t feel like you are about to unbox Darth Vader’s head, funny space age shape and all.

John Wayne and VGA head for the sunset

Projectors don’t change a lot and most modifications are relatively slow to evolve. Having said this, all the latest generation units are shipping with HDMI ports, along with the standard VGA as a side by side offering. Much like John Wayne and Lucky Luke, the VGA port is about to ride off into the analogue sunset and disappear for ever. Well, maybe not Lucky Luke, but definitely John and VGA.

The point then, is that if you are in the market for a good projector, make sure that it ships with a HDMI port, because at the end of this year, all manufacturer of electronic audio-visual devices will cease to use anything related to VGA. It all has to do with devices reading each other and units will have what is called a “digital handshake”. This means that you will have one cable running between your source and projection device or monitor. That HDMI cable will carry all signals as well as every 2 seconds, send a handshake “ping” between devices, just to check that they are legit. If you are using a pirated device, the “ping” will “pong” and you won’t be able to see or hear your source.on your monitor.

But I digress. The Hitachi CPWX 12 wn has everything you could want from a projector. A respectable 2500 ANSI lumen at full spec. and 1700 ANSI on Eco Mode will give you a whole range of possibilities when it comes to projection conditions. New parlance in projector speak is “cost of ownership”, referring mainly to air filters and lamps. In the main, lamp pricing can still make your eyes water and paying for a replacement lamp is not for the faint hearted. It’s gratifying then to know that the lamp life of the CPWX 12 wn is 5000 hours in Eco Mode and the Hybrid filter has a life of 5000 hours, meaning that maintenance costs are less. Native resolution is WXGA 1280 x 800 and compressible whilst contrast ratio is 2000:1, which in a corporate machine is not too shabby. The unit has a daytime mode facility as well as blackboard and whiteboard modes for screens that are sub — optimal. Focus and zoom are via the lens rings and the image is crystal clear. Colour temperatures may be adjusted via Equalizing Gamma Correction but mostly, the factory default is adequate. For portable use, there is horizontal keystone correction.

Like many corporate machines, the projector is networkable and to this end sports an RJ 45 port. The unit is also available with an optional wireless USB stick, allowing for wireless networking and onboard software includes Crestron Roomview, allowing for the remote management of the unit.

The dashboard is simple, functional and allows full navigation. This is replicated on the remote control which is simple to understand and operate. Back of the box has 1 x HDMI port, 2 x mini D – sub ports, 1 x mini D – sub out, 2 x component D – sub for video (shared with analogue RGB), 1 x RCA for composite, 1 x Mini DIN for S – Video, 2 x Stereo Mini Jack for audio in, and 1 x stereo mini jack for audio out. There is also a USB A port for PC – less presentations and a USB B for remote mouse use.

Verdict: the CPWX 12 wn is a winner and like all other Hitachi projectors, is a solid and reliable workhorse.

Rating: 8/10



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