If you’re looking for a WXGA (1,280 by 800) projector for a midsize conference room or classroom, the Epson PowerLite D6155W WXGA 3LCD Projector is a good place to start. Epson’s website lists it as a large-venue model, but as with the lower resolution Editors’ Choice Epson PowerLite 1835 XGA 3LCD Projector, its 3,500-lumen rating makes it most appropriate for a small to mid-size room. It also delivers near-excellent data image quality plus better video than most data projectors, making it a strong contender for its brightness class and resolution.
Like any projector built around three LCD chips, including, for example, the 3,100-lumen Editors’ Choice NEC NP-M311W, the D6155W offers two advantages over most DLP projectors.
First, it’s guaranteed not to show rainbow artifacts, which is always a potential problem for single-chip DLP projectors because of the way they create color. Second, it delivers matching results for color and white brightness. Most single-chip DLP projectors don’t, which can affect both color quality and the brightness of color images. (For more on color brightness, see Color Brightness: What It Is, and Why You Should Care.)
The disadvantage for LCD projectors is that most, including the D6155W, don’t support 3D, which is nearly standard today for DLP projectors. That means you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want 3D.
Connections, Setup, and Brightness
Setting up the D6155W is standard fare, with a manual focus and a manual 1.6x zoom lens. The projector weighs in at 9.7 pounds, making it best reserved for permanent installation or room-to-room portability on a cart.
The back panel offers fewer connectors than you might expect at this price, but more than just the basics. The choices for image input include HDMI; the usual VGA and composite video inputs, with the VGA ports doubling for component video also; S-Video; and a LAN port as well as an optional Wi-Fi module ($99 direct) for both controlling the projector and sending data. In addition, there’s a single USB A port for a document camera or for reading files directly from a USB memory key.
For my tests, I used a 78-inch wide (92-inch diagonal) image, which was a little too bright for comfortable viewing with the lights off at the projector’s brightest setting, but easily bright enough with the lights on. To help put the brightness level in context, using the SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) recommendations for brightness, 3,500 lumens would be bright enough for a 265-inch diagonal screen size in theater-dark lighting.
Data and Video Image Quality
The D6155W’s data image quality is close to excellent, with only minor issues turning up in our standard suite of DisplayMate tests. It delivered vibrant, saturated color in all of its preset modes, and good color balance, with suitably neutral gray at all levels from black to white in most modes. The brightest mode showed a slight yellowish tint in the brighter shades, but most projectors have color balance issues in their brightest modes, so that’s not really an issue.
More important for data images is the fact that the D6155W handles detail well. Black text on white was crisp and highly readable at sizes as small as 6.8 points. White text on black was less crisp at the smallest font size, but still easily readable. With an analog connection I also saw some minor dynamic moire in some screens that tend to cause the problem. However, the key word in that phrase is minor. Odds are you’ll never see this issue unless you use patterned fills in your images, and if it is an issue for your needs, you can avoid it by using a digital connection instead.
The video quality is good enough to be watchable, which makes it better than many data projectors can manage. I saw only a hint of posterization (colors changing suddenly where they should shade gradually) and a minor loss of shadow detail (details based on shading in dark areas), but only in scenes where most data projectors do far worse.
The most important limitation for video is an obviously low contrast ratio, which makes colors look dull. However, contrast ratio is almost irrelevant if you turn the lights on. And since you’re most likely to use the D6155W in a room with ambient light, the low contrast ratio shouldn’t matter much.
One last issue that demands mention is the D6155W’s audio system. The five-watt mono speaker is loud enough to fill a small to mid-size conference room. The quality is middling at best, but I was able to make out some muttered dialog in one scene that’s impossible to hear with most data projectors. The voice was a little muffled, but understandable.
The Epson PowerLite D6155W WXGA 3LCD Projector obviously offers a lot to like, with high brightness, near-excellent data image quality, watchable video quality, and a sound system that offers both high enough quality and high enough volume to be useful. If you need a bright, WXGA data projector for permanent installation or a cart, it’s an obvious candidate. Be sure to also take a look at the NEC NP-M311W, which isn’t quite as bright—or as expensive. But the Epson PowerLite D6155W WXGA 3LCD Projector definitely belongs on your short list.
|Native Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Video Inputs||Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video|
|Computer Interfaces||Analog VGA, HDMI|
|Rated Contrast Ratio||2000|
|Rated Brightness||3500 ANSI lumens|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc