NEC Offers Free 19-inch LCDs Plus Cash Rebates with Select Projectors

FREE LCD!

Get stacked!

It’s not often that manufacturers will let you stack promotional offers. But NEC Projectors has a very special double offer running for those enrolled in its Business Advantage Program.

If you’re a member with 200 employees or less, and you purchase an eligible projector, you’ll get a cash rebate and a free 19” widescreen desktop LCD.

The promotion is valid for the NEC NP310, NP410, NP410W, NP510, NP510WS, NP610S and the NP610. You must make your purchase through an authorized NEC Business Advantage reseller (like us!)

The promotion runs from April 1 to June 30, 2010. Products must be registered with the Business Advantage Program by July 31, 2010.

This offer is only good while supplies last. For complete details and other fine print, visit NEC’s Business Advantage Program page.

Educational institutions are not eligible for this promotion, but never fear! There are still promotions available to you! Visit NEC’s educational program.

Holiday Guide to Business Projector Savings

[ This is a repost of our Projector People Post Business Newsletter Tech News from December 2009 ]

It’s time once again for our Holiday Projector Buyer’s Guide. Here we try and provide some general guidelines for finding the right projector, and we include some money saving tips along the way so you can be sure you are getting the best possible value for your dollar. We’ll start with some tips on business projectors, crossover projectors, and we’ll also preview our home theater guide. And as an added bonus, we will include links to parts of our website where you can find rebates, promotions, discounts, and such. Alright. Let’s get jingling!

Projector People : Savings Places

Before we get into our technical guide, here are a few pages that might lead to savings for you. Our demo projector inventory (usually very limited use projectors), rebates and promotions, Deal of the Day, and other specials we may featured are linked below.

Alright, now that you know where to find deals, let’s talk about how to find the right projector. Projectors for business are smaller, faster (to start up and shut down), brighter, smarter, and cheaper than ever before. I know we say that ever year, but it’s still true. And hopefully it always will be. So, let’s get you up to date on what you can expect in performance and price from a business projector today.

Projector Brightness : More Lumens for You!

2500 lumens seems to be the new benchmark for entry level business projectors. Home theater projectors make up the majority of projectors under 2000 lumens. This is good news for small business buyers because it means just about any projector (no matter how cheap) will get the job done in a small room without outside light. The room may lack the cheer of sunlight, but your $399 projector will look nice and bright in that space. One notable exception would be the new pocket projectors which are drastically dimmer in the 10 to 100 lumen range

Recommended Brightness by Room Size
Room Size Minimum Lumens Suggested Price Range Estimates
Multiple Locations (portable) 3000 lumens $799-$1499
Small Conference Room 2000 lumens $499-$1299
Large Conference Room 3500 lumens $1999 – $4999
Auditorium / Classroom 4500 lumens $2499 – and up

SAVINGS TIP : Features like wireless, networking, and higher (particularly HD) resolution will add to the cost of your projector. If you don’t need ’em, don’t pay for ’em. How do you know if you need ’em or not? Ask the questions… do you have an HD source to watch HD video? Do you have a wireless compatible laptop? Do you have a network in your office? I know, simple stuff, but skipping features is your best way to save money on a projector. But then, features like lens shift, auto-keystone correction, economy modes, and others may be extras you don’t want to live without. You’ll have to determine your budget and needs, but know that there are lower-priced projectors that lack some features you might be able to live without.

Projector Resolution : Sources, Sources, Sources

The key to selecting a projector resolution is to know your source. Like any good reporter, you should investigate the who, what, where, why, when, and how you will use your projector. If your business uses primarily VHS videos (because that old training video is still on a VHS tape) then resolution is not going to be an issue. Go as cheap as possible and save some cash. But if you are viewing detailed spreadsheets or drawings from a computer, you’ll need to invest in a higher resolution. And, if you take your projectors home for the weekend and watch on your Blu-ray player, then it’s time to consider switch to an HD widescreen resolution. If you want to do all of the above and more, HD is probably still the way to go, but call a Projector Expert for some good advice.

Resolution and Recommended Usage
Resolution Recommended Usage
SVGA Only for use with older sources such as VCRs, older computers, etc.
XGA A better choice for 4:3 sources such as NTSC DVD players, many laptop computers.
WXGA Best for widescreen laptops
SXGA+ Best for applications that require high-detail
HD Best for applications with video as primary viewing
3D Best for schools, architects, engineers with that particular need. (3D is a feature on some new DLP projectors)

SAVINGS TIP : An SVGA projector might cost a hundred bucks less in the short run, but as technology progresses it may not be supported by newer sources (computers, etc.). If you have 4:3 sources, investing in XGA will be more “future-proof.”

Connectivity
Connection Type Good to Have Because
Dual VGA / component flexibility. Most common connection type.
HDMI Playing video. Common on newer video sources – DVD players, etc.
S-Video A back-up for older video sources. Particularly useful in school settings.

SAVINGS TIP : If you plan to sneak the projector home on weekends for some movies and gaming, an HDMI connection is a plus. However, a dual component / VGA connection will do the trick if your source (receiver, gaming system, DVD player) has component video out.

So there you have just a few of the basics of business projection. Still have questions? Call a Projector Expert for more advice and information.

Cross Over Projectors

A couple years ago there were business projectors that touted their ‘work and play’ capability. You’d hear the call to “Take this projector home on the weekends!” But more recently, there are also home theater projectors that are promoting their versatility in work environments. This usually means that they have added a VGA input, and that they are a bit more portable than other home theater projectors. Either way, if a projector has both a computer (VGA) input and an HDMI connection, you’ve probably got a projector falls into the cross over category. If you aren’t picky about specific home theater features, or having a perfect image, and you want a versatile projector, one of these might be a good choice for you.

Home Theater Projector Guide

This has been a breakthrough year for low prices in home theater projection. We have broken two barriers. Entry level true HD 1080p home theater for $999 and high-end home theater for as low as $1999. That’s good news for buyers that have been watching and waiting for lower prices.

But since the price gap has narrowed between categories, there are still questions about the “real” difference between entry level, mid-level, and high-end projection. Of course there are always questions about which projector is the best in each category. So, we will be providing you with the short answers to these questions this week, and following up on our blog next week with further detailed analysis. We’d love to do it sooner, but as of this week, we still don’t have all the contending products in stock to offer further review.

So, to start, let’s break up some of the more popular models into their respective categories. This is pretty well covered territory on our blog, but in case you haven’t been following, we’ll go through it again.

Entry Level Home Theater

Mid Level Home Theater

High End Home Theater

So, that’s the category break down for our most popular models this home theater holiday season. We’ll offer a more comprehensive breakdown next week, but for now you can use our handy Projector Comparison Tool to check them out spec for spec. We also have a couple comparison’s of these products already published on our blog. Here, here, and here.

Video of Home Theater Projectors

If you’d rather just see it for yourself, we’ve some video of some of our most popular in action. We have recently added the Panasonic PT-AE4000U, BenQ W6000, and Vivitek H1080FD to our Home Theater Showroom. We’ve also taken some video of the Vivitek H1080FD, Panasonic PT-AE4000U (low quality), and Optoma HD20. We will be adding more as soon as we have a chance to do some head-to-head shootouts.

Whew! That’s going to do it for this week, but check back our blog next week for our home theater guide and more information. And if we don’t see you before, have yourself a Happy Holiday and a Wonderous New Year!



Has the Projector World Gone Wide?

[ This is a re-post from our September Projector People Post Business Edition Newsletter ]

Aspect Ratios

We’ve been talking a lot about new $999 entry level home theater projectors lately. But projection innovation is not limited to the home theater frontier. Business projectors now include more brightness for less cash, broader feature sets on entry level projectors, and a big trend towards adding affordable widescreen technology. Wider aspect ratios have been making their way, slowly but surely, into the world of business presentations, churches, schools, and other large venue applications. But what are the advantages of widescreen technologies for business? Is it time to convert for business too?

Why Go Wide?

As home televisions have been stretched to 16:9 resolution, viewers are becoming more and more used to the widescreen image. Back at work, the 4:3 image is starting to look a little square. But there are more reasons than familiarity to change your perspective. Here are just a few :

  • Meatier messages – More words and characters bullet point
  • More image in tight spaces – Particularly offices with 8-foot ceilings and 3-foot tables
  • Waste less image space when used with widescreen laptops
  • 4:3 images still work nicely in the 16:10 frame so older tools don’t have to be replaced
  • Widescreen weekend – Crossover projecting for weekend HDTV projection fun

If any of these benefits appeal to you, then you will also be happy to know that your selection of 16:10 (and 16:9) products has been increasing, slowly but surely, each year. Price points have also been reduced as competition increases in the widescreen space.

Some Well-Priced Widescreen Business Projectors

  • NEC NP500WS – $849* [ WXGA (1280 x 800), 2100 lumens, short-throw lens, 7.3 lbs. ]
  • Sanyo PLC-WXE45 – $1395 [ WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution, 2000 lumens, 7.5 lbs. ]
  • NEC NP3151W – $3,499* [ WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution, 4000 lumens, wireless capable ]
  • Mitsubishi WL6700U – $7995** [ WXGA (1366 x 800 pixels) resolution, 5000 lumens ]
  • * Prices are after rebate.
    ** Additional discounts may apply.

Find more here with our Projector Finder tool!

As always, if you have more questions about 16:10 projectors, or any projectors, call us today

How Much Projector Can You Get for $999 or Less?

[ Repost of our Projector People Post Business Edition Tech Newsletter ] Sony Projector under $999

If you’ve been shopping on auction sites for a low priced projector, it’s time to wise up. Right now you can get a new projector for the price of a replacement lamp or a dim old clunker on an eBay. But how do you know if you’re getting a deal with your low priced projector? Here’s what you need to know..

Business Projectors Under $999

So what are your options now for under $999? You can expect to find a wide range of options under $999 these days. Just to give you an idea of how far your money can go, here are a few of the specification ranges you can expect for your business projector dollar. You can also do your own product filtering using our Projector Finder tool. It will help you search by resolution, brightness, price, and a number of features.

What You Get For $999 or Less

  • Brightness : 1000 – 3000 lumens
  • Weight : as light as 2.4 lbs. (typically in the 4-10 lbs. range)
  • Contrast : Up to 2000:1 (for business projectors, 10000:1 or less in Home Theater under $999)
  • Keystone Correction : Available on many models
  • Short Throw Lens : Available on select models
  • HDMI 1.3 connection : Not common
  • Component video : Available on many models
  • Widescreen Format : Available on many models

So that’s a quick look at features to expect in a $999 projector today. If we haven’t covered something of specific interest to you, call a Projector Expert for more information. We have over 100 options in sub $1000 projectors. In fact, our projector options at $999 were so vast, we created a Projectors Under $699 page for the serious bargain seeker.

Pico Projectors

These are a category of projector that did not exist until a year ago. These tiny low-priced projectors lack the brightness of a true presentation projector, but they may be the direction of presentations future. They range around $200-$350 and they are small enough to fit in your pocket, though they will be a touch bulky in your tight pants. Here’s a list of pico projectors we sell.

New Home Theater Projectors Under $999

And if you haven’t heard the news yet, there are some true HD (1080p) home theater projectors coming soon. These new $999 home theater projectors make front projection a more affordable option for restaurants, sports bars, and other entertainment facilities. There is also an opportunity for those who have slipped behind after the digital transition to get up to date for less.

Vintage Projector People Deals

Just for fun, let’s take a look back at what a similar projector would have cost you a few years ago. We’ve run a number of stories about how much brighter, cheaper, and better projectors are now compared to “just a few years ago” so here are some examples for you. Each of these examples below were (I promise) competitively priced projectors at the time of the deal.

October 1999
  • Proxima DP6810 [ XGA, 900 lumens, 200:1 contrast ]
  • $4,999.00
April 2001
  • Sony VPL-VW10HT [ WXGA (1366 x 768), 1000 lumens, contrast not specified ]
  • $5,199.00 (We actually had a very long waiting list for this projector at this price!)
June 2004
  • NEC LT170 [ XGA, 1500 lumens, 3.9 lbs. ]
  • $1,699.00
January 2007
  • Panasonic PT-LB50U [ XGA, 2000 lumens, 400:1 contrast ]
  • $1,299.00
August 2009

The Good News

Will projectors cost $300 in 2 years? Moore’s Law would indicate “yes”. But “maybe” is always a safer guess. The tiny pocket projectors on the market today are very cool, but they are not even close the brightness and performance of today’s presentation projectors. New laser projection technology, or improved DLP and LCoS pico systems may make pocket projectors the wave of the future. But we won’t know how much they will cost until they are fully developed. So, barring the sudden emergence of a new technology, low-priced LCD and DLP projectors really can’t get much cheaper. And if you’re in the market for a projector, your dollar is going farther than ever before. And that’s good news.

As always, if you have more questions about our business and home theater projectors under $999, please contact a Projector Expert today!


InFocus Projectors and Content Over USB

Is DisplayLink the Missing Link (to an easy presentation)?

InFocus is on the move with some great new projector technology in their latest line of portable projectors. The IN3100 line (see short list below) includes one of the cooler new technologies to come to projectors in years – DisplayLink. You might also hear this referred to as “content over USB”. So why is this technology cool and how is it the Missing Link to easy presentations? Read on… or watch our video with Benjamin Joy from InFocus discussing DisplayLink.

Watch and learn about InFocus DisplayLink technology.

Travel Lighter

If you travel with your projector, you know that while cables are small, they can still add some bulk and weight to your carry bag. And the largest cable most Road Warriors have to travel with is the old standard VGA cable. It may not weigh a full pound, but it’s pretty bulky as cables go. With new DisplayLink technology, you can leave the big VGA cable at home and replace it with a much smaller and lighter USB 2.0 connector. It’s the same kind of USB cable you use for many digital cameras or PDAs with the smaller end connecting to the projector, and the larger end coming out of your computer.

InFocus Content Over USB

Even More Pluggier and Player

Beyond traveling lighter, you also get some improved usability with DisplayLink products. When you plug in your USB cable into the computer and projector, the DisplayLink technology is smart enough to determine the best matching resolution automatically. It also magically determines how to mirror the content on laptop and projector when possible. That question alone, according to Ben Joy, InFocus Product Manager, accounts for about 80% of their tech support calls. And here at Projector People, we get that question all the time too. So, if you’re a projector rookie, this is a feature that will spare you some first-time frustration.

Is It Tricky to Set Up?

It doesn’t seem to be. The software for the DisplayLink technology is loaded on the projector, so all you do is plug in the cable and the software comes directly off the projector to your laptop. You can get the software on as many computers as you want, there is no limit as there sometimes is with wireless software. And, with multi-display capability, you can connect up to six projectors at once from one computer. This feature also allows users to present content from multiple sources during meetings, making it very handy for videoconferences and collaborative meetings where two or more inputs need to be shown simultaneously.

Now Mac Compatible!

In January of 2009, InFocus announced that their DisplayLink technology is now Mac compatible. That’s a good thing since many tech support teams don’t know how to troubleshoot for Apple computers.

[ See all InFocus Projectors here» and a selection of InFocus projectors with DisplayLink below ]

So, DisplayLink looks to be about as Plug and Play as you can get. And since it’s built-in to the new line of InFocus portable projectors, just about any new InFocus portable should have it. Ask your Projector Expert for details.