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Topic: Advice - projector for classroom use
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Joined: Jun 4, 2006
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I am a high school teacher looking to purchase a projector for classroom use. The projector will be mainly used with students for viewing films and other audio/visual media; conducting PowerPoint presentations with internet and audio/visual elements; and conducting real-time classroom tutorials - Photoshop, webpage and graphic design, visual and fashion design etc.

There are 4 projector brands that I am currently able to purchase at wholesale prices (Sony, NEC, Panasonic and Mitsubishi) and was wondering if anyone could possiblly provide me with some feedback/advice on a reliable brand/product suited to classroom use. After some research I have come up with several LCD projectors that I am interested in, in particular those with wireless connectivity: SONY - VPLX75; NEC - LT280; Panasonic - PT-LB50NTE or PT-LB55NTE. Could anyone provide some insight into which of these projectors or others would be a good buy for the previously mentioned applications.

I need to consider the following key factors:

- needs to be transported between classes
- needs to shutdown quickly
- needs to be easy to use
- needs to be reliable and last
- needs to be connected to notebook (new ASUS notebook)
- needs to effective in a classroom where some outside light may enter (classroom lights can be turned off however)
- needs to be able to throw a fairly large screen size (about 100" screen) from a short distance (about 3mtrs)

Thanks to anyone who can provide some expert advice.
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Joined: Mar 31, 2005
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doebs,

In the classroom Sony and NEC are the only ones that I have any experience with. Both brands have been reliable. I do know that you can get a smarter kids grant to purchase they NEC, this is a usually but not always a great deal depending on your state and purchasing rules.

I can't give you too much help with the wireless as I have only seen the Sony work. I know you need a dongle to plug into your computer and drivers installed. (The dongle is really handy it allows you to put a switch one way and it can be used as a memory stick that has drivers on it. After downloading and installing drivers you flip the switch the other way and it becomes the communication device to the projector) If you are going to use the same computer all the time and people will be careful not to lose the dongle this may work for you but if you are constantly switching computers you may have some issues. Also you cannot show movies over this connection very well so you will need a separate DVD player directly connected.

I am not sure what your budget it is but you will get slightly more projector if you choose to not go wireless. As for your other questions:

- Most of the projectors you are looking at are going to be at or under 7 lbs
- You will need to let all projectors sit for a few minutes when turned off - at least until the main fan stops running.
- You should have no trouble hooking a laptop up to any projector unless there is a problem with the laptop
- If you are working in an environment with some light you will need at least 2000 lumens to be comfortable but you will lose some contrast
- You may be able to get close to 100 inches at 9-10 feet with these projectors but it could be close

I hope that helped some.
Joined: Oct 27, 2004
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Keep in mind: "Panasonic - PT-LB50NTE or PT-LB55NTE"

American models have a "U" at the end rather then an "E", like that: PT-LB50NTU.

The models you mentioned are European and will not be covered by warranty, just wanted to warn you incase you didn't know.

As far as advise,

I had a lot of experience with Panasonic projectors, I would recommend them first. NEC is also very robust. Look in to last year models from Pany, PT-LB20NTU or PT-LB30NTU you can have them now for great prices.
[Edited by SaveOnProjectors on Jun 20, 2006 at 9:52 AM]
SaveOnProjectors.com stuff
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Joined: Jul 10, 2006
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Last week at NECC InFocus launched two new projectors for classroom use. You should at least check them out. The Learn Big IN32 is a 5 lb. 2000 lumens projector and has a 2500 lumens variant (the IN34). I don't know the exact price, but I think it's around 1K.

This site doesn't seem to have the product yet, but you can view it on InFocus' site at:
http://www.infocus.com/Products/Projectors/IN32.aspx