As it turns out the Hitachi CP-XN produces a proper lumens with optimum brightness setting, but still looks very good pushing out over lumens. With a solid lumens, plus some extra in reserve for impossible situations, this Hitachi XN projector is more formidable than we first thought. Or as I had put it when we first published the Hitachi review:. Back to the original content.
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Just behind the lens, in a covered recess in the top of the projector, are zoom and focus adjustment rings, as well as screw adjustments and lock for vertical and horizontal lens shift. There is a large IR receiving eye just to the right of the lens. To the left of the lens is an air intake vent. There are two front height adjustment feet one in each front corner that have the usual push-button release. Fine height adjustments can also be made by screwing each foot in or out.
Unfortunately, there no adjustment feet in the rear, so table mounting should be on a fairly level surface. Moving to the top of the projector, facing it from the front, there is a cover in the left rear for accessing the lamp. In the center, towards the rear of the projector, is a small control panel with only the most basic functions.
These include indicators for power on, lamp status, security password lock and for warning of projector overheating. To the left of the indicator lights are buttons for Power, Inputs selection and a 5-function circular button to bring up and select from the on-screen menu, as well as menu navigation Up, Down, Left, Right. On the bottom of the projector, toward the rear, is a removable cover for replacing the internal clock battery.
On the right side again facing the front of the projector , toward the front, are the AC power cord connector a rather odd location and the screw for removing the lamp cover toward the rear.
On the left side, toward the front, is an air intake vent with a removable cover for accessing the dust filter. Continuing toward the rear on the right side is one of the two built-in speakers. Moving to the rear panel, we find a nice array of connectors. They are followed by a microphone jack, a set of RCA stereo output jacks, S-video, composite and component video inputs. A VGA monitor output, RS control and IR control jacks round out one of the most complete rear panels found on a multimedia projector.
Finally, the right quarter of the rear panel is reserved for the hot air outlet. So close. As most of the buttons are also the same size, this makes them difficult to find in a darkened room. On the plus side, the buttons are appropriately grouped and cover the usual most-used functions. In addition to menu access and navigation, there are button to select between video and computer sources, zoom, image blanking and freezing, audio volume and mute, aspect ratio, page up and down when using the remote as a PC mouse and keystone correction.
As is usually the case with multimedia projectors, the buttons are not backlit or even glow-in-the-dark, as backlighting can often be distracting in a darkened room. Although the lack of rear height adjustment feet necessitates are fairly level surface when table mounting , having two front feet with fine adjustment capability helps to level the projector.
However, here is where the CP-XN departs from the norm by adding a range of adjustments seldom seen on home theater projectors, much less multimedia projectors. There are six preset gamma settings which provide different levels of the brightness of blacks and grays and each can have its own custom setting with eight steps of adjustment. This is matched by six color temperature settings which offers different balances of the levels of red, green and blue in all shades of gray , each with its own custom RGB gain and contrast adjustments.
While many users may not have the expertise or equipment to properly use the custom adjustments, just having a number of gamma and color temperature settings can come in handy to optimize images with dark scenes where the gamma control can improve shadow detail or with whites that look too red, blue or green color temp.
As you can mix and match each Picture mode with these gamma and color temp settings, this allows the presenter to select modes that fit best with his or her particular presentation. This level of control is an impressive and welcome feature of the CP-XN. For those presenting in a classroom or similar venue, the CP-XN also has settings for the standard board surfaces. In addition to the usual Blackboard setting, there are also color profiles for Whiteboards and Greenboards.
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