Epson’s BrightLink 450Wi is an intelligent projector that allows educators to turn any standard whiteboard or smooth wall into an interactive-learning area. This enables educators to easily integrate interactive capabilities and eliminates the need to purchase and install dedicated interactive whiteboards. The ultra-short-throw Epson BrightLink 450Wi interactive projector comes with two digital infrared pens and wall-mount hardware for easy installation.PROS: The BrightLink 450Wi has all the functionality of an interactive whiteboard without the cost or trouble of mounting an IWB. The projector can be permanently mounted as close as 2.8 inches to the wall. It is easy to set up, and the controls are well defined. Because of the USB plug-and-play, there is no need to use a VGA cable to project when using a Windows PC or Mac. The BrightLink 450Wi projects in native wide-screen aspect ratio as well as 4:3 aspect ratio. The built-in microphone input for voice amplification is good for narrating presentations.CONS: It would be nice if this projector included auto keystone adjustment, as found in other Epson projectors (users can adjust keystone manually). The built-in speakers may not amplify enough for all locations. Users must use the pen to manipulate objects, versus the finger-touch technology found in some IWBs.OVERALL EVALUATION: In addition to providing the functionality of an IWB, the BrightLink 450Wi projects an image larger than that of most IWBs. The variety of inputs and the clarity of the controls make the product an excellent choice for any school looking for an ultra-short-throw projector with interactive functionality.www.epson.com/brightlinkRetail price: less than $2,000—Joe Huber
Extron’s new WallVault System (www.extron.com) is a family of complete, centralized A/V switching and control systems designed for use with wall-mounted short-throw projectors and flat-panel displays. These economical classroom A/V systems use twisted-pair technology for transmitting signals and include network connectivity for Web-based asset management, monitoring, and control. WallVault Systems take their name from the WMK 100 Wall Mount kit, which securely mounts and conceals system components on the wall.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: Hitachi’s CP-WX410 ($1,499) is a 3,000-lumen, WXGA LCD projector with a 2,000- to 3,000-hour lamp life (regular versus whisper mode); its inputs include S-Video, composite, component and RGB. It has a 10-watt audio output.SHORT-THROW: The company’s CP-A100 ($2,495) extremely short-throw projector creates a 60-inch image from only 1.6 feet. It offers a brightness of 2,500 lumens, XGA resolution and S-Video, composite and component inputs.INEXPENSIVE: The CPX5 sells for between $600 and $650; it offers 2,500 lumens, XGA resolution and a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The high-end CP-SX635 (street price, about $4,000) has 4,000 lumens, 16-watt audio, HDMI input for high definition and a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.
Hitachi America, Ltd. HAS announced its new CP-DW10N+FXDUO88W Wide Bundle
CASITA CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE AND MATH Vista, CA; a 700-student K-5 magnet schoolType Of Whiteboard: Hitachi Starboard (the Hitachi FX DUO 77 is $1,999), www.starboard.hitachi-soft.comWhy whiteboards?“We’re a magnet school for science and technology, so we wanted technology that would be effective for teaching and for presentation,” says Scott Hill, district technology coordinator. The boards are part of an overall interactive classroom.We chose these whiteboards because ...“We liked that the Starboard does not possess any electronics, is not pressure sensitive, and doesn’t need a proprietary pen,” says Hill. “It seemed like it would be more durable in an elementary class. It also supports two users at once.”What do you like about the whiteboards?“For teachers in science, technology, and math, these boards are perfect. I’m a big proponent of whiteboards.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“A 4’1” student can’t use a wall-mounted board alongside a 5’10” teacher.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“It’s a home run. Our curriculum has simulations that are made for whiteboards. Right now, only our science and math teachers have them, but we hope to get them in all the classrooms soon.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?“Talk with the teachers and principal to know what they need. Then work with the business office to determine total cost of ownership. Do that analysis among all competing brands to make your decision.”
Premier Mounts (www.mounts.com) announces the UNI-STA, a new universal mount for short-throwprojector wall mounting. Designed to fit all short-throw projectors currently on the market, the UNI-STA features a universal mount with expandable reach and a lockable GearBox designed to secure a small PC or other control device.With a wall-mounted projector, installers don’t have to worry about removing ceiling-tile waste or the possible environmental remediation that accompanies a ceiling installation.