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Lyon launch for Epson projectors

Epson chose the Institut Lumiere in Lyon, France this month to launch five new multimedia projectors aimed at the education and corporate sectors.

Epson has launched five new multimedia projectors aimed at the education and business sectors. The firm chose the Institut Lumiere in Lyon, France (regarded by many as the birthplace of cinematography) to give press from around the world an in-depth look at its latest releases. Epson also detailed its plans for further expansion in the home and business projector markets as well as emphasising its commitment to liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.

The three new projectors Epson is targeting at the education market are its EMP-61, EMP-81 and EMP-74L models, which have all been designed to operate in environments ranging from small classrooms to 2,000 seat lecture theatres.

All three new education models include brightness controls for accurate display use with interactive whiteboards, six projection modes (including a traditional blackboard mode), built-in 5W speakers, auto image correction functions, new remote controllers with presentation features such as a mouse, pointer, and page up/down functions, and security functions designed to stop troublesome students from causing presentations or movies to grind to a halt.

The entry-level EMP-74L offers 1500 ANSI lumens brightness, an XGA resolution of 1024 x 768dpi, two PC and two video inputs for multiple presentation use, and at 2.9kg is a relatively lightweight, mobile device. It will retail in the Middle East for $1,999.

The EMP-61 and EMP-81 meanwhile offer higher specifications such as 2000 ANSI lumens brightness, 800 x 600dpi SVGA (EMP-61) or XGA (EMP-81) resolutions and, thanks to a quoted fan noise of down to 30dB in low brightness mode, what Epson claims are the quietest operations in their class. For instant use, Epson claims start-up times of just seven seconds in addition to shortened 20 second cool-down times. The EMP-61 will sell for $1,899 and the EMP-81 for $2,749.

Epson is targeting corporate users with its new wireless EMP-835 and EMP-830 models. These XGA, 3000 ANSI lumens products feature Epson’s proprietary Easy MP technology for PC-free operations, and are quoted as providing up to 3,000-hour lamp lives and contrast ratios of 600:1. In the case of the more advanced 835 model, this projector offers 802.11g high-speed wireless networking too, whereas an optional wireless card is available for the EMP-830.

"These projectors have been designed with the professional user in mind," said Luc Bureller, senior manager for video projectors, Epson. "The EMP-835/830 is ideally suited to medium or large sized organisations, especially when presenting at conferences, seminars or training facilities with large audiences. The projectors offer state-of-the-art technology with their wireless capabilities, catering for the needs and demands of today’s diverse business requirements."

Both new corporate devices incorporate 1:1.6 zoom lenses and can play MPEG2 clips and PowerPoint presentations via either a USB storage device or PC card thanks to the USB connections and card slots on-board. Both models also feature Epson’s auto image set-up software, which adjusts the projected image to the screen size via a built-in CCD sensor. The EMP-830 is priced at $4,299 and the 835's RRP is $4,599.

In launching the new projectors, Bureller outlined why Epson believes liquid crystal display (LCD) technology is still ahead of the pack at enabling high quality projection products. He claimed LCD technology beats its competitor DLP (digital light processor) technology, at producing ultra bright images capable of being seen clearly in light environments. Bureller also claimed Epson’s 3-LCD system enables sharper video playback with less colour bleeding around edges than single light-valve (or sequential drive) systems, in addition to LCD technology offering superior half-toning of darker areas.

Epson quoted DTC data when stating that almost five million Epson projectors featuring its 3-LCD technology have been sold to date. "The LCD technology is a highly reliable, effective imaging technology," explained Bureller. "We believe it has and will continue to enable us to hold our leadership position in the market." Epson’s five new projector models are the first to be branded with its new 3-LCD logo.

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