The $8,000 Canon LV-7565 projector may be big and expensive, but it takes heavyweight power to display large images in a cavernous conference room. The LV-7565 can blast a superbright 4,428 lumens--enough for lights-on presentations--and the projector has an optional network connector that can grab images from a LAN and let you control it from any network client. While its performance is slightly better than the identical-looking, though much less expensive, Sanyo PLC-XP56 ($6,000), we don't think the small bump in power is worth the significantly higher cost.
Both the XP56 and the LV-7565 run a portly 6.6 by 12.6 by 18.3 inches and weigh more than 20 pounds; clearly, neither are made for easy portability. A large handle on the LV-7565's side lets you to carry it like a suitcase, however, making it easier to haul from conference room to conference room. You can set it on a desktop or connect it to a ceiling mount, and it's capable of back projection, which creates a reversed image.
The LV-7656 offers a vast array of ports for connecting to computers and A/V equipment including analog, digital, S-Video, composite video, and component video, as well as a pair of audio minijacks for the decent-sounding 2-watt stereo speakers. There's an RS-232 port connecting to the optional LAN connection kit. Canon includes analog, S-Video, and USB cables. The Canon LV-7565 has a trio of relatively large 1.3-inch LCD panels with an XGA resolution; these give it enough power to project an exceptionally bright, sharp, 33-foot diagonal image. The projector can support both typical 4:3 and wide-screen 16:9 aspect-ratio images.
The projector has four directional buttons to control the onscreen menu (OSM) and other settings such as zoom, focus, and lens tilt. There's also a Bright button, which removes an orange filter but doesn't affect your image's brightness. You can adjust all of the settings on the projector itself or via large remote, which doubles as a laser pointer. There are a variety of image optimization presets for movies, graphics, and more, but we found that the standard setting worked best for business purposes. The one thing that the LV-7565 lacks is automatic correction for keystone distortion, which compensates for an image's trapezoidal appearance when projected at an angle, a feature found on many less-expensive projectors.
To network the LV-7565, you'll have to invest in the $600 Canon Network Imager. You'll need to set the projector's IP address with the remote control--not an easy feat--to monitor it from network-connected PCs. Using a Web browser, you can check to see if it's in use and how hot it is running, as well as turn it off--a key feature for presenters who routinely forget to turn off their equipment.