Here's the premise: All the presenters at your meeting e-mail you their PowerPoint presentations. Graphics technicians look over the presentations to make sure they have the correct look and feel. Then the presentations are loaded onto a network server at the meeting site. (Alternatively, a presenter could download a PowerPoint presentation from his or her company's Web site.) In every meeting room at the site, there is an Epson 8150i network projector. Presenters walk into the meeting room, tap their microphones, switch on the network projector, and start talking. No PCs are involved. No VGA connections are involved. If the LAN being used is wireless, there are no cables of any kind.
If this sounds like a good and plausible idea, you may be ready for the Epson 8150i, considered by industry analysts to be the network projector most likely to succeed. (Keep your eye on Sony, though, which just launched a line of network projectors.) The catch, of course, is the price. The 8150i lists for $16,500; the street price is around $9,200. The idea, anyway, is that hotels and convention centers, not conference organizers, will buy these things by the dozen. At 20 lbs., they meet some definition of portability, but they aren't exactly ultralight. Epson sells them as “fixed” rather than portable projectors. They certainly pack a lot of projection punch, with 3,200 lumens of brightness — about three times as much as a typical portable projector. They also come with such neat features as an electronic whiteboard. The whiteboard can be “written” on using a keyboard or mouse (Wait … doesn't that mean having a PC on hand for inputting? Well, yes … ), and the whiteboard files can be saved as jpegs.
Is the network projector a toy whose time has come? Only if your presenters are willing to give up some autonomy, and only if the venues you select or the AV houses with which you www.epson.com.decide to offer the product. To learn more, visit the Epson site at