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Epson Pulls Back the Curtain at InfoComm

This week Epson announced several brand-new products, ranging from sound enhancement to large-venue projectors, with multiple offerings aimed at teachers and the education sector.

This week Epson announced several brand-new products, ranging from sound enhancement to large-venue projectors, with multiple offerings aimed at teachers and the education sector.

Running on Epson's latest 3-chip 3LCD engine, the new PowerLite 1925W WXGA multimedia projector is designed for conference rooms and mid-sized classrooms, offering powered zoom and focus features that can be operated via remote control. It supports 4,000 lumens of color light output, 4,000 lumens of white light output, and WXGA resolution.

The new PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL, designed for auditoriums and large venues, is considered the company's new flagship multimedia projector. At 6,000 lumens, it's the company's first HD high-bright WUXGA projector (1920x200) to use 3LCD technology.

Designed for large venue applications, such as education, corporate, and house of worship, the Z8000WUNL offers a 5,000:1 contrast ratio, a liquid cooling system, durable optical panels, and a dual-lamp design. It also comes with several features and benefits designed to make maintenance easier and less frequent, such as easy access to lamps and filter, and a recommended 10,000-hour filter-cleaning schedule.

The PowerLite Presenter solution, the AP-60 Sound Enhancement System, and the PowerLite S7, 79, and W7 multimedia projectors are specifically geared toward the education market. The Presenter combines a projector, DVD player, and sound system into a single solution. The projector features WXGA resolution, 2,500 lumens of color light output, and 2,500 lumens white light output. The DVD player is integrated with the projector, as are the two 10-watt virtual surround sound speakers, microphone input, and closed captioning.

"The PowerLite Presenter is Epson's first-ever all-in-one projector solution created specifically with the needs of educators in mind," said Heather Litus Johnston, product manager for K-12 education marketing at Epson America, in a statement. "Now teachers can easily and conveniently expand their multimedia content options and command greater attention with beautiful image quality and powerful integrated speakers that will help their lessons come to life."

The PowerLite Presenter is scheduled to be available in October 2009 for an estimated street price of $899.

The AP-60 is a fully integrated K-12 classroom sound solution designed to engage students in active learning, says the company. The speaker system, created exclusively for classroom use, delivers 360 degrees of sound. It includes an infrared pendant microphone for teachers and students that enhances vocal clarity and intelligibility, and it amplifies from numerous classroom audio sources. The system installs in one place and is compatible with most ceiling mount projectors using standard 1.5-inch mounting equipment. Compatible sources include computers, DVD players, the included pendant microphone, a second infrared microphone, and handheld audio devices such as MP3 players and iPods.

"Many studies have revealed that when teachers are more clearly heard, the level of student engagement grows and lessons are more likely to be effective," said Johnston. "The Epson AP-60 amplifies and projects teachers' voices in order to make their speech more understandable to students, while decreasing the strain on teachers. Our sound system is also designed to be unobtrusive to the teacher while providing quality audio that can be heard clearly in all parts of the classroom."

The AP-60 will be available in September 2009 for an estimated price of $799.

Finally, the S7, 79, and W7 models of the PowerLite series are designed to provide high-quality images for schools on a budget. According to Epson, the projectors include features not often found in entry-level offerings, such as USB plug-and-play, audio output, closed captioning, and a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours.

For an estimated street price of $549, the PowerLite S7 features 2,300 lumens each of color and white light output, and SVGA resolution. The PowerLite 79 ($649) and PowerLite W7 ($749) each offer 2,200 lumens color light output and 2,200 lumens white light output, but the 779 features XGA resolution while the W7 offers WXGA resolution. All three projectors weight 5.1 pounds and are scheduled to be available in October 2009.

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