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Mitsubishi Digital Delivers New Projector for Education

Mar 18, 2009 12:00 PM, By Linda Seid Frembes

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Mitsubishi XD221U

Over the past several years, the education market has been a constantly growing source for new revenue for projector manufacturers. In its 2007 survey Projector Use in Education, research firm TFCinfo says that K-12 classrooms with a projector range from 31.1 percent in a rural setting up to 51.2 percent in an urban, private school setting. The numbers confirm that market opportunities still exist for new projectors to capture market share.

In that light, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products division recently introduced the new XD221U classroom DLP projector with several features tailored to the education market. The XD221U has a relatively powerful 10W loudspeaker as well as a closed-captioning decoder and simplified menus for easier use. The menu bar includes seven basic features and a customizable option for teachers to add a favorite feature to the menu.

The closed-captioning function works at the touch of a button with any supported source. The built-in decoder projects the captioning like subtitles on screen, which is useful for hearing-impaired students. "It is a brand-new model that is perfect for the education market," says Wayne Kozuki, product manager, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America's Presentation Products Division. "Weighing 7lbs., it is ultra-portable so teachers can take it from room to room. The brightness level of 2300 lumens with a 2000:1 contrast ratio is great for most well-lit classrooms."

To cut through the competitive market, Mitsubishi also included a unique built-in audio mixer and a feature called Audio Mix. The projector includes two 3.5mm speaker inputs and Audio Mix allows teachers to adjust the volume levels of each input. "For example, a teacher is running a video with sound. He or she can plug a wireless microphone into the second input and speak over the video to point out important information," Kozuki says.

Using the menu bar, teachers can individually adjust the volumes for each input, shut one off, or mix both together. "If you raise the level on one, then it lowers the other," Kozuki says. "The level of audio mix control is unprecedented for a projector at this price point.

"We chose a 10W speaker because we understand that a school system has already invested money in projector, and there may be limited funds to add a portable speaker system. For the education market, value for the money is a factor in purchasing equipment. That's why we boosted the output from the average 2W-3W speakers to 10W."

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