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£3700 (£4500 with Wi-Fi module) Ė typical web prices




Unlike virtually every other type of display device video projectors are usually situated some distance from the other components in an AV system, often in an inaccessible location, suspended from the ceiling or behind a partition. This can cause problems with cabling so if ever there was an application crying out for a wireless solution this is it. Hitachiís response is the CP-X855, however, before you whip out the plastic the bad news is that itís not yet capable of displaying moving images, just stills and graphics, but this is likely to be only a temporary glitch with faster wireless systems now coming on stream.


For the moment though, the X855ís wireless talents are aimed at corporate users, for displaying PC graphics, PowerPoint presentations and so on. Nevertheless, thereís nothing to stop home AVers using it for showing slideshows of their digital photo albums, beamed from a laptop or home wireless network.


In fact wireless connectivity is an optional extra and takes the form of a clip-on module, which rather spoils the X855ís otherwise smooth lines. It looks like an afterthought and hopefully the facility will be built-in on future models. Otherwise it is a well specified design with an XGA display based around a single 0.99-inch TFT panel giving a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768. Behind that thereís a 275-watt ultra high brightness lamp pumping out a healthy 3500 Ansi lumens and it is capable of throwing up an image up to 300 inches across -- in 4:3 or 16:9 display modes -- with a contrast ratio in the region of 800:1. 


Useful features include picture zoom and magnify, picture-in-picture, freeze, keystone adjustment, an on-board monitor speaker and thereís a laser pointer built into the handset. The remote can also be connected to the projector for PC mouse control. Installation is virtually idiot proof, using an on-screen display controlled from a one-touch dial on the projector and a joystick on the handset.


Connectivity is another of the X855ís strong points and in addition to composite, S-Video and analogue RGB inputs (PC and video) thereís component video and DVI connections, sockets for mouse control (USB and PS/2), serial communications and audio in/out.


Wireless configuration is reasonably straightforward; clip on the Wi-Fi module, set the PCís network configuration to the correct IP address, load a small utility programs and itís ready to run. The projector can be controlled from the PC and it displays whatever is on the desktop or visuals from any chosen application or file. Images can take a second or so to upload but thereís no loss of quality, compared with a direct PC cable connection. Images and graphics can also be displayed directly from a memory module loaded into the slot usually occupied by the wireless adaptorís Wi-Fi card.


Video performance is also very good, even when thereís some ambient light in the room. The image is sharp and detailed with bright, vivid colours. Itís optimised for PC graphics so subtle shades, like skin tones, can appear a tad coarse but in a semi-darkened room with an RGB or component feed from a high quality source like a DVD player thereís little to complain about.




Wireless networking for projectors still has a little way to go but if the X8555 is anything to go by it promises to make cabling and control a lot easier but even without the Wi-Fi element itís a strong contender for the home and the boardroom.








XGA display (1024 x 768 pixels)






3500 Ansi Lumens



Analogue RGB (PC & video), DVI, component, composite, S-Video



Screen size up to 300-inches


Zoom and magnify

Built in speaker

ĎWhisperí quiet fan

Internal 8Mb memory

Optional 802.11b Wi-Fi connectivity for display and PC control




380 x 120 x 290 mm (whd)








R. Maybury 2003, 1906




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