Figure 1: Everything out of the box
The first thing you will notice when you get the projector is that InFocus have packed the projector very well in non-Styrofoam foam; this should protect the projector very well so that it will arrive to you in one piece; with no damage. The projector is also wrapped in a protective covering to prevent scratching and rubbing during shipping. When you take it out of the box you can easily put the projector back into the box with the foam inserts for long or short term storage because the foam inserts are robust and don't fall apart easily.
Figure 2: Box and packaging
The IN3128-HD is a full HD projector and has an16:9 aspect ratio. The picture produced by the projector is very sharp and is still impressive even when projecting on to a surface that is around 8m by 2m. 4000Lu is the amount of light the projector is capable of producing and at the default brightness setting is enough to keep the image from fading; even in a very well lit room with halogen lights. The separate focus and zoom knobs on the projector are located on the top of the projector just above the lens and are easy to adjust; so that the picture is the right size required and is in focus.
When you open the projector's menu you will find that the menu and sub menus are laid out very well and it is easy to find the settings you are looking for. My only complaint about the menu is that it goes away when you leave it alone for a while and this can make copying things down like the projects IP address a little bit of a hassle.
The IEC power cord is a nice touch and it is appreciated that the power cord does not have a proprietary connector. This means that you can easily find a replacement power cord if yours happens to break. Speaking of breaking if you're in Australia; as of writing this review, there are replacement bulbs in Australia for the IN3128-HD. Make sure when you buy this or any other projector that the store you're getting it from is able to get replacement bulbs for you otherwise you may end up with a very expensive paper weight.
On both the left and right sides of the projector you will find very large ventilation grills that have a fan behind each one. From an external visual inspection the internal components of the projector seem to be laid out far enough apart so that parts don't throw their heat on to other components. These two design choices mean that the IN3128-HD runs cooler than other projectors I've used over the years.
Figure 3: Side and back of projector
The projector top is covered in a gloss finish. This style of finish picks up a finger prints very easily and makes dust very visible. Realistically I'd just like a mat black finish instead because it does not have the same problems as a gloss finish.
Documentation provided with the projector is very well written and is easy to understand. It does come on a CD; in PDF format, and there are 6 or 7 different languages included. The English version of the documentation has no broken English as far as I can see. I would have liked a printed paper manual because it's quicker to find what you're looking for.
There is however a printed quick start guide which is cool but seeing as this projector was aimed at business and it's likely in normal circumstances to be installed by an IT person, the quick start guide feels out of place.
Upon looking at the remote included with the IN3128-HD you should find all the necessary buttons like on/off, menu navigation (arrows, enter and exit), picture mute, picture freeze, key stone up/down, volume up/down and input selection. Be aware it is an infra-red remote with a range of about 5m and you will need to not have any obstructions between the remote and projector for it to work. The projector has an infra-red eye on both the front and back so you can use the remote if you're standing in front or behind of the projector. It would have been nice if the remote had a 3.5mm Jack on the bottom so you can plug it directly into the projector via an audio cable but I think InFocus want you to primarily use the networking control surfaces.
The remote is not the only control surface you can use there are two other ways possible by connecting the projector to a network over a CAT 5/5e/6/7 cable. The first control surface is accessible through a browser by entering the projector's IP address. The browser based software allows you to do a number of things such as zoom, sound settings, picture freeze, picture mute, projector menu navigation, change inputs, set/modify user access and turn the projector off. It is of note that this control option does not allow you to turn the projector on because the web server on the projector shuts is self-down when you turn the projector off; making the browser based software inaccessible to turn the projector back on.
The second control surface is accessible by a free windows program provided by InFocus called Projector Net 3. However I cannot confirm if it works or not because I could not get the software to work. Using the software was hindered by the lack of documentation provided by InFocus. The help button in the software only goes to "404 Page Not Found" in your browser and the InFocus website is devoid of a user's manual download link. When I email InFocus to provide me with documentation I got 3 documents that were of very poor quality and incomplete thus they were not sufficient to get the software working. Projector Net 3 looks like it can turn the projector on and off and do a little more than the browser based software. At the moment the only way I confirm see to turn the projector on is at the projectors on/off button or with the infra-red remote. This is a little disappointing and I expect better form a big brand like InFocus.
The projector has a number of inputs on the back for connecting to video sources. There are 2 HDMI, 2 VGA, RGB, S-Video and RCA ports as well as mini USB. The full size USB 2 port allows you plug a USB storage device in and play video or photos without the need for a separate computer, DVD/Blue Ray player.
Figure 4: I/O of projector
As nice as it is to have RGB, S-Video and RCA ports for backwards compatibility they are not necessary to have on a projector because those standards were replaced a very long time ago and are mostly sub HD; which will look terrible on this projector or any other 1080p device. Most computers and DVD/Blue Ray players have either VGA or HDMI. Including these older video standards and hardware just adds to the price and InFocus missed an opportunity to reduce the price of the projector to the consumer by including them.
The only old standard; that is a good thing to have, is RGB because that standard can be used for long cable runs. Having said this VGA would give a better picture quality than RGB and still give you a reasonable long cable run.
Features to be aware about that are aimed for business applications:
The IN3128-HD projector has 2 speakers; one on the left and one on the right side of the projector. These can be used to produce sound from video devices or as an output from 2 microphones. The microphone inputs come in the form of two 3.5mm Jack ports. I haven't had time to test this system but it look like it works and I'm unlikely to use it in the long run.
There is no carry bag included with the projector because it is designed to be mounted. Having said that if you want to sit the projector on a table the projector is capable of doing that as well. Not having a carry bag included is also quite normal because most projector brands will have the carry bag as a separate purchasable extra.
Can the IN3128-HD projector preform in a live production environment? Yes it can, it has a high enough Lu rating, the resolution is great and most of the features you will need are there. The only down side is that currently not all the control surfaces allow you to turn the projector on.
Zach Radloff lives on the Gold Coast and is studying IT technology at university.
Zach Radloff's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/zach-radloff.html