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REVIEW OCTOBER 10, 2000
NEC’s MultiSync VT540 LCD Projector
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The box
Physically, the VT540 isn't much more than a charcoal-gray box with a lens and a flip-out handle. Not much to look at, but, then again, you won't care when you see the picture that comes out of it. The projector has a terminal panel on the side that includes an RGB input (standard computer monitor connector) and an output port for passing through back to a standard monitor or a second projector, as well as S-Video in (Mini DIN 4 pin) and a video RCA jack for hooking up consumer video devices. For audio, it includes a mini jack input/output port and an RCA input/output port. For computer control, it has a Mini DIN 8-pin connector.

Each side of the projector has an infrared port (22' range each) for freedom of movement when using the remote control, which doubles as a pointer. (The remote rests in a slot on the back of the unit when not in use.)

The power cord plugs into the front of the unit a couple inches away from the lens, which is either good or awkward, depending on your setup. I had no problem with the cord being in front; it doesn't interfere with the projection at all.

The unit has a drop-down tilt foot in the front and two screw tilt feet in the rear.

The lens itself is a manual zoom adjusted with a lever set just outside the focus ring.

The controls
Controls on the projector sit on the top near the rear. They include selection buttons, Menu, Enter, Cancel, Source and Auto Adjust.

Controls on the remote include Source, which autoselects the video input; Auto Adjust; Magnify +/- for zooming in on areas of the picture; Pointer; Picture Mute; Power; Menu; Enter; Cancel; and four-way select.

The menu calls up a number of image options, including source select, picture (for brightness, contrast, color, hue, etc.), volume, image options (keystone, color temperature, lamp mode, gamma correction and several advanced options), setup, menu mode and help. (Note that menu options vary according to the video source.)

The bottom line
Well, you probably got the idea from the intro to this review that I'm a fan of the VT540. So whether you're looking for a professional presentation device or just a component in your home theater, this machine would make an excellent choice. Our final recommendation is a strong buy.

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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital DTP; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, DCC Workstation, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Hollywood Industry, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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