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MicroVision SHOWWX+ Laser Pico Projector - Made for iPod/iPad/iPhone 4 - 15 Lumens

MicroVision SHOWWX+ Laser Pico Projector - Made for iPod/iPad/iPhone 4 - 15 Lumens

Manufacturer: Microvision Development
List Price: $399.99
Street Price: $399.99
Amazon.com: $399.00

Today’s Show:

Microvision ShowWX Plus Pico Projector

Last year Braden and Ara added projectors to our respective media rooms. We have been absolutely thrilled with the experience. There really is nothing like watching a movie on a 100 inch plus screen. Lately we have been reading about smaller scale projectors – so small that they will fit in your pocket. They are commonly referred to as Pico Projectors. Pico Projectors are a class of projectors that can be held in your hand. About the size of a smart phone, they are ideal for travelers and college students.

These projectors range in price from $150 to more than $400. Today we are taking a look at the Microvision Show WX Plus which has an MSRP of $400 (Buy Now). The Show WX outputs a 16:9 image with a resolution of 848X480 and is designed to work with iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads. They sell an adapter ($40) that allows you to connect it to your PCs VGA output.

Being lit by a laser means that the projector is always on focus regardless of the distance to the screen. We were able to project an image that measured in diagonal from a few inches all they way up to 100 inches. The farther away your were required a darker room for acceptable viewing. The ShowWX plus puts out a max 15 lumens which isn’t too bright. We were able to satisfactorily watch something during daylight hours with the blinds closed. The experience dramatically improves the darker the room is.

The projector was tested using an iPhone, iPad and a laptop via the VGA adapter. There really isn’t too much in the way of setup.

  • Brightness: High (default) / Medium / Low
  • Color Mode: Brilliant (default) / Standard /Inverted / Gamma
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (default) / Normal / Zoom
  • System: Image Alignment / Color Alignment / Properties / Reset Defaults

The image alignment menu puts up vertical lines that you use to get the sharpest picture you can. Next we adjusted the color alignment so that the and finally used an auto adjustment to get the green and magenta colors locked in.  All in all it took us about 30 minutes to get to this point from unpacking and reading the manual.

Now came the moment of truth! What was the image going to look like? Well in a nutshell, not too good. We expected it not to be the brightest picture and we really didn’t have high expectations for color. But the deal breaker for us was the sparkle. Laser projectors have an issue where bright solid colors will sparkle. Microvision had stated that they improved on this issue so we really had hopes that it wouldn’t bother us. Unfortunately we could not watch anything without our eyes seeing nothing but sparkles. We even asked Ara’s daughter to see if she liked the picture without cluing her in on the sparkles. Even her untrained eyes noticed them and said she would rather watch on her laptop.

Its too bad though. The form factor and ease of use made this an ideal device for people who travel. Microvision claims that the battery will last for two hours. The most we got was one hour on low brightness. Perhaps the battery life will get better after a few charges. We have posted a video to accompany this review. We tried to show the sparkle but it doesn’t translate too well when you shoot video of the screen. But its there for your reference.

We’ll try an LED based pico projector in the future. But in the mean time proceed knowing that the sparkles may be a deal breaker for you.

Download Episode #473

Posted by The HT Guys, April 7, 2011 9:45 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.