Our favorite intermediate class LCD projector - Panasonic PT-VW440U

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We like it.  It's bright - 4800 lumens, great color accuracy, wide-format projection, it has an HDMI input, and it's reasonably-priced. 

It's easy for people who sell products for a living to get excited about something they sell, but just 5 years ago, we were excited about another projector that was just as much of a relative bargain by comparison to what was out there at the time. 

At the end of 2007, my own church needed new projectors and Sanyo had just introduced the PLC-XU48.  3000 ANSI lumens, and an analog VGA interface.  3000 lumens for $1699?!  At half of what we would have paid the year before for something similar, we said "we'll take two!"  They're still doing a nice job for us on 6x8' screens.  At the time, the PLC-XU48 was one of the brighter ultraportable projectors, a class of machines that were more typically used in a boardroom than a worship space, but that's what we could afford.  And as it turned out, they were exactly what we needed. 

As we approach the end of 2013, I'm hoping to get another year or two out of those old Sanyos (and expect that we will).  But if I were choosing a new projector today, the Panasonic PT-VW440U would get my vote

You can read specs until you're fully informed (or confused), but let me tell you why I'd pick it.  First...


It's bright.  4800 ANSI lumens will light up a 7.5x12' screen pretty well with room lights on.  How large a screen you can use (and still be "bright enough") is dependent on what your lighting situation happens to be.  We can help you figure that out.  In my case at church (if we were upgrading now), we'd probably pick a 6.25x10' (or slightly larger) screen.  The PT-VW440U features an HDMI input and also VGA, along with video inputs, so it's versatile and with its native wide-format aspect ratio it's current. 

When we bought the Sanyo machines, we bought "ultraportable" projectors designed for portable use, and we installed them.  The PT-VW440U is an intermediate class projector, so it has a little more heft with respect to its optics, its power supply, its chassis size, and its performance overall. 

For most uses, the only practical difference between it and the more expensive installation class machines is that it doesn't have interchangeable lenses.  If you have some flexibility in where you mount the projector, you'll love this machine.  At between 15-22', you can get a 7.5x12' image, so as long as you don't need to mount the projector 50' away, this machine might be just what you need. 

Just today, one of the guys who works here sold three of these.  Would it surprise you that he's a part-time worship leader and that these went to the church he serves?  It's one thing to promote something because it's cheap, or because you have it in stock, or because you make a lot of money selling it, but it's quite another to use it yourself and to stake your reputation on it for people you have to look at week in and week out. 

No, these aren't perfect for every situation, but at least two of us here feel like they're for us (or would be if we had an immediate need).  I think that says a lot. 

Let us know if you need more info, or have questions about projection options.  We have the Panasonic PT-VW440U in stock.  They're $1399.  Call us.  Click here for more information.  We'll help you get you the right projector for you.