Epson PowerLite 955WH Projector Review

The Epson PowerLite 955WH is a higher-end model in Epson’s Powerlite 9xx series of classroom projectors.  While Epson markets the PowerLite 955WH as a classroom projector, but it would also be suitable for use in many business/conference room applications.

This model has a native 1280 x 800 (WXGA) resolution with a 16 x 10 aspect ratio.  With discounts available for education institutions,  the PowerLite 955WH is a cost effective solution for schools, or businesses, needing a bright projector with good color accuracy.

The PowerLite 955WH projects a sharp image that is bright, while providing good colors and offering a lot of performance for the money.

Epson offers other models in the Powerlite series that feature similar WXGA resolution as well as models with lower XGA resolution. We previously reviewed the entry-level XGA resolution PowerLite 97H as well as a previous generation WXGA resolution model Powerlite 99W.  Both of these projectors received out Hot Product award so it not too surprising that the PowerLite 955WH also proved to be an very good performer and also earned a Hot Product award.

Overview

The Epson PowerLite 955WH is a compact classroom projector offering a very bright image and features well suited to the typical classroom environment.  It projects a very sharp image, with its native 1280 x 800 resolution, and offers picture modes providing good color accuracy.   While the PowerLite 955WH is not a pico or pocket class of projector, it is a compact unit making it easy to move between classrooms (or conference rooms), when it has not been permanently mounted.  With a retail price of $899 and a relatively long 5,000 lamp life (in normal mode and up to 10,000 hours in Eco mode), it provides an economical solution for the education market.   The PowerLite 955WH is one of the higher-end models within Epson’s PowerLite 9xx line of classroom projectors that starts with the entry-level model PowerLite 97H, with XGA resolution and a rated 2700 lumens of brightness, which sells for $350 less than the PowerLite 955WH reviewed here.

Highlights

  • Offers a bright image with 3200 rated lumens, in brightest mode
  • Very sharp image provides excellent text readability for business/classroom presentations
  • Excellent video scaling performance
  • Picture Modes offered with good color accuracy suitable for displaying video and photos
  • Moderator function supports split-screen display with content from up to 4 networked video sources
  • Wired networking built-in and optional wireless networking
  • Can be controlled and managed from networked PC using supplied software
  • 1.6x zoom lens along with keystone correction provides very good mounting flexibility

Network Based Functions

The Powerlite 955WH comes with an optical disc that contains network related software plus additional software is available from Epson’s web site for several network enabled functions including:

  • EasyMP Network Projection software sets up your computer for network projection
  • EasyMP Monitor software (Windows only) lets you monitor and control your projector through the network
  • EasyMP Multi PC Projection software allows you to hold interactive meetings by projecting the computer screens of users over a network
  • EasyMP Network Updater software (Windows only) allows you to update firmware for a projector over a wired LAN.

The Powerlite 955WH is also compatible with Crestron RoomView(TM) network monitoring and control systems.

Moderator Functions

The PowerLite 955WH supports a “Moderator Function” that Epson describes as:

“Multi-PC projection and Moderator function allows up to 50 devices to connect over a network and then select up to 4 to project simultaneously.”

As illustrated below, this allows the teacher/moderator to select the content to be displayed from up to 4 devices (i.e., PCs, MACs or mobile devices), from a maximum of 50 connected devices.   The network connect can be either wired or wireless, with the optional wireless adapter.

PC-Free Slide Shows

A flash drive can be plugged into the projector’s USB connector to display photos, slideshows and videos without having an attached computer.  The projector’s remote includes the buttons needed to navigate through the photo slide show or video.  This can be useful when the projector is being used as a portable unit for doing a quick setup for hassle-free presentations.  The PowerLite 955WH supports the basic types of photo files (i.e., jpg, bmp, gif, and png) as well as avi video files.  While some other business or education projectors may support more file types for PC-free presentations, such support for Microsoft Word/Excel/Powerpoint files, this projector’s more limited file support should be adequate for most education or business applications.

Support for Mobile Devices

Projection of content from iOS or Android devices is supported when the the optional wireless network module, $99 accessory, is installed on the projector and when the mobile device has installed the free Epson iProjection app.

MHL Support

MHL is essentially mobile HDMI.  The Powerlite 955WH supports MHL devices on its HDMI #2 port.   MHL is relatively recent, so it may see a lot more capabilities down the road.  To be effective, since MHL supports video, audio, and command and control, a projector really should have its own sound system, which the 955WH does (with a mono speaker).

Some phones and tablets, as well as all kinds of other smart devices are being designed with MHL.

Instant On and Direct Power Off

This is an not a common feature for a lamp-based projector.  While Epson refers to “instant on” it is really more of a quick turn on.  Also the projector turns off the cooling fan very soon after powering off the projector.  This feature allows the projector to be connected to a electrical circuit that can be switched to turn the projector on or off.

Instant On and Direct Power Off

This is an not a common feature for a lamp-based projector.  While Epson refers to “instant on” it is really more of a quick turn on.  Also the projector turns off the cooling fan very soon after powering off the projector.  This feature allows the projector to be connected to a electrical circuit that can be switched to turn the projector on or off.

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