Software & Networking Features
Software & Networking Features
Several software and networking features on NEC’s M series business projectors that we’ve come to like are also found on the new P series projectors, including the P451W. Briefly, here's a list of the major ones:
- Virtual Remote Tool: As the name implies, this is a virtual remote window or toolbar that you can bring up on your PC’s screen. Requiring only the VGA cable, it lets you perform functions like turning the projector on or off, changing of signals, and muting the audio and video. Through a serial or LAN connection, you can even replace the projector’s on-screen logo. This is a Windows-only program.
- Image Express Utility Lite: Supporting both Windows and Mac, IEU Lite lets you transmit the image on your computer’s screen to the projector over the network. An Easy Connection function helps to simplify the wireless LAN connection process.
Unfortunately, this is about all this tool is useful for on the Mac. On Windows, IEU Lite has more features. For example, you can also send audio from the PC to the projector over the network or the USB cable. In other words, USB Display, which lets a USB cable carries both video and audio signals from the PC to the projector without any other A/V cable isn’t possible on the Mac. In addition, photos and videos on your flash drive that’s connected to the Type A USB port can be streamed to the projector over the network. Lastly, the GCT software (geometric correction tool) that does advanced correction of image distortion (even from an angle) is also Windows-only.
- Image Express Utility: The main difference between this and IEU Lite is that you can use it to transmit an image via a network connection to up to four projectors at the same time. Also, a Meeting mode enables meeting participants to see the projected image on their own screen. You can even save the image locally. Again, this software is Windows-only.
- PC Control Utility Pro: The only other software that works on both Windows and Mac, it lets you operate the projector from your computer over a LAN connection.
- Wireless Image Utility: Considering the popularity of mobile devices, and the increasing use of BYOD (bring your own devices) policies in companies, it'll be unwise for any projector maker to not have a way for their users to beam what they've on your mobile devices to the projector. For NEC, the enabler is the Wireless Image Utility app (iTunes App Store link). In short, it lets you wirelessly project photos and documents from your iOS device to the projector. Real-time camera images can also be projected.
To summarize, you’re in for a treat if you’re running Windows, but not so much if you’ve a Mac, since most of the projector’s software bells and whistles don’t work on Apple’s desktop OS. In particular, the geometric correction tool is very handy for remedying distortions that can’t be corrected by keystone and lens shift adjustments (for example, an image projected on a curved screen).
For the Wireless Image Utility mobile app, granted, it's not the prettiest app we've seen, but it's a move in the right direction. The decision to incorporate annotation and pointer features is spot on. Disappointingly, there's no Android equivalent.