Philips Monroe

  • Editors' rating
    7.4 Very good

Pros

  • Quiet
  • long lamp life
  • easy-to-use on-screen menu.

Cons

  • Low contrast ratio
  • few inputs.

If quiet operation and ease of use are more important to you than high resolution and large numbers of different inputs, Philips may have the projector for you. Although it's not especially suited to wide-screen viewing, the Monroe will work with DVD or PC analogue sources, has a low noise level and a long lamp life.

The Monroe is an SVGA (800 by 600 pixel) LCD projector, and is one of the larger projectors in this group test. The case design is pleasant enough, and wouldn’t look out of place in the home. All of the projector’s connectors and the fan exhaust are on the rear panel, so you won’t be able to place it right up against the back wall of your room.

On paper, this isn’t an impressive projector. The light output of 1000 ANSI lumens is average, and the contrast ratio of 350:1 is at the bottom end of the range in this review. It uses one of the lowest rated lamps on test at 120W, but the claimed lamp life is 6000 hours -– the longest in this review. This should help keep running costs down.

Focus and zoom are both manually operated, using two rings around the lens. The 1.3x zoom allows a wider range of image sizes, and the minimum image size of 20in. is smaller than with many of the other projectors on test -– great if you don’t want a massive image and want to concentrate the light to get a bit more brightness.

The Monroe isn’t blessed with a multiplicity of inputs: VGA, S-Video and composite video are the only dedicated picture inputs. Component video is handled through an adapter cable for the VGA port, so you can’t have a PC and a DVD player connected to the projector simultaneously.

The Monroe features auto-standby whereby if no signal is detected for a while, the projector will automatically shut its lamp down. This feature is only really useful when the projector is attached to a PC with power saving enabled, since most DVD players or other video sources don’t have a similar feature. You also get a digital freeze feature, where you can capture a frame from a moving image. This could be useful if, for instance, you’re watching sporting events and want to catch a particular moment. However, you have to go through the on-screen menu system to access the digital freeze -- it would be more useful if it was triggered by a single button on the remote or the control panel.

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The Monroe has a built-in speaker, but -- as with most projectors -- this isn’t going to produce satisfactory sound for watching movies or playing games. Two audio inputs on 3.5mm jack sockets are provided, and an audio output. When you change the video input, the signal reproduced on the audio output switches between the two audio inputs. You can choose to have the output volume regulated by the projector (using the remote control) or to have a constant output level.

The remote control for the Monroe is a compact affair, but still features all the controls present on the projector itself, and a couple more besides. Curiously, the remote has buttons labelled mouse left and right, yet there’s no mouse output facility on the projector.

Although there only appears to be a single infrared port on the front of the projector, we were able to use the remote control successfully from behind it. The on-screen menu system uses a very clear system of text menus which makes it very simple and quick to find the option you want. This makes up for the smaller number of function buttons on the projector or the remote -– keystone correction being the best example -– that you find on other projectors in this review. You can adjust the aspect ratio of the image on the menu so that, for example, if you’re feeding it an anamorphic image you can view it at its intended aspect ratio.

The Monroe isn’t an outstanding projector. Its lower resolution, fewer inputs and average light output fail to distinguish it from the compeition. Its ease of use is better than most, but this may not be enough to make up for the lack of resolution, especially for wide-screen movies.

Specifications

Power Device
Type power supply
Nominal Voltage AC 120/230 V
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption Operational 180 Watt
Display
Image Brightness 1000 ANSI lumens
Image Contrast Ratio 350:1
Image Size 19.7 in - 300 in
Projection Distance 3.6 ft - 39 ft
Max Sync Rate (V x H) 120 Hz x 108 kHz
Miscellaneous
Security Features security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
Interface Provided
Qty 1
Connector Type 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 4 pin mini-DIN, RCA, mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
Video Input
Digital Video Format HDTV
Analog Video Format NTSC 3.58, NTSC 4.43, PAL-B/G, PAL-M, PAL-N, SECAM
Analog Video Signal S-Video, component video, composite video
Video Interfaces S-Video, VGA, composite video
TV System SECAM, PAL-B/G, PAL-N, PAL-M, NTSC 4.43, NTSC 3.58
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 41 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Operation
Lamp Type UHP 120 Watt
Lamp Life Cycle Up to 6000 hour(s)
Header
Brand Philips
Product Line Philips Monroe
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Projector
Class digital projector
Type LCD projector
Min Image Size 19.7 in
Max Image Size 300 in
Native Resolution 800 x 600
Display Resolution Abbreviation SVGA
Max V-Sync Rate 120 Hz
Max H-Sync Rate 108 KHz
Video Bandwidth 140 MHz
Brightness 1000 ANSI lumens
Contrast Ratio 350:1
Min Screen Distance 3.6 ft
Max Screen Distance 39 ft
Display Format 480,000 pixels (800 x 600) x 3
Projector Features SmartSave, SmartSet, freeze frame
Projector Lens System
Lens Aperture f/1.8-2.2
Zoom Factor 1.3x
Dimensions & Weight
Width 12.9 in
Depth 8.9 in
Height 4 in
Weight 7.94 lbs
Expansion Slots
Type none
Cable Details
Type A/V cable, S-Video cable, VGA cable, audio adapter
Form Factor external
Included Qty 1
Length 6.6 ft
Software
Type Drivers & Utilities
Service & Support
Type 3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Full Contract Period 3 years

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