- long lamp life
- easy-to-use on-screen menu.
- 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.
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.
|Device Type||LCD projector|
|Expansion / Connectivity|
1 x composite video input - RCA
1 x S-video input - 4 pin mini-DIN
1 x VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
1 x audio line-in - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
1 x audio line-out - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
|Nominal Voltage||AC 120/230 V|
|Frequency Required||50/60 Hz|
|Power Consumption Operational||180 Watt|
|Connector Type||15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 4 pin mini-DIN, RCA, mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm|
|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|
|Security Features||security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)|
|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|
|Min Operating Temperature||41 °F|
|Max Operating Temperature||95 °F|
|Product Line||Philips Monroe|
|Lamp Type||UHP 120 Watt|
|Lamp Life Cycle||Up to 6000 hour(s)|
|Nominal Voltage||AC 120/230 V (50/60 Hz)|
|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 Hz|
|Video Bandwidth||140 MHz|
|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|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Type||A/V cable, S-Video cable, VGA cable, audio adapter|
|Type||Drivers & Utilities|
|Service & Support|
|Type||3 years warranty|
|Service & Support Details|
|Service Included||parts and labor|
|Full Contract Period||3 years|