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Hitachi CP-X251 Portable Video Projector Review

Manufacturer: www.hitachidigitalmedia.com

Hitachi CP-X251 LCD Video Projector

MSRP: $2,295


  • 2000 ANSI lumens brightness
  • Native XGA 1024 x 768 resolution
  • Weighs only 6.6 lbs
  • Progressive scan
  • 2 RGB inputs and 1 RGB output
  • Component / Composite / S-Video inputs
  • Digital Gamma and Auto Keystone Correction
  • Kensington security slot
  • Includes soft case


The Hitachi CP-X251 is a compact, entry level business class LCD video projector with a lot of useful features. Hitachi has made a very good projector, demonstrating how competitive the under $1000 market can be.

Upon opening the box, you’ll notice that the projector comes nicely packaged in it’s own soft case carry bag. Set up was a breeze, courtesy of the easily adjustable dual post front legs and an auto keystone function. Connectivity is very good for it’s class, featuring multiple VGA ports. The lens is actually quite short, so we were able to hit a 100” image from about nine feet.

Out of the box, image quality was nothing to get excited about. The colours looked fine, but blacks were very grey. A little tweaking of the Gamma levels went a long way. The CP-X251 has a very powerful Gamma adjustment feature, allowing for the standard presets (although they aren’t numbered, which is annoying), as well as a function that allowed you to set your own Gamma value. We used this feature, available using the Advanced Menu, to set all parameters at –16. A pleasant surprise were the built in charts that appeared when custom setting the Gamma level. This settled the projector in at an acceptable black level, and provided for good over-all picture quality.

It is a noisy little beast, although the low lamp mode helped that. There’s no mistaking this for a HT projector, but with the good analog jack pack, it makes for a very versatile projector. There were no digital video inputs. Surprising was a useful Freeze and Magnify function that worked easily off the remote control.

Hitachi has a problem doing a good remote, and this one was no exception. It’s small, dark coloured, and easily lost in a dark room. The controls were well laid out, but on a smaller remote without an illuminated keypad, pressing the right buttons can be a real challenge.

We established the following settings:

Brightness  –1
Contrast  0
Gamma – Custom (-16 to all)

Pros and Cons


  • Easy to set up using Auto-Keystone feature
  • Good connectivity
  • Powerful image controls


  • Small, dark remote
  • Requires tweaking for best image quality


Excellent choice for business due to light weight and high brightness. Not recommended for home theatre use.


Liquid crystal panel structure 0.63” polysilicon active-matrix TFT x 3
Number of pixels 786,432 pixels
Native Resolution 1024 x 768
Colors 16.7 million
Aspect Ratio Native 4:3, 16:9 capable
Lens F1.7 – 1.9 manual zoom 1:1.2
Throw ratio (distance:width) 1.5 – 1.7:1
Lamp 200W UHB
Brightness 2000 ANSI Lumens
Expected lamp life 3000 hrs (whisper mode) 2000 hrs (natural mode)
Contrast ratio 500:1
Speakers 1W x 1
Power supply AC100-120V/AC220-240V 50/60Hz
Power consumption 310W
Operating temperature 5 C – 35 C (41 F – 95 F)
Input Signals
Composite video NTSC, NTSC 4:3, PAL, SECAM, PAL-M, PAL-N
Component video 480i, 576i, 480pl, 720p, 1080i
Acoustic noise level 39dB (34dB in whisper mode)
H sync 15kHz – 106kHz
V sync 50Hz – 120Hz
Approvals UL60950 / C-UL, FCC Class B
RGB input 15-pin D-sub connector x 2
RGB output 15-pin D-sub connector x 1
S-Video Mini DIN 4-pin connector x 1
Composite video RCA jack x 1
Component video RCA jack x 3
Audio input Stereo mini jack x 2, RCA jack (L/R) x 1
Audio output Stereo mini jack x 1
Control terminals 9-pin D-sub connector x 1 (RS-232 control)
USB connector (USB mouse) x 1
Dimensions 12.0” x 3.4” x 9.8” (W x H x D)
Weight 6.6 lbs
Supplied accessories Remote control, batteries (AA), RGB Cable, RCA Video Cable, Power Cord, Multiple Language Operator / Safety Manual, Soft Case, Label
Lamp CPX251LAMP (DT00757)

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