Hitachi Short Throw Projector Makes the Sale

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- To me, anyway, selling is a simple game: What can I do to get what I have in my mind into the minds of my customers? Business projector companies such as Optoma, Espon, Acer and Dell ( DELL) have long tried to improve the getting-the-idea-across equation with this or that projection device. Most work fine, but there is rarely real news in business projectors. Except now.

A legitimately new way to communicate showed up in the shop several months back: the Hitachi ( HIT) Ultimate Short Throw Projector (the line starts at $1,695 at
If there is a such a thing as this year's sales gadget magic bullet, it might just be this Hitachi projector.

The idea behind the Ultimate Short Throw is simple. The projector produces a bright, roughly 6-foot image, but not from being mounted the usual 4 or 5 feet from the wall. Rather this Hitachi projects a full size, sales-worthy image from a scant 20 or so inches from the wall.

Meaning if you set this unit up properly, you can quickly and simply project an image that will not pick up the presenter's shadow. And suddenly, your personal pitch is not distracting from your projected pitch.

And heavens, does your selling life get simpler.

What you get
The Hitachi offers a powerful way to affordably demonstrate, explain and communicate a business idea.

Don't let the nearly $2,000 starting price scare you off. The Ultimate Short Throw offers significant value. In a unit about the size of small briefcase, you get a box that produces a high-definition image that starts at being 2,200 lumens bright -- enough punch for most businesses. The unit comes with almost limitless connectivity options, from traditional PC display cables through sophisticated network Ethernet links. This projector is terrifically quiet in my testing: It can be controlled with an interactive touch pen. And it comes with enough menus, control software and presets that given the proper tinkering you can put your big idea on any wall in any room -- and then stand right next to the image and let it shine.

For those is us who work in front of projectors, this is game-changing stuff.

What you don't get
The Hitachi is miles -- and I mean miles -- from an idiotproof sales projection solution.

This is not really Hitachi's fault, but users are going to have to get right with their inner projector geeks if they hope to use this tool successfully. The Ultimate uses a mirror to pull off the trick of projecting so close to the wall. It's a brilliant idea, but I found it meant that simple things such as making sure the bottom of the image was the same size as the top, or the right side of image was the same size as the left, was rubbing-your-stomach-while-patting-your-head sort of stuff: You can do it, but it takes real practice.

So please, do not go straight to a client with your spiffy new Hitachi. Test this unit first. Trust me, you will look like a major idiot in front of the customer if you have not gotten the hang of this thing before you charge off into the business wild.

Bottom line
If you have budget left over this year, and you are casting about for a sales tool that can help you make money in 2012, I absolutely recommend this Hitachi. Yes, it can be bewilderingly complex to learn to use. But get the hang of the Ultimate Short Throw and you'll be armed with a sales tool that really will help you explain your ideas.

To my mind, if you can't close the deal with this unit, you probably can't close the deal.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.