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Projection Roundtable

Nov 17, 2008 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Experts from The Briefing Room sound off about current trends emerging in the corporate projector industry.

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Canon: When it comes to large-venue projectors, a prime consideration is installation convenience. Large venues can sometimes present difficulties for placing such a projector. For this reason, lens options are important, as they will allow flexibility in placement for projector installation. Other features, such as an Auto-Winding air filter system and easy access to the projection lamp, can make maintenance of a large-venue projector easier and more convenient.

Hitachi: The adaptability of the lenses should be considered for large-venue projectors so you can adjust the image size depending on the size of your audience. You also want a projector that has a lot of connectivity options because you’re likely to have a lot of sources feeding into the projector. Another important consideration for large venues is ease of installation: Can the projector be mounted easily? Does it offer features such as lens shift, etc.?

Mitsubishi: What really is most important is the post-sale support and service that the systems integrator can provide with the projector. This is paramount because it’s not every day that you need to replace a large-venue projector, so you should partner up with the best systems integrator who can recommend the best projector that protects your investment for a long period of time until you’re ready for the next upgrade.

Panasonic: The top consideration for an end-user is total cost of ownership. End users should be taking into account what the cost of lamps and maintenance will require. They should also be concerned about the overall performance of the image quality and flexibility of control on the features of the projector solution.

Where would you recommend your top models should be mounted—directly in a meeting room or auditorium, or in a projection booth?

Barco: Rear screen is always an advantage due to noise and heat being outside the room and rear screen also improves the aesthetics of a room as a projector is not hanging in the room. A projection booth also assists with these advantages. Noise can be a big distraction especially with high-brightness units that generate a lot of heat and need a lot of cooling. Projectors with liquid-cooled engines can be quieter than those without.

Canon: It really depends on the size of the screen and space needed. In some venues, such as auditoriums, a projector may be mounted all the way in the back of the room. In smaller classrooms, however, a projector may be mounted hanging down from the ceiling. An auditorium-type setting may necessitate installation of a projection booth in the rear of the room.

Christie: As technology improves, projectors are becoming quieter. Manufacturers like Christie are producing projectors with filter-free designs and auto-sensing fan and temperature sensors that automatically adjust for the quietest operation possible. The projector can then be mounted closer to the audience without distracting them from the performance/presentation. That said, units are typically ceiling mounted with a zoom lens. Christie offers a wide selection of lenses (ultra-short lenses to ultra-long lenses) that offer flexibility to meet the requirements of the venue and desired location by the user. Christie solutions meet design needs, rather than needing to design the installation around the projector.

InFocus: The versatility of InFocus’ install lineup has allowed them to be very flexible. They are run in low-power mode and can be hung above many conference tables for a large, bright image. Others find their way into rear-projection applications, filling in a virtual background for a play, or a large display for a corporate event. InFocus uses them to provide wall-size screens for use in video conferencing as we connect meeting rooms around the world.

Mitsubishi: Most people put a projector in a booth because it’s too noisy to be installed within the audience’s space. But with Mitsubishi projectors, we are very cognizant of the need to have a low level of operating noise, and our projectors have consistently low noise levels. So, installing our projectors from the ceiling directly above the audience is not an issue. In addition, this offers our customers the flexibility of making the standard lens work, thus eliminating the need to purchase optional lenses. However, if the customer already has a projection booth, or a place where an existing projector is to be mounted, we do offer optional lenses to fit their particular installation.

Sony: Our largest projectors, which include the SXRD series (SRX-T110, 10K lumens), should be mounted in a projection booth.

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