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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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InFocus: In the 3000 lumen to 5000 lumen range, InFocus offers both DLP and LCD projectors. We are exploring the feasibility of LED for future projection solutions. In the immediate future, we are looking at the ability of DLP to provide higher lumens and extend its benefits (24x7 capabilities, no filter maintenance, five-year optics warranty) to more applications.

Mitsubishi: Our projectors use UHP type of lamps, because these lamps provide the best efficiency. LED seems to be a very interesting technology, especially since it has a longer life than traditional projector lamps, as well as the ability to operate at a cool temperature and eliminate any waiting times for a traditional lamp to warm up or cool down. It should be interesting to see how LED technology competes with traditional lamp technology when LEDs are able to generate brighter lumen output.

NEC: Presently, NEC uses NSH lamps and continues to look at all light sources in the marketplace. NEC views LED and laser as possible light sources for projectors, but realizes that reaching the brightness levels that conference rooms require is still a few years out. A technology trend NEC sees as most interesting is the adoption and capability of networking, both wired and wireless, and how it will move forward.

Panasonic: Panasonic’s projectors use AC Lamps, which are manufactured by Panasonic. AC lamps are more stable than DC lamps, and less of their output is lost than that of DC lamps. AC lamps only lose 15 percent to 20 percent of their output, while DC lamps can lose up to 50 percent.

Projectiondesign: Projectiondesign uses Philips UHP VIDI lighting technology. As the LED technology evolves, we see future potential with the reductions in packaging and cooling attributes that make LED more efficient and environmentally friendly.

SIM2: For projectors, LED could be a real option only for small screen applications and surely for rear projection. But we are not thinking to widely incorporate it on professional projectors before brightness output and power consumption improve. Theoretically, lasers are more promising for high brightness applications. However on the UHP side of the business, there is still room for performance increase and cost effectiveness, at least in the mid-term.

Sony: Ultra high pressure lamps are typically used today. They are the most economical. LED and lasers are still a ways away for this application.

Is a 16x9 output an important criteria?

3M: Yes, projectors today must gradually match the resolution of the next wave of laptops (mainly 16x10 widescreen). The business segment will adapt quicker due to the need for maximizing screen content. The education market will follow suit.

Christie: Widescreen is definitely a consideration as more applications and hardware manufacturers design the resolution around widescreen formats, including 16:10.

Hitachi: 16x10 (not 16x9) is very important, because most laptops are made in 16x10 format.

Mitsubishi: Yes, this is definitely an important criterion. Newer computers have migrated to this screen format already, and videos are going wide in digital format. So given this growing density in source resolution, users should consider 16:9 support in the projectors they install to future-proof their installation.

Panasonic: With most high-definition television programs and almost all feature-length films today being shot in 16x9 format, customers look to manufacturers to provide those same capabilities for their own uses.

Projectiondesign: We believe 16x9 and 16x10 are important for the purpose of facilitating the presenter to display their content at its native rate. Because of this reason, projectiondesign produces wide UXGA projectors to match today’s 1920x1200 Windows and laptop resolution.

Are you finding large flatpanel displays competing with your projection choices? If so, which?

3M: I believe that flatpanels will have their own place in the business and retail market. The predominant segment will be the consumer market due to the focus on video optimization. Larger sizes (50in. and up) will still require high energy consumption, will be very heavy, and will require special costly installations. Also, having the versatility of projection sizes with a single unit is a feature which will always be essential.

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