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Technology Showcase: Corporate Projectors

Apr 13, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

Today's business projectors squeeze clever features into smaller packages.


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Barco CLM R10+

Barco CLM R10+

This reflects the growing interest in emphasizing green technologies such as eco operational modes that trade output luminance for longer lamp life. This has been prompted in part by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which began its development in 1994 under the inspiration of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Senior Scientist Robert K. Watson. LEED is a green-building rating system now administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit coalition of building-industry leaders. LEED certification allows a corporation to take advantage of a growing number of local- and state-government incentives for environmentally safe engineering.

For cradle-to-grave environmental protection concerns that could affect the future choice of projection systems for corporate installations, there is also the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive adopted by the European Union in 2003. WEEE is intended to reduce electronics waste from surplus electronics in land fills, including up to 38 separate chemical elements, to make equipment manufacturers financially responsible for their products at the end of their lives. This is a proposal also referenced under a policy known as extended producer responsibility (EPR). Many U.S. environmental watchdog groups are urging official adoption of WEEE standards. California has already lead the way with the 2003 Electronic Waste Recycling Act. The act placed an electronic-waste-recycling fee on all new monitors and televisions sold to cover the cost of recycling. Large-screen plasmas are already in the sights of green activists. Will projectors be far behind?

The reality is people are no longer impressed just by the novelty of having a projector in a presentation room. They want reliability, quiet operation, ease of setup and use, a predictable overall cost of ownership, and lower power consumption along with environmental considerations. Even portability is receiving greater interest because although fixed-installation projectors are still the norm, many budgets can be stretched if the display device can be moved from room to room. Fortunately, projector manufacturers have responded with innovative designs and an ever-widening variety of projector offerings, many boasting some frankly clever operational features. Here is a look at some of the most interesting projectors being offered now and in the near future for corporate installations.

Introducing the first high-brightness WXGA (1280x800) super-close DLP projectors, 3M has brought out its SCP740 and SCP717 short-throw projectors. The 3000-lumen SCP717 features BrilliantColor technology‚ DVI-D connectivity‚ two computer/component RGB inputs, an RJ-45 Ethernet connection, and an integrated wind-tunnel design to minimize heat and fan noise. Like its brighter brother, the 2600-lumen SCP740 benefits from 3M's patented Vikuiti technology, which allows larger images from a shorter distance. It also comes with a WEEE card (EMEA).

3M also offers the corporate world its MPro110 handheld projector boasting an LED light source and, uniquely in this class, a VGA connection. With the MPro110, you can give Microsoft PowerPoint presentations with an image size of up to 50in. (diagonal) in your cubicle.

In recent years, Barco has been concentrating on single-chip and 3-chip DLP projectors outputting 8000 lumens and more, which makes them appropriate for large corporate lecture halls and training centers. At this level, Barco now has two products to choose from: the CLM R10+ with SXGA resolution and its sister, the CLM HD8, which provides full HD resolution (1920x1080). The new CLM HD8 has an 8000-lumen light output, and the compact CLM R10+ has a 10,000-lumen light output. The combination of DLP technology, sealed optics, and a high-density filter ensures that they will deliver superb images year after year without expensive and time-consuming maintenance.



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