Projection Summit: Sizing Up Video Projectors

The Monday-Tuesday Projection Summit at InfoComm 2012 in Las Vegas covered everything from Laser-based digital cinema projectors, to certifying projectors for “Green”, to the rapid rise of the new “hybrid” projectors for the education market especially. According to Bill Coggshall of Pacific Media Associates the two hottest topics for projection in education are the illumination system, and interactivity. While Coggshall shied away from predicting that solid state (lamp-free projection– using LED phosphors and/or Laser light as the light source, in place of a conventional mercury lamp) would take over all low-to mid-lumen projection, he did say that the market will move from 1.5 % market share for hybrid projectors now, to 15% by 2014. Companies such as Casio, Optoma, BenQ, and Viewsonic have been offering hybrid projectors. Panasonic made major news at the Projection Summit by announcing they will introduce a hybrid projector line at InfoComm– in fact a product family, including a unit for higher education and one for digital signage. (with illumination system life of 20,000 hours). Barco, also present at the Summit yesterday, have traditionally focused on the higher end of the projector market, said they would tend to wait until lifetime gets to 50,000 hours plus, for hybrids, before releasing their own line.

Still love the big guns of the projector world? Don’t despair that the world is going all green and small. We’ll soon be seeing the Laser projector. The idea is to replace the old-school Xenon projector lamp– not with a green, lower lumen LED cluster, but this time with a laser, and you get a quantum leap in lumens. It’s projection on steroids– not for school kids, but but the big screen. Demos of this new laser projector technology are taking place all over, from Barco, Christie, NEC, among others. It’s not quite ready for prime time yet, as standards for speckle level and measurement are not set, and economies of scale are not there, but it is this breakthrough that will not just get the brightness of 3D movies on par with what consumers are used to seeing in movie theaters with standard movies, but also revolutionize the staging market.

Here are some of the Projection Summit sessions still going on today:

  • Green AV Panel Discussion
  • Participants:
  • Allen Weidman, InfoComm Sustainability Officer/STEP Foundation, Executive
  • Chris Maione, President, Chris Maione Associates
  • Annika Overodder, Business Area Mgr., Projectors; TCO Development Director

4K Projection

To 4K and Beyond - How to Ensure Quality when Implementing Future Technologies - Richard Dean, Senior V.P./Chairman, 3D@Home Consortium, THX Ltd.

This session will outline what technologies, testing and quality control processes manufacturers, standards organizations and third-party technology companies can deliver to help differentiate and deliver the best possible home theater experience through future projectors. Topics that will be addressed include the market factors that will contribute to 4K, High Frame Display and 3D adoption in the ProAV and CE markets; bridge technologies aiding in 4K adoption; standards and certifications for 4K and 3D in the home; and third-party technologies improving the 4K and 3D user experience.

Passive 3D Stereo Trends and Options

Polarization Preserving Screens: Optimizing a Passive 3D Image While Considering Performance in 2D - Steve Cook, National Consultant Relations/Design Manager, Stewart Filmscreen

This presentation will explore how distracting artifacts such as hot spots, inferior center-to-edge uniformity, and excessive color shift on silver screens can be mitigated with material such as the Silver 5D screen for passive polarization and the Reflections Active 170 3D. Cook will discuss how they are able to yield a more uniform 3D presentation for shorter throw displays, while still delivering a 2D picture with good contrast ratios and an acceptable half gain angle.

David Keene is a publishing executive and editorial leader with extensive business development and content marketing experience for top industry players on all sides of the media divide: publishers, brands, and service providers. Keene is the former content director of Digital Signage Magazine.