Projector People at Infocomm 2008 – Day Two

More Cool New Stuff : PP at Infocomm 2008

More from our Projector People team on the showroom floor at Infocomm 2008. Again we should have photos and more information in future posts. Whenever possible we will link to other tech sites covering the technology too.

What if They Made a Projector without a Lamp?

new PhlatLightLED

DLP technology from Texas Instruments asked, and answered, the question of a lampless projector at this year’s Infocomm trade show. The new technology utilizes LED technology (version called PhlatLight Light Emitting Diode has been used in LCD TVs) in place of the DLP color wheel and mirror and light engine. Instead of a spinning red, blue, and green color wheel, there are RBG LEDs which plus rapidly to create the color.

The new product is the first of its kind with a regular sized chassis, but many new projectors using LED technology have been released for cell phones and so-called “pocket” projectors.

So what are the benefits? For starters, you could kiss the $200 – $500 cost of a replacement lamp goodbye along with any of the hassle of caring for it. That is good news for consumers who might have been hesitant to incur future costs after the purchase. It may also mean a dramatic increase in consumers choosing projectors as a primary display source, as the lamp life would be comparable to that of LCD and plasma TVs. Also, as we have seen with the pocket projectors, the lamp lack also allows for smaller footprints and even more portable opportunities. The fan will also not be required to cool that hot lamp, which means nearly silent operation and less energy consumption.

But wait, there’s more! With the new LED-based DLP technology, the color space possible for a projector is increased beyond that of traditional lamp’d projectors up to 50%. That’s a big benefit for the folks in the DLP camp, since color has been one area where they have been consistently challenged by 3LCD.

Are there any drawbacks to this new technology? Well for one, it’s new. So even though you won’t pay to replace the lamp, there will probably be a premium to pay initially. It’s not yet available to the general public yet, and won’t be for a while. And some reporting on the scene mention the color is not quite “lifelike” and has a bit of a red haze.

“But what about brightness?” you may ask. A good question, since previous LED projectors were in the 25 – 100 lumen range. The latest incarnation on the tradeshow floor is said to be very bright. TI claims a brightness from 500 – 1000 lumens, which was once considered a benchmark for home theater projectors. However, newer products are typically upwards of 1000 lumens. So, brightness is an issue that will probably need to improve.

But hey, nobody’s perfect on their first go. Texas Instruments says they will begin by focusing on Home Theater projection, since here is less brightness required and expects to have products released by manufacturer partners by the end of 2008. Watch us here for more updates on this potentially groundbreaking technology.

[ read more from PCWorld ]

Coming Soon from Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi HC4900

{ updated } Replacing the top selling HC4900 will be the new HC5500. What’s noteworthy about the HC5500? To start, the Mitsubishi HC5500 is reported to produce just 19db of fan noise, which is a nice improvement for home theater enthusiasts. It also has true HD 1080p resolution and a suggested retail price around $2495.

[ photo: Mitsubishi HC4900 projector ]

{ updated } The new projector is scheduled to be released in or around July 2008.

[ read press release ]

How Much Does it Cost to Go Wide?

Our projector PI’s has been looking for industry trends to share, and one point of interest has come to light. As more people begin adopting widescreen technology in business, either in their lapotop computers or high definition displays at home, the question arises, how much more does one have to spend to go widescreen?

So how much more will you pay for widescreen resolution over an equivalent 4:3 model? About $200.

That’s all for now! But stay tuned for more from our roving reports on the floor at Infocomm 2008!

Projector People at Infocomm 2008 – Day One

Cool New Stuff : PP at Infocomm 2008

Projector People has a team of technology investigators that are scouring the showroom floor looking for the hottest new products and ideas in projection technology. Here are a few quick notes. We should have photos and more information in future posts. Whenever possible we will link to other tech sites covering the technology too.

Sanyo Introduces 4LCD

new Sanyo 4LCD

You may have heard of 3LCD technology which is employed in about every LCD projector we carry. The 3LCD panel includes, as you would guess, 3 different panels. One green, one red, and one blue, which through some wizardry create the color you see on screen.

Well new 4LCD from Sanyo does color one better. Sanyo has added a yellow and green layered panel to compliment the red and blue panels which produces about 20% more shades of red and green color than is possible with 3LCD. The image, it is reported, should look more like a CRT monitor than it will a 3-chip DLP projector.

Sounds cool, but what’s the catch? Currently the panel is only available on one very high end Sanyo projector. The Sanyo PLC-XP200L is not exactly portable at 25 lbs., but it packs a wallop with 7000 ANSI lumens of brightness and should produce some great looking rich, saturated images.

The Sanyo PLC-XP200L projector is expected to ship in September and has a MSRP of $9,999. [ Read more here ]

Canon Projectors Even More Photographer Friendly : Add PictBridge

new Canon projector with PictBridge

Already a popular choice for photographers, Canon has added a feature that is sure to please professional picture takers. The new Canon REALiS SX80 will include a USB input that supports PictBridge connectivity. Just plug your digital camera into the projector to display your photos. No computer required. The SX80 uses LCoS technology, has native SXGA+(1400×1050) resolution, and is expected to list for $3,999.

Also new from Canon is the REALiS WUX10 which is reported to be the world’s first WUXGA resolution (1920×1200) projector. List price is expected to be about $12,999

[ read more here ]

New Up-Lifting Screen from Elite

new Canon projector with PictBridge

Elite screen manufacturers are the first screen company to develop a screen (called the Kestrel) that rises up out of its case. Partly sweet for it’s cool factor (your 84-100 inch screen rising up out of your cabinet), but also a nice option for home owners with high ceilings who don’t want to drop the screen from a great distance, and who want to keep their walls looking clean and modern. List price looks to be about $1,599.

Also new from Elite, the Mirage, a high gain whiteboard that comes in sizes of 60,80, and 96 inches. More on this later.

That’s all for now! But stay tuned for more from our roving reports on the floor at Infocomm 2008!