What’s new in 3D projectors

3D projectors were the stars of the show at CEDIA 2010.

Multiple manufacturers, including Sharp and JVC to name a few, debuted their latest offerings for viewing the third dimension.

We’ve got the rundown.

3D projectors from Sharp

Sharp, already a leader in the 3D projectors for business and education realm, debuted a 3D-ready DLP projector at this year’s CEDIA. Hometheaterreviews.com reported the new Sharp XV-Z17000 projector has a rated contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and brightness of 1,600 lumens. It comes with two pairs of active-shutter 3D glasses and should be available in early 2011. Best guesses at an MSRP put the Sharp XV-Z17000 projector at about $5,000.

3D projectors from JVC

JVC announced 6 new 3D-ready projectors, ranging in price from $4,495 to $11,995, reported Hometheaterreviews.com. The JVC DLA-RS60, JVC DLA-RS50 and JVC DLA-RS40 are geared for professionals. 3D home theater enthusiasts get their pick from the JVC DLA-X9, JVC DLA-X7 and JVC DLA-X3. These are expected to hit the scene in late November.

3D projectors from Sony

The VPLVW90ES (MSRP $10,000), first announced at the IFA show in Berlin, is similar to the JVC units in many ways. Both use active glasses technology, reports CNET. The VPLVW90ES includes two pairs of glasses. They are the same $150 models used by Sony’s 3D LCD TVs. Unlike the JVC projectors, the required IR emitter is built into the unit.

3D projectors from Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi launched its latest home theater projector, the Diamond 3D 1080p, at CEDIA. The LCoS unit is capable of producing 100+ inch images at a 120,000:1 contrast. The Diamond 3D projector has an auto-iris function and a 120Hz refresh rate. Users can tweak the color, intensity and brightness, as well as individual red, green, cyan, magenta and yellow colors through the independent management function, reports Electronicista.com. No word on the 3D protocol used, pricing or availability.

Optoma and 3D projection

Optoma‘s new 3D-XL converter box enables 720p 3D projectors to play 3D Blu-ray discs through their HDMI inputs. This is big news. Before, 720p projectors were only able to receive content from a PC through a VGA or DVI cable, which could reduce the image quality to a lousy 480i.

Expect this to hit the shelves later this year. The price is a rumored $400.

“The 3D-XL is an important product for the market right now,” Jon Grodern, senior director of product and marketing for Optoma, told MaximumPC.com. “It gives a large installed base a way to embrace 3D life without having to make a new, expensive investment.”

Which innovations in 3D technology are you waiting for?

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Free HDMI cable with purchase of select projectors!

Happy 4th of July from the Projector People

Happy Fourth of July from the Projector People!

In honor of Independence Day, we’re offering a free professional grade Comprehensive HDMI cable, a $25 value, with the purchase of select home theater projectors, including top-of-the-line models from Mitsubishi, Epson, Panasonic and more.

Use the coupon code “JULYFOURTH.”

This projector coupon code is valid from July 2 through July 5.

Check out our selection of home theater projectors here »

Easy Digital Signage: “If you can put together an iTunes playlist, you can do this.”

We were recently visited by Brian from Mitsubishi who demonstrated his company’s very cool, and very simple, digital signage system.

Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows information, advertising and other messages. You may have seen digital signage screens at the grocery store, the mall or the doctor’s office. Digital signage is a great means for relaying information and enhancing customer experience.

When Brian demonstrated Mitsubishi’s setup, he used a school’s digital signage system as an example. The screen flashed the school calendar, a principal’s message and footage from a recent award ceremony. You could see how effective something like this would be for education and small businesses.

Check out the video below or on our YouTube page.

In the past, setting up digital signage was a time-consuming and expensive process. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars and days of training.

The entire Mitsubishi digital signage setup – player, LCD screen and software – starts at $1,449 and set up is so easy, even Brian can do it! (Note, this is the same man who had to ask his son to set up his iPod.)

Check out our digital signage packages here»

“Anybody who can put together a PowerPoint slide show can do this.”

~ Brian from Mitsubishi

Real quick, let’s go into the components of the Mitsubishi digital signage setup. They are:

  • Digital Signage Player: Technically, this is called a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer.) It’s basically an 80-gig computer that runs your digital signage system. Unlike a PC, it doesn’t have an operating system, which means it won’t crash. This player is used widely throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, including on the monorail systems in Las Vegas. It plays graphics, text and video clips.

  • LCD Display: Mitsubishi’s monitors are available in 32-inch (720p), 42-inch (720 and 1080), 46, 52 and 65-inch (1080p) displays. All monitors are commercial-grade and backed by an impressive 3-year warranty. You can hook up more than one monitor to each digital signage player. All monitors hooked up to the player will display the same message.

  • Software: The software allows you to program the videos and messages that appear in the different zones on the monitor. The software is available as a free download.

“Think of this as digital signage with training wheels.”

~ Brian from Mitsubishi

The Mitsubishi digital signage system can run 24/7, but to keep the warranty valid you must turn it off for one hour per week. So what’s that? 24/6 plus 23/1?

Brian said most of his customers are either digital signage newbies who appreciate the simplicity and affordability of the Mitsubishi application, or business owners who found other means of digital signage too cumbersome and costly.

Granted, the more expensive digital signage setups do have more bells and whistles than Mitsubishi’s. For example, they can be hooked up to inventory trackers and promote overstock items. However, most schools and small businesses don’t need all the fancy extras.