Emerging Projection Technologies

Home theater with Doctor Who theme

There is no doubt that the flat LCD TV has completely changed the face of the planet with regard to both home and commercial use. But many people still feel that for the most accurate theater experience is delivered by a projector and a screen. The main motivating difference is the incredible size of the picture that this type of display can deliver.

The greatest obstacle one encounters with front projection technology is ambient light. This problem occurs because the screen, up until recently, did not know the difference between light coming from the projector and light coming from windows, lamps, or other sources in the room. Therefore projection systems have been limited to dark rooms with no windows and minimal lighting while the system is being used.

That has changed a lot in recent days. The innovation of screens that reject unwanted light occurred right here in Austin Texas when local company Screen Innovations developed a screen material that would reflect light coming from a specific angle. Since the projector is typically in line with the top of the screen and ambient light comes from other angles this technology was a major breakthrough. This technology has continued to evolve and when combined with brighter theater projectors has opened up projection to a whole new world of possibilities.

When dealing with ambient light the brighter the projector the better. Up until a few years ago that meant brighter bulbs and more of them. These bulbs had an average lifespan of 500 to 1000 hours and were very expensive to replace. Then along came two new technologies that do not use lamps as the primary light source.

Laser light engines are completely solid state and can develop enormous amounts of light without lamps. The other great aspect of this new technology is that it has at least ten times the lifespan. This means very little standard maintenance for these projection system. Digital Projection International makes several models using this technology. Ranging from the single chip E-Vision 8500 Lumen projector up to the Insight 4K Laser with massive 12,000 Lumen output and 4096 X 2160 resolution.

Laser isn’t the only exciting new technology to hit the projection playing field. With the innovation of very high output LED technology we can experience color and dynamic range in a projector that has never been seen before. LED light engines in projectors offer all kinds of advantages including low power consumption, incredible color depth and very low heat dissipation. The dynamic contrast of these new LED projection system is off the charts as well. Although you don’t have the enormous light output of laser these systems performance and relatively low cost makes them a great choice for home theater applications.

With all this new technology it is a better time than ever to consider a projection video display for your home or business.

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