At this year’s ISE we noticed a significantly stronger emphasis on the professional installation market than the last few years, especially in the projector sector. Over the last few years quite a large number of smaller, compact projectors have been on display but this time the focus was on the installation projectors. These were often shown with ultra short throw lenses, which are very often used in edge blending applications for an extra wide screen display.
In the installation range, we have seen an greater number of laser light source projectors. In addition to Panasonic and NEC, whose laser projectors are already available, even more laser projectors from manufacturers such as BenQ and Hitachi were on display. The Laser light source projectors are particularly of interest in the installation arena as they require very little maintenance thanks to no replacement bulbs being required. Having no traditional lamp inside also means that the projectors can be positioned much more freely, for example pointing directly at the floor or on their side without any issues arising. A further advantage of the laser light source is the color representation, since they are already offering more natural colours than a conventional 1-chip DLP projector.
Another innovation we saw at the show were ultra short projectors with full HD resolution. Up until now there were very few ultra short projectors that offered a full HD resolution. However, this year NEC and Optoma presented Ultra Short Throw Projectors with 1080p resolution. This now enables us to project high definition content over a very short distance. Some UST projectors previously had a problem with edge sharpness, however this seems to have been resolved with the new models, which offer good sharpness all over.
In addition to the individual projectors on display, various exhibitors put on some very elaborate installations to demonstrate the capabilities of their products. A great example of this was on the Panasonic stand. They had a complex projection mapping and edge blending display, projected onto an extremely sleek Tesla electric car. They didn’t stop with just the car though, as the projection carried on to the background of the vehicle.
Another excellent display was found on the Optoma stand. They made use of some of their Full HD Short Throw Projectors and a curved screen to create a racing simulator. In addition to the projectors, they also had a moving driver’s seat in use, which reproduced the feeling of sitting in a race car perfectly. If you were to take the impressive seat out of the equation, and focussing on the projection, this could be re-created in a smaller scale in your own home without sky high expenses because the Optoma short throw projectors have a very attractive price.
Another highlight of the show was the Epson EH-LS10000, which was presented in a lavish home cinema room. In addition to the cinema atmosphere, the excellently balanced surround sound and a 16: 9 or Cinemascope format customisable screen made the EH-LS10000 look superb. Thanks to the laser technology, it offers excellent contrast and is unsurpassed in color reproduction. Thanks to the 4K Enhancement technology the difference of image sharpness between full HD mode was clearly visible. Its laser lamp technology also provides a very durable light source, which is a big bonus to home cinema fans as they can watch all the movies they like on their projector with lamp changes a thing of the past.