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Large Venue Projectors Technology Showcase

More options for high-brightness projectors.

Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.

Barco XLM HD30

The market for what once was called “large venue projectors” is rapidly changing as the technology evolves, prices come down, and large flatpanel displays are increasingly considered competitors. Even the definition of large venue projectors has evolved as their applications are being expanded.

Traditionally, the most liberal definition of a large venue projector has been the one InfoComm used for its Large Venue Display Gallery, or more specifically, a projector that can put out at least 5000 ANSI lumens onto a screen 100in. in diagonal size or greater. But today, many other features would be considered necessary for a projector that is too big for a boardroom, yet too small for an outdoor arena. So modern large venue projectors also need to be equipped with sophisticated networking capabilities, interchangeable lenses, redundant lamps and power supplies, flexible remote controls, and as many different inputs as possible.

A key factor in this classification is the ability to view the projector’s output on a screen in a room filled with ambient light since few audiences outside of a digital cinema are comfortable sitting in near total darkness. In fact, in house of worship installations, contractors need to keep in mind that the whole interior may be bathed in various forms of light. Therefore, contrast ratio is very important in evaluating a choice of large venue projectors that are going to be used in rooms where some of the lights are still on, with many considering 100:1 contrast ratio to be the useable minimum.

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Another new wrinkle in the large venue projectors game is the budding call for 3D capability. Not only does this imply a refresh rate of at least 120Hz, but it also requires various forms of decoding capabilities not all of which have been standardized yet. But with SMPTE looking to announce standards for 3D mastering by early next year, we can expect to see Z-space images popping out in large venues for both entertainment and scientific presentations.

Fortunately, the two major imaging sources for projectors of this size—LCD panels from 3LCD and DLP micromirror arrays from Texas Instruments—have been increasing their capabilities to make it possible to fulfill these increased output requirements.

Once limited to significantly lower light output, 3LCD projectors can now put out up to 15,000 lumens and can be stacked if even more light is needed in situations unshielded from ambient light. Since 3LCD projectors are 3-chip RGB designs, they claim more energy efficiency per-lumen output, and since the pixel area and aperture ratio within the chips have increased, former concerns over the “screen door” effect that affected some earlier LCD projectors have been overcome by a larger active area letting more light through. In addition, with the ability of manufacturers to scale the chips up to 1.8in., 3LCD projectors have gained significantly in their output capability.

DLP micromirror sets from Texas Instruments are also capable of handling higher light energy than before. DLP sets now come in sizes including .55in. for education and corporate implementations up to 5000 lumens, and a 0.7in. platform is being used for the majority of large venue projectors. As manufacturers add their own icing to the DLP cake, they are getting increasingly creative about how they direct the light reflecting off all those tiny micromirrors, so DLP large venue projectors are now sharing almost half the market.

One of the advantages DLP technology provides is that since the chip is completely sealed, it resists the speckling from unwanted dust that can plague other designs. DLP proponents also tout the technology’s lack of color decay over time since the light is divided by a multi-segmented color wheel whose chrominance does not shift with use. The more expensive 3-chip DLP designs have traditionally ruled the high end, but with the advent of Texas Instruments’ BrilliantColor technology, even single-chip DLP light engines can emulate the color gamut of their larger brothers (if you don’t mind seeing the color wheel artifact). Of course, many projector manufacturers are adding their own secret sauce to allow single-chip DLP projectors to move into the large venue projector arena.

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Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.

Recognizing that there are now many variables in the large venue projectors available for pro AV installations, it has become a robust market space. Pacific Media Associates, a high-tech market research and publishing firm that specializes in providing information on large screen display products, estimates that in 2008, there were more than 28,000 projectors capable of at least 5000 lumens bringing in revenues of $325 million.

Many don’t apply the “large venue projector” label to a model that can’t put out less than 10,000 lumens, with a respectful bow to their makers’ undoubted brightness, but in an attempt to be as inclusive as possible, here is a look at models including those with 5000-lumen output that their manufacturers qualify as large venue projectors.

Barco XLM HD30

Barco CLM HD8

If performance outshines cost considerations for a large venue projector, Barco claims its XLM HD30 projector is the brightest projector available on the market today with  a light output of 30,000 center lumens thanks to its 6.3kW Xenon lamp. As what the company claims is the first DLP projector with a native widescreen aspect ratio and native 2048×1080 resolution, the XLM HD30 features a fully sealed DMD engine and high contrast ratio (at least 1600:1). Built to work around the clock, the XLM HD30 projector is a sturdy single box/cabinet projector.

If money is indeed a factor, Barco would suggest its CLM HD8, a cost-effective, compact 8500-lumen DLP projector with full HD (1920×1080) resolution. Priced in the same range as high-brightness LCD projectors, the CLM HD8 offers a number of advantages not only in image quality but also in image consistency and running costs. The combination of DLP technology, sealed optics, and high-density filter ensures that Barco’s CLM HD8 will deliver superb images year after year.

BenQ SP920P

As a 6000-lumens dual-lamp large venue projector system with Philips VIDI technology, BrilliantColor, Crestron Certification, and a 2000:1 contrast ratio, the SP920P from BenQ has the singular ability to transform the latest progressive morphing technology into an affordable public display solution. The SP920P uses Coolux’s highly advanced morphing software for projecting large, complex public displays such as 360-degree domes, spheres, and unconventional forms for concerts, museums, and staging. It is available from BenQ at one-third the previous cost of a projector with such capability. BenQ claims its SP920P exemplifies the way innovative engineering can keep projection possibilities looking great while staying affordable.

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Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.

Canon LV-7585

Canon’s LV-7585 multimedia projector has its lens positioned in the center for ease of placement during ceiling-mount installation. With new design features to enhance its efficiency in mounting and operation and its brilliant 6500 ANSI lumens, the Canon LV-7585 also boasts a side-loading, easy-access replacement lamp and a revolutionary autowinding filter system, which automatically winds forward to expose a new, clean section of filter. It offers the flexibility of using its standard 1.3X

Canon Optics zoom lens with power lens shift (horizontal and vertical) or any one of four optional high-quality Canon interchangeable lenses, including an ultrawide-angle zoom, a wide-angle zoom, a long-focus zoom, or an ultra-long-focus zoom, and its optional LV-NI02 network imager enables users to send presentations to the LV-7585 via the network while allowing for a variety of network control, monitoring, and image-projection functions.

Christie Digital Systems M Series

Christie Digital Systems LX1500

The Christie Digital Systems M Series now includes four resolutions: WXGA (1366×768), SX+ (1400×1050), HD (1920×1080), and WUXGA (1920×1200)—all with a variable contrast ratio of 2500:1 to 10,000:1. A prime example of the Christie M Series, the HD10K-M, is a dual-mercury-lamp, 3-chip DLP projector with all the high-end features such as warping, blending, and tiled array as standard from its 10,000-lumen output. Christie claims this class of product is a prime candidate for the redefinition of pro AV large venue projectors.

Christie claims that its brightest, most cost-efficient 3LCD large venue projector, the Christie LX1500, is the world’s brightest projector in its class, delivering 15,000 ANSI lumens brightness from an advanced four-lamp, 3LCD optical engine. The LX1500 combines native XGA resolution and 2000:1 contrast ratio with the latest 10-bit image processing for flawless image reproduction. It is compatible with digital and analog signal formats from XGA data to 1080i video, with a range of optical input modules including digital blending/warping, SDO, and HD-SDI. Since the LX1500 is a body-only format projector, the available lens suite includes 11 lenses with throw ratios from 0.8:1 through 9.0:1, combined with horizontal and vertical lens shift for a broad range of installation options.

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Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.

DPI iVision sx+ W-3D

The new Lightning 45-1080p (30,000 ANSI lumens and 2000:1 contrast ratio) projector from Digital Projection International (DPI) includes DPI’s advanced Intelligent Lens Memory (ILM), which allows the projector to store specific lens zoom, shift, and focus values to up to 10 preset positions. The Lightning 45-1080p incorporates DPI’s CoolTek engineering, which ensures the projector delivers the highest lumen performance with the lowest power consumption, thermal (BTU), and noise level (dBA) output.

In addition to its 3-chip 3D offerings, DPI is offering two active 3D projectors in its single-chip projector lineup: the iVision sx+ 3D, which is equipped with a standard zoom lens, and the iVision sx+ W-3D, which is equipped with a short-throw-ratio fixed lens. At the 3-chip level, DPI’s new Titan 3D product range is composed of eight distinct projectors (including the CEDIA award-winning TITAN 1080p Dual 3D) featuring Texas Instruments’ 3-chip DLP technology with fast-transit pixels for smooth grayscale and improved contrast. The Titan 3D product line offers brightness up to 9000 ANSI lumens and a contrast ratio up to a spectacular 5000:1. For active 3D applications demanding the highest lumen performance, DPI’s new Lightning 3D offers the same source compatibility and imaging capabilities as the Titans, while producing up to 21,000 ANSI lumens and 4000:1 contrast.

Dukane’s all new ImagePro 8950P large venue LCD projector uses three 1.3in. polysilicon inorganic TFTs, puts out 7500 lumens through selectable lenses, and features networkable control capabilities. With a 2500:1 contrast ratio, 10-bit full digital video processing, and a filter life of 10,000 hours, the 8950P gives you XGA resolution (1024×768), ultrawide-range lens shift (2.7 screens vertical and 2.2 screens horizontal), and six bayonet-style lens options.

In addition, Dukane’s ImagePro 8952P is a 7000-lumens model with long-life inorganic LCD optics, a mechanical shutter for Blank mode, SXGA (1400×1080) resolution, highly versatile connectivity, and powered lens shift and powered focusing. Finally, the company’s ImagePro 8951P brings most of the same features with a 6500 lumens output.

Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL

The newest large venue projector that Epson announced this year at InfoComm, the PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL, is the company’s flagship multimedia projector in the PowerLite Pro line designed for large venues. The PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL is the first high-
definition, high-brightness (6000 lumens) WUXGA projector (1920×1200 native resolution) to use Epson’s cost-efficient 3LCD technology. The Z8000WUNL offers 5000:1 contrast ratio, an innovative liquid-cooling system, durable optical panels, and a dual-lamp design. This new model features Epson’s high-aperture 3-chip 3LCD technology for more intense and sharper images, and it features a centered lens design for easy installation. It can be installed ±30 degrees off-axis horizontally and ±10 degrees off-axis vertically.

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Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.

Hitachi CP-WX11000

The LCD panels and polarizers in Hitachi’s CP-SX12000 series can output 7000 lumens and are made of inorganic, UV-resistant materials, resulting in a longer operating life. Its SXGA+ (1400×1050) resolution lets you to view 1.9 times more content on larger documents and spreadsheets. The Projector Management Application (PJMan) in the
CP-SX12000 allows users to monitor and control multiple projectors over a LAN. A network bridge (serial pass-through) allows you to send RS-232 commands to the projector via the Ethernet commands pass-through, allowing you to control external devices such as TV tuners and visual presenters.

In addition, Hitachi’s CP-WX11000 large venue projector provides 6500 lumens using WXGA resolution (1366×800) with an aspect ratio of 17:10, making the CP-WX11000 compatible with today’s widescreen laptop computers while providing a 30 percent larger picture than a standard 4:3 projector. The CP-WX11000’s 2500:1 contrast ratio with mechanical iris is automatically controlled to ensure the best image contrast and depth perspective during both bright and dark scenes.

The InFocus IN5534 large venue projector featuring DLP DarkChip liquid-cooled DMD technology with InFocus’ own implementation of BrilliantColor has a brightness of 7000 lumens, WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution, and state-of-the-art motorized lens adjustments for greater installation flexibility. The IN5534 blends the best of legacy analog inputs with rich digital connectivity, giving you full access to a range of sources with maximum flexibility. Embedded wired and wireless DisplayLink ensures hassle-free, plug-and-project connectivity over USB every time. You can also choose PC-free playback via a standard USB stick with the InFocus LitePort to present the latest 16:9 or 16:10 video and computer formats from high-definition input sources. Additional features such as automatic ceiling detection and keystone correction ensure crisp, square, and centered images, while adjusting images to bowed or imperfect surfaces.

Mitsubishi XL6500U

Mitsubishi FL7000U

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America’s Presentation Products Division presents its XL6500U, which shines at 6000 lumens in XGA (1024×768 pixels) native resolution using three robust 1.3in. inorganic LCD panels that are durable and show brilliant, intense colors. This projector boasts a 4000-hour lamp life rating when operated in lamp-life-conserving low mode, and it provides electronically controlled zoom, focus, and lens-shift adjustments in fast and step modes to fit all screen types and sizes easily and quickly.

Mitsubishi also offers the FL7000U, the company’s first 5000-lumen 1080p HD projector with a 1000:1 contrast ratio that uses three 1.1in. 3LCD inorganic panels. The FL7000U’s 1920×1080 HD resolution makes it perfect for applications such as medical imaging, CAD/CAM designs, and geospatial mapping. The FL7000U can create side-by-side images for enhanced videoconferencing applications that include a live video feed and simultaneous presentations on the same screen.

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Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.


Just last August, NEC released its NP4100W projector, a WXGA wide-aspect-ratio DLP design with the ability to display 5500 ANSI lumens and five optional bayonet-style lenses for quick and easy exchange. The NP4100W combines advanced features that extend the life of the projector and minimize maintenance needs including Eco mode, which increases lamp life by up to 50 percent for 3,000-hour lamp life and decreases fan noise; Quick Power Off technology, which protects the lamp during cool down; and a sealed dust-resistant optical system that enables better picture quality and reduces maintenance. An optional six-segment color wheel is available on the NP4100W for applications requiring extremely rich color saturation. The NP4100W is compatible as either dual- or single-lamp operation and features selectable settings, which allow for multiple light outputs to extend lamp life.

Panasonic PT-D6000US

Panasonic’s PT-D6000US takes single-chip DLP projectors to a new brightness threshold of 6500 lumens and claims new levels of color reproduction (up to 145 percent of conventional models) with the aid of the newly engineered RGB Booster, Panasonic’s proprietary Vivid Color Control technology, and a newly engineered lamp modulation drive system. Advanced image-processing circuits in the PT-D6000US analyze the video signal frequency range for each scene by extracting data on the distribution of high-, mid-, and low-frequency components, and they bring out fine details accordingly. Maintenance is simplified by the PT-D6000US’s autocleaning filter, which makes filter cleaning unnecessary for approximately 10,000 hours.

projectiondesign F80

Norway’s projectiondesign would recommend its first 3-chip DLP projector, the F80, for large venue installations. It offers up to 8000 ANSI lumens of brightness and an unprecedented contrast ratio of up to 10,000:1 thanks to contrast-enhancement technologies that are unique to projectiondesign and a world first in 3-chip DLP projectors, according to the company. Key features in projectiondesign’s F80 include infinitely adjustable iris and aperture settings and motorized zoom, focus, and shift with memory for use in multiple settings with programmed calibration. By combining fixed and motorized optical filters for each color channel, the projector can be optically calibrated with near infinite accuracy. Most importantly, every lens for the F80 uses low-dispersion (LD) aspherical glass elements for high-quality focusing and sharpness, as well as high optical interfield contrast, resulting in very high perceived image quality.

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Large Venue Projectors

Oct 12, 2009 12:00 PM,
By Jay Ankeney

More options for high-brightness projectors.

Sanyo PDG-DET100L

Sanyo PLC-WTC500L

Sanyo says its PDG-DET100L is the brightest DLP projector in its class, rated at 7500 lumens with a SXGA-compatible resolution of 1400×1050. The PDG-DET100L is outfitted with two 330W VIDI UHP lamps, contributing to its increased light output efficiency. To achieve high brightness and rich color reproduction, it is equipped with Sanyo’s unique user-changeable, two-color-wheel system.

Sanyo is also part of the LCD camp, however. The company’s PLC-WTC500L LCD projector, called a “RGB liquid crystal shutter projection” system, achieves a high brightness of 5000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 3000:1. Both models are equipped with Sanyo’s exclusive Active Maintenance Filter (AMF) system, which detects air blocks or clogs, then scrolls the filter reel to the next clean filter.

Sharp XG-P560W

The XG-P610X from Sharp features the Sharp Computer and Video Integrated Composer (CV-IC II) color-management system, which means the level of color shade, chroma, and tone can be individually set for each of the six primary and secondary colors (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta), permitting much more subtle and accurate color adjustments. The XG-P610X achieves its 6000 ANSI lumens with its advanced 3-chip DLP optical engine with an estimated lifetime of 20,000 hours and dual 280W lamps.

Sharp also offers the XG-P560W outputting 5200 ANSI lumens. Using the Film mode, both the XG-P560W and XG-P610X can accurately reproduce movie film recorded in 24Hz progressive format. (This mode also includes 2:2 pulldown for PAL signals including 50fps images.)

The VPL-FH300L projector is Sony’s first fixed-installation business projector featuring 2Kx1K resolution (2048×1080) at 6000 lumens brightness from three 1.2in. Sony TFT LCD panels. The installation flexibility of Sony’s VPL-FH300L is enhanced with five lens options and the ability to tilt the projector freely on the vertical axis. This new “larger venue” projector features a two-lamp system that uses two low-wattage lamps (275W) in an opposed layout, and thanks to its ultra-quiet performance, the VPL-FH300L can be used in the same room as the audience without being a distraction.

In addition, Sony’s “advanced installation” model  VPL-FX41 projector boasts 5200-lumen brightness, 3LCD technology, and XGA resolution for high image quality. The VPL-FX41 accepts a wide range of input signals including HDMI, component and composite video, S-Video (Y/C), and computer signals up to UXGA (fV: 60Hz). It incorporates 12-bit 3D Gamma correction circuitry, achieving uniform image color and brightness that extends right to the corners of the screen.

ViewSonic PJ1173

Last June, ViewSonic launched its brightest projector, the PJ1173, with a 5000-lumen output combined with a 1024×768 native resolution and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. The PJ1173 features manual zoom, horizontal and vertical keystone correction, and a full-function remote with mouse control and laser pointer that allows presenters to highlight key points without interruption. The projector also includes advanced features such as progressive scan and video noise reduction for smooth motion performance when viewing video, animation, or interactive web pages, and it offers multiple input capabilities including HDMI 1.3 to support up to a 1080p signal. ViewSonic has also included enhanced security features such as PIN lock protection and transition detector to prevent unauthorized usage, theft, and repositioning.

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