From CRT to Lamps to Laser
Video projectors have come a long way. They used to be large, heavy and not very bright, utilizing red, green and blue cathode ray tubes that needed to be aligned just right to achieve the best image. With chip production being more commonplace, manufacturers engineered a new solution. A chip based image processor (ie. LCD, DLP or LCOS chip) and utilized a lamp as the light source. This enabled the projectors to get smaller, brighter and less expensive. But the cost of lamps, the visible loss of brightness as they age and shorter life span have been a major setback for lamps. LEDs have been used as an alternative, but they haven't been able to achieve the brightness level needed for video projection like we are seeing with laser. The other advantages of laser have been faster startup times, better contrast and black levels, and lifespans equivalent to LED (20,000 hours+). As more and more laser based projectors have started becoming available the price has been coming down even as the quality goes up. JVC was one of the first manufacturers to make available true 4k laser projectors (we now have the JVC DLA-RS2100 on display) and we are eagerly anticipating more models from other manufacturers such as the highly anticipated Epson LS-12000. Stay tuned!!