Barco Showcases Range of Laser Projectors

By Chris Chinnock

Barco did not introduce any new cinema projectors at CinemaCon, but it was showing its full range with several demo set-ups as well. RGB lasers are called “flagship laser” series and laser phosphor types are now called the “smart laser” series. Altogether, Barco offers 15 models in these two series for the cinema market.

The newest models in the smart laser series are the DP2K-32BLP and DP4K-32BLP offering 33,000 lumens with either 2K or 4K resolution. All together, Barco says they have nine smart laser models running from 10K to 33K lumens. So far, they have deployed over 1500 smart laser projectors in the cinema market in the first nine months since the series launched. That’s pretty impressive.

One of the demo rooms was showing content on a flagship laser projector with 4K resolution and a high contrast feature. Barco says this model offers 6000:1 sequential contrast and a very high 1000:1 checkerboard contrast. These models, the DP4K-20LHC and the DP4K-40LHC offer 17K and 38K lumens respectively and support 3D using a 6p system. This was one of the best images presented at CinemaCon. About 200 of the flagship laser projectors have been installed so far.

Barco also noted that there are now about 50 all laser multiplexes meaning all projectors are either RGB laser or laser phosphor types. Both types offer much longer lifetimes than Xenon lamps and consume about half the electricity, so the ROI proposition is clearly resonating with exhibitors.

The Premium Large Format (PLF) cinema market consists of perhaps 2600 screens today with 15% serviced by Barco and IMAX. Barco expects this segment, which is a prime target for flagship laser projectors, to grow to 10K screens soon. That’s a big opportunity that has Barco and competitors quite excited. – CC