Casio started the lamp-free solid state trend a number of years ago with their hybrid (LED and laser) solution. But since then, they don’t seem to have innovated much beyond this initial platform as others are now eclipsing them with RGB laser, laser-phosphor and all LED solutions (particularly the new ColorSpark LED solution from Philips Lighting).
At InfoComm 2015, we spoke with the company and discovered they were not announcing any new products, but they were highlighting applications for their lamp-free projectors. These units are quite small and are inexpensive. The EcoLite XJ-V1 model is XGA resolution and offers a rated brightness of 2700 lumens for only $699. This is still a bit more than a lamp-based equivalent projector, however, it does offer the lamp-free benefits.
On the downside, these projectors are significantly over rated on their lumen output and will likely be in under 500 lumens if placed in the sRGB mode for better color reproduction. Schools seem to be less concerned with color accuracy however, so the bright mode will likely be how these projectors are mostly used.
Recent improvements include a sealed optical block to minimize dust issues and a 5-year or 10K hour light source lifetime warranty.
The company was also boasting about their selection as the first solid state (and maybe any) projector to be used on the International Space Station. They are apparently also getting good traction in the bowling alley segment as this was also highlighted in the booth.