Casio used ISE to introduce its 6th generation of lamp-free projectors with seven new models in its Advanced series. Nothing new was announced at InfoComm.
The Advanced series consists of three XGA and four WXGA resolution models with the XGA units running from $849 to $1050 and the WXGA units going up to $2000. These are essentially laser yellow phosphor projectors that also use a red LED to provide a boost in this area. This should produce a wide color gamut – something the previous models have lacked. But the company got very defensive when we asked what the color gamut was saying they were not allowed to reveal this.
The also declined to identify the protocol used in their wireless dongle, so we kind of gave up after that sensing they were not going to be very receptive to disclosing any technical details.
Canon was showing a prototype of a 4K projector based upon their LCOS imagers and previously reported from ITEC. This is apparently the same engine as the current lamp-based projector, but the lamp has been replaced with a laser-phosphor engine. Output was said to be about 5700 lumens. No release date was offered but an expected price point of $7500 is expected.
Hitachi America added the 8000+ Series 3LCD projectors to its high-end projector line up: CP-X8800, CP-WX8650, CP-WX8750, CP-WU8600 and CP-WU8700. The 8000+ Series projectors have HDBaseT inputs, multiple interchangeable lenses, Accentualizer and High Dynamic Contrast Range (HDCR), Image Optimizer technology as well as 360º rotation capability with built-in edge blending and warping. Brightness specs range between 6000 to 8000 lumens, depending on the model. All the projectors are XGA (1024×768) or WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution.
All five models are integrated with their Color Management technology that they claim allows users to change hue, saturation and luminance of the six colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow) individually. This feature allows you to isolate the colors to only change one specific color at a time. The Accentualizer and HDCR also help by enhancing the shade, sharpness and gloss of the projection while increasing the contrast.
Additional advanced features also include motorized lens shift, zoom and focus; center lens design; picture by picture; picture in picture and DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) Simulation Mode. Every model is equipped to be compatible with five interchangeable lenses suitable for various screen sizes and installation environments. The 8000+ Series models are embedded with control capabilities compatible with Crestron Connected, AMX Device Discovery and Extron XTP.
NEC did not have any new projector announcements at InfoComm, but we have a chat with Rich McPherson. He noted that their 10K lumen laser phosphor projectors now have a shroud that sits around the lens to help restrict access in compliance with the current FDA regulations around laser illuminated displays. NEC was the only company we saw doing suggesting others are simply ignoring this ruling hoping that LIPA will resolve the issue soon.
The company did introduce a new short throw lens, which was installed on the WUXGA resolution PX 1004UL projector. This was mounted high up in the booth shining down on a screen. 4K content was being feed to the projector to shown it can now downscale and produce a nice image. It also has an OPS slot which contained the PC running the content.
Digital Projection focused attention on three new products: the Highlight II, Highlight Laser 4K and the eVision 6500/7500.
Digital Projection’s e-Vision series are 1-chip DLP models with 1920×1080 resolution. The e-Vision 6500 with 6500 lumens and an MSRP of $9,995, was shown first at ISE and is now shipping. Coming in Q3’16 will be the e-Vision 7500 (MSRP of $12,995.) they join the existing e-Vision 8500 (MSRP of $14,995).
At the high end, the company’s Highlite Laser II ships in July to join the first-gen $27,995 Highlite Laser, launched two years ago. These are laser-phosphor, 3-chip DLP projectors using a WUXGA chip set. The newest version of the Highlite Laser offers upgraded processing and electronics as well as higher brightness at 13,000 ANSI lumens, up from 11,000. This projector can operate on 110V, includes a full 120Hz processing path, HDBaseT, DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI. It will be offered for $32,995.
Also coming is the Highlight Laser 4K. This appears to be based upon the Highlight Laser II chassis but with the addition of an image shifting optic and processing to create 4K pixels on the screen. This is slated to obtain 15K lumens from the laser phosphor source. Timing for delivery and price points were not revealed.
DPI’s Insight 4K lasers use the 1.38” 4096×2160 3-chip architecture and are offered for considerably more money (3-4X). – CC