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October 2017

Tough sell?

Key Points „ Small projector ownership is falling but large projector sales are climbing „ Laser-based projectors sales are set to overtake lamp devices within a few years „ Total cost of ownership can be up to 50% lower for laser devices „ Laser projectors have longer lamp life with more consistent colours and can be mounted in any orientation „ Opportunities exist for integrators to deliver add-on devices and consultancy for large venue applications

Much has been said about the fall in projector sales over the last few years. Steve Montgomery continues our special report by finding out what those on the frontline think about how to make money in this market


ales of projectors throughout the world have declined rapidly as flat panel displays have increased in size and fallen in price. Research by market analyst Futuresource Consulting indicates that in the corporate sector, the primary target market for smaller projectors, ownership of projectors is expected to fall by 10% by 2018, while flat panel displays will rise by 25%; and this declining projector trend is accelerating. Set against an overall rise in the total number of meeting rooms, huddle rooms and collaboration areas, this is a little concerning for projector manufacturers and installers dedicated solely to this technology. However, there is still sufficient demand to create significant business revenues. John Dykes, Casio’s business development manager, points out: “The education sector remains an important market for projection but with the advent of videoconferencing, the corporate market is seeing hundreds of new meeting rooms being created each week. Distributors are offering a complete package of interactive flat panels, projection and flat panel displays to satisfy the needs of the market and to offer integrators a full range of products to suit each application. 4K is set to go from strength to strength for the projector market. The increase in resolution of content and the rise of BYOD devices across learning environments means that displays technology must be futureproofed and produce a good quality image.”

New opportunities The market for projectors in other sectors is booming and the launch of new technologies and models is opening up new opportunities. Smaller, portable projectors with integral batteries and WiFi connectivity offer an advantage over flat panel displays for mobile presenters “Projectors can be used anywhere there is a power source,” says Joe Ahmed, Optoma EMEA head of marketing. “Optoma’s ultra portable LED projectors fit into the palm of your hand and are sufficiently light and

‘4K is set to go from strength to strength for the projector market’ John Dykes, Casio

portable to be taken out for meetings. Optoma’s latest ML330 device has an internal Android OS processor with Bluetooth and wireless internet connectivity. They can be used without a PC, making them perfect for offsite meetings. A flat screen is less flexible to pop under your arm and take with you.” James Hsu, director of global product marketing at Vivitek, agrees: “The market for mainstream data projectors around 3,000

lumens is reducing because an increasing number of corporate meeting rooms and classrooms are adopting FPD solutions. Meanwhile, the market for small HD LED smart projectors with an embedded battery and an Android OS that are capable of wireless streaming is growing significantly, thanks to their small size, ultra-portability, and flexibility for sharing media from a smartphone or content from the internet on the move.” Larger laser units come with multiple mounting options, are capable of front and rear projection, have frames to allow quick and easy mounting onto a truss or ceiling and often have ranges of lenses including ultra-short ones to produce large images over a short throw distance. Projection is still the most economic means of providing large displays. Hsu continues: “Projection is all about the big image experience. Currently an installation requiring an image of 80in to 90in or above should employ projectors rather than LCD displays. The industry is asking for brighter projectors and higher-resolution large-venue projectors, with as little maintenance as possible.” New laser projection technology is delivering benefits and advantages to the market and allowing integrators to access new application opportunities. Although the initial capital cost is greater, the long-term operational costs and reduction in maintenance overheads makes them appealing across the full installation spectrum.

Installation October 2017 Digital Edition  
Installation October 2017 Digital Edition  

AV integration in a networked world