Learn Why Laser Projectors Are The Future
Projection technology offers countless opportunities for companies, events, or brands in the market for producing an AV experience. Now, with the integration of lasers, the projection landscape is undergoing a major shift on a scale that hasn’t been seen in 20 years when the debut of Texas Instrument’s DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors hit the market.
Pro’s and Con’s of DLP
When DLP emerged in 1997, it introduced remarkable color-point accuracy, great resolution, and enabled operators to crest brightness at levels that had previously been unattainable. Over the next two decades, projection brightness levels propelled from 4,000- to 40,000-lumens, and resolution from XGA up to Ultra 4K.
However, DLP has had one limiting factor — its light source. While the xenon arc lamp is a refined product, it suffers from heat problems. A 4,000- or 7,000-watt arc lamp radiates extreme amounts of heat and ultraviolet rays. Keeping the DMD cool then becomes an issue, which has limited the progression of projectors. But replacing the xenon with a cooler-running laser light source has allowed the technology to make another giant leap forward.
The Laser Advantage
The benefits of laser projection technology are immense. They allow more compact projectors of the same brightness class, although the weight wouldn’t change, as lasers are just as heavy. They have lower decibel ratings since most of the noise a projector emits comes from the cooling fans. There is no orientation sensitivity, and a laser light source consumes less power than its xenon counterpart.
Laser phosphor system technologies are still in their infancy and, thus, have some kinks that must be ironed-out before they completely replace xenon lamps. There are color performance issues, which are expected since xenon lamps are still used referencing points. As technology advances, a direct couple laser could eliminate the phosphor wheel.
Right now, the biggest challenge to laser technology is that it’s very expensive, keeping it from widespread adoption. Currently, both phosphor and direct couple lasers are battling for supremacy in the marketplace, which will continue, as each technology gets further refined. If the next 20 years are anything like we’ve seen in the past regarding technological advancements, then the future of AV just might be able hold a 50,000-lumen desktop projector, elevating our viewing experience to new heights.