Following the extinction of gloriously bulky CRT video projectors, big screen aficionados have had a clear choice between LCD and DLP. Both technologies are capable of great results, yet have distinct weaknesses: single chip DLP projectors often suffer from rainbow fringing, created by the use of a spinning colour wheel, while …
First out the gate?
Not as far as I know. Casio has been selling Hybrid LED/Laser projectors for a good 3 years now. Samsung has some 'pocket' ones which give a very low lumens value also. Casio are in fact doing multiple lines of these devices, including short throw models.
Also, you say this is a third way from LCD and DLP, but it is in fact itself a DLP projector, as are the Casios.
Re: First out the gate?
Forgot to mention, Casio's are up to 3,000 lumens too.
Re: First out the gate?
I was going to say. These projectors are pretty infamous, since you can tear out the lasers and use them as illegally powerful laser pens!
A good device, certainly worth thinking about replacing old projectors with. I generally think projectors are the droppings of satans own stanic heard, but maybe this one is ok. Mind you projectors are generally from Dell, connected to dull as dishwasher Dell windoze machines, operated by equally dull sales driod.
El Reg were asking about review feedback recently... well can I suggest the price should be very prominantly displayed? Either in the vital stats section or ideally, under the title. Seeing of something is a £200 or £2000 pricepoint could influence not only how I read the review, but whether I bother to read it at all!
Re: Review comment
I hadn't noticed the price! Seriously overpriced, that's for sure! We pay half that for the make I mentioned earlier. We pay the same as this price for interactive ultra short throw projectors running at 2500 lumens!!
Interesting. For me, the downside to all projectors was the bulb lifespan and replacement cost.
Can the reviewer tell us please:
Do you normally notice the rainbow effect with moving edges on DLP projectors?
What was it like on this one?
I usually find DLPs horrible for this reason so I have a (poor contrast) LCD.
speaking of replacements
You may be surprised at how many requests the company i work for has had for replacement 'lamps' for the casio laser projectors.
Don't rate viewsonic either. they are selling aftermarket lamps as genuine. (there is a huge price difference)
Re: speaking of replacements
Which line? The slimline ones or the ones they brought out after those? The slimline ones do have a few issues, as they have some cooling issues, but I've heard good reports of the newer 'M' models which are a lot more 'airy' inside.
when its half the size half the price and twice the brightness
call me back
Re: when its half the size half the price and twice the brightness
Also, when its 3D capable.
xj-a245 casio owner
I bought one of the casio laser hybrids about a year ago. For the money the thing is fantastic!!!
Got well over 1500hrs on it and use it every day from watching the TV and Love film to Xbox and Powerpoint.
Best thing is full auto focus and x2 zoom - Have a 100" Screen from a little over 9ft.
Also has 5 year full manufacture warranty.
One word: FANTASTIC
why not true laser?
I can get lasers in red, blue and green. Most of them are capable of extremely rapid switching.
why not simply write the entire image with laser resolution? Are there no MEMS scanners that can move fast enough?
I know televisions were patented demonstrating this exact scheme, but the patents appear to now be owned by companies still making money on LCD and LED panel systems.
Is there actually a technical reason full laser projection can't happen?
Re: why not true laser?
Flicker (no Phosphor glow like a CRT)? Would need very fast scan rate.
Alignment (like the old CRT projectors).
I wonder too
A while back the "new idea" was UV lasers lighting up a patterned phosphor sheet using the same inorganic phosphor technology used for EL panels.
The advantage here would be that the panel rolls up just like a window blind but thanks to the emissive surface being planar it would have excellent contrast ratio.
Can't see why it never reached market, perhaps the UV lasers didn't last long enough?
A fascinating modification I came up with uses a variant of rear projection and replaces the expensive and fragile UV laser with a relatively cheap incoherent UV Superflux light source and a DLP plus lenses.
The light from this hits the phosphor screen made of low cost materials which then emit RGBY light with zero rainbowing as no colour wheel is used.
Re: I wonder too
It would only work for Rear projection, and aliment would be a bitch. In the days of 1" thick LCD no one would buy a rear projection even if it cost half the price.
Other hidden costs
I like the *idea* of LED or LASER projector "lamps" but I remain to be convinced.
What no-one ever seems to mention about LCD projectors is that the LCD panels themselves also have a finite lifespan. I work in a museum where we have quite a lot of projectors running the "exhibition" and the original-fit LCD projectors had panels with a 4,500 hour rated life, though I've seen documentation that suggests they were sold to the museum as having a 28,000 hour MTBF. I realise that our 7.5 hour a day use isn't typical of a home, but unless you have a normal TV too and only use the projector to watch two or three movies a week, 4,500 hours will creep up on you quite quickly (4 years at 3 hours a day). Looked at another way, if you have to be replacing the LCD panels every second lamp change (lamps are usually between 2,000 and 3,000 hours) then the cost of the lamps becomes a very minor issue. I wonder whether being illuminated by LED or LASER would increase this lifespan?
In practice it's not just the panels but also the colour filters - you will start to notice lower contrast, even with a new lamp, and maybe colour blotching (LCD failure - the blotches are often blue) or a colour cast (filter failure - yellow). We were quoted 5,000 EUR for a replacement "optical block" (3 LCDs, 3 filters and the prism). This was ridiculous when you consider that the projectors were also beginning to fail in other ways (e.g. PSUs not booting back up after a power down - 1,000 EUR or £3 of capacitors to DIY) . Instead we switched mainly to twin-lamp single-chip DLP projectors, the oldest of which are now around 11,000 hours and are (almost) as good as new (really must get around to that 10,000 hour service!). These particular models have lamps that last twice as long as the lamps in the old LCDs and cost significantly less. Twin lamps are a boon for us giving both security (if one fails, the projector continues to run albeit at reduced brightness) and flexibility (one of the projector models has effectively four output modes - both lamps or a single lamp, high power or low power - allowing us to choose brighness and lamp change interval).
DLP does have its problems, with fringing probably being the most annoying, but if that's an issue then all you need to do is to look at three-chip DLP or possibly (there are still issues, but they're not quite as bad) one of the DLP models with colour wheels with extra colours or which run faster.
A technology no-one has mentioned yet is LCoS. My warning here is that our five LCoS projectors have not lived up to the hype. When new, the picture was excellent but despite being a sort of hybrid of DLP and LCD with the intention of taking the best from both, the panels fade in exactly the same way as LCD, and at about the same age. On top of that the models we have seem to have "open" light paths and dust gets onto the panels quite easily.
As for the subject of the article I have to agree with others here. Half the price and twice the brightness might make it a good choice, but 1,600 lumen isn't really suitable for any room where you have any amount of stray light, unless the image is small enough that you'd be better off spending money on a nice LCD or plasma telly. At the museum, our lowest output projectors are nominally 2,000 lumen (twin lamp units in single lamp modes) which works, but it works mainly because the projected image is no more than 36" horizontally.
Finally, and I realise again that our use in a museum isn't terribly comparable to home use, it's worth considering networking. All our projectors have network sockets. Most will email a preset address when there's a problem (for example, they will email when the lamps have run for more than a certain number of hours) and all can be started and stopped by network messages (PJLINK). This is a prerequisite for us (who wants to go around manually starting 30-odd projectors?) but could also be useful in a "connected home".
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