Display technology in both corporate and educational settings is rapidly evolving. The days of the overhead projector are essentially gone, and the question is what technology will businesses and schools adopt next? There are a few options here, including leading edge interactive flat panels. Interactive flat panels are certainly impressive, but they do pose a significant upfront investment. For budget-sensitive applications projectors can provide a more affordable alternative while still being productive. While interactive flat panels will pay off better in the long run, projectors are still worthy additions to a space, especially when they are built with LCD technology.
LCD projectors are a popular choice for classrooms and meetings rooms, and are ideal for settings that involve groups that are medium to large in size. LCD projectors are built with technology similar to LCD displays, and this affords them several advantages over older projector iterations. Specifically, LCD projectors produce brighter and better saturated images as they can emit every color on the spectrum at once, as opposed to switching through colors using a color wheel. Also, LCD projectors generate sharper images compared to other projectors, which makes them particularly effective for presentations that contain a lot of text. The letters will be much easier to read without any of the rainbow effect associated with other projectors.
Projectors are prized for their affordability, and LCD projectors tend to drive this advantage home. LCD projectors are inexpensive and, again, compared to other projectors, pose lower maintenance costs over time.
The projector market is robust, as the technology has been around for quite some time. However, only a handful of manufacturers have a deep portfolio of modern projectors, and most integrators utilize projectors from these manufacturers when setting up classrooms or meeting rooms.
What are some of the top projector brands?
There are some powerhouse brands behind modern projector design and construction. So it's not tough for schools and businesses to find a projector that will suit their needs. Of course, a reputable A/V integrator can assist with the process, matching up the optimal projector with their client's needs. Some of the projector brands an integrator may rely on include:
1. The Panasonic PT-VZ580 series - Panasonic is a household name among anyone with a passing interest in A/V technology. Though it provides one of the most expansive tech product listings available, its projectors are some of the most popular. The PT-VZ580 series is a brilliant combination of cost effectiveness and functionality, with extensive color adjustment and correction features. This includes Panasonic's Daylight View technology, which, during the day, enhances dark parts of the projected image. The PT-VZ580 series also runs quietly, with noise levels checking in at under 30 decibels during operation.
The PT-VZ580 series is ideal for collaboration, with its Miracast and moderator mode. With Miracast, presenters can finely detail how the projector behaves during content delivery. For example, Miracast can be configured so that the projector acts like an extended PC screen, a second PC screen or as a duplicate of what is on the PC. Miracast supports wireless playback of full HD video and audio with no quality loss or stutter.
Moderator mode is an interesting addition to projector technology, as it gives the meeting leader some tools in how the meeting proceeds. With moderator mode, the presenter determines what devices have permission to access the projector. For instance, the moderator can set up the projector so that only their device can access it, only some key people have permissions, or that full collaboration is in effect, with everyone having access to the projector. This makes collaboration a much more orderly affair.
2. EPSON's PowerLite series - EPSON is another major technology brand, though it is probably best known for its high quality printers. EPSON projectors are respected pieces of technology and have found their way into everything from huddle rooms to stadiums.
There are many projectors in the PowerLite line, most of them appropriate for use in classrooms and standard meeting rooms. Among them, the PowerLite 5535U is a strong choice. The PowerLite 5535U is built into a sleek black housing, and EPSON advertises that it is capable of three times the brightness of competing projectors. Specifically, the PowerLite 5535U can emit up to 5,500 lumens in either color or white mode, using EPSON's 3LCD technology. The PowerLite 5535U is capable of 1920 x 1200, full HD resolution and offers HDMI connectivity with just a single cable.
EPSON's PowerLite projectors are also available with Miracast, and with the PowerLite 5535U, Miracast can be used to mirror a wireless Android screen or to remotely control the projector from another device. Finally, the PowerLite 5535U is protected with enterprise-level security, paired with the projector's optional wireless LAN module.
3. Christie Digitial's LW551i projector - Christie Digital may not have the brand awareness that Panasonic and EPSON do, but its display technology is a favorite among A/V professionals. The LW551i projector is a standard option for small to medium spaces, which means it is ideal for classrooms and meeting rooms.
The LW551i projector brings all of the specifications one would want from a presentation projector. It produces full HD resolution, an impressive 3,000:1 contrast ratio and a long-lived lamp, offering up to 3,000 hours of performance with minimal maintenance. It comes with a simple interface for easy setup. Christie Digital offers a comprehensive set of optional lenses for its projectors and an optional wireless module for additional ease of setup.
The LW551i projector is also designed with MAX Device Discovery and Crestron RoomView, both of which facilitate A/V installation and configuration. Programming is intuitive with these options, and operation with an AMX control system is enhanced. And with remote monitoring and control capabilities, the LW551i projector is about usability above all else.
Projectors remain a front-line approach for educational and professional presentations, as their affordability and cost-effectiveness are tough to beat. This is doubly true when utilizing a projector from a top brand like Panasonic, EPSON or Christie Digital, as their projector technologies represent some of the best the industry has to offer.