Nov 06, 2014

The future of projection: survival of the fittest

Corporate and lobby

2 min read

Higher resolutions, brighter light sources, better connectivity and increased interactivity; having superior technology can make all the difference on the highly competitive projection market. But where is this high-speed train headed for? An overview of the most important challenges the industry is facing today.


Flat panels

While it is clear that large screen projection has a number of benefits compared to smaller screens we see that projectors in 2-3.000 lumen range is often replaced by flat panels. This is a trend that is growing and flat panels will continue to challenge projection, also in higher brightness levels – up to 3-5.000 lumens.

Price and margin

According to the PMA projection forecast, the projection business has grown significantly since 2013, and will continue to do so until at least 2018.  The growth in revenue of projectors with more than 4,000 lumens is as follows:

  • WXGA ($375 million)
  • 1080p ($50 million)
  • WUXGA ($768 million)

Even though average selling prices are expected to fall in the same period, the growth in revenue still stands:

  • WXGA (15% reduction)
  • 1080p (61% reduction)
  • WUXGA (61% reduction)

This shows clearly that the amount of sold units will grow significantly. Maintaining margins and keeping distribution channels and manufacturers profitable will be a challenge, though. Companies that are able to offer the most innovative technology are most likely to overcome these challenges.

Illumination

On the technology side, we are seeing a clear shift towards solid state illumination technologies, such as LED, laser and hybrid solutions. Up till now, this mainly affected the projection business on the lower end of the brightness scale (below 4,000 lumens). Within a few years, however, this will inevitably have a larger impact on the profitable 6 to 15,000 lumens market. Traditional, lamp-based projection is truly challenged, moving forward.

Interactivity and connectivity

Project your image anywhere! The need for networked devices and user-friendly collaboration solutions will continue to grow stronger in the years to come. Users with a multitude of devices (BYOD) will need built-in or external solutions, like ClickShare. There clearly is a convergence between the traditional AV market and the IT market. This is not only a challenge for system integrators; it will also have an impact on how manufacturers position their products; is it AV-centric, IT-centric or both? There might be channel conflicts as IT moves towards AV and vice versa – this is something we as a manufacturer need to have in mind.

The resolution race

With the rise of 4K and higher resolution projectors, native resolutions have never been more trending than now. This trend is clearly driven by what is happening in the consumer market, as well as the broadcasting industry. 4K is not ready for prime time in high volume markets today, but it’s obvious that this is what will be expected in the future. And with the planned broadcast of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 8K (7,680 x 4,320 pixels), there’s no doubt that the resolution race has begun…


Photo courtesy: © Wiml

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