Don't remember what kind of colour depth a TI chip can render (but I believe it's a pretty large number of bits...). In any case one of the whitepapers on the SLM site states that the device can cycle a few orders of magnitude faster than a TI DMD device. The estimates they give for a 1080 pixel wide device running at 1920*1080*60Hz is 8-bit grayscale/sample (256 shades) * 4 samples per line. It's a little confusing, but the end results is about 10-bit grayscale. Of course the SLM device only displays one line at a time so a lot of the faster cycle rate is used up displaying all 1920 lines.
One of the really interesting things about this approach is that to make a wider image you only need to make the device scan across a wider area, and there seems to be ample room in the device to make this possible. This means you could have a constant height solution with a SINGLE lens, you just have to design it for the widest image (2.35:1 maybe).
Plus laser illumination could provide PERFECT colorimetry over the life of the laser. I haven't looked at the technology in a while, but a laser's colour is a function of the material used to generate it. Since the material doesn't change over time, the colour of the laser will not either. Brightness is another matter. Would someone with more experience care to shed some light on this?
The contrast of the device seems to be VERY high, on the order of 4000:1 in optimized conditions. Contrast this with the 1000:1 of the D-ILA chip (just the chip, not the optics). I vaguely remember 2000:1 for the chip in practical applications (without considering the optics). This is film-like contrast levels!
This also answers your question about refresh rate, if I read the whitepaper correctly, the device will refresh each frame 4 times (so about 240Hz).
Just to beat a dead horse,
As I said before laser light is not more dangerous than any other light *of the same intensity*. I went on to say that one of the dangers is the tightly focused nature of the beam which allows great intensity in a small area.
In any case the device does not project a spot of laser light onto the screen, a "lens" (that's not the term they use...but close enough) stretches the beam to illuminate the whole device, a long strip 1 pixel * 1080 pixels, and this light is reflected onto the screen.
The projected image is functionally identical to any other projector, and the light exiting the projector is not inherently any more dangerous than any other non-laser technology.
I am inclined to agree with you that it will take around 1.5 years to get any kind of product (at least!). The press release mentions 6 months to integrate the technology, then they can start real product development. SLM's previous experience will be helpful, but a consumer-level products still seems far off (even consumers like us!). I wouldn't go so far as to say vapourware though, that has all kinds of bad connotations for me. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif