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The Future of Projectors

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I saw an article yesterday about how in the future there may not be as large a middle class in America; that there may basically be no middle ground between the "haves" and the "have nots". Now, this is not meant to be a political post on that subject but for some weird reason, this made me start thinking on whether or not this is what is going to happen in the world of front projectors.

With LG, Mitsubishi and Sharp exiting the Home Projector business (Mits all projectors) and Panasonic sending strong signals that they may do the same by not changing the 8000- are we seeing the beginning of a trend that ends with only very high end projectors and very cheap, compromising projectors? It seems to me that a bunch of the members of these forums are more "bang for the buck" enthusiasts than strictly high end. Right now, we still have decent offerings in the grey middle area from Sony, JVC and Epson and others but is that going to change as they retreat to the high end to make profit if they can and leave the middle empty with the low end going to the various Chinese DLP makers? Or, will we continue to see trickle down from the higher end and trickle up from the low end?

Am I just a nervous Nellie, or does this trend look ominous to you?
post #2 of 8
Depends on what you consider middle area. If you consider 2k to 4k street price as the middle area, I don't think that area is going to be abandoned. Manufactures are not making as much off of projectors at this price point compared to the 5k and up, but the demand is so much higher, that I doubt they would give up this revenue stream.
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post #3 of 8
tough one to answer, considering the 'mid-price' is probably dropping still. i mean my first projector was ENTRY level just 4(?) years ago and cost me 1500. about twice the price a similarly market placed projector would today.

there's so much going on in the flat screen market as well that could drastically change projector demand. death of plasma could make enthusiasts explore front projection to avoid LED backlighting. monstrously sized OLED/LED could bite into the entry level projector market. and that's just the stuff we already know about it
post #4 of 8
Depends on the time frame, in the immediate future I don't see projectors disappearing, perhaps becoming more of a high-end niche product if OLED can be made affordable in larger sizes.

When they can build durable, bright 30' wide OLEDs (or something similar) then that might mean projectors are no longer used in cinemas. That would probably kill off the market

It would take a really disruptive development for projectors to ever overtake flat panels like really good 3D without glasses. With some research saying that Blue LEDs can damage the retina over time we may soon be at a stage where our eyes simply can't take anymore lumens or intensity. Much as I am excited about Laser projection, I'll probably wait that one out a couple of years...

I guess you would have to ask the question is Star Trek's holodeck a flat panel or projector based technology? I am sure there is a thrilling discussion on a sci-fi forum that attempts to answer this biggrin.gif

Minority Report paints a rosy picture for projectors, everything else looked pretty grim though
post #5 of 8
If you look at the slope of the line that depicts (when plotted) the latest trends in preferred projection screen sizes and then compare that to the slope of the line that reflects the sizes available for flat panels --- I find that panels will never keep pace. The same logic applies to theaters. IMHO.
post #6 of 8
i definitely agree there will be a place for front projection for dedicated theatres with monster screens for a long time to come. the question is in that 100-110" sub 3k market.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieledmunds View Post

Depends on the time frame, in the immediate future I don't see projectors disappearing, perhaps becoming more of a high-end niche product if OLED can be made affordable in larger sizes.
I wonder if one of these OLEDs could be used with a Fresnel lens or something in a projection type setup to give a bigger image in a way that was worthwhile. I'm guessing it wouldn't work that well, but just something that crossed my mind. There would be light losses and maybe distortion that might make it a poor option. I just wonder what the results could be with say a 55" OLED in a rear projection setup with maybe a 110" screen. I'm not even sure if lenses for this would be available or if they would cost more than the OLED unit if they were.

Could get some great native on/off CR on a big screen if it could be done well.

--Darin
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrimore View Post

I saw an article yesterday about how in the future there may not be as large a middle class in America; that there may basically be no middle ground between the "haves" and the "have nots". Now, this is not meant to be a political post on that subject but for some weird reason, this made me start thinking on whether or not this is what is going to happen in the world of front projectors.
If this trend continues, the losses will be greater than simply the disappearance of certain segments of near-luxury items.
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