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Exclusive: Home projectors – market growth through innovation

Will innovations in home projection and the Covid pandemic bring about the fall of traditional cinemas or the TV-centric movie experience, asks Andres Gomez, senior director of GTM at XGIMI Technology

The Covid pandemic has had a great impact in how consumers watch and consume content. Movie studios have increasingly shifted to a direct to consumer model to cope with the Covid crisis over the last year, and according to the 2020 THEME Report by the Motion Picture Association, global streaming service subscriptions have grown 26% in just the last year, now exceeding 1.1 billion users around the world.

As people are now enjoying new releases in their homes, the projector market and companies like XGIMI are uniquely positioned to help drive growth in-home entertainment by providing user-centric products with turnkey content consumption. We don’t see this trend reversing, and expect the market for home theatre consumables increasing in the years to come.    

We know nothing will match the experience of the big screen, but driven by Covid and with Hollywood increasing its direct-to-consumer content releases, we see the future of the movie screen as dim. According to Satista, movie box office receipts globally went down from some 49 Billion to 12 billion in 2020, with a rebound nowhere in sight. We see this as a big opportunity for projector manufacturers to help drive growth in the home theatre segment.  Part of what is also driving this market growth is that projection DLP technology has caught up to allow manufacturers to deliver theatre quality imagery in small, portable packages. Manufacturers have also been able to address previous pain points with projector usage increasing market adoption.

With the adoption of Android TV, XGIMI and others in the market have access to an operating system that makes projector usage as easy as using a cell phone. Built-in apps mean projectors no longer need to be tied to inputs and allow users to sync and stream content across devices – projectors have become the content platforms themselves and offer a more well rounded solution to TVs and certainly give the risky proposition of the theatre a run for its money.  We have seen consumers respond to this trend as sales as projector sales revenues are forecasted to top 14 Billion by 2025.

XGIMI has pioneered other advancements in projector technology designed to make projection use and setup easier than in the past, our X-VUE and Intelligent Screen Adaption (ISA) technology and industry-leading Vertical and Horizontal Auto Keystone Correction offers users the ability to set up our projectors from almost any angle and in almost any environment. These features extend when and where people can consume content and take the scary out of the setup. Why go to the drive-in when you can have your own in the backyard?

The trifecta of increased portability, quality and a ready audience has given the projector market wings to soar into areas in the home that were previously occupied by televisions and capture eyes previously glued to the big screen. With the increased quality in the projector market and the reality of a ‘home-theatre-in-a-box’, many consumers – especially millennials and cord cutters – no longer see the need for a large cumbersome TV that is impossible to move or an expensive outing to the theatre.

Recent advances in laser projector will further extend the market share available to projectors by allowing for ultra short-throw projection which has less drawbacks in the home environment than traditional long throw projectors. These ultra short throw projectors are capable of throwing 4K images up to 150 inches, at a fraction of the price of a TV with comparable size. We think consumers’ next TV won’t be a TV, as projectors will not only drive the growth of home movie consumption but also supplant spaces where TVs reigned for decades. Projectors simply offer more versatility in how they can be used, with hundreds of models to choose from in a variety of categories the growth potential is huge for the market.

See our feature on residential displays and their projection cousins, as part of our pro displays special, from page 30.