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Sony’s Robert Meakin on the future of the projection technology landscape

Laser is the future of the projection technology landscape, but lamp projectors are likely to remain in the market for some time, according to Sony's laser projection expert.

Laser is the future of the projection technology landscape, but lamp projectors are likely to remain in the market for some time, according to the senior product manager, Sony Europe.

Will there come a point when laser/hybrid projectors can match the lumens output of a lamp-based projector? If so, when do you think will this be?

The amount of laser needed to increase brightness has been the main barrier to this so far. That said, ahead of InfoComm this year, we launched the VPL-FHZ-700L, a 7000 lumens laser projector able to contend with the brightness of many traditional lamp-based projectors, whilst delivering higher quality images. We are continually striving to further develop products in this area as we believe that as the technology expands across the projection industry, laser will be able to match its lamp-based counterparts.

What trends do you see developing in the projection technology landscape?

With users wanting both the highest quality projection and lowest ownership costs, we very much see laser technology as the future of the projection technology landscape, yet we also feel lamp projectors are likely to remain in the market for some time. Sony is heavily focused on driving positive developments in laser as we want to provide our partners and customers with the best technologies available. However our strategy is to continue to offer both laser and UHP projectors with comparable brightness and features to ensure we can cater to the needs of a broad range of customers.

In addition, we are seeing increased demand for new levels of interactivity as users strive to present in the most engaging manner possible – whether this is through interactive projectors or indeed content collation software. Sony’s Vision Presenter brings together a wide range of multimedia sources to create a big, bold, dynamic presentation solution that users control. It allows as many as ten input sources to be connected simultaneously, including cameras, PCs, videoconferencing systems, USB flash drives and DVD players and can also be partnered with any projection system or screen. Allowing the collation of multiple types of content in a variety of flexible layouts empowers users to deliver an engaging experience – incorporating high quality images with interactivity. We anticipate this sort of solution being incredibly popular in the market.

What are the key benefits that UST projectors are bringing to meeting and education environments?

As technology gradually pervades across vertical markets, the likes of education and corporate establishments are increasingly looking for flexible and reliable technology solutions to fit in any classroom or meeting room. Able to cast bright images on screens, walls and whiteboards, UST projectors provide a versatile and engaging presentation solution with no-hassle installation.

Projectors in Sony’s UST range, such as the VPL-SW536 and VPL-SX536, are ideal for ultra-close projection applications as the models can produce consistent, clear images from only less than half a metre away from the screen, whilst easy to operate controls take the stress out of presenting. Making them ideal for corporate and education environments, where flexibility and ease of use are paramount to AV managers.

What’s the most buoyant market for projector sales currently – geographically and by vertical?

Sony has seen strong growth in the projector market across market in the past quarter, in corporate and education vertical markets. Germany, Italy and the Netherlands boast some of the highest rates of volume growth across the continent and is indicative of the economic recovery and the increased confidence of businesses, as they choose to invest in the latest and greatest technology for their businesses.

Have you been involved in any recent projects that you’d like to highlight?

Since launching the world’s first 3LCD projector, our VPL-FHZ55, we’ve worked on some great projects, including the recent installation of three projectors in a flight simulator at Hannover Airport. Before the introduction of Sony’s projectors, the flight simulator relied on images from three lamp projectors, which generated high maintenance costs and didn’t guarantee consistent image quality. Since installing the VPL-FHZ55 models, the simulator now enjoys a constant brightness of 3000 lumens and high visibility during changing light conditions, illustrating not only the vertical breadth of applications for Sony’s solutions, but also how it works to meet the needs of its customers, regardless of the market.