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SSI, LED, laser or hybrid – how to pick the right projector

Joe Ahmed, head of business planning at Optoma, talks us through the main technologies on the market.

Joe Ahmed, head of business planning at Optoma, talks us through the main technologies on the market.

There are three main technologies of solid state illumination (SSI) on the market – LED, laser and LED/laser hybrid.

Optoma manufactures both SSI and lamp-based projectors.

SSI has been predicted to replace lamp-based projectors but a number of factors have combined to delay this market development. In the mainstream projector market (2,000-5,000 lumens), lamp-based projectors still dominate. SSI represents just 1.2% of this market (according to PMA).

Lamp-based projectors have come down in price; the lamp life has increased dramatically and replacement lamps have also reduced in price. This means the benefits of SSI have not yet overtaken the reducing price differential with lamp based units.

SSI is however dominating other sectors of the projector market, most particularly the ultra-portable market of projectors under 1kg.

Pure LED projectors lend themselves to a much smaller system size, unachievable with lamp based systems, allowing very portable applications. For example, Optoma’s ML750 is just 0.38kg and fits easily into the palm of your hand – ideal for business people or trainers who need impressive presentations to take to clients’ offices.

Other major sectors where SSI is making major in-roads are in the 24/7 digital signage sector and in hard-to-reach installations; for example when the projector is installed high on the ceiling in lecture theatres. SSI technology offers consistent brightness and colour performance. And with lower degradation and a light source of 20,000 hours, is highly beneficial for maintainers.

Home cinema projectors benefit from improved colour, quiet operation, lower power consumption and immediate start-up and switch off. Optoma’s HD90 and HD91 1080p home cinema projectors harness the latest LED technology and can be installed close to walls or ceilings or even built into a small enclosure to conceal the unit completely.