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Fighting the Flat Panel Trend in Home Entertainment Venues
Fighting the Flat Panel Trend in Home Entertainment Venues

Application and Market Strategies for Identifying Qualified Projection Prospects

Over the past few years, flat panels have become increasingly big in screen size, while at the same time decreasing in price. Without a doubt, flat panels are creeping into smaller-screen projection applications and taking market share. This has not impacted DP up to this point - given the high light output and stellar performance of DP's projection solutions, even our lowest cost projectors are typically employed as solutions for larger screens and outdoor venues.

While it is reasonable to expect the flat panel size and cost trends will continue, we can take comfort in knowing that there are practical limits to how big flat panels can get and how low the price can become. Nonetheless, given the current threat to smaller screen projection applications, we thought it would be helpful to provide some brief suggestions to help our customers identify prospects with display applications where technical demands assure projection will remain king.

Larger Screens Over 90" Diagonal:
Certainly bigger panels are available, but the costs are still fairly high. In addition, larger panels are extremely heavy, and moving them into existing facilities and mounting them in those facilities is often not possible due to facility design. The majority of DP's projection solutions are 5000 lumens or much higher. Given the lumen power we offer in our product line, nearly all of the applications where DP projectors are employed are for screens that are much larger than 90" diagonal. Strategy: Customers with very small imaging requirements are not your target. Seek customers with larger or more impactful screen requirements and you will identify solid DP prospects. Key markets include home theaters, outdoor entertainment, corporate venues, and anyone with a venue of a scale that exceeds what a flat panel can reasonably achieve.

Different Aspect Ratio Content:
For Home Cinema applications, content can vary from Widescreen, to 1.78:1, to old fashioned 4X3. Flat panels will always be fixed to a 16X9 aspect ratio. When different aspect ratio content is displayed, you will see black bars either top/bottom, or both sides. High brightness panels can cause these bars to be quite pronounced and will distract from the viewing experience. Two-piece projection and masking screens allow for custom viewing of virtually any aspect ratio. Furthermore, the use of anamorphic lenses or programmable zoom options makes it easy for a high performance projector to provide maximum performance with multiple aspect ratios. DPI's projectors have triggers which can be used to activate screen masking, producing a seamless shift between aspect ratios.

System Flexibility:
Two-piece projection allows for a more flexible system design. An example of this would be accommodating different brightness levels based on room conditions. Watching a movie in a dark room would suggest a target light output of about 18 ft. lamberts. However, watching a baseball game with the lights on may require upwards of 45 ft. lamberts. Strategy: With two-piece projection you can choose either a multi-lamp projector, or modulate the light output of a single lamp projector to provide correct color and contrast settings for dramatically different output values. This is not achievable with flat panel designs.

Disappearing Video:
Two-piece projection allows for a design where the video projector and screen can become virtually invisible when not in use. You can hide the projector in another room, or in a soffit, and use a motorized drop down screen. The screen can drop down in front of a painting or sculpture and disappear when not in use. A flat panel mounted to a wall is very much a permanent and visually distracting fixture in the room.

Color Accuracy and Stability:
The 3-chip DLP projectors in DP's product line benefit from our ColorMax calibration technology, while all of our 1-chip models offer extensive color alignment capabilities. The color space produced by DP projectors exceeds industry standards, and the calibration capabilities assure the displayed color can be accurately set to meet customer requirements. This is especially important for multi-projector applications, where every display must be matched in color performance, or for customers with demanding color performance requirements, such as home cinema. The benefits of extreme and stable color accuracy and color matching are valuable to customers in many markets, including large-scale home entertainment, visualization, simulation, government and military, command and control, process control, oil and gas, medical, advertising, worship corporate branding (trade-shows), live entertainment and broadcast sets. Strategy: Be sure to underscore the benefits of color accuracy and stability during demonstrations and employ demo content that is rich in dynamic range and saturated colors – especially memory colors. Proper demo material underscores the color performance of DP's projectors, and leaves a lasting impression with prospects.

Color and Luminance Uniformity:
The DLP projectors in DP's product line produce extremely flat luminance and color uniformity. This means that the brightness and color integrity of the displayed image is very consistent across the entire screen. This benefit produces imagery that appears very smooth and pleasing to view. This benefit can be appreciated in single projector applications, but it becomes especially valuable in projection array applications, as it reveals a scaled image that is consistent in brightness and color, corner to corner, in spite of the fact that the overall image is being produced by an array of projectors. Strategy: Always promote the benefits of color and luminance uniformity to all of your prospects, and especially to prospects contemplating multiple units. Be sure to point it out during demonstrations and have demo content handy that underscores the exceptional uniformity performance of DP's projectors.

No Glare:
Nearly all flat panels employ glass that reflects light sources in the venue. Some actually employ extremely glossy surfaces. This can be very distracting for viewers, especially on a large flat panel, and can compromise the integrity of the image. Based on typical room design (location of windows and light sources) and viewing positions, glare is a reality for at least some viewers in nearly every venue. Front projection screens produce no glare, and the vast majority of rear projection screens are diffusion type, also producing no glare. Strategy: Any customer who has experienced the impact of screen glare from a bank of lights, or from windows on large flat screen, will appreciate a large image with no glare. When visiting with your prospects, be sure to survey the room and point out potential sources of screen glare, while emphasizing that the glare sources present no concern when using projection.

Security:
Large flat panels are expensive, and they are typically installed on walls, well within reach of harm's way. Accidental damage, vandalism and theft are real concerns for many venues. Strategy: Nearly all customers have experienced financial loss due to the above mentioned risks. When visiting with your prospects survey their environments and if appropriate, point out the difference between the economic risks of placing a flat panel in harm's way versus a much lower cost projection screen.

Flexibility of Placement:
With a two-piece display solution (projector and screen), customers have the ability to easily shift the position of the projector and screen to support multi-use media rooms and divisible rooms, both of which are increasing in popularity.

Limited (if any) ADA Mounting Requirements:
Since the projection screen height can be adjusted to fit the room scale and optimum viewing considerations, there are few if any ADA mounting requirements as there are with a flat panel on the wall.

Access to Connectivity:
Pulling a new connection to a projector through a suspended ceiling is simple, compared to finding a new signal path through a wall behind a large flat panel.

Sheer Scale:
DP offers powerhouse projectors that produce stunning imagery on any screen, big or small! The strategy is simple: Think impact and experience!


Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013 (Archive on Monday, January 01, 0001)
Posted by mbridwell  Contributed by mbridwell
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