Optoma’s Latest 1080p Home Projector Range

Movie fans, TV buffs and keen gamers can now enjoy a super-size cinema quality picture in any room in their home. Packed with features, Optoma’s range of 1080p home projectors deliver vivid clarity with pure, deep colors and high contrast thanks to deeper blacks and crisp whites. This means live sport, action-packed games, TV and movies can be enjoyed in stunning Full HD resolution any time of day.

See Optoma’s full line of projectors on the Projector SuperStore website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

Which Projector is the Right Kind of Projector?

It used to be as simple as, “Should I buy a projector… or not?” Now, with great developments in the technology, there are more options to meet the varying needs of consumers—from businesses, to homes, churches, schools and other organization. It may seem unnecessary to ask about the “right” projector, but it really does make sense when you think about it: projecting an image in a fully lit church auditorium or concert hall requires a lot more than a 100” image in your living room. Beyond that there’s the question of installation, use, and simple preference.

So here are some questions you can be asking yourself when deciding what the right projector is for you:

DLP, LCD, or LCOS?

If someone asked you that question with no context, you might look at them like they were crazy, but there are different ways that the machine actually projects the image. DLP stands for “Digital Light Processing,” which uses small mirrors to project the image. While it projects a great image, and can generally last a very long time, businesses may have a hard time with the “rainbow effect” that the colors may give off (though this isn’t a problem for home theaters).

LCD, Liquid Crystal Displays, are the same technology used in many TVs, can be brighter than a DLP projector, and offer a higher resolution and a varying aspect ratio. LCOS, Liquid Crystal on Silicone, offers as sharp of a picture as LCD, and is very bright, but likewise will more commonly show dead pixels than DLP.

The bottom line is that each has its pros and cons for longevity, brightness, and display, which are all valued differently depending on your use.

Where Am I Installing it?

While this also seems like a simple question, it has two different aspects that make it very important in buying the right type of projector. Short throw projectors, for example, can be put very close to the screen and will still cast a large image—utilizing a smaller amount of space for a larger image—whereas common projectors may cast a very small picture when displayed close to the screen.

Consider a short throw for a tiny home theater, and for a larger auditorium something with a longer throw and a higher brightness.

When am I Using It?

Simple enough, right? Pico projectors can easily fit into your briefcase, making them great to take on business trips for on-the-fly presentations, whereas in big stadiums or at concerts and the like, you may want to opt for a heavier, more powerful projector that can cast a clear image in any light.

Do you need a 3D-ready projector for business meetings? Well, maybe. But it’s not always a given, so it’s important to ask yourself where it’s practically going to get used. And once you answer that, you can consider mounting it, or keeping it free to move around your house, office, or building.

Conclusion

There are countless projector manufacturers and models out there, and finding the right one can seem overwhelming. However, by asking a few simple questions such as the ones shown here, you can easily narrow it down to a few specific options. Whatever you’re using your projector for, the good news is that the right one for you is out there. Be an informed buyer, ask the right questions, and get a projector that will serve you well!

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can browse from a variety of other solutions available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

How To: Loop Videos on iOS Devices

Have you ever wanted to connect your iPhone, iPod or iPad to your projector or display and have it continuously loop a video? This is a question we have been asked multiple times by customers looking to display a demo video, advertisement, or other promotional content that is in the form of a video. Sure, it’s easy to connect the device and have the video play, but getting it to loop is a bit of an issue.

Recently, our technology experts sat down and developed a list of instructions and resources that are needed in order to complete this task. It served to get one of our recent customers up and running in their application, and we wanted to share the information with others in case you’re looking to do the same thing.

Wired or Wireless

The process starts by determining whether you will be using a wired connection from your device, or if your connection will be wireless. For wired connections, you will need to purchase the correct adapter cable from Apple. You can view all of the available adapters on the Apple Store here. Wired connections will always be more reliable, and less subject to interference and glitches than wireless will be. However, it’s pretty cool to be able to have everything running without a mess of wires and devices visible. So, if you’re ready to embark on wireless, far and above, your best bet will be the Apple TV. There are other potential solutions, but you’ll spend far more time than it’s worth trying to make it work. Apple’s devices are designed to work with the Apple TV from the ground up, and they work very well. Plus, at only $99, it’s very affordable. You can view the Apple TV on the Apple Store here. One discreet HDMI cable from the Apple TV to the display, and a functional WiFi network is all that you need to connect your iOS device. You will then connect to the Apple TV via AirPlay (in the notification center on your iOS device) and enable the mirroring feature there as well.

Looping via iOS Slideshow

Once we’ve established the connection, the next step is to play the video. The first of two ways we recommend playing the video is utilizing the “Photos” app that comes on all iOS devices. Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to play the video this way:

  1. Locate the video on your iOS device. It will have either been saved from an email, or copied through an iTunes sync.
  2. Create a new “Album” in your photo library and add the video you want to have loop.
  3. Go to the “Settings” app and under the “Photos” section, enable the option to “Repeat” the slideshow.
  4. Go back to the “Photos” app, and to the newly created album, and then select the video you want to play.
  5. In the lower left hand corner of the screen, you will have an arrow you can press, which will give you the option to play the slideshow. (Note, you need to be in the album in order to see the slideshow option. It will not be visible if you simply navigate to the video through the Camera Roll.)
  6. Your video will now play continuously until stopped.

The only downside we discovered with this option, is that each time the video restarts, there is a momentary display of the play arrow icon. This can be disruptive, and when we noticed it, we immediately looked for another solution. We discovered that when we used a third-party app, this issue went away. This leads us to the next section of the post.

Looping via CWG’s Video Loop Presenter

CWG’s Video Loop Presenter is a free app from the App Store that allows you to continuously play videos without having to see the momentary display of the play arrow icon between each restart. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to play the video this way:

  1. Download the app “CWG’s Video Loop Presenter” to your iOS device. (See it on iTunes Preview here.)
  2. Open the app on your device. It will show up as “vloop” with a blue/green icon and a “V” with a circular arrow on your home screen.
  3. In the lower right hand corner, select the option to configure the video.
  4. Under “Media Library” select “Add”, then select “Video from Camera Roll”.
  5. Locate the video on your iOS device. It will have either been saved from an email, or copied through an iTunes sync.
  6. Under “Configure Presentation” tap the text that says “Select Video to Loop”
  7. Select the video that you just added to the Media Library.
  8. Choose the desired option under the “Scale Mode”. We recommend “Aspect Fill”, however you may want to do “Aspect Fit” to avoid cropping.
  9. Once complete, select “Show Home Screen” in the upper right hand corner.
  10. Select “Play” in the lower left hand corner to begin playing your video.

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Ready to begin shopping for a projector or display? You can browse from a variety of other solutions available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

____________________________________________________________________________

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

Header image obtained from Digital Trends here.

Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU Large Venue Projector Review

Review Written By:Bill Livolsi | View original article on Projector Central here.

The Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU is a 6000-lumen WUXGA projector built with large venues in mind. WUXGA resolution is 1920×1200, the new gold standard for conference room and auditorium projectors. It used to be a high-end format, but at this writing there are two hundred WUXGA projectors in production across a wide range of price points. It has broad market appeal due to its versatility — WUXGA projectors will display both 1920×1200 computer signals and HD 1080p video in native format, so it has become the go-to resolution for sharp, detailed projection display.

As installation projectors go, the Epson Pro G6900WU is compact and easy to handle, weighing in at just over 20 lbs. It is a single-lamp projector that is not only rich in features, but also more affordable than dual-lamp models. The Pro G6900WU is powerful enough to light some seriously big screens, versatile enough to handle just about any connection or media type, and aggressively priced within its performance class. It also has some features not found in other Pro G-series projectors that make it ideal for digital signage. And at $6,499, you can’t beat its combination of features and performance.

The Viewing Experience

At 6,000 lumens, the Pro G6900WU is built to be used on large screens, typically in the presence of ambient light. As such, our light-controlled theater is not exactly the ideal environment. It was not a surprise when the projector started up and bathed the entire room in reflected screen light. We toned down the image brightness by switching into ECO lamp mode and increasing the screen size, but the Pro G6900WU is clearly intended for larger, brighter spaces.

The most striking thing about the Pro G6900WU’s image is its excellent color. The Pro G6900WU produces bright, saturated color in every image mode, and this goes a long way towards creating a natural-looking image. This is especially helpful when displaying data graphics or photography, because brightness does not drop off when a full-color image is put on screen. While this is not unique in data projectors, it is also not a given.

The projector’s color performance made us curious how it would perform with 1080p video. As it turns out, the answer is “quite well.” The Pro G6900WU uses Faroudja DCDi technology to process video signals, and the result is a smooth video image with great detail. The only weak point is black level, and even then the Pro G6900WU performs admirably for a projector in its class. It is not built to be a dedicated video projector, but it does very well in a pinch or for part-time use. And on the bright side, the projector’s dynamic range is sufficient to prevent crushing of shadow detail.

The Pro G6900WU includes quite a few little touches that make video more pleasant to watch, such as an automatic iris and frame interpolation. The iris brings down black level and can be very helpful when viewing video or film, but only if room lighting can be reduced as well.

Frame interpolation smooths out judder in film and video. The Pro G6900WU’s FI circuit is more or less identical to those found on Epson home theater projectors. There are three different modes, labeled Low, Normal, and High. Low mode was most appropriate for film, as it displayed the fewest artifacts and the least amount of digital video or “soap opera” effect. High mode is overkill for film and 24p content, but has no negative effect on 60p video signals. Keep in mind that Frame Interpolation is not for everyone; some folks do not enjoy the effect when viewing film, but there are no real downsides to using it with video.

In short, the Pro G6900WU’s image is bright, color is excellent, and video quality is superb for its class. The projector’s black level is typical for a data projector, but in an auditorium this actually matters very little — and with the auto-iris engaged and the lights dimmed, black level becomes quite good.

Setup and Configuration

Gone are the days when a 6000-lumen projector was a heavy behemoth that required a lot of muscle to install. The Pro G6900WU is small enough to be easily deployed pretty much any way you want to use it. It can be ceiling mounted, installed in a projection closet, or even placed on a rolling cart if mobility is desired. There is an assortment of six optional lenses to choose from which will allow you to fill a 180″ diagonal screen from a throw distance of anywhere from 8’2″ to 84’7″ (with the exception of a break in the range from 10 to 16 feet).

The Pro G6900WU comes with the Standard Zoom lens, a 1.82:1 manual zoom/focus lens that will put a 180″ image on screen from 16′ to just over 29′. The projector is available either as a bundle with the Standard Zoom, or as a bare body (Pro G6900WUNL, with the “NL” standing for “No Lens”). The latter is priced at $5,199 to the former’s $6,499. The lenses vary in price, with the Standard Zoom selling for $1,399, the Short Throw Zoom selling for $2,999, and the other lenses all priced at $1,899.

As for lens shift, the projector allows for both vertical and horizontal adjustment using manually-operated thumb knobs on the top of the projector. Once lens shift is dialed in, the projector has a sliding lock bar that prevents further adjustment or drift.

The exact range of the lens shift changes with each lens, but the standard lens allows for approximately 70% vertical adjustment in either direction and about 33% adjustment to the left or right. On a hypothetical 180″ diagonal image (95″ high by 153″ wide), that’s 66.5″ range up or down and 46″ of adjustment to the left or right.

The Pro G6900WU can be installed in an auditorium, but it can also be used on curved surfaces, hard corners, ceilings, floors, and portrait orientations. Digital signage-oriented features like arc correction, edge blending, corner wall projection, and 360-degree display make it possible to install the Pro G6900WU in positions that are either difficult or impossible for many other projectors.

The Pro G6900WU is easy to install and maintain, and even a surface-level examination of the projector reveals some thoughtful touches. The projector’s lens mount uses a quick-release system, so you can swap out lenses without a screwdriver. The air filter door uses a sliding lock system and filters can be changed without tools — though the air filter is built to last 10,000 hours, so it’s only an occasional maintenance item. The lamp door on the projector’s side is attached with two Phillips screws, so unfortunately lamp changes still require a screwdriver.

One final note: The Pro G6900WU includes a third lamp power selection called “Temp Interlock.” This mode keeps the lamp at full power unless the surrounding temperature rises outside the range for normal operation, at which point lamp power switches to ECO. If you were going to keep the lamp at full power, there is no reason not to use this setting, as it can help preserve your projector and improve lamp life.

Key Features

Image quality. The Pro G6900WU’s stand-out feature is the balanced, natural quality of the image even in the projector’s brightest modes. The Pro G6900WU has well-saturated, bright color, a sharp and detailed image, and great dynamic range. The projector is as strong in video display as it is in data thanks in part to a Faroudja DCDi image processor, an automatic iris, and frame interpolation.

Connectivity. Nearly the entire rear surface of the Pro G6900WU is taken up by its connection panel. As the flagship model of Epson’s new G series, the Pro G6900WU features connectors for HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, VGA monitor out, S-Video, composite, 5BNC component, wired LAN, WiFi (with a $99 adapter), both 1/8″ and RCA audio inputs, HDBaseT, and HD-SDI. That last one in particular is not found on any other projectors in the G Series line-up and is unique to the Pro G6900WU.

HDBaseT is getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. It combines HDMI, ethernet, and RS232 control over one inexpensive, non-proprietary, easily sourced Cat5e or Cat6 cable. Epson sells an HDBaseT transmitter box for $499 that bundles HDMI, Ethernet, and RS232 and sends them out over a single wire, but aftermarket products are also an option.

Arc correction. If your screen isn’t flat, the Pro G6900WU can correct for that. Arc Correction allows you to digitally fine-tune the projection geometry to compensate for a screen surface that is not perfectly flat. In other words, the Pro G6900WU can be used on curved screens without pincushion or barrel distortion. Moreover, the projector is capable of correcting focus in non-flat images, keeping your entire image crisp and clear. Arc correction does apply scaling to the image, so if you are using WUXGA or 1080p content you will lose the benefit of 1:1 native display.

Edge blending. For large-scale screens that require more than one projector, the Pro G6900WU has Advanced Edge Blending. All projectors in Epson’s G Series offer edge blending — the ability to seamlessly stitch the edges of two or more projectors’ images in order to make one fully integrated image. But the Pro G6900WU has the “advanced” version, which also includes support for curved surfaces and corner walls.

360-degree installation. Many projectors can only be installed horizontally due to heat concerns, but the Pro G6900WU can be installed in any position. One of several features aimed at digital signage, this allows the projector to be mounted in any orientation without fear of overheating or malfunction.

When you combine these three features — arc correction, edge blending, and 360-degree installation — you gain the ability to install the Pro G6900WU in some radically non-traditional setups, making it perfect for digital signage. You can aim the projector at a floor or ceiling, or project onto a vertically oriented screen. Getting more creative, you can use the Corner Wall feature to project a portrait-oriented image onto a curved pillar or sharp 90-degree corner. Getting more creative still, you can use a series of Pro G6900WU projectors to edge-blend a huge display all the way down one wall, around a corner, and onto the next. You could extend that display up onto the ceiling or down onto the floor. The flexibility afforded by these features make the Pro G6900WU a perfect projector for use in digital signage applications.

Scheduling and control. Like most large-venue projectors, the Pro G6900WU can be monitored and controlled over a wired network. Unlike most other comparable projectors, though, the Pro G6900WU has a scheduling feature that allows the projector to be programmed based on a timer and internal clock, which is especially useful in places where network connectivity is unavailable. Using the Scheduler, you can program the projector to turn itself on and off, change sources, change lamp power, mute sound and video, and adjust the volume. These actions can be programmed for a specific date or a repeating day of the week. While the scheduler is not as comprehensive as network monitoring, it is a great way to ensure that a projector does not accidentally stay on all night. It’s also ideal for digital signage — all of your displays can be set to turn off at the close of business, automatically.

Low fan noise. The Pro G6900WU is a bright projector, but it doesn’t sound like one. Fan noise, while not whisper-quiet, is comparable to what you’d get out of home theater projectors from a few years back – a low rush of air, noticeable but not annoying. That is a nice bonus, particularly if you’ve got the projector on a rolling cart close to the audience in the center aisle of a conference room.

3 year warranty with overnight replacement. When it comes to projector warranties, three years is about as good as it gets. But the Pro G6900WU’s warranty also includes Epson’s Road Service program, so if your projector fails while it is under warranty, Epson will overnight ship a replacement projector to you, free of charge. The warranty also includes 90 days of coverage on the lamp.

If three years isn’t long enough for you, extended warranties are available and include a one-year Exchange plan for $199 or a two-year Repair plan for $299.

Performance

Light output. The Pro G6900WU is rated at 6,000 ANSI lumens, and using its internal white test pattern did give a maximum reading of 6021 lumens on our projector using Dynamic mode. Switching to an external source over HDMI, Dynamic mode measured 5012 lumens with 85% brightness uniformity. On most projectors, Dynamic mode is a green-tinged mess designed to pump white light output at the expense of color and contrast, but Dynamic mode on the Pro G6900WU actually produces a respectable picture that would be appropriate for text and data graphics in a high ambient light setting.

The next mode, Presentation, has a cooler bluish tone and better black levels than Dynamic. At 3922 lumens, Presentation mode does give up some of Dynamic’s brightness, but the trade-off is worth it for color-rich PowerPoint presentations, graphs, or charts.

Theatre mode, at 4049 lumens, has better color saturation and accuracy and a very good default gamma calibration. Theatre mode is more likely to be used with the lamp at low power and with the auto iris engaged, in which case light output drops to 2632 lumens. That’s a more appropriate level of brightness for a room with dimmed lights and a more comfortable configuration for the viewing of film or video.

Sports mode, at 4285 lumens, has the same blue tint bias as Presentation and is appropriate for live television and video content, just as the name implies.

The final image mode is sRGB, which at 3268 lumens has both the most natural color of any preset mode on the projector and the lowest light output. If you plan to view a lot of photography and can afford to sacrifice the light output, sRGB mode is the way to go.

Any image mode can be reduced in brightness by switching to ECO lamp mode. ECO mode reduces lamp power by 36% and can bring the Pro G6900WU to a more appropriate level of brightness for smaller screens or rooms with better control over ambient light.

Contrast. In a room with ambient light, the Pro G6900WU produces a well-balanced image with sufficient contrast for viewing text and data graphics, though contrast is not the projector’s strongest suit. Content like video, film, and photography is much improved if room lighting can be dimmed. The projector’s automatic iris is useful for deepening black level when room conditions allow. There is little muddiness in shadows, and black is black, not dark gray, when the lights are off.

Color. Even in its brightest modes, the Pro G6900WU’s color performance is more than adequate for data graphics. Color light output matches white light output, meaning that color appears natural and color-rich images do not seem dark or undersaturated. This all comes together to give the Pro G6900WU a bright, vibrant image that is not just limited to black-and-white data, but is a good choice for video, film, and photography use in a non-theater setting.

Sharpness and Clarity. The Pro G6900WU’s image is sharp and clear at just about any resolution. The Pro G6900WU is capable of natively displaying both WUXGA and HD 1080p. These native-res signals are tack-sharp on the Pro G6900WU, which does an excellent job of rendering fine detail from both video sources and data.

Lower-resolution signals can either be displayed natively in a window or scaled to fit, but the projector upscales cleanly and shows few signs of blurring or detail loss. Up-conversion of a text document from a WXGA (1280×800) laptop did not result in any significant loss of legibility.

In our testing, there was significant digital noise in Dynamic mode, especially when watching film or video. The noise was much less noticeable in still content like photographs, PowerPoint presentations, and web pages. The other image modes were less noisy than Dynamic, with sRGB being the cleanest mode available.

Input Lag. Straight out of the box, the Pro G6900WU measured 92.3 milliseconds of input lag, or five and a half frames on a 60 FPS signal. Film and video playback might have visible audio delay if a correction circuit is not used. Like other Epson projectors, the Pro G6900WU includes an option to use either “Fast” or “Fine” image processing. Fast processing reduces input lag to 40 milliseconds, or just over two frames, but also reduces detail clarity in the image.

Limitations

Light loss due to zoom. Long zoom lenses all share one thing in common: they reduce the amount of light that reaches the screen as you shrink the image down. All of the above readings were taken with the Standard Zoom lens at its widest position (the biggest image for a given throw distance). At maximum telephoto, light output is reduced by 35%. If you need to mount the Pro G6900WU at the long end of its throw range, maximum light output falls to 3260 lumens. That’s enough of a drop that you might want to consider using the next lens in the lineup rather than trying to make do with the Standard Zoom.

Light loss due to lamp age. In the projector industry, all projectors carry brightness ratings based on new lamps. High pressure lamps typically diminish in light output about 25% during the first 500 hours of use, and degrade more slowly after that. At the end of a lamp’s anticipated life it will be putting out 50% of its initial brightness. When planning any installation with any projector, one should make allowances for diminished lamp output over the life of the lamp. It can be advisable to plan for running in eco-mode during the early phase of the lamp’s life and full power in the later phase in order to equalize brightness over the lamp’s life. If maximum light output is required for the application, one might plan on replacing lamps more frequently than the estimated life. Replacement lamps on the Pro G6900WU are $549, which is typical for large venue projectors.

Screw closure on lamp door. On the Pro G6900WU, both the lens mount and the air filter cover use a tool-free closure — a push-lever in the former case and a sliding lock in the latter. However, the lamp door still requires a screwdriver. Since the projector lamp (2,000/4,000 hour life) requires attention more often than the air filter (10,000 hour life), and lens swaps are unlikely once the projector is installed, it would be ideal if the lamp access door was tool-free as well.

Manual lens adjustments. The Pro G6900WU’s manual zoom, focus, and shift adjustments may require a second person to eyeball the screen up close as these adjustments are being made at long throw distances. This is a non-issue once installed in a permanent location, but focus could be done with one person standing at the screen if the lens adjustments were powered.

Conclusion

Taken as a whole, the Pro G6900WU is an impressive package. The projector couples WUXGA native resolution and a small, light-weight package with high light output and great color performance to create a sparkling and engaging image. The projector’s connection panel is packed tight with high-quality digital connections ranging from HDMI to DisplayPort to HDBaseT and HD-SDI. The projector is designed from the ground up with installers in mind. Arc correction, edge blending, and 360-degree projection make it possible to install the Pro G6900WU in just about any situation.

All in all, the Epson PowerLite Pro G6900WU is a powerful, highly capable WUXGA projector that strikes a compelling balance between affordability and feature set. It brings some high-end features to a more affordable projector than the massive two-lamp models. It is among the most attractively priced WUXGA projectors available at its brightness level. For that reason and many others, the G6900WU is an excellent value in today’s market.

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can view the G6900WU on our site here. You can also browse a variety of other projectors available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Epson- Epson’s vision is to transform how people share ideas and information — simply, visually and in ways they never thought possible. They are a  leading manufacturer in the printer, professional imaging, projector, scanner, systems devices, and factory automation categories. They deliver high performance products, services and solutions that exceed their customers’ expectations. Additionally, Epson goes the extra mile to build long lasting relationships with their end users, their co-workers, and their accounts. You can learn more about Epson on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

ViewSonic Pro8520HD Projector Review

Review Written By: Bill Livolsi | View original article on Projector Central here.

ViewSonic’s newest 1080p projector, the Pro8520HD, is a big bright model designed for use in conference rooms, board rooms, and other business environments. Promising up to 5,000 lumens of brightness, the Pro8520HD is designed to be flexible and friendly, with a 1.5:1 zoom lens to help it fit into your room and a cornucopia of connectivity to get all of your devices hooked up. Its MSRP of $2,299 puts it right in the middle of the pack for this class of projector, but its image quality is good and its feature set is impressive, making it a strong value.

The Viewing Experience

In our dimly lit theater space, the Pro8520HD’s light output overwhelmed the screen and did a fair job of lighting the entire room all by itself. After turning on some room lights, increasing the size of the image, and switching to Eco mode, we had a much more appropriate level of brightness.

Our testing started out with some text documents, Excel spreadsheets, and text-based PowerPoint presentations. The Pro8520HD displays all of these crisply and clearly and maintains sharpness from edge to edge, with no trace of softness in the projector’s 1080p image. All of the projector’s image modes did an excellent job with these types of material.

Color performance, on the other hand, varies. The Viewsonic Pro8520HD is a single-chip DLP projector optimized for high light output, which means two things: one, it has a color wheel that is not solely RGB, and two, it makes heavy use of BrilliantColor to boost white light output. Image modes like Brightest and Standard emphasize white light output at the expense of colored light output, so color-rich content like photos and video tend to look out-of-balance, with over-bright highlights and poor color saturation. To get satisfying performance for these types of content, you can switch to either the Theater or Dark Room modes, which cut light output but have much better color saturation and overall image balance.

Perhaps the most surprising application for the Pro8520HD is gaming. While the Pro8520HD is not a gaming projector, it is bright, high resolution, has fairly accurate color in Theater and Dark Room modes, and measures just 10 milliseconds of input lag. These qualities make it a great choice for large-screen gaming use in a partially light-controlled environment, where the extra brightness gives the Pro8520HD an edge over products marketed for home theater.

Setup and Configuration

The Pro8520HD has a manual 1.5:1 zoom lens, which is a bit more reach than is typically seen on this class of projector. This zoom range allows the Pro8520HD to hit a 150″ diagonal 16:9 screen from 15′ 4″ to 23′ 4″. The lack of lens shift, typical for this class of projector, means you’ll need to esnure your installation is planned out properly. The Pro8520HD has a fixed throw offset of 32%, meaning the edge of the image (bottom edge for a table mount, top edge for a ceiling mount) is offset 32% of the image’s height from the centerline of the projector’s lens. On our 150″ diagonal image, that’s an offset of 24″.

The Pro8520HD has a full connection panel, with two HDMI inputs, two VGA inputs, a dedicated VGA monitor passthrough, audio in/out, and both wired and optional wireless networking. Most users will have more than enough ports to connect any device that’s needed.

Key Features

Great for video gaming. Despite the Pro8520HD’s business pedigree, it excels as a video gaming projector. In our input lag testing, it measured a super-fast 10 milliseconds, or less than one frame of delay. Coupled with a bright picture and reasonably accurate color in Dark Room mode, the Pro8520HD can create a bright, high-resolution gaming image that’s incredibly responsive. And with almost 2,000 lumens at your disposal in Dark Room mode, you can keep some of the lights on as well.

Placement flexibility. A 1.5:1 manual zoom lens makes the Pro8520HD easier to install in a variety of conference rooms with different installation needs. Often, an organization will require projectors in several different rooms, and those rooms may not all be identical, which can make it more difficult to pick projectors for each situation. By making one projector that can fit in a variety of rooms, life for purchasers, installers, and support staff becomes much simpler.

Connectivity. The slate of connections on the Pro8520HD’s rear panel makes it a simple task to connect a variety of sources, from laptops to Blu-ray players to digital video cameras. The projector also has a 1/8″ audio input for a microphone along with a separate microphone volume slider in the menu system, so you can provide amplified narration during presentations.

Three-year warranty. A three-year standard warranty protects you in the event that the Pro8520HD fails in some way to perform up to expectations. Three years is long for a projector warranty, and the added value should be considered in purchasing decisions.

10W stereo speakers. The Pro8520HD’s speaker system packs a punch. It’s no match for dedicated external speakers, obviously, but it’s better than nothing at all.

DICOM SIM. DICOM stands for “Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine” and the part that we’re concerned with describes a standard used for medical imaging devices — think x-rays. The DICOM SIM mode on the Pro8520HD simulates a proper DICOM imaging environment. The idea is that it can be used for lectures and education, but not for actual patient diagnosis (hence the “SIM” part, for “simulation”). This opens up the Pro8520HD to medical classrooms and doctor’s offices, as well.

Performance

Light output. As a projector built for use in ambient light, the Pro8520HD is sufficiently bright for most conference rooms. “Brightest” mode, the projector’s default, measured 2942 lumens on our test sample with the lamp set to full power and the projector’s lens at its widest angle. Brightest mode emphasizes white light output over color and contrast, and as a result is best for monochromatic or text-based content like Word documents or spreadsheets. Standard mode, at 2656 lumens, shows an incremental improvement in contrast and color saturation but is still largely similar to Brightest mode.

Theater mode produced 1781 lumens on our projector, but contrast and color performance were much improved over the Brightest and Standard modes. Theater mode, as the name implies, is more appropriate for the display of film and video than Brightest and Standard modes.

However, when it comes to color fidelity and contrast performance, the projector’s best mode is Dark Room. Not only does Dark Room mode produce 1988 lumens, making it brighter than Theater mode, but it also has the best color saturation and color brightness of any image mode. If you’re going to be watching movies or looking at photographs, Dark Room is your best bet.

The final preset image mode is DICOM SIM, which measures 3896 lumens. This actually makes it the brightest mode on the projector, about 1000 lumens more than “Brightest” mode. However, it is not appropriate for all types of content due to its specific calibration, so Brightest mode still does have its own distinct application.

Any image mode can have its light output decreased by selecting ECO lamp mode from the menu. ECO reduces light output by 29% in all operating modes. This can be useful when in a darkened room or using a smaller screen, or if you use the projector at night when ambient daylight is less of a concern.

Contrast. As a data and presentation projector, contrast is much less important to the Pro8520HD than brightness. However, the projector does a respectable job with video and photography. Dynamic range is more than sufficient to bring out most shadow detail, though you do lose a bit in the deepest shadows due to the lackluster black level. If contrast is important, it helps to optimize your environment and switch to ECO lamp mode, which cuts down on the projector’s brightness and makes it easier to see shadow detail in dark areas.

Color. The quality of color you get out of the Pro8520HD depends on which image mode you use. If you select Theater or Dark Room mode, you end up with color that is reasonably accurate, well saturated, and balanced well with white. If you use Brightest or Standard mode, you get a much brighter white and by comparison dull, undersaturated color. Since BrilliantColor is not configurable on this projector, your best bet is to use Dark Room or Theater mode when color matters and Brightest or Standard mode when it does not.

Sharpness and clarity. As a native 1080p projector, the Pro8520HD will look its best when given a 1080p input signal, but it will do an admirable job of converting non-native signals to 1080p as well.

Input lag. While the Pro8520HD is a business projector first and foremost, it also measured a blazing fast 10 milliseconds in our input lag testing. That gives it less than a single frame of delay in bringing content from source to screen, making it a good choice for gamers who need fast response times. In fact, 10ms is one of the fastest times we have ever measured on a projector, period.

Limitations

Brightness. Though the Pro8520HD is advertised as a 5,000 lumen projector, it does not have a pre-calibrated image mode that reaches this specification. Its brightest mode is DICOM SIM at 3896 lumens (just under 80% of spec), but DICOM is not appropriate for all types of content. More importantly, the projector’s white light output is significantly higher than its color light output. In Brightest mode, color light output only amounts to 28% of white light output — so while white measured 2942 lumens, a full color image will look like it is only about 825 lumens. The best mode for color saturation is Dark Room mode, where color measured 79% of white.

BrilliantColor. BrilliantColor has a place on presentation projectors such as the Pro8520HD where it can boost white light output at the expense of colored light output when that is what the user requires. The objection here is that BrilliantColor is not adjustable on the Pro8520HD, so there’s no way to turn white peaking down or off when you need better color performance.

Lamp life and cost. The Pro8520HD’s lamp is expected to last 2500 hours at full power and 3000 hours in Eco mode, which is a touch shorter than the average these days. What’s more, replacement lamps cost $499 from Viewsonic, bringing the estimated cost per hour to between sixteen and twenty cents. Compared to other presentation projectors in the Pro8520HD’s performance class, that’s on the expensive side.

No 3D. The Pro8520HD does not have 3D capabilities, while several competing models do. While this isn’t a problem if you don’t plan to use any 3D content, it does rule out 3D gaming as a possible application. Then again, 3D projectors tend to have higher input lag than non-3D projectors, so it is possible that those competing models are less appropriate for gaming.

Conclusion

The ViewSonic Pro8520HD is a great projector for conference rooms and other business environments. It pairs high light output with a full feature set and excellent connectivity to create a presentation projector that’s easy to use. It couples this performance with an industry-leading three year warranty to ensure your continued satisfaction. And with only ten milliseconds of input lag, it also serves surprisingly well as a gaming projector. Whether you’re building out your business, lecturing the doctors of the future, or just saving the world in your favorite game, the ViewSonic Pro8520HD has something to offer.

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Ready to begin shopping for your projector? You can view the Pro8520HD on our site here. You can also browse a variety of other projectors available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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About Viewsonic – Founded in Walnut, California in 1987, ViewSonic is a world leader and pioneer in desktop display technology. As an innovator and visionary, ViewSonic continues to build an ever-connected and enriching digital future. We have evolved our product lines to exceed the world’s demands for performance, value, and simplicity. ViewSonic delivers the latest in desktop virtualization and cloud computing, along with a diverse portfolio of projectors, displays, digital signage, and touch devices that will change the way you compute, communicate, and connect. You can view additional information about AViewSonic on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

“Which Projector Do I Need?” – A Guide to Selecting Your Next Projector

Perhaps the million dollar question when it comes to projection systems is “Which projector do I need?” There are so many models out there for all sorts of different applications… It can certainly be overwhelming. However, when you break it down, there are a few simple questions you can ask that allow you to ensure you’re getting the right projector.

When buying a projector, you want the perfect balance of functionality and affordability. You don’t want to overspend, but on the other hand, you don’t want a projector that doesn’t meet your needs. A projector that isn’t bright enough, doesn’t have the right inputs, or doesn’t fill the screen isn’t ideal by any means. Once you’ve taken that step and invested in a new projector, you want that investment to shine. Additionally, you want it to shine for years to come. You don’t want something that is always in for repair. You want it to be installed and to be a reliable addition to your meeting facility.

So, now that we’ve established the goal, how do we get there? Truth be told, there are about as many guides to selecting a projector as there are projectors themselves. Well, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find a guide that will be of help to you, and point you in the right direction. Prepared by one of our manufacturing partners, the following areas are ones to consider when selecting your next projector-

Budget: In today’s economy, budget is often the first consideration for any purchase. However, it is not wise to purchase a projector that does not meet your needs even if it is priced within a budget.

Application: First, consider how and where you plan to use the projector. Ask yourself questions, such as: Will it be a fixed installation or does it need to be portable? Is the main usage in your sanctuary/auditorium or in a classroom or board room? How large of a screen will you need so the person in the last row can see and read your message? Can the ambient light conditions be controlled or must you overcome some adverse direct sunlight from windows?

Content: What is the main purpose for the projector, video, data or both? Video content is typically 25% lower in brightness than computer data and will require a brighter projector.

Room Configuration: Long narrow rooms require larger screens than a short wide room when the audience is closer to the screen. On the other hand, narrow rooms require screens that reflect more light directly back to the audience, whereas screens used in wide rooms require a wider angle of dispersed light and will require a brighter projector.

Brightness & Contrast: Projector brightness is specified in lumens and contrast defines the ratio comparing the brightest white of an image to the darkest black. In most cases, brightness is more important than contrast. There are very few applications when a projector is too bright.

Aspect Ratio: Until recent years, both video and computer images were in the old TV format 4:3 screen ratios. Today however, with the advent of High Definition (HD) most video and computer images are now wide screen format 16:9 or 16:10 ratio. When considering a new facility or future projector replacement wide screen format is the way to go.

Technology: Currently there are two main affordable projector technologies on the market: DLP (Digital Light Processing) and LCD, (Liquid Crystal Display). Each offers their unique advantages and disadvantages, and depending on application and personal preference, both are capable of displaying great images. DLP is often preferred when the content is primarily live video. Images from a high-end DLP projector will closely resemble the images we see at the motion picture theaters. Small low cost portable DLP projectors are often bright with high contrast ratios, but are usually week in color saturation and do not always accurately display the colors the same as on a computer monitor. LCD is the older of the two technologies and is very similar to the flat screen TV’s and computer monitor except the image is magnified and projected on a large screen. LCD projectors are best known for their high color saturation and accuracy. Computer generated images are accurately displayed like you seen on a monitor.

Support: Probably the most important consideration is the support provided by both the manufacturer and the selling dealer. A professional sound and video dealer can offer valuable insight and critical analysis by doing a site survey. When necessary they can arrange product demonstrations to determine the best projector for your application and budget. Always consider the manufacturers brand, warranty and history of supporting the products they sell.

Ready to select your next projector? Begin by browsing through a variety of quality options available from Projector SuperStore here. Don’t see the one you’re looking for, or have other questions? Give us a call at 888-525-6696 and one of our sales team members will be happy to assist you! 

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This guide was originally published by ASK Proxima, a PSS manufacturing partner.

About ASK Proxima – ASK Proxima, Inc. is a leading subsidiary of Shenzhen ACTO Digital Video Technology Co., Ltd. a high–tech enterprise specializing in research, development and manufacturing of digital video technology. They distribute a full suite of high-performance projectors, ranging from short-throw, ultra short-throw, large venue, portable and developing new lampless models. Their wide variety of projectors offer the best display LCD and DLP imaging technology available, yet all our feature-rich products are priced competitively in this dynamic market. ASK Proxima can meet your projector needs by providing quality solutions that are designed for most display and presentation markets, including: Educational, Corporate, House of Worship, Large Venue, Digital Signage and Small Business. ASK Proxima boasts an engineering team that offers some of the best technical expertise in the industry.  Many of their top-rated talent originated from leading R&D facilities around the world.  They stand by our work through extensive quality testing and excellent warranty programs that will make you feel secure in your decision to select them as your projector supplier of choice. You can view additional information about ASK Proxima on their website here.

About Projector SuperStore – For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. We have worked with hundreds of businesses across the nation and have the expertise to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to the masses. Whether you’re looking for a projector for a meeting room, a portable system for use in multi-purpose rooms, a state-of-the-art projection system for your main auditorium, the latest home theater technology or anything in between, we can help you create a system that is right for your needs and fits within your budget. View more information on our website here.

 

7 Ways Digital Signage is Essential to Your Commercial Office

Commercial real estate has seen the value of digital signage; corporate lobbies have gradually added more large digital displays to increase the value of their buildings and the way that visitors and residents interact with the space around them. While the adoption of digital displays into the lobby has offered commercial spaces more opportunities for engagement and revenue, now the need for large-format displays has moved beyond the front desk and into the conference rooms of the corporate offices within.

2013 sees more and more companies moving towards open floor plans, telecommuting, international work forces, and eco-friendly spaces, and in a recent survey by Fortune, it was found that  ”a whopping 81% of companies surveyed have already adopted an open-space floor plan” and were moving towards such goals. A NanoLumens display could equip the office of the future with the digital displays it needs to become a superior work space. Here’s how:

  1. Increased Communication in an Open Environment
    The death of the cubicle is upon us. As more companies move towards more open communication in the work space, walls are coming down and open floor-plans are in demand in corporate offices. With a large format digital display, there’s no need to bombard staff with emails across a room. Instead, put your group messaging up on a screen that everyone can see.
  2. Stay in Touch with Video Conferences and Telecommuters
    Office space has become an expensive commodity, and employers are turning to telecommute options and shared work spaces to cut down on cost and space needs, making video conferencing a main avenue for meeting communication. When hosting a video conference or having telecommuters dial in for a meeting, having a large display allows you to engage with your audience and staff “face-to-face,” even while miles or even oceans apart.
  3. Get Social with Real-Time Social Media Feeds
    More and more brands are connecting with their audiences through social media, and in turn through their employee’s social media channels. Create an office hashtag and share the feed on your digital display, or use conversations on social media from customer service or live chats to encourage your team.
  4. Save on Heat and Noise Pollution
    There’s nothing like the soft hum of a projector to lull a group meeting from a productive session to a snooze fest. A NanoLumens display produces essentially zero heat and is silent, keeping the focus on the conversation at hand and eyelids from drooping.
  5. Have Signage That’s as Green as You Are
    Offices are going green–From ample recycling to reusable coffee cups, companies are working to lighten their carbon footprint. With digital signage that’s built from reclaimed materials and almost 100% recyclable, you can rest at ease knowing that  your signage shares your environmental conscience.
  6. Show off Your Work and Your Brand 
    Static posters of previous projects, whether your an ad agency showcasing a stellar TV spot or an architect featuring your latest building,  are easy to pass by or ignore. A digital display is much more engaging and impressive for visitors, helping you to share your projects effectively and make your brand have more an impact.
  7. Improve Morale and Productivity
    As the economy recovers, your team is going to need to work to keep the talent that it has, showing employees that you care and appreciate them daily. Create an environment that’s positive and collaborative, showing your team your thanks in corporate messaging, photos from staff outings, and more on your display. Working towards a sales goal or a product launch? Show a countdown clock to your launch date, a progress chart to show how the project is going, or a real-time sales update to motivate your team.

Wonder what your company would look like if you incorporated a modern design to your commercial office? Check out the coolest offices from Inc. and Forbes and see how many of them have an open layout for better communication and involvement. With a great environment, you’ll raise your employee retention and office happiness, making your company somewhere more people want to work. Want to learn more about how to enhance your corporate space with a NanoLumens LED display? Check out our corporate solutions.

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Projector Superstore is your source for digital signage solutions. Contact one of our sales team members today at 1-888-525-6696 to find the right system for your office! 

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This article originally appeared on NanoLumens.com. Read the original post here.

What is UHD?

This article was written by Joseph D. Cornwall, CTS-D and originally appeared on C2G. You can view the original article here.

Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) is the algorithm that underlies both DVI and HDMI digital video interfaces, and is an output option in DisplayPort ++ (dual mode DisplayPort, aka DisplayPort 1.2) enabled devices. TMDS is a foundational element of contemporary A/V integration and needs to be a familiar concept to anyone involved in the design, installation or deployment of presentation systems.

Ultra HD is part of the next generation of video technology. Today we watch high definition video content in a format known as 1080p. This means that the image has 1080 horizontal lines of pixels (picture elements) stacked on top of each other in a manner roughly analogous to the logs in the wall of a log cabin. There are 1920 individual pixels (think “dots”) lined up next to each other on each scanning line. We often refer to this as a 1920 x 1080 image.

If we multiply 1920 pixels times 1080 scanning lines we come up with 2,073,600 discrete pixels composing the image. Therefore there are approximately two million “dots” making up the picture you see. The “p” in 1080p indicates a progressive scan implementation wherein the full frame of pixels is shown 60 times (50 times in Europe) every second. This system is sometimes referred to as a D2K image (D for digital and 2K for approximately 2,000 pixels in each horizontal scanning line).

When we try to move to even higher definition pictures, we keep the same relationship but increase the pixel density. The industry is now moving towards the widespread adoption of D4K (standards also being developed for D8K) images. Roughly speaking, a D4K picture (sometime written as simply “4K”) has twice as many pixels in each horizontal scanning line, and twice as many horizontal scanning lines. Following the same logic used above, a D4K image has 2,000 scanning lines composed of approximately 4,000 pixels each resulting in (2,000 x 4,000 = 8,000,000) about eight million pixels of resolution, four times the resolution of today’s already outstanding HD televisions.

Several 4K resolutions exist in digital television and digital cinematography. In October 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that the official term “Ultra HD” would be used for any display with a 16 x 9 ratio with at least one digital input capable of a minimum resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 square pixels. This delivers a stunning 8.3 megapixels (8,294,400 to be exact) with a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. Ultra HD images are only delivered in a progressive scanning manner (there are no official interlaced D4K standards) at frame rates of 120p, 60p, 50p and 30p.

While we will have to integrate new source devices that can generate these terrific data rates with a new generation of flat panel LCD and projection displays, we won’t be seeing any new connections. D4K and Ultra HD content is supported by HDMI, DisplayPort ++ and HDBaseT connections.

This article was written by Joseph D. Cornwall, CTS-D (Technology Evangelist — Lastar, Inc.) and originally appeared on C2G. You can view the original article here.

OLED vs. Plasma – Which Display Technology is Better?

In yesterday’s post, we looked at the differences between LED and LCD… Today we continue the discussion on displays, and look at OLED displays, compared to Plasma.

Contemplating your next TV purchase, but unsure if you should wait around for the coming wave of OLED TV’s we’ve all been hearing about? In this article we’ll offer up a plain-english explanation of how OLED and plasma displays work, and in the process help you understand the pros and cons of each technology.

How OLED TVs work

As you probably know by now, OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. It’s true that this is just a slight variation on traditional LED, but don’t let the acronym fool you – when we’re talking about display technology, the two are vastly different things. If you’ve read our LCD vs LED comparison piece, you know that the “LED” in LED TV is really just a reference to the TV’s backlighting technology, and that these types of TV are really just LED backlit LCD displays. OLED displays are completely different. Rather than relying on an LCD filter to turn an individual subpixel on or off, OLED pixels are independently lit, so they don’t require backlighting and filters to function. Here’s a simplified cross-section of an OLED pixel:OLED subpixelBasically, an OLED subpixel is comprised of a thin layer of organic carbon-based compounds sandwiched between two electrodes. When electricity passes from one electrode to the other, it excites the sandwich layer of organic materials, and through a miracle of chemistry and physics, this causes the compound to emit light. Depending on which organic compound is used, it will emit either a red, green, or blue glow. This technology has been used in smartphone displays for years, but wasn’t utilized by television manufacturers until recently.

How Plasma TVs Work

In comparison to OLEDs, plasma displays work in a slightly different fashion. Instead of using organic light-emitting materials for each pixel, images on a plasma TVs are created by ionized gas (plasma) that lights up when you run an electrical current through it. The easiest way to understand it is by thinking of each individual subpixel on the TV as a tiny neon light, or perhaps a miniature version of the florescent tubes you might be sitting under right now. The pixels that make up a plasma display are almost exactly the same technology, just on a much smaller scale.
Plasma screen subpixelFor those of you who care to understand the science behind it all, here’s how the magic happens: An electrode applies an electrical current to a small cell filled with a noble gas mixture (usually neon and xenon). This excites the gas, ionizing it and transforming it into a plasma. This plasma emits ultraviolet light – which we can’t see – but when the UV light hits a phosphor coating that lines each cell, it causes the phosphor to glow and put out light that we can see. Depending on which particular phosphor the cell is coated with, it will create a red, green, or blue glow. Each cluster of red green and blue subpixels makes up one pixel on the screen.

Which is Better?

Because plasma and OLED displays produce light through different means, the two technologies carry different virtues and shortcomings. To help you get a clearer idea of where they excel, where they fall short, and why; we’ve put together the following table:

Category Winner Explanation
Color Gamut OLED OLED has a much wider color gamut than plasma, and is close to the DCI movie theater standard
Black Levels OLED Both plasma and OLED displays offer excellent blacks since they can completely turn off individual pixels, but OLED does it better. The way plasma panels are constructed causes a small amount of ambient light to be refracted out to the viewer, and OLED displays don’t have this problem. They’ve got some of the deepest blacks we’ve ever seen.
Brightness OLED OLEDs can get ridiculously bright, and win this category by a wide margin.
Response Time OLED OLED currently offers the fastest response time of any TV technology in use today, making it a clear winner in this category, but it doesn’t really matter. Both OLED and Plasma displays are so fast that we mere mortals won’t see any motion blur
Viewing Angle Plasma (for now) Plasma wins this category for now, but only because the few OLED TVs on the market right now are curved, which complicates things. If we were comparing plasma and OLED on flat displays, it’d likely be a tie between the two – both technologies offer excellent viewing angles because they don’t rely on LCD panels to block out light, but the currently available curved OLEDs introduce the following problems: First of all, the side that is curved away from an off-axis viewer will be less visible than the side curved toward that viewer, and second because of the curve, anti-glare coatings can tend to tint the image when viewed from extreme angles.
Power Consumption OLED OLEDs are vastly more energy efficient than plasma TVs. It’s not even close.
Thickness OLED by virtue of their composition, OLED displays are among some of the thinnest we’ve ever seen. We’re talking wafer thin – often under 5mm – so not even the slimmest LED or plasma screens can compare.
Screen Size Plasma (for now) At this point in time, plasma displays beat out OLEDs in terms of size, but this is simply because the only two OLED screens on the market right now are 55-inches. This is definitely going to change in the not-so-distant future when more manufacturers release OLED TVs, but for now plasma displays come in larger sizes.
Lifespan Plasma OLED is unproven when it comes to lifespan, and there is some cause for concern here because the compound used to create the color blue in OLED televisions is known to have a shorter life span. As one color degrades, the rest will go out of whack. Samsung appears to be battling this issue by using a blue pixel that is twice the size of other colors and reducing the amount of voltage applied to it. LG uses white sub-pixels and lays a color filter over them to create the desired red, green and blue colors. These bandages may very well work, but only time and use in the public arena can tell how OLED will hold up on the long term. For that reason, we have to call LED/LCD the winner, as its lifespan has proven itself to be adequate
Price Plasma OLED tv’s are just now reaching the market, and as such, they’re still really freaking expensive. With some models costing up to $10,000, they’re still out of reach for most consumers at this point. As with any new technology, we expect the price of OLEDs to drop drastically in the next few years, but until then, plasma is definitely the best option for us mere mortals

Bottom Line

In terms of performance, OLED displays are definitely the superior technology. They’re thinner, more efficient, and mind-bogglingly color accurate. The only problem is that they’re prohibitively expensive, and at this point we’re still not sure how long their pixels last before the organic materials start to degrade and lose brightness. For this reason we’d recommend holding off and waiting for the technology to mature before you bust out your wallet. In just a couple more years, it’s likely that manufacturers will work out the major kinks, but in the meantime we suggest sticking to LED and plasma displays.

This article was written by Drew Prindle and originally appeared on the Digital Trends blog. See the original post here.

Projector SuperStore is your source for commercial-grade LCD and Plasma displays. Contact one of our Sales Team members today for more information, and to find the perfect display for your application!

LED vs. LCD TV’s

This article was written by Drew Prindle and originally appeared on the Digital Trends blog. See the original post here.

LED and LCD – what’s the difference? It’s a question we hear a lot from budding home theater shoppers. Blame the acronyms. While yesterday’s consumers had to make a simple choice between CRT and rear-projection television sets, today’s consumers are confronted with plasma, LCD, DLP, OLED, and laser televisions. And now, the age-old term LED has been stirred into the mix. Let’s take a look at what those three magic letters mean, how they apply to televisions, and why you might want to consider buying one.

An LED TV is an LCD TV

Despite having a different acronym, an LED TV is just a different type of LCD TV. The proper name would actually be “LED-backlit LCD TV,” but that’s too much of a mouthful for everyday conversation, so people generally just refer to them as LED TV’s, which can cause confusion.

Both types of TV make use of a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel to control where light is displayed on your screen. These panels are typically composed of two sheets of polarizing material with a liquid crystal solution between them, so when an electric current passes through the liquid, it causes the crystals to align so that light can (or can’t) pass through. Think of each crystal as a shutter, either allowing light to pass through or blocking it out.

Now, since both LED and LCD TV’s use LCD technology, you’re probably wondering what the difference is. The answer? Backlighting. Ordinary LCD TV’s use cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL’s) to provide backlighting, whereas LED TV’s use an array of smaller, more efficient light emitting diodes (LED’s) to illuminate the screen, which gives them a few advantages.

Backlighting comparison

The benefits of LED backlighting

LED TV’s carry a number of advantages over regular LCD TV’s with CCFL backlighting. First of all, LED’s are considerably smaller than CCFL tubes, which means LED TV’s can be made much thinner. These days, most TV’s that measure under an inch thick are made with LED because they add very little depth to the display profile.

LED’s also consume less power than their CCFL counterparts, but the most important difference between the two is a feature called local dimming – a selective lighting technique that allows for deeper blacks and better overall picture.

The problem with CCFL backlighting is that fluorescent tubes must light the entire screen evenly, so designers have no way to vary the backlighting intensity in different parts of the screen. Even if you want to show a single white pixel on an all-black screen, the light in the back needs to be blazing away at full brightness. LED TV’s offer a solution to this with local dimming. The idea behind this technique is to control the output of the LEDs so that, rather than be on at full brightness all the time, they can be dimmed or turned off entirely.

This makes for much better black levels and contrast. Think of a space scene. You’ve got this big pool of black, interrupted by little dots of brightness (stars) and maybe one bright object (perhaps a planet or spaceship) in the middle. This is an extremely difficult image to pull off well because LCD panels aren’t that great at blocking out all of the light coming from the backlights. That’s where local dimming can come in handy. With this feature, the TV can shut off all the lights it doesn’t need and just use the right ones to make the stars and spaceship nice and bright.

earth from space

However, it should be noted that not all LED TV’s come equipped with local dimming. Broadly speaking, LED TV’s come in two varieties: edge-lit and full-array, and only full-array TV’s can pull off local dimming well enough to compete with plasma TVs on a respectable level. Recently, some manufacturers have developed edge-lit televisions with local dimming functionality (Samsung UND8000 seriesLG LW5600 series), but due to the way they’re built, they generally can’t ”turn off” different parts of the screen intelligently the same way a full-array set can. When buying an LED TV, make sure you know whether it’s edge-lit or full-array before you pull out your wallet.

Efficient, bright, and stylish – but economical?

What does all this mean for the befuddled TV buyer? Well, if you can afford one, an LED-backlit HDTV is the way to go. These badboys are thin, easy to mount, energy efficient, and can produce a great picture – but all these benefits come at a premium. If you’re on a budget but you still want a great picture, look for a good plasma screen. They’re power hungry and usually a bit on the bulky side, but offer a cinematic experience similar to what you’ll get on an LED TV, and for not nearly as much money. CCFL backlit LCD TV’s are going the way of the Dodo, but might be the only option if you’re working with a limited budget.

Header LED image via Shutterstock

This article was written by Drew Prindle and originally appeared on the Digital Trends blog. See the original post here.

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