Epson unveils a prototype projector using an LED light source
While projectors seem like a low hassle way of setting up a home cinema system, consumers have been put off by the issue with requiring a dark room and replacing the very costly consumable bulb ($250 to $600) that only lasts an average of 1500 to 3000 hours depending on the projector. Well, recently black screen technology has been developed to allow a bright picture in well lit up rooms. Now, Epson has announced a prototype projector that uses LED light as its light source.
The prototype has a small footprint of just 13.8 x 10.3 cm (5.4″ x 4″) and weights just 500g (~18oz). This projector uses Epson’s 3LCD technology, which aims to provide bright and natural looking images. Other advantages with using an LED light source includes instant warm-up, long lifetime and a rapid cool-off when powering off.
So far, no announcement has been made about its expected lumen rating or contrast ratio or when the projector will hit the market. The projector is currently being presented at the IFA trade show, which is held in Berlin, within Germany.
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In addition to allowing ever more compact design, LED light sources provide several advantages over conventional lamps including immediate projection readiness, a long running time, and swift switch-off. The use of an LED light source in a projector is a first for 3LCD.
With these two improvements in projector technology, projectors may become a very good competitor against Plasma, rear-projection and other large TV sets, especially with consumers upgrading to HDTV sets to take advantage of HD broadcasts or to prepare for the upcoming Blu-ray and HD DVD players.
The other advantage is portability, for example the projector can easily be carried on holidays and used with a portable DVD player for watching movies while staying at a hotel or B&B. The drawback with current projectors is that their bulb can fuse unexpectedly like with any other light bulb. I had this happen twice before while using a digital projector, long before the bulb reached its expected lifetime.
For a guide on choosing a big screen, such as how projectors compare against plasma and rear-projection TV sets, see this forum sticky.
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