LED Projectors: Easy and Lamp-Free

As LED backlight is increasingly being used in LCD televisions, the new lighting source is also becoming common in portable pocket, or pico, projectors. Earlier this year, LED made its first debut in home theater projectors.

“LED is a solid-state light source, and there’s no failure mechanism or degradation anywhere close to lamp systems,” says Matt Mazzuchi, general manager of the projection display business group at Luminus Devices, whose PhlatLight LED chipset has been employed in the first LED theater projectors. “We’ve put 3 million to 4 million device hours under test, to where these projectors are showing incredible stability, so we’re comfortable saying things like ‘there’s a 60,000-hour lifetime’ on them.”

Luminus’ LEDs have been used in pocket projectors from LG, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, BenQ and others before it showed off Full HD resolution DLP (Digital Light Processing) projectors from Delta and Chi Lin at January’s Consumer Electronics Show.

In addition to their long lifespan, LED projectors feature far better color saturation compared with traditional projectors, says Mazzuchi. Because reds, greens and blues are pulsed directly to the optics without going through the spinning and chopping of an ordinary projector’s color wheel, colors are richer and more saturated, with less “breakup” or “rainbow artifacts,” he explains. Also, as LED projectors don’t require any warm-up or cool-down time, they can be turn on or off instantly.

Mazzuchi said that he believes these advantages — along with the eco-friendly bonuses of being energy-efficient and mercury free — will help increase its projector presence in the coming years.

Perhaps the cost is the only drawback of the new technology. Delta’s Vivitek LED projector, for instance, is priced at nearly $20,000. However, there are LED chip sizes to meet about any projector panel size and price ranges, noted Mazzuchi.

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