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Projectors, Get Them While They’re Hot
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Sales of small pico projectors like this Optoma PK201 are expected to grow to 27 million units worldwide by 2015.
March 25, 2011 by Grant Clauser

Projectors have always been a small portion of the overall display market, even though for a lot of people, they’re the pinnacle of picture performance. In fact, projectors, while often considered luxuries, can be had for much less than many flat panel TVs.

Anyway, Pacific Media Associates (their associates can be easily spotted at press conferences by their red cowboy bandanas) is predicting steady growth in the projector market over the next few years.

The amount of projected growth—35 percent PER YEAR. In 2010 the industry sold 8.5 million units worldwide. By 2015 that will go to 39 million.  Yikes, that’s a lot. Most of the growth is expected to be split between the small (pico projectors) and the very large (large venue professional projectors).

Pacific Media Associates categorizes projectors for this research by light output in lumens, not by application, so it’s impossible to tell exactly how or where these units will be used, but you can guess by knowing what kind of light output different categories of projectors produce. They broke it up this way: New Era (under 500 lumens), Mainstream (500 to 4999 lumens), and High-End (5000 or more lumens).

Pico projectors, like the Optoma PK201, produce around 20 lumens. Home theater projectors, like the Runco LS-5, produce less than 1,000 when calibrated. Large venue projectors like the three-chip DLP Barco FLM-HD20 put out a whopping 20,000 lumens.

Pico projectors, or what PMA calls “New Era” are projected to grow from 1,000,000 units in 2010 to 27 million units in 2015. These projectors are used for business, entertainment and even can come embedded in toys and cameras.

Mainstream projectors (producing from 500 to 4,999 lumens) are used in home theaters, corporate board rooms and school classrooms. Their growth will be significantly more modest from 7 million in 2010 to 11.5 million in 2015—a 10 percent growth.

Look here for reasons you should consider a projector as your home theater display.
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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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