Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Front Projection: Will it Ever Hit Mainstream?

I was inspired to examine the front projection category after my recent trip to Tokyo, Japan. Does the average consumer really understand what a front projector is, and what's more, are they really interested in having one in their living rooms? An even more important question is whether or not issues of ambient light can effectively be combated such that front projection becomes a viable option in the main living room.

Personally, I think that front projection is a technology that should be used with a flat-panel TV. I'll use my 40" or 50" plasma/LCD to watch sitcoms and the like; but pull down the screen and fire up the projector when I'm ready to watch a movie, or I have a large group of friends over to play Wii bowling, or catch the Superbowl or NHL play-offs. Of course that set-up needs to be in a really dark room (or the screen needs to employ technology good enough to combat light issues, or I'm willing to sacrifice in picture quality). Not to mention that price considerations come into play: I don't know about you, but the price of a flat-panel, projector and screen, along with surround sound equipment, not to mention the labour rate for a qualified installer, is slightly above my budget!

Nevertheless, when you take the cost of the average movie ticket these days into consideration, combined with the number of movies an avid movie-goer might see in a year (and overpriced popcorn and candy consumed), a front projection system in the home just might be a worthwhile option.

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