Our Solid State Illumination Survey Shows Most AV’ers Would Buy It

solid-state-illumination-0116Last month, Christie funded the industry’s first ever Solid State Illumination Survey. We wanted to know who knows what and who is buying it. Solid state projection has only been around for three years (e.g., originally only LED-based projectors) and originally only available from two manufacturers. But over the last year, nearly every major brand has launched a solid state-based projection product (including Christie with laser/phosphor) in various forms, the most popular being laser-phosphor based.

In addition to eliminating the need for changing lamps, solid state projection projectors seem to include technologies that will have better colorimetry, uniformity and dissipate more consistently over time. All this adds up to a much more pleasing owner experience as it saves money of replacement lamps and means that the quality of the image will remain the same over time. This is a big deal to color- or light-critical applications where image quality is paramount as the image will look nearly identical to everyone seeing it on day 600 as it did on day 1. Many lamp-based projectors have historically dissipated light unevenly (creating hot spots or color shifts) as well as at different rates (so, when you have two projectors side by side, for example, or in a video wall, the images may match on day one but look different on day 100 and then even more differently on day 301. Most lamps (except very high-end ones) don’t dissipate light evenly.

So, why wouldn’t everyone switch immediately to a solid state projection technology? Well, lamp-based digital projectors have been around for nearly two-decades and solid state projectors are nearly brand new. New technology is, historically, an unknown entity and a risk. So, we asked you what you thought.

We’ve created an InfoGraphic with the major findings, but the details are below:

First, who’s who — of the survey takers, here’s the breakdown of what they do in AV:

  • Dealer/Integrator-  35%
  • AV Technician- 31%
  • Consultant- 22%
  • End User (Decision Maker)- 17%
  • End User (Influencer)- 16%
  • End User- 15%
  • Other- 10%
  • Distributor- 5%

When purchasing a projector, respondents most value (displayed in order of how they rated them):

  1. Color Fidelity – this means that image quality still matters to most of us!
  2. Illumination Technology
  3. Ongoing Maintenance
  4. Cost
  5. Size
  6. Projector Fan Noise
  7. Heat Output
  8. Power Consumption

Who has seen a solid state projector:

  • 85% of respondents had seen a solid state projector. And of that 85%:
  • 68% had seen LED solid state projection
  • 58% had seen laser phosphor solid state projection
  • 46% has seen laser phosphor-hybrid solid state projection
  • 33% had seen RGB laser solid state projection
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Even though the technology is new, how many of them would they buy a solid state projector:

  • 46% of respondents said they would likely be among the first to try solid state projection
  • 23% said they would likely be among the last to try solid state projection
  • 30% already own projectors with solid state illumination — this is the surprising spec as we didn’t think that 30% of the AV market had already spec’d or purchased a solid state projector, yet.

Are we getting ready to cross a technology chasm with solid state projection? Well, we asked those that hadn’t purchased a solid state projector if they would in the next year:

  • 38% said they intend to own solid state projectors in the 5,000-15,000 lumen range
  • 32% said NO
  • 27% said they intend to own solid state projectors but in the less than 5,000 lumen range
  • 3%   said they intent to own a solid state projector over the 15,000 lumen range

73% of respondents thought that solid state projection in regards to the future of projection? While,

  • 53% of respondents think solid state illumination is a proven technology
  • 41% of respondents are unsure that solid state illumination is a proven technology
  • 7% of respondents does not think solid state illumination is a proven technology

What did they think about laser-phosphor technology specifically?

  • 45% of respondents said laser phosphor illumination is just as good as lamps
  • 41% of respondents are unsure that laser phosphor illumination is just as good as lamps
  • 14% of respondents said laser phosphor illumination is NOT just as good as lamps

But:

  • 65% of respondents think laser phosphor illumination can deliver sufficient performance for their applications
  • 30% of respondents are unsure that laser phosphor illumination can deliver sufficient performance for their applications
  • 4% of respondents does NOT think that laser phosphor illumination can deliver sufficient performance for their applications

And:

  • 56% of respondents think laser phosphor illumination can deliver sufficient color reproduction for their applications
  • 36% of respondents are unsure if laser phosphor illumination can deliver sufficient color reproduction for their applications
  • 7% of respondents does not think that laser phosphor illumination can deliver sufficient color reproduction for their applications

It’s certainly clear that most people would pay a premium to eliminate the need to change projection lamps int he future:

  • 62% of respondents would pay a premium to avoid lamp changes
  • 22% of respondents are unsure if they would pay a premium to avoid lamp changes
  • 15% of respondents would NOT pay a premium to avoid lamp changes

See the full infographic here.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..