When you think of super-bright projector lines, you automatically think Christie, Barco, Digital Projection, Panasonic, NEC and maybe Sony sometimes, but it’s very unlikely you think EPSON. I sure didn’t.
But, I was in sunny southern California recently and was invited over to the EPSON U.S. headquarters to check out the company’s 4000, Pro G and Pro Z Series projectors — heck, I didn’t even know these boxes existed.
The Pro Z was the most impressive as it was easily brighter than 10K lumens but the uniformity was amazing. Now, one note, either you’re in the LCD camp with projection or you’re in the DLP camp — so uniformity may mean different things to different technology buffs, but what I saw was what I didn’t see: no hot spots, no color impurities and no weird color shifting across the screen. Epson, as you likely know, is an LCD company. Its Pro G series includes a handful of projectors in the 4,500 to 7,000 lumens range and, while the 4000 series, well, goes up to 5,000 lumens (that makes sense, huh?).
In any case, EPSON has one of the largest ranges of super-bright projectors on the market right now — but, unlike nearly every other vendor, it’s 100 percent LCD — no DLP whatsoever.
But, does that matter?
Well, to the normal AV’er, no — we use LCD on all our computer screens, our laptop screens, nearly all phone screens and all tablet displays, too. So, we see LCD everywhere and when you’re trying to match what you see on one of those screens to what you display on giant projection screens at live events or in digital billboards, then an LCD-to-LCD match is perfect. But, some rental and stagers are obsessed with DLP and will never give it up.
So, EPSON will have a bit of an uphill battle convincing some of them of the merits of LCD as opposed to DLP. But, if any company can do it, it’s EPSON. Here’s why:
- Epson has a 39 percent total market share in projector sales in the U.S. alone
- Epson has a 52 percent market share in the 1080p projection market
- Epson has a 37 percent market share in the small and medium sized room projection business
EPSON entering the high-brightness market with a lineup from 4K to 10K is not going to go unnoticed. I suspect you’ll see the company’s numbers climb and some of the aforementioned manufacturers’ market shares fall by the end of this year.