LCDs to Replace Projectors – Ha, You’re Kidding Me

iphoneprojector-0712Recently, an industry pundit and self-proclaimed HDTV expert wrote that there’s a trend away from the projector and towards LCDs in meeting room applications. Although he cites no statistical evidence of this, he says it as though it’s a point of fact.

Well, he’s dead wrong.

Are there rooms where LCDs are being installed instead of projectors — sure!

Is this a trend that’s going to kill the projector – heck, no. It’s a trickle, at best.

And, in most cases where LCDs are being installed in lieu of projectors, it’s a cop-out. It’s because the integration firm (if you can call them that) isn’t sophisticated enough to specify the right display. And, are you paying attention? They’re putting in CONSUMERHDTVs.

This is not a trend we should emulate. This is a hang-and-banger trying to claim they do installs. We are the PROFESSIONAL AV industry – we’re not Best Buy who, oh by the way, installs projectors via the Geek Squad.

Look, there are design criteria here that must be considered and need to be adhered to. Just because there’s an affordable — or even cheap — 70″ HDTV available on the market, doesn’t mean it should be installed where a 90″ image is required for proper viewing! There’s a huge difference between a 70″ LCD and a 90″ image requirement.

The hardware shouldn’t be considered until the room design has been figured out — then you install what’s right for the application. Are they gonna watch TV all the time? OK, go ahead and install an HDTV. But, if the end user is going to be showing PowerPoint AND other data with any sort of resolution to it, then most HDTVs aren’t going to look good. And, chances are, using the design criteria set forth by the CTS Design program from InfoComm, even an 80″ LCD isn’t big enough. And, if it is, it’s only 1920×1080, by the way. Connect an XGA PC to that and, voila, you’re now displaying a 65″ image. I bet you didn’t consider that. Is 65″ big enough? And, remember, we started this example out with an 80″ LCD. By the way, did I mention that you can buy four commercial-grade projectors for the price of one commercial-grade 80″ display?

So what about those smaller rooms?

Statistically, if you look at all the ProAV installs out there, less than 3 percent of all installs are rooms small enough for a 50″, 60″ or 70″ image. Sure, they’re out there, but if that’s all you’re doing, you’d better take a gander at another profession as the consumer HDTVs margins are going to eat you alive.

Don’t be stupid and believe the hype.

Focus on true ProAV installs. And, don’t be scared into using HDTVs just because someone says it’s the trend.

Are we going to be told to install smart phones in the ceiling because they have projectors in them, too?

Gary Kayye is the founder of rAVe [Publications]. Reach him at gary@ravepubs.com