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What Is a Laser Projector?

  • Bob Wudeck
  • 2020-07-06

Perhaps the biggest innovation to happen in the last few years is the development of affordable projectors that eliminate the need for replacement lamps.  This article covers why experts are recommending laser projectors – and addresses common questions for people who are buying a projector for a classroom or collaboration space such as:

 

Why are laser projectors better than lamp or hybrid projectors?

The BenQ LX60 was the first commercial laser projector for sale in the US market, and today the laser projector technology dominates the business and commercial market.   Why are laser based models so popular?
Laser projectors vs. lamp projectors

 



The laser light source for projectors offers a number of advantages over replacement lamps.  The first advantage is that, for most models, you can run the projector at full power and use the projector for 10 or more years (20,000 hours) without having to replace the lamp.   This is especially advantageous for large deployments such as school districts, where the cost and availability of labor to replace hundreds of projector lamps can create both logistical and financial challenges to an organization.
Laser projectors vs. LED laser hybrid models
Casio was the first company to create a laser / LED hybrid projector in 2010, which offered some of the same benefits as projectors with 100% lasers.  While this technology eliminates the traditional projector lamp, many models have warranty restrictions that limit the light source warranty to only 6000 hours.   Projectors using both LED light and laser light sources cannot achieve the same brightness levels as a 100% laser projector, and if used more than 10 hours per day and five days per week, only have a one year warranty.   Most laser projectors models do not have these types of usage restrictions. 
Why do laser projectors have better color reproduction?
One great benefit of laser projectors is that they can deliver spectacular color accuracy.  One of the first applications of commercial DLP laser projectors was in the digital cinema theaters, where directors expect colors to be the same in a movie theater as their screening room.   Nearly all laser projectors use colored lasers as the original light source, which has enabled DLP laser projectors to become more color accurate at brighter lumen levels. Now, instead of worrying about the brightness of a color, the buyer can be assured that a laser projector with color accuracy specifications delivers the correct hue and saturation to ensure their logos look correct.   These specs are typically found as a percentage of a color space, such as “92% of Rec. 709.”
Do Laser Projectors still have Filters?
Eliminate the Hassle of Filter Cleaning with Certified IP5X Dust Free Laser Projectors
Next to lamps, cleaning and changing dirty filters is the next biggest cost of owning a traditional lamp-based projector.  Many models that use three-panel liquid crystal panel technology still depend on filters to keep the dust out of the projector.  This is a less expensive approach for the manufacturer but requires users to respond to warning lights such as “clean filter now” or schedule regular cleanings as needed.   If the projector is mounted in a high ceiling or other difficult to reach location, this can be a significant added cost and hassle.
Will a laser projector turn yellow over time?
While the risk of a projector turning yellow is hard to define and may vary by model, BenQ has worked with Texas Instruments to ensure that the images created by the DLP chips used in its projector never yellow.  First, Texas Instruments has rated each DLP chip used by BenQ for laser projectors to 100,000 hours of life, and there has not been either a laser or lamp-based projector from BenQ that has shown signs of color decay.   As the largest brand of DLP projectors in the world, BenQ has a proven track record of quality images over time – without the risk of yellowing.
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