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16:9 Projection: To Be or Not To Be

September 26, 2001 By Gary Kayye, CTS
Prior to InfoComm this past June, there was only one manufacturer of a 16:9 native aspect ratio projector: Sony. But, at InfoComm, Sanyo introduced a new projector dubbed the PLV-60 HT. Like the Sony, using three 1365 x 768 (native 16:9) LCD panels (actually manufactured by Sony), the PLV-60 HT is designed and targeted for the home theater installation market. But, it's 1200 ANSI lumens and 700:1 (claimed) contrast ratio market it a potential integrators dream in some niche boardroom and conference installations - like the Sony VPL-VW10HT and it's soon-to-be-introduced follow-up the VPL-VW11HT.

Is integrating a 16:9 projector in the corporate market a good idea?

The reality of the market is that the majority of projector installations in both boardroom and conference room environments are for PC projection - not video. Most projectors are used for projecting computer PowerPoint, excel, word and browser application well over 90% of the time. In addition, much of that leftover 10% is done with the plain old VCR. So, unless you have an installation that's primarily DVD media, designed as a screening room for movies or in the home, it's probably a better idea not to install a native 16:9 projector. The current generation of 4:3 aspect ratio boxes from Epson, Sony, InFocus and now even Christie are more than good enough. They all offer 2000, 3000 and 4000 ANSI lumens solutions, for all kinds of environments, are all optimized for PC projection of data and all offer interchangeable lens options for mounting the projector sin virtually any room.

But, if you're looking for the ultimate in home theater projection from a non-CRT device, look no further. For the home, I wouldn't hesitate at all in using a 16:9 aspect ratio projector well before using a 4:3 box.

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