Earlier this year I spent two weeks working with Ed Gurr from Vivitek and the crew from Tandem Marketing and Allnet Distributing. Ed was highlighting four projector models sold mostly in the pro-AV market–DH3331, DU8090, DU7090, and the DH6671. We were highlighting a new TecVision ambient light rejecting material, a 1.2 grey ambient light rejecting surface that will be available with our upcoming price list. The goal was to help our dealers make the right decision when it comes to pairing a projector with a screen.
Today many end-users are all about brightness. They want the image brightness to match what they see on a flat panel when they walk into your local big box store. They don’t realize that those flat panels are dialed up in such a way that the images are far from realistic, but they sure do grab your attention. So should our goal will be to match that level of brightness? Some would say yes. But after watching countless demos with Ed, I have to disagree. There’s always a time and a place where brightness matters. But I am reminded over and over again that contrast reigns supreme.
We used several different types of content. One was a video showing the Cave of Wonders in Spain, which I now want to visit! Another was the opening ceremonies at the 2016 Olympics. And the third and perhaps most compelling was a Batman movie, The Dark Knight. If all you plan to watch on a screen that has a white background, like many of today’s PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets, then perhaps brightness is the most important factor. Remember though that too much brightness causes eye fatigue, which leads to headaches, etc. If you’re going to look at anything with color and shadow detail, you must consider contrast. That’s why InfoComm created recommended standards for different system contrast levels. I truly believe that the customers who left our demos had a better understanding of why contrast matters.
We see a lot of time spent researching a projector without first considering the lighting scenario in a room and the content that will be shown on the screen. It’s the entire system working together that makes us take a step back and go wow. A $25,000 8000 ansi lumen laser projector is a waste of money if you’re throwing the image on a white wall only and have little light control. A $5000 ambient light rejecting grey screen is a waste of money in a room with completely controlled light. A 4K projector can be an expensive option if the only content you’re going to show is 1080P or even less.
Sometimes we get so fixated on buzzwords like 4K, ambient light rejection, laser etc. that we lose sight of the true value we can bring to a customer. And that’s an individually crafted system that takes all of the things I’ve mentioned—Lighting, Content, Projector, and Screen Surface—and creates the image that a customer not only wants but needs.