Projectors step in when the largest TVs are not big enough

IndiaTechOnline special focus on projectors
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, October 24 2017: Cinema is 125 years old and so are movie projectors.  New generation digital projectors replaced the film spool with a hard disk  and used   one of three competing technologies to recreate the colours on the screen—3-LCD, Digital Light Processor (DLP)  or LCoS or Liquid Crystal on Silicon.
But the lamp remained the weakest link : it died in the middle of  an important show. Then you pulled out a handkerchief to remove the hot  bulb and replace it,  without burning your fingers, while the audience became restive.   The problem was,  you never knew when the bulb would die. Makers claimed  3000-4000 hours, but  who kept track?
In 2016, the lampless projector came -- and was hailed as the biggest advance in Cinema,  after colour and digital filming.   But the term is rather wide - it covers  different  bulb-free light sources:  a bank of LED bulbs,  a single laser light or a hybrid of the two.  There is vast difference in   brightness and colour output between the technologies. The pure (and pricey!) laser lamp offers a life that is typically 20,000- 30,000 hours .  The more affordable LED lamp projectors are very portable and serve as accessories to a laptop or even a mobile phone,   using a mini HDMI port for connection. Such devices are  affordable, -great for small meetings but can't project very big images or offer quality anywhere near High Definition TV. 
See our reviews of Epson, Portronix projectors in Product Pulse section
See Images of other projectors mentioned in this article , Image of the Day
The so-called home theatre market is still very small in India. Epson, the market leader for projectors in India estimates that  5 out of every 100 projectors sold, go to homes. The rest find corporate buyers.  These projectors cover a wide price band  from  Rs 76,000 for a lamp-based  tabletop  full HD home model like EH-TW5300  to Rs 6.7 lakhs for the EH-LS10500 laser-based 4K projector.
Most home projectors are bought by customers  who want to go bigger than what a 65 inch  flat screen TV can offer. Hence home projectors are typically  720p (HD)  or 1080p(Full HD) or 4k (Ultra HD)  and are used to project  images of about  100-120 inch diagonal. Those who want even bigger screens probably have dedicated  home theatre rooms.   Some 9 of 10 home projectors  ( we are not talking of the ultra-portable LED projectors)   are still lamp-based;  the shift to laser  may take a few years before prices  make sense for home buyers.  But  those can afford it   have that choice:  Acer launched  the VL7860 4K laser home projector at the IFA show in Germany, two months ago, said to be the smallest ever 4K  laser projector. 
Optoma  has brought the laser-diode-based  Z U-510T to India. This has  WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution ie somewhere between  HD and full HD  and costs Rs 5.85 lakhs. The company has models across the full spectrum of usage from  the latest 4K UHD Laser home projector – UHZ65 ( coming soon to India)   to the ultra compact Android and WiFi-ready ML 330 that costs Rs 38,490,  which was launched last month.
Like the two worlds of Gulliver,  home projectors can be  lilliputian (weighing   250  grams) or giant sized ( 25 kg or more).  Which is your world?  You decide.