The last 12 months have presented a number of fascinating trends within the industry of projector technology. Demands for high-resolution projectors has remained solid from big business, but the kind of projectors they have been looking for has shifted, as new specs have proved increasingly popular.
No matter what kind of office projector businesses have been looking for, one thing has been abundantly clear, certainly from the sales data we have observed since the start of the year: the technology behind the new generation of office projectors is making them increasingly cheaper and better as time progresses.
There is also a clear dividing line for office projectors when it comes to brightness with interest and demand being split between devices providing brightness levels under 4,000 lumens and those providing brightness of 4,000 lumens or more.
Unlike the seemingly endless production line of new smartphones that we’ve grown accustomed to, projector technology is much more gradual. You can’t expect to find a new version of a specific brand’s office projector released every autumn like clockwork, but when new models do enter the market, there’s always a very good reason for the update.
Let’s explore what trends have been apparent in 2019 so far.
The brighter, the better
Gone are the days of dim office presentations, with images easily obscured by simple things like ambient light in the meeting room. Based on our own data over the course of 2019, we have found that demand for office projectors with a brightness below 3,000 lumens has plummeted by as much as 82 per cent. In fact, business projector models below 3,000 lumens now make up barely 2 per cent of our total sales.
As a result of this, we consider the goalposts to have shifted, in the league of what business consumers consider to be acceptable as a level of brightness. Brightness levels in the region of 3,000-3,999 lumens are what can now be considered the baseline for requirements from office projectors, as we move into the new year.
The 6,000 lumens level is another critical area of high demand for office projectors. We found that 50 per cent more sales were concentrated in the corporate sector for this level of brightness than was the case in the previous year, irrespective of resolution.
If a projector is able to offer at least 3,000 lumens brightness and display images at 1080p (Full HD) resolution, demand is likely to be even stronger. Projectors in the 3,000-3,999 lumens and 1080p segment of the market showed a 59.8 per cent increase in sales in the last year, signalling that these specifications are in high demand as prices plummet for this almost baseline specification.
Rising demand for WUXGA
WUXGA resolution, otherwise known as Widescreen Ultra-extended Graphics Array, offers a display of 1920 × 1200 pixels.
At this level of resolution, projectors offer an extra vertical resolution. More pixels on the screen as a starting point means a more detailed image for projected displays, but the extra vertical can be particularly useful for some companies or spaces.
Demand for WUXGA projectors grew 42 per cent over the last year. Despite this, our sales data suggests that WUXGA-enabled projectors still haven’t quite overtaken 1080p projector devices in terms of volume, perhaps largely due to being at a higher price point to begin with.
Laser-projectors are all the rage
We’ve noticed a clear trend towards increasing demand for laser-projectors in our sales data for 2019 so far.
To give you an idea of just how strong demand for laser-light source projectors actually is, they saw stronger sales volume than lamp-based projector devices at the 5,000 lumens or higher brightness range.
We estimate that laser projector sales at that brightness level were twice as high as those of lamp-based alternatives.
The benefit of laser-powered projectors is that they aren’t reliant on lamps, meaning they require much less maintenance, as there’s simply no lamp to replace. Not only are laser projectors longer-lasting – they also offer better colour reproduction, as a laser beam concentrates light particles more precisely than the older lamp technology.
The growth in demand for laser projectors has built over the course of 2019, having been bubbling away for a long time and we expect demand to continue to grow, as the technology becomes more streamlined, cheaper and increasingly accessible to a wider audience.
The entrenchment of 4K
The corporate sector is showing a gradually increasing level of interest in 4K resolution but it’s still far behind the consumer demand for hi-res home cinema projection.
The big difference here is that manufacturers are implementing increasingly innovative solutions to provide leaps forward in resolution, without an equivalent leap up in price. (We’re talking non-native 4k resolution here)
4K Ultra-HD Projectors in the Home Cinema world have really taken hold. We’ve seen sales of projectors offering a resolution of 4K Ultra-HD increase 27 per cent year-on-year. As the technology providing this higher-resolution imagery becomes increasingly more affordable, consumers are able to make their money go further, justifying increased demand for projector products capable of providing higher-quality images than before.
Demand for higher resolution
In fact, the uptick in demand for 4K resolution is echoed in an increase in demand for higher resolution projectors across the board. The market is becoming something of a three-horse race between three specific resolutions.
Here at Projectorpoint, 1080p leads the pack, with 33 per cent share of sales.
Following close behind is the WUXGA category, on a share of 30 per cent of sales. The WUXGA price point is the only major thing that seems to hold this group back, as a lower price would potentially allow it to overtake 1080p projectors.
XGA-resolution projectors comprise another 27 per cent of sales. (With the rest of the resolutions making up just 10 per cent collectively.)
XGA projectors are usually required for legacy installs, and corporate sector sales volumes have fallen 16.4 per cent as a result, as businesses concentrate their resources towards the other higher-resolution alternatives when implementing new audio-visual setups.
In contrast, WXGA-based sales have fallen significantly – the age of WXGA widescreen dominance in the projector market is apparently over, as we recorded a fall in sales volume for the corporate sector by as much as 51.8 per cent in the last year for this category of device. This is due to great value 1080p offerings from major manufacturers that cover the 16:9 aspect ratio requirement perfectly.
We hope this article has given you a good feel for where the market is going – our key takeaways from this are as follows:
- Brightness is the dividing line – businesses are trending towards brighter projectors; there’s no need to go below 4,000 lumens (unless you’ve got a really dark boardroom!).
- Advances in technology mean that businesses have access to increasingly high-quality image quality at an affordable price point.
- Laser is the fast-growth market – and for good reason. You should really consider it for your next meeting room.
- 4K UHD has taken the consumer world by storm. It’s impressive for the small step up in cost vs. a Full HD home cinema projector model.
- Consider higher resolution – especially if you’re using a variety of input devices.
If you’re looking at a new projector for your office in 2019, get in touch to talk through the latest and best offerings from Projectorpoint as we move into 2020.