The global sales of projectors will grow to 8.65 million units in 2010, according to technology market research firm, Pacific Media Associates (PMA) – up from 6.33 million units in 2009.

The company said that post-recession market recovery was only responsible for part of that increase, with the larger part of it due to rapidly expanding demand for the rising number of new products available for projector and home cinema enthusiasts.

The company has gone as far as to dub 2010 'The Year of The Projector' following the development of numerous important product innovations, alongside sales booms in developing countries.

The company said 2010 had transformed the projector industry, which had previously been a mature sector with only single-digit growth rates.

PMA president, Dr William Coggshall, said, "Innovations such as 3D-ready ultra-short-throw models, built-in interactivity, PC-free presentations, and LED or laser illumination are responding to user needs, in some cases expanding the lists of applications or buyer types for which projectors can be used."

He pointed out that national programmes for education has fueled projector demand in countries in the Middle East, South East Asia, China and Latin America.

The New Era (sub-500 lumen) projectors are the fastest-growing sector, growing from 512,000 units shifted in 2009 to 1,143,000 units in 2010. This range of projectors includes the popular, pocket-sized pico projectors as well as conventional wall-powered projectors.