New categories of portable projectors are driving expansion in the market, with a double-digit growth in this category compared to a year ago.

The figures are based on worldwide digital projector shipment statistics compiled by PMA Research. It found that overall projector shipments were down to 1.95 million units from the 2.07 million units shipped in the first three months of 2012.

But the new generation of compact, light pico and personal projectors showed a double digit growth year-on-year. There was also a strong showing in the high-end projector market, especially Wide XGA and 1080p commercial and home entertainment projectors.

Market analysts said the sub-1,000 lumens small projector market has remained robust because of demand from travelling professionals who need portable equipment that is capable of providing a large picture while they are on the road.

Jeff Volpe from ViewSonic said that portable solid-state and pico projectors is a strong emerging category.

He said: “This is an exciting and growing category because the solid-state is lampless and allows the total cost of ownership to be reduced. The portability and reduction of heat based on the solid-state technology is of value to people from an energy usage perspective.”