The worldwide front projector market grew 13 per cent in the first three months of this year compared to the first quarter of 2010, according to new research.

Pacific Media Associates (PMA), which specialises in information on the large-screen display market, said the ultra-short throw category of projectors had doubled its share of the market from the first quarter of 2010.

For its research, PMA divided the front projector industry into three brightness ranges, each associated with its own set of buyer types and applications - New Era (under 500 lumens), Mainstream (500 to 4999 lumens) and High-End (5000 or more lumens).

It found each of the three ranges experienced different year-on-year growth rates during the first quarter of 2011. New Era saw an impressive 95 per cent rise; the oldest and biggest, Mainstream was up by just 3 per cent; and High-End increased 29 per cent.

But while Mainstream as a whole experienced sluggish growth, several types of projectors within the range were selling well.

PMA's president William Coggshall said, "The hottest part of this range in recent quarters has been short-throw projectors (including the emerging interactive models), used heavily in education classrooms.

"And within short-throw, it is the ultra short throw range, i.e. projectors with a throw ratio (the screen width divided by the distance between the projector lens and the screen) less than 0.38, that are growing the fastest. The ultra-short-throw segment doubled its share from 2010's first quarter to 2011's first quarter."

PMA also found strong Mainstream growth in widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio) WXGA resolution projectors, which increased from 10 per cent to 13.5 per cent of the market.