Posted on May 1, 2020 By Art Feierman
It is the first of May 2020 – and most of the US is sheltering in place. Still, here I am, writing specifically about several major uses for projectors, primarily in places now closed to the public!
This feature primarily focuses on some exciting uses of the larger, more powerful and capable laser projectors. I will start with projector use in live entertainment venues. Of course, that covers a huge variety of places, and types of usage.
It’s also worth touching on a number of other uses for high power laser projectors, in the larger venue world of projectors 4K Applications – high-power 4K projection allows some amazing things be done.
Native 4K projectors are being used in large command and control centers, museum displays, art installations, simulators (both military and airline simulators), as well as simulations – including molecular modeling, climate change and other scientific modeling.
Of course, 4K is equally ideal for projecting engineering, architectural drawings, medical images and a host of other specialized applications! For that reason, I wish to introduce you to Epson’s Pro L12000QNL which is the world’s first 12000 lumen native 4K 3LCD projector.
Soon, we the people, will again be attending live entertainment events again as entertainment venues and also other large venues (auditoriums, lecture halls…) reopen, and that means new uses of projectors to entertain, educate and enlighten!
It is Epson America, who asked me to write specifically about projection in live entertainment and other large venue applications. I can tell you this: “money has exchanged hands!” So, yes, this is another custom advertorial written by me, your friendly editor, with this goal in mind:
To present to our readers useful information on projectors – and their usage, not dissimilar from a pretty manufacturer’s brochure, but a lot lighter on the hype, and with the goal of providing some useful perspective. Enjoy. -art
I will start with the entertainment-venue side of projectors first. But, I will also give you a look at other vertical markets and also traditional uses, such as in auditoriums or hotel ballrooms.
Time to really get started!
I would like to introduce you to some monster projectors and how they are used in entertainment venues and those other places folks congregate in large numbers. Museums are one such type, and, as a group, are huge users of projectors to up their “game,” in competing for your time and interest. Surprise! It’s not uncommon for major museums to use many dozens of projectors!
One form of entertainment using projectors that is relatively new, and fast growing, is in the creation of major art installations. There are a number of very cool images below, you won’t want to miss!
Epson works with many digital artists, to create some fascinating exhibits around the world. Epson has displayed different artists’ creations using projectors, at Epson’s trade show booths (I’ve seen some pretty awesome ones over the years).
School’s out! But it will be back. Something for you educators out there: There’s also some good information here on projectors suitable for K-12 and higher education. Those classrooms and lecture halls are empty but will be filled again with students. I’ve got a small section below on “affordable laser projectors” for schools!
Projectors for live entertainment and other large venues covers a wide swatch of uses. The list includes night clubs, movie theaters, football stadiums, restaurants, basketball arenas, bars, and assorted gaming venues. And, let’s not forget the really big places: Amusement parks (huge users of projectors), and, of course, Olympic stadiums. Remember Beijing’s amazing light show when they put on the 2008 Olympics? Most everyone does. The “show” was dazzling! It raised the bar for world class imagery and entertainment.
The simple truth is, there’s no better time for those of you owning, or running entertainment venues than now, while they are shuttered, to plan – and take your venue’s digital experience to the next level.
This light show going on in this artist/computer generated image represents what spectator gaming event, looks like. In such an environment, this might be accomplished is accomplished with an array of Epson’s 20,000-lumen PowerLite® Pro L20000UNL laser projectors sporting WUXGA resolution. That would certainly allow perhaps 15,000 plus gaming fans attending such events to see all the action on the four giant displays, or what is normally the scoreboard for a hockey or basketball game.
Prety cool, I’m not a big gamer, but probably would enjoy attending something like this. (I know folks that have.)
Complex light shows, with or without sound or music, are coordinated with the main event. Whether a live sporting events, or, (as in this simulation), gaming, projectors can turn this hypothetcial arena into a big-league “halftime show” type of experience, to entertain those attending and everyone watching at home.
It’s all about upping a venue’s “game.” To keep the population coming back! We the people are some picky folks. “That was a good game and half-time show – last year. What have you done to impress me enough to pay those high-ticket prices? Something next level!”
Definitely check out this short video clip I found on the Epson site. It shows an array of Epson projectors in another arena, this time a pre-game show before the UNLV basketball game.
This lighting in the video below is accomplished with an array of eight of Epson’s L25000UNL projectors. That would be Epson L30000UNL’s slightly less powerful sibling. Complex light shows with music are coordinated with the main event, turning a sports arena into one big league digital entertainment platform.
Get with the game. This is a don’t miss. Check out the UNLV basketball pre-game show using Epson projectors. (Really Impressive!)
There are many sizes and types of venues to be considered, so one way to tackle this is to contemplate particular types of venues and operations, and what type of projector or array of projectors will best accomplish the desired results. Naturally, since Epson “asked” me to write this advertorial, I will be talking about Epson’s projectors.
If this isn’t your first projector rodeo, you know Epson comes with some serious street cred. (This is the hype part.) Epson is today – and has long been, the largest manufacturer of projectors in the world, and they sell more locally, in North America, by far. By most measures, they have several times the overall market share of their next closest competitor. To quote PMA Research Inc.-– the respected projector industry tracking firm and resource:
PMA Research 2019Q4 North American Projector Census.
Numbers below are for Professional/Commercial projector unit share:
Epson Total Professional Projector Unit Share for 2019 (N. America) – 52.3%
In an industry with dozens of well known manufacturers, you must admit – one company controlling half the market is impressive.
With its native 4K abilities, and plenty of lumens, the L12000QNL is also very suitable for small theater use, with support for 4K UHD with HDR.
Live Entertainment comes in all size venues – and types. That includes art installations as well, as you will see – I have two images here from the Illuminus. Light Festival. Here’s the first installation, it’s downright freaky!
Some actual live art installations, such as the Illuminus Light Festival image above, and the Electric Forest Festival shown elsewhere, are truly amazing, and accomplished with Epson laser projectors. All are professional images. Some are renderings made to look especially awesome. Ultimately, projector installations are all about the wow factor! I would love to walk down the street pictured above, under the projection, looking up! Wow.
Are there any venues too large for Epson projectors to get the job done? Possibly. Epson’s newest projector is the Pro L30000UNL — yes, it has 30,0000 lumens. It’s worth a good look (or two), especially due to some interesting capabilities. (Of course, if you need more horsepower, multiple projectors can be stacked to double or more the light output!
The L30000 is shipping July 2020, so I expect Epson will find a lot of demand for their brightest projector yet, in many types of large venues. Need more power? Stack two or more.
Need more pure energy to project a rock concert on the side of a skyscraper? Why not stack four L30000s to have 120,000 lumens? Talk about “wall melting!”
It is Epson’s most advanced projector and it’s ideal for the most complex usages. Like most of Epson’s extensive laser projector lineup (except their “affordable” lasers – from under $2000 to $4000), the L30000 supports advanced features. L30000 projectors have a front-facing camera to auto-calibrate colors for smooth edge blending as do most Epson Pro L lasers, but, the L30000 goes even further.
Epson has taken projection mapping to the next level, with a feature that assists the operator perform two projector stacking called Stacking Assist and a feature called Tiling Assist that allows for edge-blended multi-projector “tiling” to create one supersized image . This allows some impressive massive displays!
Epson projectors can be used to create massive command and control layouts today, offering very high resolution, and an easier on the eyes solution than large LED displays.
Projectors used for command and control can tackle a room in different ways. One solution is to build out a full display with laser projectors equipped with ultra short throw lenses and using rear projection.
Most Epson projectors accept multiple lenses covering a wide range. Additionally, many of Epson’s models work with their “periscope” ultra-short throw lens, which allows for both front, and rear projection from very short distances.
With Epson’s huge market share, they long been the projectors of choice in the classrooms of the US. They offer literally dozens of lamp based projectors for K-12, and a healthy number of laser projectors suitable for the larger classrooms and lecture halls of higher education. With the prices of the group we call “affordable laser projectors” continuing to drop, we expect to see more laser projectors being purchased by K-12, although, prices will have to come down far more before widespread use of laser projectors in K-12 classrooms.
When it comes to K-12 implementations, Epson’s “affordable lasers” with 5,000 or more lumens, start at under $2,000, and that’s even before considering their hefty education pricing discounts and longer warranties. They are certainly viable in multi-purpose rooms, also in the larger K-12 classrooms in the higher grades. An excellent example of their “affordable lasers” for the classroom is the previously mentioned 6,000 lumen PowerLite L610W, which we reviewed.
Have a tricky installation, such as mounting a projector high up in the back of a lecture hall? Then check out Epson’s 6,000 and 7,000 lumen L10 series models – which have interchangeable lenses, to meet more complex installation requirements.
Epson especially dominates in one important classroom projector type – ultra short-throw/interactive projectors, where, according to Industry research firm PMA Research reports that for 2019 Epson had 87 percent market share in North America, despite a dozen competitors. Epson offers both lamp and laser based interactive models. Most are capable not only of using multiple pens at once, but multiple simultaneous finger touches as well.
Thanks for taking the time to peruse this look at Epson projectors handling large venue applications.
To summarize – there are a huge number of applications for high power laser projectors. Epson offers approximately 80 different models – far more than any competitor. 3LCD allows for rich colors and high power in physically smaller, and less expensive projectors than those using 3 chip DLP designs.
The links below will give you access to all of Epson’s laser projector offerings.
For more information on rental or staging projectors for live events:
Information on all of Epson’s commercial projectors for large and even larger venues:
Our review of Epson’s Powerlite L610W:
Our review of Epson’s L1755UNL, a 5,000 lumen, 4K capable pixel shifting laser projector:
* Disclaimers provided by Epson – relating to their brightness measurements and light source measurements, that are referenced above. These are typical of those found on manufacturers data sheets:
Color brightness (color light output) in brightest mode, measured by a third-party lab in accordance with IDMS 15.4. Color brightness (color light output) and white brightness (white light output) will vary depending on usage conditions. White light output measured in accordance with ISO 21118.
No required maintenance for the light source for up to 20,000 hours. Approximate time until brightness decreases 50% from first usage. Measured by acceleration test assuming use of 0.04 – 0.20 mg/m3 of particulate matter. Time varies depending on usage conditions and environment. Replacement of parts other than the light source may be required in a shorter period.
This article is a paid advertorial. With a twist. When I write these advertorials for our sponsors, I engage the sponsor for some specifics as to the focus, such as an individual home theater projector, or an entire line of laser projectors, or a focus on projectors in the classroom. When the sponsor requests it (most have not), I provide them with a “rough” first draft. They are welcome to correct any technical errors, suggest things to emphasize, etc. And certainly I have incorporated good suggestions. But, they have no control over final content. Allowing that would be contrary to my goal of providing perspective. -art
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