Projector Reviews

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – SHARP NEC PROJECTORS CAN DO SO MUCH MORE FOR YOUR INSTALLS

This month’s custom integration featured article is brought to you by Sharp/NEC Display Solutions, leaders in the commercial projector marketplace. 

Remember that scene in Back to the Future Part II when Marty McFly ventures into 2015 and gets the wits scared out of him by a giant projected hologram shark on the street? That’s comedic gold first and foremost, but also a prescient vision from Stephen Spielberg into the creative ways holographic projection might be used in the future.

Here we are in 2021, and there’s nothing quite like what was imagined in that film available to consumers today, but you’d be surprised just how far along projection technology has come. The progression in the industry not only means more exciting installs, but it also means big opportunities for custom integrators looking to beef up their budgets.

As such, we’re asking all custom installation professionals to put on their creative hats and explore some of the amazing capabilities today’s modern projectors can offer us by looking at some installs we found particularly intriguing. While we’re not talking about giant holographic street shark immersion quite yet, we can get tantalizingly close to bringing inanimate objects to life to improve our business, retail, commercial, and many other environments.

Before we dive into some really interesting builds and opportunities that elevate the unique capabilities of modern projectors, it’s important to understand some of the core technologies at play here. With this fundamental understanding, we can look at how others are leveraging the technologies to make their own installs as fresh and interesting as possible.

Atmosphere

Projection Mapping

Projection mapping enables custom installers to use projectors to display images, animation or videos onto a variety of unconventional surfaces. It does this by transforming multi-dimensional surfaces into a showcase for still or moving images. Thus, it can be a really powerful tool to advance special install projects, whether that involves something for art installations, advertising, concerts, and a variety of other applications.

Excitingly, there has been major leaps in term of software tools designed to make projection mapping much quicker and easier for custom installers. These new software tools do all the heavy lifting to align the content with the unique shapes of any physical object, whether that’s in two or three dimensions. Ultimately, this means that projection mapping can be considered for a much wider variety of projects out there, and should be something all modern custom install shops consider as a really potent arrow in their quiver.

Edge Blending

Edge blending is a fairly straightforward concept with a complex technology behind it. In essence, it allows multiple projectors to be used side-by-side to produce a cohesive image without any noticeable brightness transitions from projector to projector. NEC’s MultiScreen Tool enables custom installers to use up to four NEC projectors to produce a single beautiful image on a screen. This will enable CI professionals to do extremely large format jobs that require filling a very large screen space, which can be challenging to accomplish without using technology like the kind Sharp has developed.

NEC ProAssist Software

Sharp/NEC offers an incredibly advance software suite called ProAssist, which enables several fundamental functions of large format projectors. Firstly, enabling CI professionals to control projectors remotely, which for large jobs is a critical function given the projectors in use are usually hard to access.

The software also enables edge blending, which as we discussed previously, requires multiple adjustments to the projected images to ensure the overall image is smooth and balanced. To do this, the software will adjust the boundaries of each projector, so the overlapping area is indistinguishable.

Further, Lens Control enable CI professionals to offer amazing image quality without scaling artifacts. This enables customers to keep the image of video content in focus, moving the image to fit the screen with lens shift or adjusting the image size simply and remotely. Installers can also access White Balance, Uniformity, and Geometric Correction, all of which ensure the projected images are consistent, balanced and fit perfectly onto whatever surface the installers chooses to project onto.

Summer of Love Experience Exhibition

Diving into New Media & What’s Possible

With a basic understanding of what’s possible with the latest projector technologies like edge blending and mapping software, it’s important to dive into what kind of media the modern CI professional can project onto. Not only can we project in all different shapes and sizes nowadays, we can also project onto a variety of interesting surfaces and shapes.