Front Projector Shipments Up 28%, Music to My Ears

September 1, 2006

JVC D-ILAWhile not as provocative as headlines like “Plasma TV sales up 87%” I’m really pleased to hear about any increase in front projection sales and a 28% increase isn’t too shabby in my book. In all honesty a 28% increase is quite impressive if you consider how little the typical retailer promotes front projection.

Walk into any Circuit City or Best Buy (without a Magnolia) and you’re lucky to even see a front projector much less one properly displayed. LCD’s and Plasma’s have been all the rage of late, so if front projection sales have increased over the same time period last year, dedicated home theaters and or media rooms must be gaining on the “den” or “TV room” environments associated with flat panel displays.

As much as I love front projection I can obviously understand why some consumers would shy away. Front projection requires a dark (or darkish) room, projectors need specific placement that isn’t always possible and there are other miscellaneous reasons that might otherwise preclude someone from going with front projection. On the other hand what you gain in front projection can be very alluring.

Front projection is hands down the best screen-size to cost ratio going. My projector can be found for as little as $3200 (its two years old) and projects a crystal clear, bright, 80” HD image. Try finding a 80” flat panel, much less one anywhere near the 3k mark.

Sharp’s 65” LC-65D90U LCD retails for upward of 20k, plasmas over the 80” mark are pushing 40k, so at least for now front projection offers the biggest bang for the buck, that is if you want to measure your screens in feet and not inches.

So with this bit of good news for front projection, I want to leave you with one last thought. If daytime viewing in a room with ambient light is a must for you, then front projection may not be the best option, even the new ambient light rejecting black screens have their limitations.

However, if you’re able to darken your viewing room and or your room doesn’t suffer from bright ambient light during daytime hours, I strongly encourage you to examine some of the options in front projection. I love mine and wouldn’t consider going back to flat panel displays until they can match front projections screen-size to cost ratio.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater Projectors