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TI Brings DLP Pico Projectors to the Masses

DMD chip priced under $20
8/2/2017 00:01 AM EDT
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cookiejar
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cheap junk
cookiejar   8/4/2017 9:10:30 AM
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What I'm waiting for from TI is a DLP based 4K projection system that uses RBG lasers that's reasonably priced.  4K projectors now sell for tens of thousands of dollars.  You need a really large screen to be able to appreciate the full 4K resolution.  You just cannot see 4K resolution with a 60" screen viewed at the typical 10 feet away.  The only practical use for your typical 4K LCD TV is as a PC monitor.  I have a 4K 39" Seiko that I view from just over 1 foot away, like any normal HD PC monitor.  That's the distance you need to actually use the 4K resolution.  At that distance it's the same pixel density as a 20" HD monitor but with 4 times the area.   Imagine, a PC desktop the size of an actual desktop.  No need to be zooming and panning all over your CAD drawings.  To my mind its the greatest single advance in PC technology.

TI has the technology for 4K laser projectors - they got an Oscar for it, after all.  Individual RGB lasers eliminate the interference patterns that about 15% of people see when viewing a color wheel DLP projector.  LEDs also eliminate the color wheel but suffer from their dim images.  About ten years ago HD laser based DLP rear projection TVs came out, promising 60,000 hour bulb life.  They were priced very competitively with LCD TVs of comparable size and had incredible color purity, viewing angle and brightness.  I imagine  their manufacturers were disappointed in the loss of their replacement bulb cash cows  ($500 bulbs with 250 hour life expectancy) so this technology quickly faded from the marketplace. Projector replacement bulbs are a similar business model to printers - the profit isn't in the printer, it's in the ink.  To hasten obsolescence,  the same $10 bulbs have unique housings for every model - just as it's the same ink in different ink cartridges for every model of printer.  MBAs rule!  The customer is no longer right.




realjjj
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Re: Limited by low resolution
realjjj   8/2/2017 9:03:12 AM
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Higher brightness has all kinds of costs , battery size, thermal and so on. The light source just can't evolve fast enough and that's why they need to change the game and get rid of the high brightness requirements. That would be glasses and even better if you can control how much light you let in so you can reduce the brightness required and do both AR and VR. But in glasses, very high res is a must so maybe LCoS would have a better chance.

This product seems to just aim to be cheap. In phones something smaller is needed, keystone correction and autofocus would be a must and 3D touch would not hurt so laser seems best. Microvision got a small win in China recently with their laser solution in a phone called VOGA V.

In these new smart speakers a projector (in some cases with touch) should work better than a display as it offers more flexibility, chances are we see such products soon.

Les_Slater
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Re: Pico-Projector Takes Off in China
Les_Slater   8/2/2017 8:54:25 AM
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The Moto Z projector goes for $299.99 and is 480p at 50 lumens. That's pretty poor performance for a high price that does not look too attractive to me. The most useful use of cell phone projection would be palm sized unit that would fit in briefcase or purse for doing impromptu presentations. Besides being 1080p at 100 lumens a credible speaker would go a long ways. Seems like if it broke the $200 barrier would have a quite serious market.

Les_Slater
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Re: Limited by low resolution
Les_Slater   8/2/2017 8:40:27 AM
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Currently, palm sized 1080p, 100 lumen LED DLPs retail in the range of a little ove $250.

Les_Slater
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Re: Limited by low resolution
Les_Slater   8/2/2017 8:25:13 AM
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I've used the AAXA - HD Pico 720p projector, which is 50 lumens and goes for $155.99 retail. Would not want to use that for anything serious. 1080p at 100 lumens for $100 would be impressive.

 



R_Colin_Johnson
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Re: Limited by low resolution
R_Colin_Johnson   8/2/2017 8:16:09 AM
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Yes, that's what I told TI, but they claim that for the consumer market (in China at least) they are satisfied with 640-by-360 because they are just projecting small images on miscellaneous surfaces. 

R_Colin_Johnson
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Pico-Projector Takes Off in China
R_Colin_Johnson   8/2/2017 8:11:36 AM
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The pico-projector market it finally taking off--in China anyway--and Texas Instruments is the leading subsystem vendor which it intendeds to keep hold of by offering a new <$20 model along with a <$100 evaluation unit for original equipment makers (OEMs). We don't see them much here in the U.S., except as a snap-on for the new Moto Z smartphone, but in China TI has already shipped a million units in the first half of 2017.

Les_Slater
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Limited by low resolution
Les_Slater   8/2/2017 8:10:51 AM
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Only 640 x 360 resolution, would not be very useful as a smartphone screen projector.

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