Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

The future of RPMs ** From My Perspective **

CEDIA 2005-2007

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   RAF

RAF

    Lead Actor



  • 7,062 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted September 18 2006 - 11:57 AM

As has already been mentioned here and elsewhere, the introduction of really good Front Projectors (I'm talking about 3 chip LCoS models) for around the $5,000 price point or less (street) really brings into question the whole future of the Rear Projection Monitor (RPM) as a viable option for the home. In the past the only way to get a "theatrical" experience if one could not create the light-controlled environment for a good front projector (or afford it!) was to choose one of the many large RPMs. They were big enough to provide a somewhat large picture (upwards of 70" - although not the 84-110" and beyond diagonals of many HTs). They were bright enough to deal with room situations that wouldn't allow for complete (or near complete) darkness. And they were generally much more affordable than front projectors when providing the same quality image.

However, the other shoe has dropped at CEDIA. Let me list a few things I observed:

Exhibit A: Sony introduces a 3 Chip SXRD (LCoS) projector (VPL-VW50) that produces a fantastic picture in high definition, accepts 1080p/24 and costs less than $5000. Shipping now.

Exhibit B: JVC "announces" a D-ILA (LCos) 3 chip model that is similar in many ways to the SONY and actually shows a prototype at CEDIA. Price to be determined (rumored at $7000 but that could change). Shipping "sometime 1Q 2007." The picture looks excellent. Some think better than the SONY. Others have the opposite opinion. In any event - excellent for the list price!

Exhibit C: Optoma introduces its $999 HD-70 - a 1 chip 720p DLP projector with HDMI input (remember, 720 is still considered HD).

Exhibit D: LCDs and Plasmas are getting bigger and less expensive at the same time. With the introduction of 1080p flat panel models (the more expensive ones even with 1080p/24 acceptance) the prices of the 720p models (remember: also HD) continues to fall.

So with the $1000 price barrier broken for 720p HD FPs at the same time that the $5000 price barrier has been broken for 3 chip 1080p FPs it is no longer true that HD FP is out of reach for the average consumer. And since the flat panel screens are getting bigger than ever this kind of makes the RPM the odd man out. Since an RPM takes up a lot more floor space than a flat panel it might go the way of the CRT in terms of being this year's "brick." True, the 1080p RPM models shown this year from almost every manufacturer (usually DLP or LCoS) had spectacular pictures but will the "Wife Acceptance Factor" skew things towards flat panels? I saw an interesting RPM presentation (which shall remain nameless) that pointed out that if you place a plasma TV (or a large LCD flat panel) on a table then the stand that would be needed to keep it from falling off the table has to be just about as deep as an RPM, so that RPMs and flat panels actually take up the same amount of floor space. While this might be true, it completely ignores that fact that most flat panels are purchased to hang on a wall. I don't see too many RPMs on walls although I did see a couple of RPM models - especially shallow ones - which were on wall shelves. Perhaps this is in answer to the advantage of flat panels.

To me it looks like the trend for Home Theaters will be to the now affordable FPs in all price ranges (see Exhibits A, B, and C) if you can control the light in the room or to large flat panels if you can't. While RPMs will be around for some time (and the prices will be attractive) there appears to be a new sheriff in town. Of course, if size and girth doesn't matter to you (watch it! This is a "family" forum.) then an RPM still has a place in your plans. But I'm willing to bet that the playing field has changed.

Comments?
RAF
[Demented Video Dude since 1997]
[Computer Maven since 1956]
["PITA" since 1942]
CLICK HERE to visit My HT HTF Rules and Regulations

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

Tim Glover

    Lead Actor



  • 7,681 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 12 1999
  • Real Name:Tim Glover

Posted September 18 2006 - 03:33 PM

I do think that RPMs will be around a bit longer. One reason, people do think that FP is just too difficult and they assume it's very expensive. Granted, even HT guys have this misconception. There is some truth to this as there are hidden costs suchs as curtains etc, different types of screens that might require add'tl $$, and you really can't browse the Wall Street Journal while viewing a movie. Posted Image

Once people start realizing how relatively inexpensive FP is and how GREAT the quality is....and as more and more mainstream electronics stores carry them...FP will grow.

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   RAF

RAF

    Lead Actor



  • 7,062 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted September 18 2006 - 04:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Glover
I do think that RPMs will be around a bit longer. One reason, people do think that FP is just too difficult and they assume it's very expensive. Granted, even HT guys have this misconception. There is some truth to this as there are hidden costs suchs as curtains etc, different types of screens that might require add'tl $$, and you really can't browse the Wall Street Journal while viewing a movie. Posted Image

Once people start realizing how relatively inexpensive FP is and how GREAT the quality is....and as more and more mainstream electronics stores carry them...FP will grow.

Good points, Tim. And on the other side, as flat panels get bigger and less expensive they will provide the same great, big pictures viewable in lighted rooms that RPMs now deliver - and without the BIG box for those who don't want to set up all the things (screens, etc.) that FPs require. No, FPs aren't for everybody but the other options are going to make RP less desirable for many. RPMs won't disappear overnight just as CRTs are still around.

RAF
[Demented Video Dude since 1997]
[Computer Maven since 1956]
["PITA" since 1942]
CLICK HERE to visit My HT HTF Rules and Regulations

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   David Ruiz

David Ruiz

    Second Unit



  • 349 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 13 2001

Posted September 18 2006 - 05:56 PM

I have to agree with Tim here. I personally don't think that RPMs will disappear, ever. There are just far too many people out there that (1) have never even heard of projectors for home use and (2) the people that know of their existance, are lead to believe that they are incredibly expensive and extremely difficult to set up and use.

On my own, I've approached many people and have asked them what they thought about projectors and most of them looked at me with confused looks on their faces and asked, "what's a projector?" And even after describing in great detail what it was, still, all they could understand is that theaters used them, but couldn't figure out how they could work inside of a house with a DVD player or a HTPC.

I've known about projectors for years now and have wanted one for about 5 years probably and have always bought RPMs, but last week, I bought my first FP (Sanyo Z4). I simply can not wait to receive it. I just know it's going to be the best thing ever! I have demoed many projectors in the past, so I already know how to set them up and what to expect from them (quality-wise) so I know I'm going to be thoroughly satisifed with the Z4.

But as to the future of RPMs, I think that there definitely is a future for them and I think that even after every person on the planet knows what a projector is, I still don't think that everyone will want to own one, for many reasons (most of which Tim stated). There will always be people who want to stick to RPMs.

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   RAF

RAF

    Lead Actor



  • 7,062 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted September 18 2006 - 06:10 PM

Obviously, the public will determine how long RPMs continue to be offered and I agree that if people keep buying them they will continue to be offered. My point was that RPMs offer a big picture viewable in a lit room at a good price but now that flat panels are getting bigger and coming down in price (and ambient light isn't as much of a problem as it once was flat panels) the choice is wider for those on a budget. Of course if prices of RPMs drop proportionally to flat panels then the market will remain strong.
RAF
[Demented Video Dude since 1997]
[Computer Maven since 1956]
["PITA" since 1942]
CLICK HERE to visit My HT HTF Rules and Regulations

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

Tim Glover

    Lead Actor



  • 7,681 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 12 1999
  • Real Name:Tim Glover

Posted September 18 2006 - 07:03 PM

I see your point better now Robert ...I was comparing RPMs to Front Projection mainly. Yeah, definitely, flat panel displays, plasmas etc...are becoming more and more the norm. Just check out Wmartm (hardly an electronics savvy place Posted Image )....but they have several plasmas and flat panel lcds. And one, maybe 2 regular RPM.

My parents, who are in their late 60s are hinting to us they want "one of those real thin like TV's" Posted Image

#7 of 10 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul



  • 25,024 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted September 18 2006 - 11:30 PM

RAF,
What were the largest flat panels they showed at the show?

Also, I'll never buy FP because of too much ambiant light in my home and I'm sure that many others have that same problem.

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Listing

 


#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

Tim Glover

    Lead Actor



  • 7,681 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 12 1999
  • Real Name:Tim Glover

Posted September 19 2006 - 05:28 AM

Robert C.,

This report was posted last night from ProjectorReviews.com:

Quote:
Just one 720p home theater projector! Panasonic demonstrated their new PT-AX100U projector, in two rooms. The first demo room, a fully darkened theater, and the second in more of a family room environment with the ability to vary the brightness widely to see how the PT-AX100U performed. The projector looked great with movie content in the dark, and had the brightness to handle moderate ambient light, in the other room.

With the PT-AX100U, Panasonic is the first major player to come out promoting a "brighter" home theater projector, in this case rated 2000 lumens. They share the idea that many users need the extra brightness, because they don't want to "be in the dark" for all content. A dark room is ideal for movies, but most people don't want to be in the dark for watching sports, TV, or video gaming. Also, many potential home theater buyers, do not have dedicated theater rooms, and can't do a good job of darkening their viewing room while the sun is up.


#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

Adam Gregorich

    Executive Producer



  • 14,916 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 20 1999
  • LocationThe Other Washington

Posted September 19 2006 - 08:08 AM

Quote:
What were the largest flat panels they showed at the show?
The biggest "real world you will actually be able to buy it in a few months and we didn't just build it to prove we are better than you" flat screen I saw was a 65" LCD from Sharp and 60" panels from Fujitsu and LG.

This is where RPs will be around to stay. Manufactures are looking working on making their RPs look like flat panels by making the bezels thinner and making the sets shallower. Samsung released some 46" DLP RPs that are very shallow and designed to compete with Plasmas that people set on tables. Mits will be coming out with a 70" DLP that is only 10" deep next year. A 70" plasma would be close to that with the mount and a lot more expensive. Optoma has the BigVizion to compete as well. It is built into the wall so it looks like a screen. Don't forget that when you see FP prices falling you need a screen, light control and usually professional installation which can add several thousand to the price of the finished product. For the majority of consumers who want a large screen (over 50") for daily use RP is still the way to go.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   RAF

RAF

    Lead Actor



  • 7,062 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted September 20 2006 - 03:52 PM

Good points, Adam. I didn't mean to say that what we saw at CEDIA this year sounds the death knell for RPM (although in reading over my initial comments I can understand that some might read it that way.) What I meant to say was that when Plasma prices were high and LCD sizes were more limited, it was not economical to consider a truly "flat" screen display for the heart of a Home Theater and the only way to get something over 50" was via a Rear Projector Monitor if front projection didn't appeal to a consumer.

With the cost of excellent front projectors dropping, all of a sudden FP Home Theater is within the reach of a lot more people (even allowing for the screen and any other assistance in setting things up.) And in those cases where a Front Projector will never be a viable option (due to light and or space considerations) a BIG picture doesn't have to be an RPM since flat panels have plummeted in price.

But it still CAN be an option for those who have the space of an RPM. In fact, for people who don't worry about the size and the weight of CRTs some of the Sony HD CRTs still have the best bang for the buck and a termendous picture. If you have a handy corner and don't plan on moving the set around, CRTs are not dead yet either. Unfortunately, you are limited to 40" or under (probably less since I haven't seen a 40" CRT for some time now) so the HT experience is out of the question unless you sit close and the room is small.

There are still some good reasons for some people to buy RPMs. But considering the advance of the other display technologies it might no longer be the most viable option for many.

And, as we say, your mileage may vary.
RAF
[Demented Video Dude since 1997]
[Computer Maven since 1956]
["PITA" since 1942]
CLICK HERE to visit My HT HTF Rules and Regulations





Forum Nav Content I Follow