Projection Summit Highlights Hurdles and Opportunities

Over 250 people attended the third Projection Summit, held in partnership with InfoComm and organized by Insight Media and McLaughlin Consulting Group.

Over 250 people attended the third Projection Summit, held in partnership with InfoComm and organized by Insight Media and McLaughlin Consulting Group. The conference provided new insight into the supply chain problems resulting from the rapid growth of the projection industry - particularly RPTVs. At the same time, the conference emphasized the growth opportunities in mainstay corporate and education markets, while highlighting new markets like digital signage. The popular "Analysts Debate" session yielded a fairly wide range of forecast results with the prognosis for PDPs the most controversial. Two excellent keynoters, Kyle Ranson and Allen Alley, entertained and informed attendees with futuristic visions of the big -screen display industry.

"Projection Summit continues to provide an important opportunity to discuss the use of all big -screen display technologies in the ProAV and consumer segments at a strategic level," commented Insight Media president, Chris Chinnock. "One of the key take aways for me was the fact that limited knowledge of the projection supply is affecting forecasts and the ability of suppliers to invest in new capacity. Since we are experiencing shortages at this time, this is an issue the industry needs to address."

Chuck McLaughlin, president of McLaughlin Consulting Group, noted that, "The market track sessions and keynotes were stimulating and exciting. It was great that the speakers could set aside petty competitiveness and really discuss the key market issues that need to be addressed industry wide."
Highlights of Projection Summit included:

· Keynoter Kyle Ranson of InFocus noted that the projection industry is one of the few industries that has realized rapid growth and cost reduction over the past decade, and yet the same companies still lead the industry - InFocus being one of them. He continued that after the recent revenue plateau, "Its party time again" for the projection industry as unit shipments and revenue will climb rapidly again for the foreseeable future.
· Keynoter Allen Alley from Pixelworks, followed up this theme by looking at the projection industry in 2014. Echoing Ranson's optimism, he foresees growth from 5M projectors today to 50M units in a decade. And, in recognition of the tremendous miniaturization underway, Alley offered a $50K prize to any company that could demonstrate a battery -powered projector with >200 lumens of light output and 8 bits of color all in a <100 cm3 package. Oh, and it has to have a Pixelworks processor inside, of course.
· In the Illumination session, speakers noted that the relationship between lamps and shipped projection systems are changing as the installed base grows larger, RPTVs become significant and multi -lamp systems ship. This, and other uncertainties in the lamp industry, means demand for lamps may range from 12M to 25M units by 2007, according to Insight Media - a very broad range.
· For the first time Ushio presented its manufacturing capabilities and plans claiming it would concentrate on the front projection market using a new China plant with capacity of about 3M lamps by the end of 2005.
· Not only lamps are in short supply. Glass, reflectors and optical components may be coming up short in 2004 and 2005 too, agreed most panelists in the Integrator Supply Chain session. Only TSR foresees and easing of the supply problem and even a surplus in 2005.
· Presenters in the electronics session pointed to trends to provide 10 -bit processing, but acknowledged that standard definition video still often does not look good on an HDTV set. Silicon Optix says programmable pixel processors are coming which will aid in rapid upgrades and customization.
· Epson provided attendees with an impressive roadmap of innovations it plans for its LCD microdisplays. With a new generation in process technology being unveiled every year, the company continues to push performance, lifetime and cost, providing a compelling story for the continued viability of LCD microdisplays vs. DLP and LCOS competitors. Expect the D5 generation to roll out this fall, with production on a new 12 -inch line in 2005 to meet increasing demand for microdisplays and to fill the gap left by Sony when they exited merchant supply of HTPS panels used in projection products. Epson HTPS panel shipments reached 20M pieces cumulative recently and their charts indicate current volume is approaching 750K units per month.
· TI responded by noting it anticipated market growth for their DLP products and took several actions to circumvent a potential shortage problem. This included a relationship with Amkor for the test and assembly of DMND devices and a CMOS memory layer foundry deal with Anam. The critical mirror layer is still done in a TI plant in Dallas, however. As a result, TI says it can meet the strong growth demands for DLP.
· Sony provided a very good overview of its SXRD devices (1920 x 1080 and 4096 x 2160) technology and roadmap. He surprised attendees by saying the yield for the devices were an incredible 95%.
· Electronic advertising is taking hold. Panelists were not only bullish on future prospects, but reported on hard data surveys showing the powerful impact of in -store electonic signage and displays. While Nike sustains its impressive roll out of slick images and video based on the direct impact on the sales of promoted products, an UK grocer, Tesco, appears to be way ahead of the pack. The company has now installed 50 -display networks in 100 stores and expects to generate $70M in receipts from branders running their adverts in store. Wow!
· The education market session focused on what it will take to increase penetration of projection into the classroom. A wealth of statistics characterized the current market size (30% of US unit sales) and low penetration (10% to 30% depending on segment and geography). At the heart of future growth is web -sourced content. A variety of new content services make the existing wealth of educational video content instantly available to the teacher, and what better way to capture the interest and facilitate retention that a stimulating big screen projected image.
· According to the AV/IT Convergence panelists, the signage and education segments, as well as the corporate market demand new strategies from both projector branders and the Pro AV channel. Solutions become the name of the game, not just box selling. The convergence of AV and IT calls for a broader range of integrated computer, networking, and AV products as well as a more sophisticated system design, integration, installation and maintenance approach. One concept raised by panelists is to view a projector in the same way as a printer, another output node in the network.
· Five industry analysts presented the results from recently completed market research on projectors, ProAV, and big screen innovations. While the focus of each project was quite different, the common conclusion was that the projector industry in about to enter another era of rapid growth and that those branders and channel players who move up the value chain toward solutions will be the winners.
· The crossover panel was an excellent lead in to the analysts forecast debate. There was a widely held view that the crossover projector is a product, not a market, and that it simply demonstrates that there is an unmet need in the consumer market for a home video solution at $1,000. Further, the marketers pointed out that the low priced front projection big screen market has only just begun and that even lower priced solutions can drive huge growth in the home.
· The annual market analysts' debate was low on controversy. It seems that this group of analysts are moving toward a unified technology theory completely dominated by supply side think. If the industry builds huge numbers of flat screen TVs and increasingly lower prices consumers will snap them up in unprecedented numbers. The consensus view is that more than 50M flat panel TVs bigger than 30 inches will be bought by 2008. While unit growth of front projection in enterprise markets is expected be brisk, revenue is forecasted to stagnate. And prospects in the home TV market are not too exciting either, save for the opportunity of microdisplay -based systems to displace CRTs from the staid RPTV sector. Despite prodding from moderator Chuck McLaughlin, few analysts were bullish on projection TV seeing high overall growth rates, in spite of the fact that currents sales are far outpacing their forecasts and projection offers the only clear path to sub $1k big screen HDTV.

The full proceedings for the Projection Summit will be available soon on CD for $495. Contact Annmarie Gabisch at Insight Media to order - 203 -831 -8464,, or visit the web site, -ssl/cart/cart.plx?uid=

Projection Summit '04 was supported by:

Conference Sponsors include: Intel, Texas Instruments, InFocus, Scram Technologies, and Pixelworks.

Event Sponsors include: Carl Zeiss, Analog Devices and 3M Optical Systems Division.

Media Sponsors include: Cleverdis, AV Magazine, Presentations Magazine, Pro AV Magazine, System Contractor News, ProjectorCentral, Sound & Video Contractor Magazine and Video Systems Magazine.

AV Sponsors include: InFocus and The Screen Works.

About Insight Media
Insight Media ( is a full -service market research company specializing in microdisplay -based products in the projection and near -to -eye segments. It tracks the full supply chain, finished products and distribution of these microdisplay -based products through its various newsletters, technology reports, forecasts, conferences and custom consulting activities. Headquartered in Norwalk, CT, Insight Media has a core of 8 analysts and associates to cover the microdisplay industry in a comprehensive manner.

McLaughlin Consulting Group (MCG)
McLaughlin Consulting Group (MCG), ( a team of experienced professionals, provides a range of consulting services relating to electronic displays, advanced electro -optical technologies, materials science and nanotechnology. McLaughlin Consulting Group offers market and product studies in select markets, assists start -ups in writing business plans and raising funds, conducts technology searches and business assessments for investors, and undertakes a wide range of support for deal -making and technology licensing.

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